RB Leipzig and the DFB Cup – that should also fit on Saturday. Three days before the final in Berlin, Xaver Schlager and Kevin Kampl gave exclusive insights into the mood of the team and reported on what will be important in Berlin.
Three more days to Berlin. Three more days until RB Leipzig wants to repeat last year’s victory in the DFB Cup. Three days left until the final between RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt (Sat., June 3, 8 p.m. in the audio live stream and ticker).
Schlager: “It’s relaxed”
How does it look so shortly before the season highlight in the Leipzig team. tension? Nervousness? Excitement? No, says midfielder Xaver Schlager: “It’s relaxed. We had a good week, we have a good feeling,” said the Austrian in an MDR interview. And Kevin Kampl doesn’t feel any nervousness either: “The atmosphere in the team is very good at the moment. There’s a mixture of a bit of tension, but also great anticipation for the game.”
Cup final skilled worker camp
Kampl knows what he is talking about. The 32-year-old is, so to speak, a skilled worker in the cup final: he has been allowed to go to Berlin with his teams five times. The 2023 final is the 30th DFB Cup game overall for the midfielder. And he also knows what he doesn’t want to experience again: a defeat like in 2015 (with Dortmund) and 2019 and 2021 (with RB): “We know how it feels to stand guard for the winner. Not like that good.”
Will RB become the eighth team to defend the title?
RB Leipzig could become only the eighth club in the long DFB Cup history to defend the DFB Cup victory the following year. So far these have been Dresdner SC, Karlsruher SC, FC Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, 1. FC Köln, Fortuna Düsseldorf and Schalke 04. “We will do everything we can to defend the pot,” promises Kampl.
Kampl: “I saw how the city loves the club”
The Slovenian also draws particular motivation from the victory in the dramatic final in 2022 – and the reception afterwards in Leipzig. “You saw what it means to this city and how this city now loves the club,” says Kampl, looking back at the reception on the market square and the long journey in the open-top bus to the fan festival. “It was extraordinary. It’s worth giving everything on the pitch for that.”
Just one win against Frankfurt in eight games
But the opponent is Eintracht Frankfurt of all people – and thus something like the feared opponent of Leipzig. In 15 games, RB could only win four times. The Leipziger 2:1win this year broke a long streak of seven previous clashes without an RBL win. “We know how good Frankfurt is,” explains Kampl: “We have to defend well, we’re good as a team.” Because: “Frankfurt also knows how to play finals. They only won the Europa League last year.”
Ex-Frankfurter Silva is missing RBL
In the game against Frankfurt, Leipzig will be missing a former Frankfurter: center forward André Silva suffered a muscle injury in his left thigh during training and will be out until further notice, as the club announced on Twitter on Wednesday. Kampl still has a good chance of beating Eintracht. “It’s going to be a tough game in terms of intensity, offense and defence. You have to deliver everything. If we can do that, we have a good chance.”
Another can cheer? “Reactions were strong”
Will there also be cup celebrations like last year when Kampl tipped the main sponsor’s drink into the cup and got a real shitstorm for it? “I would do it again, even if the reactions afterwards were violent,” says Kampl and explains: “I didn’t want to offend anyone. It was pure emotion at the moment. Every other team pours something from their sponsor. Me I didn’t realize at the time how big it was.”