by IANS |
Berlin, April 27 (IANS) A relaxed walk along the romantic embankments of the River Seine in Paris seemed the perfect preparation for Kevin Trapp in advance for one of the most challenging jobs of his career.
After playing for Paris Saint-Germain for four years, every trip to the French capital is like coming home for the 31-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper. Several paparazzi took the opportunity to take shots of Trapp and his fiancee Izabel Goulart, who might be used to not always being entirely alone when walking hand in hand in Paris.
What lies ahead for the German international couldn't be more contrary to his Paris trip, as the atmosphere in the stadium of Premier League side West Ham United this Thursday won't be nearly as pleasant.
Trapp calls the Europa League semi-final duel one of the toughest jobs in football, as the entire club prepares for "something harder than the games against Barcelona", summarised by board member Philip Holzer.
The surprising quarter-final victory over the Spanish giants might have created additional self-confidence for Frankfurt, but it needs to be seen as the past from Trapp's perspective.
The coup might have shown Eintracht what the team is capable of, but in the United Kingdom, things start from zero.
Other than in Barcelona, when 30,000 German fans managed to turn the encounter into a home game atmosphere, the London club announced plans to limit the number of away fans, referring to official rules.
This time, Frankfurt will have only 3,000 supporters behind them. "In Barcelona, it felt like Frankfurt. This time, it's on us as a team," Trapp said.
Trapp is aware that he has a vital role in achieving a satisfying result ahead of the second leg in Frankfurt, reports Xinhua.
There is nothing to worry about from his perspective, "but West Ham might be harder than Barcelona."
Trapp has gained solid continental experience after four years in Paris. In the current Bundesliga season, Trapp has turned into one of the league's best.
Before thinking about a possible final, two challenging games await Frankfurt.
Winning the Europa League might be Frankfurt's last chance to participate in Europe again next season, with the tournament victors qualifying for next season's Champions League.
The club's journey hasn't yet come to an end, Trapp and his teammates are still standing fast. After years of poor results for German clubs in the Europa League, Frankfurt have discovered the competition as a chance to create success.
Other than in 2019, when the Eintracht narrowly lost on penalties to Chelsea in the semifinals, Trapp is determined to go the entire way to the finish line this time.