Skip to main content

Frankfurt fairytale return stutters

updated 6:02 PM EDT, Fri November 2, 2012
Zoltan Stieber 's second-half strike ensured Greuther Fürth claimed a battling point at an in-form Eintracht Frankfurt.
Zoltan Stieber 's second-half strike ensured Greuther Fürth claimed a battling point at an in-form Eintracht Frankfurt.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eintracht Frankfurt held to a 1-1 draw by Greuther Fürth
  • Alexander Meier's fifth goal in past games gave home side the advantage after just 20 seconds
  • Zoltan Stieber grabbed an equalizer for Greuther Fürth after the interval
  • Frankfurt sit third in Bundesliga with four point advantage over Borussia Dortmund

(CNN) -- Eintracht Frankfurt's fairy tale return to the Bundesliga has had the old romantics yearning for yesteryear.

Once a feared and respected name in German and European football, the club has been in the shadow ever since it reached the European Cup final some 52 years ago.

Back in the big time, Frankfurt has made a blistering start to its season, winning its first four games before being held to a 3-3 tie by champion Borussia Dortmund.

Promotion last season promised a bright future for the club and recent weeks have not disappointed.

Just two defeats from its first nine games had fans dreaming of the old days when their side was a force in European football.

Champions Dortmund held as Eintracht Frankfurt set early Bundesliga pace

In 1959, Eintracht won its one and only Bundesliga title and went on to reach the European Cup final the following year.

Just a mention of the 1960 European Cup final will have the older supporters recollecting memories of how Real Madrid, inspired by Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, put the Germans to the sword that night.

Puskas, arguably one of the greatest players of his generation, scored four times, while di Stefano netted a hat-trick as Real ran out 7-3 winners in one of the finest football matches in the competition's history.

While the two clubs may have reached the pinnacle on that night in Glasgow, they soon took very different paths as Real continued to conquer, while Frankfurt began to fade.

While Frankfurt did reach the 1980 UEFA Cup, where it lost out to German rivals Borussia Monchengladbach, success has eluded the club in recent history.

The club has struggled to compete with the giants of Bayern Munich, Dortmund and Schalke, instead spending its time moving between the top two divisions.

Not since 2006 has the club appeared in Europe, where it competed in the now defunct UEFA Cup following its appearance in the German Cup final.

Bayern set new record as Dortmund slip up against Schalke

While manager Armin Veh has performed miracles, there have been signs that life at the top is beginning to catch up with Frankfurt.

Last weekend's defeat by Stuttgart, its second of the campaign, brought the players back down to earth.

Its home game against Greuther Fürth, a team sitting bottom of the Bundesliga at the start of the weekend, was supposed to provide the opportunity to get back on track

Frankfurt made the perfect start when Alex Meier scored with an 18-yard drive after just 20 seconds to claim his fifth goal in as many games.

But while many expected Greuther Fürth to capitulate, it was quite the opposite as Frankfurt were forced on to the back foot for much of the contest.

Fürth, who was promoted from the second division alongside Frankfurt last year, has struggled so far this term.

But it refused to give up the fight and Zoltan Stieber fired home a 53rd minute equalizer to claim a point a lift the club off the bottom of the table.

Bayern unbeaten run in Bundesliga halted by Bayer Leverkusen

The result means Frankfurt has 20 points from its ten games so far this season and sits in third ahead of the rest of this weekend's games.

And what next for Veh's side? Well, that would be the small question of a trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich side which reached last season's Champions League Final and has won eight of its nine league games this season.

If Frankfurt was unsure whether it was back in the big time, then next week will certainly provide a healthy dose of reality.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:23 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
updated 5:14 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
updated 8:53 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
updated 9:09 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT