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UEFA Europa League final: Frankfurt and Rangers' past meetings

There were goals galore the previous times UEFA Europa League finalists Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers met.

Alfred Pfaff (left) ahead of the final in 1960
Alfred Pfaff (left) ahead of the final in 1960 Popperfoto via Getty Images

Frankfurt and Rangers will contest the 2022 UEFA Europa League final in Seville on Wednesday 18 May and, if their only previous encounters are anything to go by, we could be in for goals – just not very equitably shared.

Those meetings came over six decades ago, in the 1959/60 European Cup semi-finals.

Frankfurt 6-1 Rangers

Waldstadion, 13/04/1960

1-0 Stinka 29'
1-1 Caldow pen 31'
2-1 Pfaff 51'
3-1 Pfaff 55'
4-1 Lindner 73'
5-1 Lindner 84'
6-1 Stein 86'

"We are very tired," admitted a member of the Frankfurt camp on the eve of the first leg. "It is possible we will not be at our best against Rangers." The German side, wearing crimson, did initially fall short of their usual standard as the teams went into the break level. The second half was a different matter. Alfred Pfaff (2), Dieter Lindner (2) and Paul Stein all registered in a clinical display to all but seal Frankfurt's passage. "The Germans are the best team we have played," admitted Rangers skipper Eric Caldow.

Rangers 3-6 Frankfurt (agg: 4-12)

Ibrox, 05/05/1960

0-1 Lindner 6'
1-1 McMillan 10'
1-2 Pfaff 20'
1-3 Kress 28'
2-3 McMillan 54'
2-4 Meier 58'
2-5 Meier 71'
3-5 Wilson 74'
3-6 Pfaff 88'

The five-goal deficit and record ticket prices did not deter 70,000 from turning out at Ibrox for the secong leg. They witnessed another Frankfurt masterclass, Lindner's early goal setting the tone. Ian McMillan replied, the first of two goals for the 'Wee Prime Minister', but further efforts from Pfaff (2), Erich Meier (2) and Richard Kress helped the visitors to another big win. It did not go unappreciated. "The Glasgow crowd gave us a wonderful reception," said coach Paul Oßwald. "They cheered us at the end, and thousands waited outside Ibrox to cheer us as we left."

What happened next?

18/05/60: Hampden’s goal rush

Frankfurt returned to Glasgow 13 days later for one of the European Cup's most celebrated finals, Ferenc Puskás (4) and Alfredo Di Stéfano (3) sharing the goals in a 7-3 win for Real Madrid. "Frankfurt beat Rangers 12-4 on aggregate in the semi-finals and, being a Rangers fan at the time, we thought those guys were gods," recalled Sir Alex Ferguson, who was among the 127,621 crowd at Hampden. "They were the best team I'd ever seen in my life, and then they got slaughtered 7-3 in the final!"

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