Rafael Borre scored to equalize the UEFA Europa League final against Rangers, before Kevin Trapp’s penalty save in the shootout sealed victory, but who else has played for Eintracht Frankfurt this season ?
bundesliga.com looks at five key players who have given Die Adler flight on the mainland this term.
1) Kevin Trapp
It’s impossible to talk about Frankfurt’s European success this season without mentioning goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. The shot-stopper often leads the team with injuries and age beginning to affect club captains Sebastian Rode and Makoto Hasebe respectively, and his example at the back has been exemplary.
Trapp made 36 saves during Frankfurt’s Europa League campaign – second only to Rangers’ Allan McGregor – but he outplayed the Scot when it mattered, saving Aaron Ramsey’s kick as Frankfurt emerged victorious 5-4 on penalties. That the game even got to this point was largely thanks to Trapp denying Ryan Kent a shot from close range in overtime.
To say Trapp deserved his recent return to Hansi Flick’s Germany side for the upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures with Italy, England and Hungary would indeed be an understatement.
2) Raphael Borre
Rafael Borre had big boots to fill when he arrived from River Plate last summer, with 28-goal Andre Silva departing for RB Leipzig, but he has taken over.
Borre may not have been as prolific as his Portuguese predecessor – although his 12 goals and eight assists at the rate of one every 177 minutes in all competitions are nothing to sniff at – but the Colombian’s talent for the big occasion was unprecedented.
Borre scored against Barcelona at Camp Nou in the quarter-finals, claimed the winner against West Ham in the semi-finals, and it was his equalizer against Rangers that forced extra time, and ultimately penalties. Naturally, he then delivered the game-winning kick into the top corner at McGregor. He and Trapp were also named in the Europa League Team of the Season by UEFA.
Rafael Borre never seemed to miss his penalty against Rangers in the Europa League final. -David Ramos/Getty Images
3) Ansgar Knauf
Ansgar Knauff has been a revelation this season. Signed by Jürgen Klopp for Borussia Dortmund in 2016, the young winger’s potential was never in question, but it’s in his current loan spell at Frankfurt that he’s really blossomed, even being named a Young Player of the League. the season by UEFA.
Knauff, like Borre, found the target against Barcelona and West Ham in Die Adler successful European run, and Oliver Glasner can be delighted that the loan deal they agreed with BVB for the 20-year-old striker in January will continue for another season.
4) Daichi Kamada
Daichi Kamada may have been quiet at Sevilla but the Japanese midfielder has been Frankfurt’s top scorer on the continent this season, finding the target against Olympiacos (x2), Antwerp, Real Betis and West Ham then that Eintracht went to the final undefeated. .
Kamada already possessed a brace against Arsenal in Frankfurt’s run to the semi-finals two years ago, and he continues to flourish in the competition – with one goal more in 13 Europa League appearances this season (5) than he has scored in 32 Bundesliga outings. (5).
5) Filip Kostic
For all the above, Filip Kostic remains perhaps Frankfurt’s best player. Rangers right-back and captain James Tavernier came into the final as the competition’s top scorer with seven goals, but he was never going to hold his own against the Serbian superstar.
Left winger Kostic kept Tavernier on the back foot for long stretches, and his assist for Borre’s equalizer was his tournament-leading sixth provision. So it’s no surprise to see him awarded the Player of the Season award and a place in the Europa League Team of the Season by UEFA’s technical observer panel.