2021/22 Europa League final: Eintracht Frankfurt vs Rangers facts
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Previous meetings, form guide, past UEFA finals, trivia and stats: Everything you ever wanted to know (and more) ahead of the 2022 UEFA Europa League final.
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Eintracht Frankfurt go head to head with Rangers at Seville's Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán in the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League final looking to become the first winners of the competition from Germany and Scotland respectively.
• The two clubs are each bidding to win a second European trophy. Rangers lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972, beating Dynamo Moscow 3-2 in the final in Barcelona, and Frankfurt claimed the UEFA Cup in 1980 thanks to an away goals success against fellow Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-3 a, 1-0 h).
• While Eintracht have already won twice this season in Spain, where they have never lost in five visits, Rangers have eliminated two German clubs en route to the final.
• Eintracht kicked off their 2021/22 European campaign in the UEFA Europa League group stage and go into the final undefeated after 12 matches. They topped Group D in the autumn with 12 points ahead of Olympiacos, Fenerbahçe and Antwerp to qualify directly for the round of 16, where they eliminated Real Betis after extra time (2-1 a, 1-1 h). They then claimed another Spanish scalp in the quarter-final, knocking out Barcelona with a memorable 3-2 victory in the Camp Nou following another 1-1 draw in Frankfurt, before winning both semi-final legs against West Ham United (2-1 a, 1-0 h).
• Rangers' 19-match 2021/22 European campaign began in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, though they spent the autumn in UEFA Europa League Group A, where they finished as runners-up to Lyon with a game to spare ahead of Sparta Praha and Brøndby. They then eliminated Borussia Dortmund 6-4 on aggregate in the knockout round play-offs (4-2 a, 2-2 h) and Crvena zvezda 4-2 in the round of 16 (3-0 h, 1-2 a) before overturning 1-0 away defeats in both the quarter-final, against Braga, and the semi-final, against Leipzig, with stirring second-leg 3-1 wins at Ibrox.
• The clubs have been paired together just once previously in European competition, Frankfurt comprehensively beating Rangers in the semi-final of the 1959/60 European Cup when they followed a 6-1 home win with a 6-3 second-leg victory at Ibrox, Alfred Pfaff scoring twice in both games. Paul Osswald's side returned to Glasgow for the final, which they lost 7-3 at Hampden Park to Real Madrid.
• Frankfurt's only other UEFA contest with Scottish opposition was against Aberdeen in the first round of their triumphant 1979/80 UEFA Cup campaign – a tie they won 2-1 on aggregate when a 1-0 home win followed a 1-1 draw in Glasgow. Their overall record against Scottish teams in UEFA knockout ties is therefore W2 L0.
• In contrast, this is Rangers' 52nd UEFA match against German opposition – by far the largest number they have played against a single country. Their record in the previous 51 is W18 D15 L18 and includes a defeat in their only other final against a German club, Bayern München beating them 1-0 after extra time in the 1967 European Cup Winners' Cup decider in Nuremberg. The Scottish side's record in knockout ties against German opponents is now W10 L11 thanks to aggregate victories this season against both Dortmund and Leipzig.
• Having been absent from Europe in 2020/21, Eintracht returned for a third UEFA Europa League group stage campaign in four seasons – and fourth in all – thanks to their fifth-placed finish in the Bundesliga. Last summer they replaced coach Adi Hütter with another Austrian, Oliver Glasner, who was in charge of fourth-placed Wolfsburg last term.
• Eintracht have qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout phase on all of their four group stage appearances, their previous best campaign in 2018/19 ending in the semi-finals, when they lost a penalty shoot-out to eventual winners Chelsea. They won all six of their group games that season – the only German club ever to achieve the feat – but managed just three this term, two against Olympiacos (3-1 h, 2-1 a) and one against Antwerp (1-0 a), in addition to three draws – 2-2 at home to Antwerp and 1-1 in both games against Fenerbahçe. They have maintained their unbeaten record in the six knockout games against Betis, Barcelona and West Ham (W4 D2).
• Glasner's side have won five of their six UEFA Europa League matches outside Frankfurt this season, all by a one-goal margin, the exception that 1-1 draw at Fenerbahçe on Matchday 6.
• Eintracht are unbeaten in Spain, winning four of their five matches there, including 2-1 in Seville – at the Estadio Benito Villamarín – against Betis in this season's round of 16.
• Undefeated champions of Scotland in 2020/21 as they claimed a record-extending 55th domestic league title, Rangers also played 13 matches in the UEFA Europa League, progressing from the second qualifying round to the round of 16, where their run was ended by Slavia Praha (1-1 a, 0-2 h).
• Rangers returned to the UEFA Champions League for the first time in a decade this term, but they lost both third qualifying round legs 2-1 to Malmö and transferred to the UEFA Europa League play-offs, where they edged past Alashkert to reach the group stage for the fourth successive season. Although they lost their opening two group games – against Lyon (0-2 h) and Sparta (0-1 a) – they remained unbeaten thereafter, taking four points off Brøndby (2-0 h, 1-1 a) and clinching second place with a 2-0 victory over Sparta at Ibrox on Matchday 5 in their first match under new manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who had replaced Steven Gerrard. The Dutchman subsequently steered the Gers past Dortmund, Crvena zvezda, Braga and Leipzig.
• This is Rangers' first appearance in the UEFA Europa League final, their three previous participations in the competition's knockout phase having all come to a halt in the last 16.
• Having gone through their 2020/21 European campaign without a single defeat outside Glasgow (W5 D2), Rangers failed to record a win on their continental travels this term (D3 L2) until that 4-2 victory in Dortmund. They have lost all three games away from Ibrox since – in Belgrade, Braga and Leipzig.
• That European Cup Winners' Cup final win in Barcelona against Dynamo Moscow 50 years ago remains Rangers only win on Spanish soil in UEFA competition. Their 12 away games in the country have yielded nine defeats and three draws, although one of those draws came on their last visit, 2-2 against Villarreal on Matchday 1 of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League. Their two previous visits to Seville have both brought defeats – 0-2 against Sevilla in the first round of the 1962/63 European Cup Winners' Cup, though Rangers won the tie 4-2 on aggregate, and 0-1 against the same opponents at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Previous UEFA finals
Eintracht (W1 L1)
1960 European Cup 3-7 v Real Madrid
1980 UEFA Cup 3-3 agg (won on away goals) v Borussia Mönchengladbach
Rangers (W1 L3)
1961 European Cup Winners' Cup 1-4 agg v Fiorentina
1967 European Cup Winners' Cup 0-1 v Bayern München (aet)
1972 European Cup Winners' Cup 3-2 v Dynamo Moscow
2008 UEFA Cup 0-2 v Zenit
UEFA Europa League final focus
• This is the 13th UEFA Europa League final. The previous 12 have yielded 36 goals at an average of three per game. The biggest winning margin is three goals – 4-1 by Chelsea against Arsenal in 2018/19 and 3-0 by Atlético de Madrid against both Athletic Club (2012) and Marseille (2018). The highest number of goals scored in the fixture is five – Sevilla's 3-2 victory over Dnipro in 2015, that 4-1 win for Chelsea in 2019, and another 3-2 success for Sevilla in 2019/20 against Inter.
• Sevilla have won all four of their UEFA Europa League finals, the 2019/20 victory taking them ahead of Atlético, who also boast a perfect finals record of three out of three.
• There have been nine previous UEFA Europa League finalists from Spain, including last season's winners Villarreal and 2012 runners-up Athletic, and seven from England, Chelsea winning twice (2013, 2019), Manchester United winning once (2017) and losing once (2021), with Fulham (2010), Liverpool (2016) and Arsenal (2019) all suffering defeat on their sole appearance.
• Eintracht and Rangers are the 17th and 18th different clubs to have reached the UEFA Europa League final – and either club would be just the seventh to win the competition. Only three countries – Spain (eight wins), England (three) and Portugal (one) – have provided previous winners.
• This is the first time that a club from Germany or Scotland have reached the UEFA Europa League final. They are the eighth and ninth nations represented in the fixture.
• This is the first final since the 2017 fixture between Manchester United and Ajax to feature two first-time finalists – and only the second since Chelsea-Benfica in 2013.
• In 2018/19 Chelsea became the first UEFA Europa League winners to go through the season undefeated (W12 D3). Villarreal emulated that feat last season (W11 D3), and Eintracht will also claim that distinction should they prevail in Seville. Rangers have already lost five UEFA Europa League games this term – two more than any previous winners. Indeed, only Sevilla, with three defeats in 2013/14, have lost more than two.
• There has never been a sending-off in a UEFA Europa League final.
• The only own final goal was scored by Inter's Romelu Lukaku to give Sevilla victory in 2019/20.
• Three penalties have been awarded in the UEFA Europa League final, all converted – by Óscar Cardozo for Benfica against Chelsea in 2013, Eden Hazard for Chelsea against Arsenal in 2019, and Lukaku for Inter against Sevilla in 2020.
• Two UEFA Europa League finals have been decided by penalty shoot-outs – Sevilla defeating Benfica 4-2 on spot kicks after a 0-0 draw in Turin in 2014 and Villarreal overcoming Manchester United 11-10 after a 1-1 draw last season in Gdańsk. The only other final to have gone into extra time was the inaugural fixture in 2010, when Atlético overcame Fulham 2-1 in Hamburg.
• Seven players have scored twice in the UEFA Europa League final – Diego Forlán (Atlético 2010), Radamel Falcao (Atlético 2012), Carlos Bacca (Sevilla 2015), Coke (Sevilla 2016), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético 2018), Hazard (Chelsea 2019) and Luuk de Jong (Sevilla 2020); there has yet to be a hat-trick.
• Falcao is the only player to have scored in two UEFA Europa League finals, having struck Porto's winner in 2011. He is also the only two-time winner of the Man of the Match award (2011, 2012).
• The youngest player to have competed on the winning side in a UEFA Europa League final is Villarreal's Yeremi Pino (2021) at 18 years 218 days; the oldest is his Villarreal team-mate Raúl Albiol, who was 35 years 265 days at the time of last season's final.
• Maurizio Sarri became the UEFA Europa League's oldest winning coach, at 60 years 139 days, when he led Chelsea to victory in 2019. The youngest remains André Villas-Boas, aged 33 years 213 days when he oversaw Porto's triumph in 2011.
• Unai Emery has led teams to UEFA Europa League final successes on four occasions – Sevilla in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and Villarreal in 2021; he was also the Arsenal manager when they lost to Chelsea in 2019. Diego Simeone, twice a winner with Atlético (2012, 2018), is the only other coach with multiple UEFA Europa League final victories.
• Glasner and Van Bronckhorst are bidding to become the first coaches from, respectively, Austria and the Netherlands to win the UEFA Europa League.
• This is the first UEFA Europa League final to be staged in Spain, Seville becoming the 13th different venue. The Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán has hosted one previous continental showpiece, the 1986 European Cup final between Steaua Bucureşti and Barcelona, which the Romanian side won 2-0 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Links and trivia
• Eintracht's Kristijan Jakić and Rangers' Borna Barišić are fellow Croatian internationals, while Borré and injured Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos both play for Colombia.
• Rangers' Nigerian international defender Leon Balogun was born in Berlin and has represented five German clubs – Hannover (2008–10), Werder Bremen (2010–12), Fortuna Düsseldorf (2012–14), Darmstadt (2014/15) and Eintracht's local rivals Mainz (2015–18).
• Ryan Kent spent the first half of 2017/18 on loan at Freiburg, making six Bundesliga appearances.
• Rangers captain and right-back James Tavernier opened the scoring in the semi-final second leg against Leipzig with his seventh UEFA Europa League goal of the season, all in the knockout phase, making him the 2021/22 competition's outright top scorer. No defender has ever previously topped the UEFA Europa League end-of-season goal charts. Kamada is Frankfurt's leading marksman on five goals.
• Tavernier is three goals shy of the all-time individual scoring record in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase, Falcao's total of ten for Porto in 2010/11.
• Kevin Trapp and Rafael Borré, who scored the winner in the semi-final second leg against West Ham, have started all 12 of Frankfurt's UEFA Europa League games this season. Daichi Kamada has also appeared in every match, once as a substitute.
• Rangers' Joe Aribo is the only player to have appeared on all 14 UEFA Europa League matchdays this season (12 starts), although seven of his team-mates have appeared in 13 games – Tavernier, Barišić, Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson, Calvin Bassey and semi-final second-leg scorers Glen Kamara and John Lundstram.
• This is Rangers' 19th European encounter of the season – the most in any of the club's 52 UEFA club competition campaigns, eclipsing their 2019/20 total of 18.
• Eintracht's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2:
4-5 v Salzburg, 1993/94 UEFA Cup quarter-final
3-4 v Chelsea, 2018/19 UEFA Europa League semi-final
• Rangers' record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
1-3 v Borussia Dortmund, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup third round
4-3 v Paris Saint-Germain, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
4-2 v Marítimo, 2004/05 UEFA Cup first round
4-2 v Fiorentina, 2007/08 UEFA Cup semi-final