The news came punctually at 12 noon - and it is no surprise that Philipp Max will continue to be on the ball for Eintracht in the future. It had been expected that those responsible at Frankfurt would exercise the purchase option, which means that the left-back now has an employment contract that is valid up to and including 30 June 2026.
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Since his move from the Netherlands, Max has immediately settled in well at Eintracht. For two and a half years, Max was under contract with PSV Eindhoven. On the last day of the winter transfer window, the chance to return to the Bundesliga – and thus to a new club: Eintracht Frankfurt beckoned. Max has played 13 games for the Hessians so far. Most recently, a thigh injury had prevented him from providing stability and momentum on the left wing. It is conceivable and very likely that he will get more playing time in the remaining two competitive games.
So two more games. Then this season will be over, and Oliver Glasner will also be over. The man who, as coach, made Eintracht Europa League winners in Seville will turn his attention to new tasks after two highly successful years. But his project is not over yet. The 47-year-old football coach wants to lead Eintracht back to Europe as a farewell gift. As he did weeks ago, he still thinks he is "in the tunnel" for this goal, as the Austrian said before the last home game against Sportclub Freiburg this Saturday (15.30 CET in the F.A.Z. live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky).
Finally, all nine matches in the Bundesliga will kick off at the same time at 15:30 CET. Even on the penultimate matchday, this was common practice for years. But the dismemberment with different kick-off times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays has already clarified some sporting question marks in the previous week, such as those of the first relegated Hertha BSC, the rescued TSG Hoffenheim or RB Leipzig, who are once again eligible to play in the Champions League. It is unclear whether Eintracht will manage to qualify for Europe as the current eighth in the table as the current eighth in the table. A win against Freiburg is a must – and the rivals must also play in the interests of Eintracht.
Wolfsburg and Leverkusen are ahead of Glasner's squad, who themselves face the challenging task of defeating Freiburg once again. The last victory against the sports club in the Frankfurt Arena was almost exactly two years ago. The 3-1 win, scored on 22 May 2021, was also a farewell performance, as the Eintracht crowd will also be offered in May 2023. At that time, it was the last Bundesliga game of outgoing Eintracht coach Adi Hütter, who then said goodbye to the Lower Rhine because he saw better prospects for himself there. A fallacy, as it quickly turned out.
So now the déjà vu with Freiburg. Once again, the Breisgau team are Eintracht's last opponent on points, and their coach is still Christian Streich. Just like Glasner, Streich wants to make a difference on this last matchday of the season. Freiburg can still make the leap into the Champions League. They have already qualified for the Europa League.
Europa League – that's certainly something Eintracht can achieve if they win the DFB Cup final against RB Leipzig on 3 June. But Glasner doesn't want to think that far. "We must not lose focus," he said. "I'm still absolutely in the tunnel and I want to catch the Europa exit. I don't worry about anything else." The coach claims to have felt with his players in the past week of training "that they have not spared themselves in order to be fit for Berlin. They all want to win against Freiburg at all costs. They have the opportunity to recommend themselves for the starting eleven in Berlin against Freiburg."
As so often before, Glasner said "that I'm going into the game with a very good feeling". Looking at his team, the Eintracht coach spoke of a "good mix of fun and seriousness" as well as the "greed to win at all costs". Despite all the many disappointments that this second half of the season has brought for Eintracht, who were still listed in fourth place for the first leg, Glasner also sees this: "We are undefeated at home in the league and cup in 2023." For his last day of work in the Frankfurt Arena, Glasner has set himself the goal of "giving the fans a great farewell. They deserve it."