Giovanni van Bronckhorst hailed Aaron Ramsey’s bravery after missing the penalty that handed Eintracht Frankfurt the win over Rangers in the Europa League final.
Ramsey came on for Fashion Sakala in the 118th minute and had one touch of the ball before the penalty shootout.
It was 3-3 in the shootout before Ramsey stepped up, and his feeble attempt was saved by Frankfurt keeper, Kevin Trapp.
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Eintracht Frankfurt were able to score all their penalties past Aaron McGregor, who became the third player aged 40 and over to appear in a major European final, with Rafael Borre scoring the winning penalty.
“Of course, it’s a big disappointment. If you play a final in Europe and you lose it will hurt. When you play a final you will do everything you can to win it. With penalties, it’s a lottery,” said Van Bronckhorst after Rangers’ loss.
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“Tonight, we weren’t on the good side. But I can’t complain with everything my players gave before tonight and tonight. It was a tight game and went to penalties, and we lost.
“We were so close to winning a trophy, but that’s football. If you play a lot of big games, finals, you will have memories that stay with you. But I also lost a World Cup final,” said Van Bronckhorst referring to Netherlands’ loss against Spain in the 2010 edition.
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“Next season we have to start all over again. The disappointment is there tonight. You see the game. There were a lot of subs used. It was tough physically. The players gave everything, all their effort on the pitch. We had to sub some players because they were struggling physically. I can’t complain; they gave everything.”
“I think we prepared well also for penalties,” continued Van Bronckhorst. “In the penalty kicks some players are comfortable taking penalties. We had a few who were comfortable taking penalties and others who did not want to take one. We had to adjust it because of the subs. Borna [Barisic] had to go out, and he’s one of the first penalty kickers.
“He [Ramsey] is very down. It’s never nice to lose. Everyone is hurt and disappointed. You can sense that in the locker room. That’s normal, so shortly after the game.
“Aaron was disappointed, but he took responsibility to take the penalty and you can make it or miss it. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it, but you want to have players who are comfortable taking penalties.”
Back in 2019, Ramsey suffered a hamstring injury in April, forcing him to miss Arsenal’s Europa League final against Chelsea, which his side lost 4-1.
He signed for Juventus, playing in Italy for three seasons, however, injuries continuously hindered any chance of consistent game time. He went on loan to Rangers this January, in the hopes of starting fresh, but he has failed to make the impact that many hoped he would at the Scottish club, playing only seven league games and never reaching the heights he did at Arsenal.
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