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Leverkusen look to use the pain of Europa League defeat to win the German Cup 2024 - drweud
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Leverkusen look to use the pain of Europa League defeat to win the German Cup



Leverkusen look to use the pain of Europa League defeat to win the German Cup

Bayer Leverkusen, the German football team, is still hurting after its 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League final last Wednesday, but Xabi Alonso, the team’s coach, said he would enjoy pain to win the final match of the German Cup. scheduled for tomorrow Saturday.

Alonso told a press conference on Friday: “The pain from Wednesday is still there. We will take advantage of it to win tomorrow’s game. We will forget what happened in Dublin and we will only think about the match in tomorrow.”

Leverkusen’s hopes of winning the treble this season ended after losing to Atalanta, but the team can still achieve the domestic double for the first time in their history if they beat Leverkusen in Berlin.

Alonso said: “We fought throughout the tournament to make this match in Berlin. It’s always great when your last match of the season is a final match. After Wednesday’s match we are ready for the tomorrow’s game.”

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The coach said that Lukas Hradecky, the team captain, would be the first goalkeeper against Kaiserslautern. Matej Kovar has played in all Cup and Europa League matches so far, including the final against Atalanta.

Regarding the decision, Alonso said: “We have two final matches. Both goalkeepers are ready and we wanted to give the duo the opportunity to play one last match.”

Hradecky said he was positively surprised by the coach’s decision.

He said: “I received the information a few days ago that I would start tomorrow’s match. I was positively surprised. Matty has had a wonderful season.”

Hradecky has already played in the German Cup final twice, once with Eintracht Frankfurt and once with Leverkusen. With Frankfurt he won the title in 2018.

The Finnish goalkeeper said: “I’ve been playing in Germany for nine years and this is my fourth appearance in the final. It’s a great honour.”

The Kaiser-Slautern team is proud to be present in the final match.

Kaiserslautern coach Friedhelm Funkel qualified for the German Cup final for the third time as coach. As a player he won the title in 1985 with Bayer 05 Ördingen (currently 05 Ördingen), but he emphasized: “I was not a title candidate to this degree before.”

His team presented poor results in the second division, as they only moved away from the relegation zone by seven points.

Team captain Gian Zimmer said: “I’m realistic about the match. We’re playing against one of the best teams in Europe. Our chances are slim. But we’re very proud.”

The team’s top scorer, Ragnar Ache, participated in the last training session and is expected to be available to play the match after recovering from Achilles tendon pain.

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