Max Eberl laughed and joked for a good hour, then his face turned serious. The hostilities that the RB Leipzig sports director had to endure around the game against his ex-club Borussia Mönchengladbach, as expected, had left their mark.
Above all, the assumption that Eberl was not ill when he resigned at the end of January 2022, but only wanted to switch to RB: "The link that people say I brought about this change is absurd," said Eberl on the show "One-Two Pass" by Sport1. He could look in the mirror every morning.
During Leipzig's 3-0 win, banners were constantly being rolled out in the guest block in which Eberl was denigrated because of his illness. The 49-year-old, who watched the game next to the former RB managing director Oliver Mintzlaff in the stands and was cautiously happy about the goals, tried to be ignorant. "I deliberately looked the other way. I'm trying to free myself from it," said Eberl. He was ill, everything else is a lie. "I can't influence everything else. I stand by my decision 100 percent."
Even before the kick-off, Eberl had condemned those fans who are responsible for the hostility in a TV interview with Sky - and thus did not exactly calm the mind. He never made a secret of the fact that he was ill. "If this topic is negated and it is simply summarized as a change from Gladbach to Leipzig, then that is simply wrong. And that of people who target other people, who run through the cities with iron bars and light fires - I think there is no need for any further comment," said Eberl. He had previously been insulted in Cologne and against Union Berlin.
Eberl looks ahead
Now the head of sports is looking ahead. And the season doesn't get poorer in terms of highlights. On Tuesday (9 p.m. / Amazon Prime) you have to play Manchester City in the round of 16 second leg in the Champions League. "You are one of the favourites, it will be an incredibly difficult game," said Eberl. After all, RB travels to the north-west of England with a 1-1 draw from the first duel. Eberl sees the greatest chance of a title in the cup.
The defending champion meets Dortmund there on April 5th. Then Rouven Schröder will already be employed as sports director in Leipzig. The 47-year-old left Schalke 04 at the end of October – for personal reasons, as the club said. Eberl now gave a little more insight into the topic: "The fact is that it was not health reasons that led to Rouven."
Trio Eberl, Schroeder, Rose
Eberl also defended Schröder's commitment, who has never worked at the highest Bundesliga level. "In Mainz, he pursued outstanding squad policy. I don't want to justify myself about Rouven Schröder, his qualities are undisputed for me," emphasized the sporting director. In the future, Leipzig's sporting skills will be in the hands of the trio Eberl, Schröder and coach Marco Rose.
The hostilities against Eberl will eventually decrease. That's the way things go, as other examples from the past have shown. Gladbach coach Daniel Farke chose a way to approach the issue with a little more prudence. "I can't tell anyone how they should feel emotionally. In general, I think it's a topic where it's good if you don't keep bringing it up again," said the 46-year-old. It became apparent after the final whistle that Eberl had not completely finished with Gladbach. The Leipzig sports director went into the guest cabin and came out in a good mood after a short visit. The tension was gone.