Friday, August 27, 2021
Winger is on strike
Big trouble with Frankfurt star Kostic
First Eintracht Frankfurt is happy about a good Europa League draw, then winger Filip Kostic causes trouble. He doesn’t show up for training and wants to force a move to Lazio. For the time being, Eintracht waives its services.
When they return to the European football stage, Eintracht Frankfurt can expect challenging but manageable tasks. In the group stage of the modified Europa League, the Hessian Bundesliga club will face the Greek champions Olympiacos Piraeus, the Turkish record champion Fenerbahce Istanbul with ex-international Mesut Özil and the Belgian representative Royal Antwerp.
However, it is extremely questionable whether Filip Kostic will take part in Eintracht’s trip to Europe. According to information from the “Bild” newspaper, the 28-year-old Serb refused the final training before the Bundesliga guest appearance at Arminia Bielefeld and also let coach Oliver Glasner inform him that he was leaving the club and therefore not with the Hessians for the game this Saturday ( 3.30 p.m. / Sky) wants to travel. Kostic is heavily courted by Lazio.
Frankfurt’s sports director Markus Krösche indirectly confirmed the incident to the “Bild” newspaper. “Of course Filip’s approach irritates us very much. We have always got to know him as a professional with a solid character, so we are very surprised at his behavior – especially because he still has an ongoing contract with us and there is no offer at all,” said Krösche. The club later announced that they would “forego” Kostic against Bielefeld.
At lunchtime everything was still good
Hours before, the Eintracht world seemed okay after the draw in Istanbul. “It’s a great group. Olympiakos and Fenerbahce are big names in European club football. Antwerp was recently in the group stage of the Europa League. We are pleased about the opportunity to compete with top clubs in Europe,” commented Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner won the lot for Group D and confidently added: “Our goal is very clear that we will overwinter in the Europa League.” The anticipation is also great at Krösche: “Europe is something very special for Eintracht Frankfurt.”
In the second highest European club competition, only 32 instead of the previous 48 teams take part. The winners of the eight groups go straight to the last sixteen. The runners-up fight in two play-off games against a group third from the Champions League for a place in the knockout round. The third in the group will continue in the new Conference League, the last eight in the group will be eliminated. “With Frankfurt a lot is possible internationally, as the past few years have shown. I am confident that it will be the case again. We are absolutely hot,” said the currently injured captain Sebastian Rode.
The group games are played on September 16, September 30, October 21, November 4, November 25 and December 9. Kick-off is at 6.45 p.m. or 9 p.m. The European Football Union intends to publish the exact schedule by Saturday noon at the latest. The final will take place in Seville on May 18, 2022. “We are very happy because they are teams with good quality. Anything can happen in this group. In the end, of course, we want to prevail,” said international goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. “I’m most happy when the fans can be there again.”
Özil’s return with Fenerbahce
Eintracht played once against the 28-time Turkish champions Fenerbahce Istanbul in 2006 in the then UEFA Cup. In Istanbul it was 2: 2 after a 2-0 lead in the end – the draw cost Hessen to advance. In addition to former world champion Özil, the former Bundesliga professionals Marcel Tisserand (VfL Wolfsburg) and Luiz Gustavo (1899 Hoffenheim / Bayern Munich) as well as last year’s second division top scorer Serdar Dursun (Darmstadt 98) are among the well-known names in the team of Portuguese coach Vitor Pereira.
So far Olympiacos Piraeus has collected even more titles than Fenerbahce in Greece. The club was champions 48 times and cup winners 28 times. Eintracht have never met the Greeks in a competitive game, nor have they met Antwerp. Last year’s third in Belgium is the big unknown in Group D. Nevertheless, Krösche warned: “They are all good teams that have been successful in their leagues. The away games will be very interesting because they are emotional teams.”