Europa League: Belgian déjà vu: No dreamless for Union

Even Urs Fischer does not get every wish fulfilled.

Europa League: Belgian déjà vu: No dreamless for Union

Even Urs Fischer does not get every wish fulfilled. The successful coach of 1. FC Union Berlin will accept the news of the quick reunion with the uncomfortable Belgians from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise with the great Ajax feeling of happiness and the calmness that is typical of him.

In the middle of the preparations for the top game against leaders FC Bayern Munich, who have the same number of points after 21 match days, Fischer received the news from the UEFA headquarters in Nyon that Belgium was experiencing déjà vu in the Europa League.

After the 3-1 coup against Ajax Amsterdam, the Irons have to compete with the top Belgian team from the southern suburbs of Brussels in the round of 16 of the European Cup, as they did in the group phase. The Belgians are at least as uncomfortable as you are, you know that in Berlin-Köpenick since the hard-fought group games. But: A progression to the quarterfinals is certainly possible.

Bundesliga top game

But now Munich is waiting on Sunday (5.30 p.m. / DAZN). Fischer will have to look closely at which of his players still combines physical and mental freshness. The celebrations with the fans had just ended. People had laughed, applauded and danced in front of the grandstand on the forest side. The Union supporters loudly sent the players a clear order for the title fight in the Bundesliga. "Take off the Bavarians' lederhosen!" It echoed through the stadium at the Alte Försterei.

Union has never won against Munich. A win would grace the long list enormously. Ajax Amsterdam, a dazzling name in continental football, had joined the ranks of the many opponents who felt the special magic of the Köpenick football cult site quite unwelcomely and relentlessly. In trying to play beautiful football, Ajax also failed.

There is not much time to prepare for the showdown in Munich. No problem for fishermen. "It's important not to study too much, it's important to keep at it," he said. Bayern have been warned for a long time anyway. Union always holds merciless will against it. "The madness continues, really mad," said Fischer. It continues after the big Bayern test then soon against the namesake from Belgium.

"Drawing is not a request concert"

In doing so, Fischer clearly stated, against his nature, that he did not want to play against Saint-Gilloise or Feyenoord Rotterdam. "Not the two, because we've already played against them," said Fischer and promptly got the Belgians out of the lottery pot. "A draw is not a wish concert. It's now Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, who we played against in the group stage, and they're the only team that has won a game at An der Alten Försterei in a long time. That's why we also have something to make up for in the first leg," said managing director Oliver Ruhnert.

Union coach Fischer was certainly only superficially concerned with the sporting appeal. The game in Belgium in November was overshadowed by the ban on Iron fans: first in the stadium due to a UEFA ruling because of the riots in Malmö beforehand, then by the Belgian authorities throughout the city of Leuven. All the trappings were undignified. After all: The 1-0 paved the way to the knockout phase and made up for the 0-1 in the first leg, Union Berlin's only home defeat this season.

This time the game will be played in Anderlecht's Lotto Park and the Union fans will be allowed to travel. They'll be doing it in droves a week after the home game (9 March) for the return leg on 16 March. Just like on Sunday, when it comes to the championship lead in the Bundesliga in Munich's Allianz Arena. The dramaturgy of the Iron Team's football dream has long seemed surreal. On Thursday evening, Fischer also admitted a great deal of luck. That was apparently used up in the draw, in which Arsenal FC and Betis Sevilla were also in the lottery pot as more attractive opponents.