Raphael Bure, Kevin Trapp, the 11 best players of all time in Eintracht Frankfurt

The success of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League sparked days of celebrations across the city in honor of the club’s first European Championship in 42 years, and left us pondering where Kevin Trapp, Raphael Bury & Co might fit in as the club’s best XI ever.

A goal keeper

Kevin Trapp

The 31-year-old Germany international cemented his place among the club’s greats by displaying his man of the match in the final against Glasgow Rangers. His superb save from Ryan Kent in overtime was special enough, before he issued the crucial penalty shootout stop that ultimately led to the Eagles’ victory. A place later on the official UEFA Europa League team of the season was just a bonus, making him the only goalkeeper favorite in this aspect.

defenders

Charlie Korbel

Not only a great Frankfurt legend but also an icon in the Bundesliga: Karl-Heinz “Charlie” Korbel holds the record for most league matches with 602, all of which come in Eintracht’s colours. As a reliable defender, Korbel has been part of Frankfurt’s second-team to savor continental glory, playing the full 90 minutes in each match since their 1980 UEFA Cup Final win over Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Martin Hinterger

Hinterger may have missed the final in Seville due to injury, but he has been the cornerstone of the current Frankfurt squad for several years now. The Austrian mobilized the Eintracht backguard on his way to the semi-finals in 2018/19 and his earnest style was crucial to helping Oliver Glasner’s side move forward in the competition unbeaten. A charismatic accordionist who is a licensed helicopter pilot, ‘Hinti’ shared with fans several days after the Seville victory, reason enough for him to take a well-deserved place on the official season squad.

Initially signing a loan from Augsburg, Martin Hinterger received a prestigious position in Frankfurt. – Justin Sitterfield/Getty Images

Willie Neuberger

Eight years older than Korbel, Neuberger held the record for most Bundesliga appearances (502), the bulk of which was for Frankfurt (276), before his teammate finally took over the title. As a multiplayer whose versatility has led him to serve in a number of outside positions throughout his career, Neuberger has been at his best as a full back, a place where he has played for the famous Eintracht side since 1980.

midfielders

Bernd Holzenbein

There are legends and then there are legends with a capital ‘L’. Bernd Holzenbein is definitely in the latter category. Frankfurt’s all-time top scorer with 160 goals, he also holds the club’s record in a single season of 26 goals in 1976/77 until Andre Silva broke it in 2020/21. 1974 World Cup winner with Germany, attacking midfielder was captain of the 1980 Frankfurt team

Frankfurt legend Bernd Holzenbein lifts the European Cup. – Laci Perenyi, via www.imago-images.de/imago images / Laci Perenyi

Alfred Pfaff

A World Cup winner with Germany in 1954, Pfaff retired two years before the founding of the Bundesliga in 1963, but he still plays more than 300 competitive matches for the club. Part of the team that crushed Rangers in the 1960 UEFA Cup semi-final, and also played in the final 7-3 defeat to Real Madrid that year. However, the free-kick specialist, who ran a bar after hanging up his boots, remained a beloved figure in Frankfurt, so much so that there is a street named after him near the first team’s training ground.

Attacking midfielders

Daichi Kamada

The clever Japanese striker was unimpressive for Glasner this past season, as he took part in all 13 Europa League assignments in Frankfurt. He finished the season as the team’s top scorer with five goals, including the decisive first leg semi-final winner over West Ham. Another player named to the Official Team of the Season, Kamada often had opposing defenses so anxious that he was chosen to scrutinize, opening up spaces elsewhere for his teammates.

Philip Kostik

While some left-footed players are often described as having the ‘stick’ of the shoe and others the ‘hammer’, the Kostic is a unique species in owning both. Known for his speed, directness and accuracy in his cross passes, the Serbian player showed his nerves of steel to score two steady goals away from home against Barcelona in the quarter-finals. He finished the season with more assists (six) than any other player in the European League, including handing Bouri to tie in the final. No wonder he was named Player of the Tournament and included in the Team of the Season as well.

Watch: Philip Kostik is the key to the success of the current Frankfurt team

attackers

Rafael Burri

The hour comes, Puri comes. The Colombian proved to be the best player in the big matches in his debut season at Eintracht, scoring three of his four goals in the Europa League from the quarter-finals onwards. His stunning shot against Barcelona helped instill belief in the Eagles that a victory was possible, while also providing a crucial assist for Ansgar Knauf in the semi-final first leg over West Ham. And as if that wasn’t enough, he rose to the occasion once again in the final, where he tied against Rangers and scored the decisive penalty kick in the penalty shootout. Another player richly deserving of his place in the Europa League team of the season.

Sebastian Haller

An essential part of Frankfurt’s impressive 2018/19 squad, Haller helped rekindle the club’s love affair with European football as they advanced to the semi-finals of the Europa League with five goals in 10 matches. His telepathic partnership with Luka Jovic (see below) and the three Ante Rebic earned him the nickname “The Three Buffalos” in Germany; They were unstoppable once they started. Powerful, skilled and good in the air, Haller may have only had two seasons in Frankfurt, but he certainly made a lasting impact.

Luka Jovic

Jovic was the star of European football in 2018/19, scoring 17 goals in the Bundesliga – including five in one match – and another 10 in 14 Europa League matches. “He’s a goals machine, no doubt,” coach Adi Hutter said at the time. The Serbian scored in both the first leg of the semi-final against Chelsea and was consistently so good that Real Madrid came at the end of the season, taking him to the Bernabeu.

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