Coach Steffen Baumgart was actually “not to be celebrated”, the goalkeeper Anthony Modeste carried by the fans on hands found it “strange to get congratulations after a defeat”: The only second European Cup in the past 30 years would have been for a big one Party at 1. FC Köln.
But while the fans simply started them contrary to all regulations and calls and stormed the square, the protagonists prevailed after the 0-1 in the Bundesliga against VfL Wolfsburg.
“If we lose, it annoys me. So it is a bit difficult for me to be euphoric. But when I look at the table, I am grinning inside,” said Baumgart and summarized the diffuse emotional world of Cologne well. He didn’t want to celebrate in the evening either: “Steffen Baumgart is dead. Or let’s say, a little tired.”
After a horror season including relegation and without any noteworthy newcomers, nobody thought that they would make the leap to Europe this season. Not even the astonishingly brave coach when he arrived in summer. To the surprise of many, he had tinted, he didn’t just want to play against relegation and strives for twelve. The fact that he would exceed his goals so much did not even dream of a professional optimist Baumgart.
“If I had spoken across Europe before the season, I would have been called arrogant,” he said: “And what I believed in? I believed in the boys. But I didn’t believe that. I can’t. I’m not No clairvoyant. “
Seen in this way, the safe ticket for the Conference League would be a reason for escalation a match day before the end of the season. But too much spoke on the other hand on this Saturday: the unnecessary defeat that Cologne’s own home had also sealed Yannick Gerhardt (43.) and which initially cost the possible Europa League-Platz.
“Champions League would have been outstanding”
In addition, the necessary concentration on the last matchday, in which sixth place from a now worse constellation is to be attacked. And last but not least, the fact that when celebrating the Rhenish rival Bayer Leverkusen, the Rhenish rival, who won 4: 2 at the competitor in Hoffenheim, was signed. Although offensive player Mark Uth noted: “I don’t know if we have to thank you. We have already made it ourselves.”
Should also be seventh after the last day of the game and the little Conference League, in which you have to play into the group phase through playoffs, would remain proud of what is never considered possible, and a little bit of a missed chance. One or the other had even looked at the Champions League with half a eye before Saturday, which was only three points away.
“Champions League would have been outstanding,” said Modeste: “But Conference League is also nice. It is still Europe. And we must not overdo it.” And then the Frenchman, like the last European Cup entry in 2017, the goal guarantee pulled a conciliatory conclusion a day with many different emotions. “You have to see where we come from. Almost relegated last year, now European Cup. Sometimes football is just nice.”