Eintracht Frankfurt are ready to “rock” Wednesday’s Europa League final as the “Bestia Blanca” (White Beast) when they take on Rangers in Seville spearheaded by the Spanish-speaking Colombia striker Rafael Borre.
Frankfurt want to face the Scottish giants in their alternative white strip, now regarded as a lucky charm after being worn in impressive wins at Barcelona and West Ham during their European campaign.
“We must play in white. We rocked Europe in white,” insists Axel Hellmann, spokesman for the Eintracht board. “We’re the White Beast”.
Hellmann anticipates around 50,000 Frankfurt fans will descend upon Seville – “which the city has never seen before” – and predicts a “unique final, a unique encounter”.
“Glasgow is mythical for us. Playing against Rangers was always a dream at our club,” he added.
Eintracht beat Rangers 6-1 and 6-3 in the semi-finals of the 1960 European Cup, but lost 7-3 to Real Madrid in the final held in Glasgow.
Frankfurt’s first European final since winning the UEFA Cup in 1980 will have a Spanish-speaking element in Seville.
“Personally, it’s been an unbelievable year, I never expected to experience so much with this club,” Borre told Eintracht’s website in Spanish.
“I am really happy to be part of such success.”
The 26-year-old arrived from Argentinian club River Plate to replace Andre Silva, who hit 28 Bundesliga goals last season before leaving to join RB Leipzig.
Yet after initially struggling to establish himself in the Bundesliga, Borre has scored two of the most important goals in the club’s history.
– Dream goal at Camp Nou –
A superb long-range effort with his right foot from 25 meters at Camp Nou flew in off the underside of the crossbar to help Frankfurt win 3-2 at Barcelona for a 4-3 aggregate win in the quarter-finals.
“The goal against Barcelona helped me personally, as well as the team,” Borre added.
“It was a real blow to Barcelona.
“It put the wind in my sails for the rest of the game. I am very grateful for it.”
He then broke the deadlock to seal a nervy 1-0 home semi-final victory against West Ham and the 3-1 aggregate win fired Frankfurt into their first European final for 42 years.
“I will never forget the fans’ support,” he said, referring to the electric atmosphere for the home semi-final.
“The stadium was at a fever pitch.
“I spoke to a few team-mates about it and we agreed that we needed it.
“The support pulls you through in weaker moments.
“The final is going to be awesome, Frankfurt and Ranger have fought hard to be there and we have to enjoy it,” Borre added.
The Colombian has developed a good understanding with Frankfurt forwards Ansgar Knauff and Filip Kostic.
Borre’s cross at London’s Olympic Park saw Knauff head Eintracht into the lead less than a minute into the first semi-final at West Ham.
Knauff returned the favor with a cross which Borre converted to hit the winner in the return.
“We understand each other better with each game,” Borre said.
“Ansgar fitted into the team very quickly and the whole team has a good harmony on the pitch.”
Borre has impressed Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner, who is also in his first season in Frankfurt.
“He is very important for our game, because he has a fantastic mentality, he works so hard for the team,” said Glasner. “He’s having a great season.”