Berlin (AFP) – Eintracht Frankfurt could have sold out their ground five times over as the hosts target a historic win over Barcelona in Thursday’s Europa League home quarter-final against Barcelona.
This is the first time Eintracht have faced Barcelona in European competition with an electric atmosphere expected for the first leg.
The German club had 250,000 requests for the 48,500 available tickets, which sold out in record time.
“We’re all looking forward to it,” said Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner.
“We will play to win – even against the great FC Barcelona.”
Frankfurt are in mid-table in the Bundesliga and drew a blank in Saturday’s goalless draw at home to bottom side Greuther Fuerth.
Glasner admitted his team were distracted by the visit of the Spanish giants five days later.
“There was a big question mark whether the players were focused or already thinking about Thursday’s game,” Glasner said.
“It will be a completely different game, we will get more space, which will make it easier for us.”
Frankfurt Frankfurt finished top of their Europa League group unbeaten against Olympiacos, Fenerbahce and Antwerp, but Barca will be a step up.
Eintracht beat Spanish side Real Betis in the last 16 thanks to an own goal in the last minute of extra time at home in the second leg.
On their day, Frankfurt can pull off a shock win as they showed last October when they beat Bayern Munich away
Eintracht’s top scorer in Europe this season is Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada who has four goals from eight appearances.
For the first time in 17 successive years, Barcelona failed to reach the last 16 of the Champions League to drop into the Europa League.
Frankfurt’s Japanese captain Makoto Hasebe said the hosts “have to show a different face” on Thursday as they look to repeat their 2018/19 run to the semi-finals, where they lost to Chelsea.
Eintracht’s Germany goalkeeper Kevin Trapp says the home crowd will play an important role.
“We’re glad the fans are back,” Trapp said as Saturday’s home game was the first with a full crowd since the Covid pandemic started two years ago.
“There was also a special atmosphere.
“That’s extremely important, especially with regard to Thursday when the place will be full again.
“We have big plans, so we need help from the stands.”
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