(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
FCB´s last quarter-final appearance in the Europa League was six years ago. Back then, "RotBlau" played Valencia CF, failing to qualify for the next round, giving away a 3-0 lead the first leg. Incidentally, three current FCB players - Fabian Frei, Taulant Xhaka and Valentin Stocker - were in the squad at the time, the latter of whom was injured in the second leg. These three are now all in the squad, but the injured Jonas Omlin, Eric Ramires and Luca Zuffi are out, as is Dimitri Oberlin, who is not eligible to play.
FOR US THIS GAME HAS A VERY BIG MEANING AND WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. ALSO BECAUSE WE HAVE PLAYED A VERY GOOD CAMPAIGN SO FAR.
Back then, the (1st leg) fixture was played behind closed doors, just like the current fixture. UEFA imposed this ban because objects had been thrown onto the pitch during the previous Europa League match in Salzburg and the referee was forced to interrupt the match for a quarter of an hour.
FINAL TOURNAMENT IN GERMANY
Even if FCB kicks off their Europa League second leg fixture with the same lead they had against Valencia, the situation at that time cannot be compared with the current one: RotBlau had to defend their 3-0 lead in the Mestalla Stadium in front of 34,000 spectators, who cheered their team on frenetically. This time FCB play at home, but for well-known reasons the team will not be able to count on the support of their fans.
FRANKFURT ALSO HAD THEIR CHANCES IN THE FIRST LEG. WE CONSCIOUSLY HAVE TO PLAY OFFENSIVELY AND DEFEND WELL.
Despite the comfortable lead from the first leg in Frankfurt, the Basel side must be warned that a lot can happen in 90 minutes and that a place in the final tournament in North Rhine-Westphalia is far from certain. In Germany's most populous state, the remaining eight teams will play for the title in a knockout mode starting next Monday, 10. August 2020. A unique situation for modern European club football.
I THINK EINTRACHT WILL BE WILLING TO TAKE A LOT OF RISKS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO SCORE GOALS.
But even this 2nd leg fixture, which will be played on Thursday in the Joggeli, will take place under conditions that have probably never been seen before: 147 days have passed since the first leg was played and while FCB played its last domestic league fixture on Monday, the Frankfurters have been on summer break for over a month now, after finishing ninth in the Bundesliga at the end of June. On the weekend, the Hessians tested against AS Monaco resulting in a 1-1 draw.
WE ARE PROFESSIONAL ENOUGH NOT TO TAKE THE RETURN LEG LIGHTLY. A LOT CAN HAPPEN VERY QUICKLY IF YOU CONCEDE A GOAL.
FCB finished the Raiffeisen Super League 2019/2020 in third place. The last time FCB finished in 3rd place was eleven years ago. The opportunity to take part in this unique final tournament would be a chance to achieve something big this season after disappointing in the Swiss league. But there are still at least 90 difficult minutes to go, as the FCB knows all too well. But if they succeed, RotBlau would be in a European Cup quarter final for the fifth time and this time it would be a very special one - like so many things which are special this season.