On Saturday, The Red Bulls have the opportunity to win their first piece of silverware. This will be the third time in four years that Leipzig have appeared in the DFB-Pokal final and they will be hoping that it will be third time lucky. In 2019, they fell to defeat at the hands of FC Bayern and they had to settle for the silver medal against Dortmund in 2021. This time, SC Freiburg stand in the way of glory.
Ahead of the match in Berlin’s Olympiastadion, Domenico Tedesco and Péter Gulácsi spoke to the media about The Red Bulls' chances, Christian Streich and Christian Günter discuss Freiburg's
Domenico Tedesco on ...
... this season's cup run:
“I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I wasn’t there from the beginning and I wasn’t in charge for the first two games but that has just made the games that I have been involved with all the more enjoyable. Emil’s late goal against Union stands out.”
... the strong second half of the season:
“We have only conceded 15 goals in 17 league games since the winter break, but we are anything but a defensive team. We are really looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
... the experience in big games:
“It can’t hurt to have experienced a final like this before. We have also played in the semi-final of a European cup and I was able to gain experience from that, even though the defeat hurt. These sorts of experiences will help us in the future, maybe even tomorrow.”
... the state of the squad:
“Everyone is available and no one is out. We can select from a full squad tomorrow.”
... on Freiburg:
“Freiburg have many strengths. The first Bundesliga game I ever saw was between Freiburg and Stuttgart. SC won 4-0 and Rodolfo Cardoso and Jörg Schmadtke were playing. What has happened to them since then has been amazing. They are no longer a small club and getting to a final proves that. In my opinion, SC Freiburg are now one of Germany’s top teams.”
... on Christopher Nkunku:
“It isn’t difficult to work out which players in the Bundesliga can do something special and which players can make the difference in big games. Christo is that sort of player for us. However, he can only do that if the team is doing its job. He has benefitted from that many times this season. It is give and take.”
... on the games against SC Freiburg this season:
“The home game against Freiburg was difficult and it ended 1-1. Freiburg sat deep, were compact and defended resolutely. We didn’t manage to create too many chances. We escaped with a point after a late goal from Angeliño, but this point was crucial at the end of the season. Freiburg were our main rivals for the last Champions League spot.”
Péter Gulácsi on ...
... his excitement:
“We’re really looking forward to the final. We had a full week to prepare. We want to crown a really good second half of the season; it would be a highlight for us. We want to lift the trophy.”
... the Europa League:
"Frankfurt hat sich verdient den Titel gesichert. Wir hätten gerne das Finale gegen sie gespielt, mussten das Ausscheiden aber schnell abhaken - wir hatten wichtige Spiele in der Bundesliga und wollten in die Top-4. Wir haben uns in den vergangenen Wochen auf unsere Ziele in der Bundesliga und dem Pokal konzentriert. Wir haben die Chance den Titel morgen zu holen."
... the long time he has spent at the club with the likes of Emil, Yussi und Willi:
“It’s a nice feeling to play together with the boys for a long time. They’re not just teammates, but friends. We have come close to achieving big things in the past and tomorrow we have another chance. We want to crown our journey together with a trophy tomorrow. We can achieve something great for our club and our region.”
Christian Streich on ...
… his youth cup win as an U19 coach:
"It wouldn’t be better than that, it would simply be different. Winning the youth cup was unique, and it’s unique with the first team too. It shows a lot of what Freiburg is about that Christian Günter is sitting alongside me today after being part of the U19 squad that won the cup with me in charge. We’re looking forward to an absolute highlight against Leipzig after a great season."
… Freiburg’s cup campaign so far:
"We’ve won five times away from home, against teams from the third, second and first divisions. The team has performed really well on the road. I’m pleased that we’re back on the road again. It’s very special for the club."
… Emil Forsberg and playing against Leipzig:
"We don’t know eachother personally but we’ve had a lot of great games against each other. It’s just really nice when you come up against players and always have a good feeling towards each other. Even when things get heated on the pitch, as soon as the final whistle is blown, everyone gets along again. I’m looking forward to playing against Leipzig. I hope that it will be an exciting and close game."
... the meaning of the final:
"Den SC Freiburg gibt es schon so lange, da kann man nicht sagen, ob es das größte Spiel der Vereinsgeschichte ist. Es ist etwas Besonderes, im Finale zu sein. Ich weiß noch, wie sich das mit der A-Jugend damals angefühlt hat, durch diese geschichtsträchtige Stadt zu fahren. Aber: Es ist ein nur Fußballspiel. Wir wollen mit einer guten Balance und fokussiert ins Spiel gehen, um unsere beste Leistung bringen zu können."
... SC Freiburg’s development:
"SC Freiburg has such a long history that it’s impossible to say whether this is the biggest game in club history. Being a finalist is something really special. I can still remember how travelling to this city full of history felt with the U19s, but at the same time, it’s just one game of football. We want to go into the game with a good balance and a high level of focus in order to perform to the best of our ability."
... potentially winning the trophy:
“We haven’t done a lot wrong in the past 30 years at our club. We have the advantage of being away from the spotlight. There isn’t often a lot of attention on us or chaos. We’ve worked hard and have always wanted to do the best for our club. It would be really nice if we won the cup. If we don’t it’s not the end of the world.”
Other Pokal news
Christian Günter on ...
... the excitement:
“It is already a success that we have reached this point. We’ve been preparing in Berlin since yesterday and we are looking forward to the game.”
... what the game means:
“We are approaching this game in the same way we approach all the others. A routine is important for the players.”
... the end goal:
“We are footballers. We play to win trophies. We will give it everything on the pitch tomorrow. The world won’t stop spinning if we don’t win, but our goal is to win the match.”