With the semi-finals of the Champions League 24 hours away, Get German Football News take a rather scrutinising look at the underdog of the two German sides left in the competition, the perennial abusers of German football values, the energy-crazed bulls from Eastern Germany, RasenBallsport Leipzig.
This happens to be the first year since 2013 that we have had two German teams left in the competition at this stage, which obviously means that the odds for a German team to win the league has come tumbling down, especially after Bayern’s merciless thrashing of Barcelona that led to Quique Setién’s dismissal. While this is marvelous for German football, a team that isn’t really all that managed to beat Atletico de Madrid in the quarter-finals and now find themselves in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Since this is the furthest they’ve managed to go in their eleven-year history, we want to focus on them more than PSG in this preview.
RasenBallsport Leipzig haven’t had the best of springs. Julian Nagelsmann’s side got eliminated from the title race early this year and got knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in February by cup-specialists Eintracht Frankfurt, which meant that the likelihood of a title this time around looked horribly slim. Until the Covid-19 pandemic came along and changed the lives of billions. Leipzig now had the chance to play in front of their usual crowd. How marvelous for them.
I’m being extremely hyperbolic. Leipzig do fill out their stadium on a regular basis, but I think there´s something to the notion that they can play as well without fans as they could with, which is not the case with many other clubs.
Leipzig now stand prepared and ready for the biggest clash in their eleven-year history, with French-Emirate powerhouse Paris-Saint Germain being the obstacle. It´s all but impossible to predict the outcome but let´s take a short look at the coaches and the players they have to their disposal.
Julian Nagelsmann, the wunderkind of world football faces Thomas Tuchel, the former Mainz and BVB-coach with an affinity for madness on the sideline. The charismatic Tuchel has made quite an impact since leaving Germany for the French perennial champions and has won the league every year since. With his handling of both Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé, he´s lead PSG into a new era of hopeful greatness. Nagelsmann, on the other hand, has inherited a young and hungry Leipzig-side that lacked only experience. While experience isn’t young Julian´s biggest pro, he has managed to impress his younger players with his tactical acumen and look for a change wherever it is needed. His match set-up is often impeccable, which is down to Leipzig´s excellent scouting as one of the front runners of the technical determinism that is guiding football.
With no shortage of talent on the pitch, but with lots on and off it- this could be a game of sensational magnitude. And if Leipzig reach the final, they could just face-off against their compatriots from Bavaria. Wouldn’t that be nice?
By Axel Falk.