Rafael Borre, Kevin Trapp and Eintracht Frankfurt’s all-time best XI
Eintracht Frankfurt’s success in the UEFA Europa League has sparked days of celebrations across the city in honor of the club’s first European trophy in 42 years, and has left us wondering where Kevin Trapp, Rafael Borre and Co could be. fit into the club’s all-time best XI.
The 31-year-old Germany international cemented his place among the club’s greats with a man of the match performance in the final against Glasgow Rangers. His jaw-dropping save of Ryan Kent in extra time was quite special, before he produced the decisive save in the shootout that ultimately led to the Eagles triumph. A subsequent place in the official UEFA Europa League Team of the Season was only a reward, making him the only candidate for that team’s goalkeeper position.
Not only a true Frankfurt legend, but also an icon of the Bundesliga: Karl-Heinz ‘Charly’ Körbel holds the record for the most appearances in the top flight with 602, all in Eintracht colours. As reliable a centre-back as they come, Körbel was part of Frankfurt’s second team to taste continental glory, playing the full 90 minutes in every game of their 1980 UEFA Cup final triumph over Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Hinteregger may have missed the final in Sevilla through injury, but he has been a cornerstone of Frankfurt’s current squad for several years now. The Austrian rallied Eintracht’s rearguard on their run to the semi-finals in 2018/19 and his sensible approach was crucial in helping Oliver Glasner’s side sail through the competition unbeaten. A charismatic figure who plays the accordion and is a licensed helicopter pilot, ‘Hinti’ partied with fans for days after Sevilla’s triumph, reason enough he deservedly holds a place in the official team of the season.
Initially on loan from Augsburg, Martin Hinteregger has achieved cult status at Frankfurt. -Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Eight years Körbel’s senior, Neuberger held the record for the most Bundesliga appearances (502), the bulk of which was for Frankfurt (276), before his teammate eventually claimed the crown. A jack-of-all-trades whose versatility saw him occupy several outfield positions throughout his career, Neuberger was at his best as a marauding full-back, where he played for this iconic club. Eintracht from 1980.
There are captions and then there are captions with a capital ‘L’. Bernd Hölzenbein definitely belongs to this last category. Frankfurt’s all-time top scorer with 160 goals, he also held the club’s single-season record of 26, set in 1976/77, until Andre Silva beat him in 2020/21. Winner of the 1974 World Cup with Germany, the attacking midfielder was also captain of the Frankfurt team in 1980.
Frankfurt legend Bernd Hölzenbein (cl) lifts the UEFA Cup. – Laci Perenyi, via www.imago-images.de/imagoimages/Laci Perenyi
A World Cup winner with Germany in 1954, Pfaff retired two years before the Bundesliga was established in 1963, but he still played over 300 competitive games for the club. Part of the team that crushed Rangers in the 1960 UEFA Cup semi-finals, he also played in the 7-3 final loss to Real Madrid that year. Nonetheless, the free-kick specialist, who ran a pub after hanging up his boots, has remained a beloved figure in Frankfurt, so much so that there’s even a street named after him near the Frankfurt training ground. the first team.
The nimble Japanese striker was unstoppable for Glasner last season, featuring in Frankfurt’s 13 Europa League assignments. He finished as the team’s top scorer with five goals, including the crucial first-leg semi-final winner at West Ham. Another to be named to the Official Team of the Season, Kamada often had opposing defenses so worried that he was singled out for scoring the man, opening up spaces elsewhere for his teammates.
While some left-footed players are often described as having a “stick” for a boot and others a “hammer”, Kostic is a unique breed in possessing both. Famous for his pace, directness and precision crosses, the Serb showed nerves of steel to strike two unerring goals for Barcelona in the quarter-finals. He finished the season with more assists (six) than any other player in the Europa League, including his delivery to Borre to equalize in the final. No wonder he was named the competition’s Player of the Season and also included in the Team of the Season.
Watch: Filip Kostic is key to the success of the current Frankfurt squad
Comes the hour, comes Borre. The Colombian proved to be the ultimate big-game player in his first season at Eintracht, scoring three of his four Europa League goals from the quarter-finals. His superb goal against Barcelona helped the Eagles believe victory was possible, while he also provided an assist for Ansgar Knauff in the first leg of the West Ham semi-final. As if that weren’t enough, he rose to the challenge again in the final, equalizing against Rangers and scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout. Another player who fully deserves his place in the Europa League Team of the Season.
A key part of Frankfurt’s frantic 2018/19 side, Haller helped rekindle the club’s love affair with European football as they progressed to the Europa League semi-finals with five goals in 10 matches. Their telepathic partnership with Luka Jovic (see below) and Ante Rebic earned the trio the nickname “The Three Buffaloes” in Germany; they were unstoppable once thrown. Powerful, skilful and good in the air, Haller may only have had two seasons in Frankfurt, but he certainly had a lasting impact.
Jovic was the star of European football in 2018/19, scoring 17 Bundesliga goals – five of them in a single game – and another 10 in 14 Europa League appearances. “He’s a goal machine, no doubt about it,” head coach Adi Hütter said at the time. The Serb scored in both semi-finals against Chelsea and was so good that Real Madrid called it off at the end of the season, taking him to the Bernabeu.