An elated Kevin Trapp declared Wednesday the best day of his career, after Eintracht Frankfurt defeated Rangers in the Europa League final.
The Eagles had to come from a goal down after Joe Aribo’s 57th minute opener, equalising through Rafael Borre to force extra-time before winning 5-4 in the penalty shootout.
After winning everything domestically in France over three seasons with Paris Saint-Germain, this is Trapp’s first silverware with Eintracht Frankfurt over two stints at the club, only returning after their DFB Pokal win in 2018.
The 31-year-old was named player of the match and could not hide his joy, helping the German club win their first European trophy since 1980.
“I don’t have any words for that,” Trapp said post-match. “I’ve tried to find them but it’s impossible. We can present the trophy tomorrow in Frankfurt after 42 years. This is the best day of my career, truly. I’m so proud of our team.
“We were down and a lot of players had cramps. As I said, I have no words to describe this. We won a big international title – I thought I would cry. That didn’t happen, probably because it seems so unrealistic we’re going home with a trophy. But for German football, I think we made everyone proud.”
Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Rangers [AET, Frankfurt win 5-4 on pens]
42 years after winning the UEFA Cup in 1980, Eintracht Frankfurt win the famous trophy again. An intensely competitive final sealed in the most heartbreaking fashion.#EuropaLeagueFinal pic.twitter.com/j5CghnGCDq
— The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) May 18, 2022
Trapp was a critical figure for Eintracht at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, spectacularly denying Ryan Kent from close range in the 118th minute, before then denying Aaron Ramsey to set up Borre’s deciding penalty in the shootout.
The Kent save was palpably important with penalties looming, denying Rangers from scoring in what was their best chance of the match despite Aribo’s opening goal.
Trapp believes he was fortunate to make that save, but it gave him the necessary psychological boost coming into the penalty shootout.
After Eintracht lost to Chelsea on penalties in the 2018-19 semi-final, he was confident they would not suffer from the spot again.
“It would have been awful to concede in that situation but that’s why I’m there, to help team when they need,” Trapp said. “I try that, to make myself as big as possible, but I was lucky. He could’ve shot higher, but that’s all I can do.
“If you survive such a situation you do have the feeling you can win, and I had that feeling because the players felt we had to win this one. We lost dramatically to Chelsea on penalties, and this year we said we deserved it. We put so much work in – we had to win it, and this is why we did win it in the end.”
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