Ajax Europa League. Eintracht Frankfurt consistently exceeds expectations and delights with European football



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This is an updated version of the text published on April 11

This year is a fairy tale for Eintracht Frankfurt. He advanced to the semifinals of the European Cup for the first time in nearly 40 years (1980), being the last hope of the Germans to achieve any success. In addition to the five ranks before the end of the season, he is in fourth place in the Bundesliga, with a promotion to the Champions League. And to think that in 2016, Eintracht still remained in the league only after the bar racks and before that season some of them again told him to fight for maintenance.

Eintracht Frankfurt rebuilt by Niko Kovaca

On May 19, 2018, Niko Kovac said goodbye to Frankfurt in the most beautiful way possible – beating Bayern Munich in the German Cup final, which means their future employer. Niko Kovac took over in 2016 the quilting team for the second Bundesliga and made him a butler. Only the weakest end of the season meant Eintracht finished eighth and did not qualify for the Champions League.

Kovac's greatest achievement was dealing with the crucible of nationality, which was Eintrach's locker room: it was shared by citizens of Finland, Mexico, Germany, Argentina, France, Israel, USA, Holland, Spain, Switzerland, Japan, Serbia, Ghana , Bo ¶Nia, Sweden and Cameroon. His Eintracht was mainly based on excellent defensive; Last season, he lost 45 goals (less than third Hoffenheim), but the problem is that he fired at them … the same.

Huetter broke FC Basel hegemony

At that time, Adolf "Adi" Huetter broke the hegemony of FC Basel and took the Young Boys Bern to the 32 years of championship of Switzerland. And in what style! YBB scored as much as 84 points, ahead of the tycoon by 15 points. To break the league record, only three points were missing. Earlier, Huetter drove to RB Salzburg, but resigned despite winning the double. So it became clear that Salzburg would sell its biggest stars (mainly to Leipzig). Huetter did not want to agree.

"Success makes you sexy," says the Austrian today. His Eintracht Frankfurt unexpectedly became a revelation this season. Already in 28 Bundesliga games, he scored the score of the previous season (he has 52 points). And even if this season was much more difficult. Changing the coaching, rebuilding the team (such players as Lukas Hradecky, Lobo Marius, Kevin Prince-Boateng or Omar Mascarell) and much more stressed schedule – these factors "Eagles" must reconcile the Bundesliga with the game in Europe. Eintracht does not care about this; in the Europa League as the only one next to Salzburg, he won a set of points in the most unlikely group – with Lazio, Apollon Limassol and Olympique de Marseille. In the spring, Huetter's team celebrated Shakhtar Donetsk (6: 3 in aggregate) and Inter Milan (1: 0). On the down side of the Austrian you can only save a bad start: 0: 5 in the German Super Cup with Bayern and defeat SSV Ulm chariot in the German Cup. The league's losses – only four points after five games – were long ago. Taking into account only 2019, Eintracht Frankfurt would be the third, leaving only RB Leipzig and Bayern.

Joviæ, Haller and Reale guarantee a goal

But the biggest change is the style of the game. Eintracht can no longer be associated with boredom that can sometimes affect the Kovac; Huetter puts on youth and a fast and aggressive game. At the Commerzbank Arena, Europe's fifth most deadly trio round. Luka Joviæ, Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebiæ scored 54 goals this season; in the top European leagues, only the trio of Manchester City (60), Liverpool (61), PSG (68) and Barcelona (74) gave up.

"No wonder the top clubs accuse the network," Huetter says of Jovicia. This is the biggest surprise this season. When he arrived at Benfica, he was assigned a lot of great talent to him. However, he was unable to meet in Lisbon and was sent for reservations. Eintracht rented it for 200,000 euros and bought it for 6 million euros, although it is now worth at least ten times more. – A classic example of stupidity – writes "Bild" about Benfica's decision to get rid of the player. – It was my fault. I was inexperienced – Joviæ explained her failed adventure in Lisbon. He added that Niko Kovac woke him up. But it was Huetter who started filming in series. He has scored 25 goals this season (he also has seven assists), and five of them scored in a match against Fortun Dusseldorf (7: 1).

MICHAEL PROBST / AP

The discoverer of talent Jovicia Tomislav Miliceviæ says "Bild" that Eintracht should receive 80 million euros for him. About 21-year-old fights Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Milicević advises Jovici to change clubs, but according to Frankfurter Rundschau, the Serbian will remain in Frankfurt for another season. But "Eagles" should also think about stopping other football players. "For me, the most important is Sebastian Haller. Objectives, assists. It's complete, above average – says Fredi Bobiæ, sports director. When watching the Eintracht players' game, he must be proud, but at the same time he feels that the richest clubs will understand Huetter's composition.

Man from 2018: Fredi Bobiæ

Without Bobicia this story would not be complete. When he worked as Sports Director of Stuttgart, he was associated with inefficiency and successive transfer sheets. In 2016, this function was included in the Frankfurt Eintracht, which found a large and reasonable dose of skepticism. But now the German media are calculating a long list of their transfer successes, including the names of Jović, Haller, Mascarell, Jesus Vallejo, Wolf, Boateng, Kevin Trapp, Sebastian Rode and Martin Hinteregger. In addition, after leaving Kovac, he decided that the team should take over Huetter. That is why Bobiæ was elected the Man of the Year of 2018 at the German dance, which seemed unbelievable for several years.

– We do not want to stand still, we want to develop. In terms of budget, we are between the 9th and 12th place in the championship. But we want to be better and exceed expectations – says Bobiæ. Eintracht has a budget of more than 30 million euros below Benfica and spends 17 million less with salaries. In the field of this difference, however, it was impossible to see. After the 2: 4 defeat in Lisbon (where the Eintracht game broke the red card already received in the 20th minute), Germany had nothing more than to start the attack from the first minutes. Filip Kostiæ and Ante Rebiæ played the perfect match, and Eintracht won 2-0 – Benfica looked as if their only plan was to bet no more than a goal. When Sebastian Rode arrived at 2: 0, the locals left.

MICHAEL PROBST / AP

The final whistle brought the euphoria of the fans. Some of them delivered advertising bands, but no one came on the pitch. The fans sang in honor of Adi Huetter, and the song featured The Clash's song, "London Calling." Three years ago, Eintracht Frankfurt was on the straight road to the second Bundesliga and is now preparing for the semi-final of the Europa League with Chelsea.

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