Europa League final – who should you support?
Wednesday, 18 May 2022
Not sure who to get behind in Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final between Frankfurt and Rangers? Let us help you out.
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Frankfurt or Rangers will get their hands on the UEFA Europa League trophy on 18 May and fans of the two teams are counting down to kick-off on Wednesday night.
But what about the neutrals tuning in for the first senior European showpiece of the 2021/22 season? UEFA.com makes the case for those looking to throw their weight behind one of the contenders in Seville.
Why should you support Frankfurt?
Colours: Black, red, white
Nations represented in current squad: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland, United States
No German side has ever lifted this trophy in the Europa League era, but few have a relationship with the competition quite like Eintracht Frankfurt. The pain of a penalty shoot-out loss to Chelsea in the 2018/19 semi-finals still lingers and has helped fuel another wave of emotion that has the club on the cusp of their first major European silverware in 42 years.
And what's not to love about Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel's favourite team? On the pitch, they produce a dynamic brand of football that catches the eye, while rarely affording an opportunity for opponents and viewers to catch a breath. Off the pitch, their fans have captured the spirit of the Europa League, taking the competition by storm, just as they did in 2018/19. The scenes witnessed at the Camp Nou, not to mention their home games, were nothing short of extraordinary.
Unlike Rangers, the 1979/80 UEFA Cup winners have never featured in the UEFA Champions League. In backing Frankfurt, you are backing a team that represents the best of German football – and one daring to dream of making club history to dine at Europe's top table next season.
Why should you support Rangers?
Colours: Blue, white, red
Nations represented in current squad: Colombia, Croatia, England, Finland, Germany, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Scotland, United States, Wales, Zambia
Plump for Rangers and you are backing a side with impeccable pedigree. Founded in 1872, they are one of the oldest clubs in Europe, with a capacious trophy cabinet: they have 55 Scottish titles, and also picked up continental honours when they won the European Cup Winners' Cup in their centenary year, 1972. Lovers of round numbers may also note that they can win the Europa League exactly 50 years on from their last continental triumph.
When it comes to this season's Europa League final, Rangers could be regarded as underdogs – they are 34th in UEFA's club rankings, seven places behind Frankfurt. Indeed, they seem to have been battling against the odds for much of the campaign. They lost their opening group stage fixtures and saw manager Steven Gerrard leave for Aston Villa in November, while new coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst (a Rangers player back in the 1990s) has steered them past UEFA Champions League regulars like Dortmund and Leipzig, even after losing star striker Alfredo Morelos to injury.
So the Light Blues have heritage, a never-say-die spirit and also some notable supporters: TV chef Gordon Ramsey was an ex-Rangers trainee, while AC/DC's Angus Young is a supporter of the club. They're exciting, they're passionate, and on their day, they rock.