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FEATURE | Eintracht Frankfurt – why the marvellous Eagles from Main is the epitome of football

What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of doing anything at all? These are questions that arguably every person that has lived since the dawn of modern time has asked themselves, but to no avail. There seems to be little to no straight answer to these difficult and gloomy questions. However, I would like to offer a rebuttal to this hard query.

Happiness. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what life will always be about. Everything we do, everything we aim to do and everything we want to do is aimed towards the production of joy in our lives. There seems to be no other value as strong, no other feeling as thrilling as the feeling of being joyous. Satisfied with life and fulfilled by the joy of doing something that you love. This is of course a deep question and requires a deeper version of the answer than that, but this is a start.

I can see you. You’re asking yourself “What does this have to do with German football?” Well, I was just coming to that. Football, just like life, is all about the production of happiness. We want to feel happy, which is why we watch football. We live through the horrible moments of the sport, because we know that one day, one amazing day, it will all pay off. My idea here is that Eintracht Frankfurt, as of right now, is the epitome of football.

Let me explain. It’s an idea with many levels and I aim to explore each one, just like Virgil did in Dante´s Inferno. Firstly, we should ask ourselves: What is the meaning of football? My answer to this is: We watch football to be happy. This works on many levels. For example, football can spread happiness just by existing, it can bring hope where there is little to none and can bring light to places where darkness and gloomy doom rules with a tight, clenched fist. It’s been said and written many times, in many ways, but that’s the key of the sport, perhaps even the key of any sport. However, football can also spread happiness by accepting its own fallacy for vanity.

We want to watch good football being played, we want to see goals and hectic games between two teams that go for the win. This satisfies us and our need for the good kind of football. We gain happiness from it, as it satisfies a deep need within, the common and perhaps fundamental need to feel and be entertained. This, along with football’s tendency to elevate its own values above reason, makes the sport special in its very essence. And when played brilliantly, it becomes the epitome of what life is about, happiness and joy.

Eintracht Frankfurt. Why Eintracht? Sure, I’m biased in this instance as I’m a fan of the marvellous Eagles from Main. However, Frankfurt, much like Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach play fantastic football with more goals that what seems necessary at times. The 3-1 win at home against SC Freiburg was just a small example of what this team seems capable of. They’re fantastic to watch, every part of the team seems interesting and their fans make it a complete stroke of fantasy. Frankfurt’s football, right now, epitomises what football should be about – playing the game and playing it with flair and speed.

That top trio, Ante Rebic, Sebastien Haller, Luka Jovic, is one of the most entertaining that Frankfurt fans have seen in many, many years and the hopes for future success grows more potent every day as they also possess a fantastic stadium and a structure that will stand the tests of time. It’s a club that feels good, a club that acts like it feels good and this has transferred to the fans and, most certainly, onto the pitch itself.

While their football epitomises what the sport itself is all about, Frankfurt’s structure embodies the other side of football. In 2018, they won the DFB-Pokal after a fantastic game against Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin and brought everlasting joy to their magnificent fan base. Frankfurt thus fulfil the other side of football as well, as they’ve brought success and marvellous levels of happiness and joy to their fans.

One could even say that Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2018/19 epitomises life. They have brought a level of happiness to their fans, a level we hadn’t guessed that football could even bring. Now we know. We are in doubt no more. However, there are of course other teams that could work as an epitome for football as well. Borussia Dortmund is obviously one of these, Borussia Mönchengladbach is another. Two teams that play football that thrills, but also two teams that are on the potent prowl for silverware.

Frankfurt do however seem a tad different. That DFB-Pokal meant something fundamental to fans that haven’t felt the sweet touch of success in too long. The feeling within the club is that this happiness production, this movement of joy, will only continue. And that is a truly fulfilling feeling for the fans of the former Diva from Main.

By Axel Falk.

 

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