In the past few years there have been annoying topics or terms in 1. FC Union. Three years ago, Berliners didn’t want to use the word promotion until shortly before the end of the season. Last season, the “European Cup” has been on the index for a long time. Max Cruz’s statement from last spring is currently on the nerves of the Bundesliga team.
“I like the Europa League. Somehow I didn’t feel like the Europa League. I don’t even know what that is,” the striker said at the time. On Thursday (6pm) Al-Ittihad will kick off the new Conference League with an away game at Kuopion Pallloseura, or KuPS for short. A week later, the return leg will take place at the Berlin Olympic Stadium. Regardless of the player interviewed in the past few weeks, the union pros rarely spared a question about Kruse’s lethargy at the time.
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It is not known how the former national team player and Olympic participant thinks about the conference tournament. Apart from TV interviews, Kruse does not speak to the media. But in the rest of the team, there is certainly joy, even if it is the smallest of the three European Cup competitions.
But what does ‘only’ mean for a club like 1. FC Union. “When I’m Franz Beckenbauer or when I play for Bayern Munich, the conference league is a second-tier competition,” goalkeeper Andreas Loth said in the Kicker interview. “But when you are in Union Berlin, it is something special. We have struggled for a year for the league conference.”
Timo Baumgartel, at least already active in the European League with PSV Eindhoven, sees himself as Loth. “Playing every three days is what you want as a footballer. “This is a new competition and something exciting,” said the central defender. “Everyone at the club is looking forward to him.”
This was already noticeable last week, when several Berlin staff watched with excitement whether the battle for entry into the group stage would go against Astana or Kuopio. When the Finns won, there was a lot of comfort, because in terms of travel technology it is easy to get to Helsinki, where the first leg will be played on Thursday, from the Kazakh capital.
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Especially since the draw has a certain historical charm. Almost 20 years ago, in the first and only European Cup season to date, the first round of the European Cup was also against a Finnish team. The trip to the match against FC Haka Valkeakoski wasn’t a good star at the time. The team traveled to Helsinki on 12 September, with the first leg to be played a day later. However, due to the September 11 attacks, the match was postponed.
“The players stood lost and perplexed at the airport. Once they had taken their bags from the baggage cart, they were asked to haul their luggage back to the Finnair desk – to check in for the return flight. Bertram toured the city with lunch to pass the time until the return flight,” noted a Tagesspiegel reporter who was He travels with him.A week later, the match took place and ended 1-1.The Union prevailed in Berlin before Litex Lovetsch finished in the second round.
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