Emil Forsberg even outshines Erling Haaland. RB Leipzig's Swedish genius has scored in each of the past four league games, while Manchester City's miracle striker has only scored half of the goals.
On Tuesday (9 p.m./Amazon Prime) Forsberg is supposed to lead his team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in the seemingly overwhelming English football champions.
"With passion, with mentality, anything is possible. We showed in the first leg that we can keep up. We fly to Manchester and try to get everything we have in our bodies," said Forsberg. This is especially true for the 31-year-old, who is experiencing his umpteenth spring at the Saxons and compensates for the absences of Christopher Nkunku and Dani Olmo with his goals and his leadership.
Support from DFB coach Flick
National coach Hansi Flick does not see Leipzig without a chance. The 58-year-old told "Kicker" that he had seen the first leg and "the second half in particular gives a lot of courage and anticipation for the game in Manchester". Despite the failures, Flick thinks a lot of the RB squad. "Leipzig have great quality and a lot of good attacking players who can decide a game," he said.
And the quality of the RB offensive currently has a lot to do with Forsberg. The sometimes injury-prone Swede is physically challenged. "Now he has to really get going," says his coach Marco Rose. "You can see from the back that it's enough at some point due to his age structure. Around the 70th/80th minute." Rose understands the importance of the playmaker and gives him the breaks he needs. Forsberg only played the full 90 minutes in one game this year.
Forsberg has been in Leipzig since January 2015. But it has only really arrived in the past year and a half. Since then there hasn't been any more theater and speculation about a possible change every summer. Forsberg finally knows what he has in Leipzig and is now even talking about ending his career at RB.
This bond also has an effect on the team. "He's always easy-going and relaxed, he can give the boys a lot. He's an important factor for me in connecting with the team," says Rose. Added to this are the excellent footballing qualities, his goal threat and the willingness to work.
Forsberg and the special goal moments
And then there's the matter of the goals for the history books. Only Forsberg achieved that in Leipzig. In 2017, Forsberg scored Leipzig's first goal in the Champions League against AS Monaco, in 2019 he scored in injury time against Benfica and made it into the round of 16 for the first time with RB. In addition, the 700th and 1000th goals in the Leipzig club history also go to his account. In the previous season he headed Leipzig into the cup final against 1. FC Union Berlin.
Forsberg himself is a little spooky that he's on a roll when it comes to scoring goals. "I don't know what's going on myself. I just stay in the flow. It's also fun with the guys, they keep me young," he says, laughing. And although City seems so invincible, Leipzig's premier class trip should not be over on Tuesday evening when it comes to Forsberg: "We have a lot planned and it feels really good right now."