Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a disappointing 11th-placed finish in the Bundesliga this season, but that has been drowned out by the euphoria of their European exploits.
Few fancied Frankfurt to go the distance in the Europa League, but the 1980 UEFA Cup winners have enjoyed a memorable, and so far unbeaten, campaign.
Three wins and three draws saw them advance from a group also featuring Fenerbahce, Antwerp and Olympiacos, and after seeing off Real Betis in the last 16, they delivered the shock of the tournament when sending Barcelona packing in the quarter-finals.
Bellingham on target as Dortmund win on the road at Eintracht Frankfurt
They then overcame West Ham in the last four, setting up a showdown with Rangers, also unfancied in the earlier stages but now out to complete the job in Seville.
Wednesday’s final is therefore tough to call, and with the bookmakers making Frankfurt the slight favourites, we get the lowdown from Eurosport Germany’s Marc Hlusiak on a side dreaming of European Cup football for the first time in 62 years…
Did the Europa League divert too much focus from the Bundesliga for Frankfurt?
Things really didn’t go well in the Bundesliga this season. I don't think the reason was the focus on another competition, though, at least not all the time.
Recently, when there was no longer any risk of relegation, the focus in Frankfurt definitely shifted. There is a very special atmosphere in Europe, and the team is able to compete on another level, with the fans creating a unique atmosphere.
How much motivation will be taken from wins over Bayern Munich and Barcelona?
They will surely remember the greatest accomplishments of the season as they head into the biggest game of the season, or arguably of the past few decades. Everyone in the team knows how big the chance of winning the title is because they've beaten bigger opponents this season.
But that can also be a risk. Frankfurt must not make the mistake of underestimating Rangers based on past deeds.
Ansgar Knauff has been something of a star during the run to the final. How good is he?
Knauff was already considered a great talent in Dortmund, including being in the starting XI in the Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester City in 2021. But the competition at BVB was too great, so the club and player did everything right when they loaned him to Frankfurt.
He gets playing time and can develop. He has great potential, brings speed and dribbling with him. But the most important players at Frankfurt remain Filip Kostic and defensive chief Martin Hinteregger - who will probably be absent due to injury.
What type of manager is Oliver Glasner and what will his approach be?
Glasner is a coach who stays true to himself and his game ideas, even when things get tight. Sometimes you get the feeling he doesn't have a Plan B if things don't work out. But that can also be due to his generally rather reserved, less emotional nature.
To be honest, it's very difficult to describe Glasner because he doesn't reveal much. He is not the centre of attention, holds back, but has strong opinions - as his argument with Jörg Schmadtke at VfL Wolfsburg showed.
Europa League: Oliver Glasner vor dem Rückspiel im Halbfinale gegen West Ham United
Image credit: Getty Images
What is the general feeling about facing Rangers?
Eintracht may not be worried, but of course they know who the most dangerous Rangers guys are. Ryan Kent is certainly worth mentioning, with him BVB also had problems. James Tavernier's wing runs can also become a problem. Above all, the offensive wings Knauff and Kostic have to work defensively very well.
We all saw what happened in Barcelona, are we expecting fans to travel in big numbers again?
Short answer: it is very likely. Frankfurt's fans are crazy - especially when it comes to international games. It's the biggest game in the club's recent history, so the city will be packed with Eintracht fans. And they will also find their way into the stadium.
What would victory mean in terms of reputation and financially?
It would of course be a big step for Eintracht - especially financially. But everyone at the club knows that the gap to the top teams in the Bundesliga is still huge. Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig, Leverkusen are financially much better positioned.
However, Frankfurt has the fan base, the tradition and the environment to become a top Bundesliga team. A season in the Champions League would be a good start.
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