Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers in the 2022 Europa League final on Wednesday, ending its 42-year wait for a European trophy.
The German club won against Rangers FC in a penalty shoot, having drawn with the side 1-1 after extra time.
Kevin Trapp made a pivotal save at the end of extra time and again in the penalty shootout to help give Frankfurt a 5-4 win on penalties.
Columbian striker Rafael Borré hammered home a second-half equaliser for Frankfurt, and then delivered the decisive penalty to clinch the club’s first European trophy since the 1980 UEFA Cup, which pre-dated the Europa League.
Speaking to reporters at the packed-out stadium in Seville, Trapp said “it was karma” that brought the title home and secured his team’s first appearance in the Champions League next season.
“We simply had the feeling that it had to happen today, that we had to win this,” he said. “We have had such an incomprehensible run in the Europa League this year, we simply deserved it.”
Trapp, who once played for Paris Saint-Germain, made a key save in the closing minutes of extra time by stretching out his leg to repel a close-range shot by Ryan Kent.
He later stopped Aaron Ramsey’s penalty with his left leg, burying the Scottish team’s hopes of European glory and sparking wild celebrations in Frankfurt’s stands.
“It feels incredible,” Trapp said. “I’m trying to catch my breath still. For us, for Frankfurt, for the region. For the whole of Germany I think it’s a wonderful thing. To be able to give back to our fans this way is so special.”
Rangers were ahead after Joe Aribo scored in the 57th minute. However this lead did not last long as Borré brought the two sides to a 1-1 tie in the 69th.
Frankfurt is the third club to go through the Europa League unbeaten, alongside Chelsea in 2019 and Villarreal in 2021.
Rangers captain James Tavernier said he was “devastated” by his side’s loss, adding that losing on penalties “is tough to take.”
But he was proud of “every single one of those players that’s in the dressing room, the journey that we’ve been on [and] the fans that have followed us from everywhere.”
Rangers was trying to win its first European title since the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972.
A victory in Spain would have been a comeback for the team, 10 years after it was sent to the lowers divisions because of a financial meltdown.
Violence broke out around the stadium before the match, with fans from both clubs throwing chairs and tables at each other.
Five German supporters were detained the night before after a confrontation with police.
More than 150,000 people came to the southern Spanish city, most of them without tickets for the final at the 43,000-capacity stadium.