Sunday, May 22, 2022

UEFA Europa League 2022 Final: Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers both on the verge of creating history

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German Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt and Scottish Premiership club Rangers both are now eyeing creating new history by winning the UEFA Europa League 2021/22 trophy. Both teams are getting ready for the upcoming final of this tournament that is scheduled for 18th May 2022 at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán (Seville).

Eintracht Frankfurt reached the UEFA Europa League 2022 final after beating the English Premier League club West Ham United by 2-1 (at away) and 1-0 (at home) in the semi-finals. Previously, Frankfurt played one UEL final back in the year 1980 when they beat another German club Borussia Mönchengladbach in the double-leg final.

Meanwhile, Rangers defeated another German club, RB Leipzig, in the other semifinals (1-0 lost at away game and 3-1 win at home) to advance to the UEFA Europa League 2022 final.

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Since UEFA Europa League 2011/12, it will be the first time when the UEL champions will not be either from Spain or England.  

Historic UEL trophy opportunity

While Eintracht Frankfurt haven’t lost a game in the ongoing UEFA Europa League, they have a great chance to become the third team to win a UEL title without losing a game (excluding those winners who qualified in the UEL after finishing in the third position in the Group Stage of the same UEFA Champions League season).

English club Chelsea were the first team to win a UEL trophy as an unbeaten side in the 2018/19 edition. Later, in the 2020/21 season, the Spanish club Villarreal became the second unbeaten UEL champion. 

Eintracht Frankfurt: Germans attempting to end 25-year wait for the UEL trophy

Frankfurt
Image Credit: Twitter
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Before Frankfurt, Werder Bremen were the last German club to experience UEL final back in the 2008/09 season. However, the Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk won that UEL 2009 final in Turkey by a 2-1 margin at extra time.

In the UEFA Europa League or UEFA Cup history, the inaugural (1972) to 1997 finals were two-leg competitions. Since the UEL 1998 final, it has been followed with the single-leg format.

In the history of UEL single-leg finals, a German club has never won the UEL trophy. Only Borussia Dortmund (UEL 2002 final) and Werder Bremen (UEL 2009 final) played one UEL final each during this period, but both suffered defeats in those finals.

During the double leg UEL finals era, the German clubs earned six trophies, and they also had six runners-up medals. So, last time, a German club managed to win the UEL title back in the 1996/97 season when Schalke 04 beat the Italian club Inter Milan in the two-legged UEL 1997 final, which was ultimately decided in the penalty shootout.  

So, Frankfurt have a great chance to end Germany’s 25-year-long wait to win a UEL trophy.

Rangers: Golden chance to become the first Scottish club to win the UEL trophy

Rangers
Image Credit: Rangers Football Club Twitter

Before the forthcoming UEL 2022 final, Scotland clubs managed to experience three UEFA Europa League finals but suffered defeats in all those finals.

Rangers were the last Scottish team to appear in a UEL final when they suffered a 2-0 defeat against the Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg during the UEL 2008 final. Before them, Dundee United (1987 final) and Celtic (2003 final) suffered one UEL final defeat each as the Scottish clubs.

While Scotland have one UEFA Champions League title and two now-defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, the country is waiting for their first UEFA Europa League trophy.  

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