Europa League: Bayer wants to reach the final in the “cauldron” – “We are ready”

Europa League: Bayer wants to reach the final in the “cauldron” – “We are ready”

The fans are euphoric, the coach is full of confidence: Bayer Leverkusen believes they have a good chance of reaching the final of the Europa League against Rome.

Football world champion Xabi Alonso taught his team self-confidence and a winning mentality before they could reach the Europa League final.

“We have the mentality and the desire to play in such a way that we can do it. I feel the energy and the atmosphere in the team,” said the Bayer Leverkusen coach ahead of the Europa League semi-final second leg against AS Roma on Thursday (9 p.m. / RTL).

Despite the 1-0 defeat in the first leg, the Spanish coach is completely confident. “We want more,” said the 41-year-old on Thursday. After 21 years, the club has another chance to move into a final. “It doesn’t have to be a miracle, we just have to bring our best performance onto the pitch,” said national player Florian Wirtz.

“Ready for a great night”

The optimism in the team is unbroken despite the defeat in the first leg and the major injury worries. “We’re ready for a great night,” said Alonso, who is without defensive stabilizer Robert Andrich (broken metatarsal), Odilon Kossounou (muscle injury) and Karim Bellarabi (torn hamstring). Center forward Patrik Schick has been missing for weeks anyway. “But we also have other good players who will do their job well. Of course we also play for the injured boys,” said offensive player Wirtz.

The club also relies on the great support in the environment. “You notice an incredible euphoria and an incredible anticipation in the club,” said sporting director Simon Rolfes before the duel with the sixth in Serie A. “You’ve felt a special connection between fans and team in the last few weeks. I’m sure that it will be a cauldron and the team will be pushed forward.”

Tickets sold out within 90 minutes

The previous successes in the Europa League have triggered euphoria among Bayer fans. All tickets for the game against Roma, led by star coach José Mourinho, were sold out within 90 minutes. And even before the quarter-finals against Union Saint-Gilloise from Belgium, 3,000 fans had welcomed the team bus and accompanied it to the stadium in pyro fog.

Everyone in and around Leverkusen is aware that Thursday is a historic opportunity for the club. Bayer could reach a European Cup final for the first time in 21 years. “It’s the most important and nicest game of the season,” said Wirtz. The club has not had a title since winning the DFB Cup in 1993. The club “simply deserved it again” and is “also about to hold up a trophy,” said DFB sporting director Rudi Völler, head of sport at Bayer until last summer and a noble fan in the first leg in Rome.

Alsonso remains Bayer coach

For Alonso, too, the final would be a first highlight in his still young coaching career. The Spaniard, who is under contract with Bayer until June 30, 2024, could also become interesting for other clubs. But the Leverkusen coach is not worried about his future. He will also work under the Bayer Cross next year. “I’m very happy with the team and the club,” he said on Wednesday.

Source: Stern

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