Eintracht Frankfurt fans were gracious winners in the presence of downtrodden Rangers supporters.
In the aftermath of the Glasgow side’s heartbreaking failure to win their first European title in 50 years, the Record joined some of the German top club’s delighted supporters as they returned home.
German fans spent nearly 45 minutes celebrating their team’s victory at the Ramon Jiménez Pizjuan stadium in Seville.
Many Rangers fans quickly left the arena after Welshman Aaron Ramsey’s penalty failed to get past Eintracht goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, making victory for the Bundesliga side all but assured.
But those who lingered were comforted by the kind Frankfurt supporters who didn’t want to rub shoulders with their victory.
An Eintracht man, who told The Record his name was Jurgen, shook hands with upset Rangers fans and said: “You are a good team.”
Across the city, our reporter saw despondent Rangers fans being comforted by their rivals, and some even having a drink together in bars near the Eintracht fan zone in the San Sebastian district.
Others were seen patting each other on the back, slapping and hugging – in recognition of a good-natured face-off between two equally capable teams.
The dominant narrative from both groups of fans throughout the week was that the game would be too close to announce – and that the teams and their supporters have a lot in common.
Frankfurt fan Jochen Allman, 44, said: “The hearts of Glasgow fans are the same as Frankfurt fans.
“It wouldn’t have been a problem for us to say congratulations if it had gone the other way.”
Spanish cops were on high alert after the match ended at midnight, amid fierce clashes between German ultras and Rangers fans in the days and hours before kick-off.
Five Germans were arrested by national police on Tuesday night after a crowd estimated at 200 Eintracht hooligans attacked Scottish fans as they sat outside pubs along Paseo de Cristobal Colon.
The ultras threw flares at Rangers fans on the riverside boulevard before being chased away by cops in riot gear.
A teddy bear reportedly sustained a head injury that was not considered serious.
A Spanish bar owner who witnessed the chaos said the German ultras antagonized their rivals, describing them as “animals”.
Police were also called in to deal with isolated outbursts of violence across Sevilla on Wednesday in the hours before the match started.
German and Scottish supporters were given separate walking routes to access the stadium, with a heavy police presence along both routes as a precaution.
While they had described the peacekeeping challenge as the “most complicated” they had faced in years, Spanish police said no Rangers fans were arrested before or after the game.
However, another German fan was arrested and fined following a post-match confrontation with police.
A police insider said: “The vast majority of fans from both teams were great and showed exemplary behavior.”
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