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Leipzig manager Max Eberl defends himself against fan attacks: “I had no choice”



Leipzig manager Max Eberl defends himself against fan attacks: "I had no choice"

Max Eberl met with a lot of hatred when he met Borussia Mönchengladbach again. The RB sports director did not leave this uncommented.

Max Eberl joked, he laughed a lot and showed his widest toothpaste smile. The RB sports director discussed the situation in the Bundesliga cheerfully and in a good mood on Sunday – until his explosive reunion with Borussia Mönchengladbach came up.

“That hits me as a person. Yes, that hurts,” said Eberl with a serious expression sports1-One-two about the hate he received from some of the Borussia fans in the one-sided duel between Leipzig and Gladbach (3-0) on Saturday. The allegations, especially those that accuse him of acting, are “absurd”, Eberl rumbled: “That’s just a lie, I was sick.”

The side effects of the game, which became visible a night later, have left their mark on Eberl. While the managing director warmly greeted his former employees on the Gladbach side before the game, the away fans who had traveled with him received him less warmly. “Eberl is a son of a bitch,” they sang when he was in the run-up to the TV interview.

The Gladbach fan scene accuses the 49-year-old of lacking credibility because of his move to RB. Eberl left Gladbach in January 2022 after 23 years as a player and sports director due to health problems before joining Bundesliga rivals Leipzig last December. He announced his departure in tears at a press conference (“I want to get out of the mill”).

“I didn’t want to stop, I had to stop. That’s a huge difference – it’s completely negated,” emphasized Eberl now. On the Sky microphone, he retaliated against the fans who accused him of acting and insulted him: “It happens to people who put others in the crosshairs, run through the cities with iron bars and light fires.”

Max Eberl: “I stand by my decision 100 percent”

Eberl followed the goals of Timo Werner (58th), Emil Forsberg (71st, penalty kick) and Josko Gvardiol (80th) in the stands next to the former RB managing director and current Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff. Also “out of respect for my former employer”, as he explained on Sunday, “but I’ve also become more relaxed”.

He and the people of Leipzig, who continue to have their sights set on the premier class ranks in the Bundesliga, are optimistic that they can travel to Manchester City on Tuesday (9 p.m.) for the round of 16 second leg of the Champions League. On the island, the cup winner wants to create a big surprise after the 1-1 draw in the first duel.

Then the hostilities should have receded into the background for the time being. The Gladbach ultra group Sottocultura had described Eberl as a “character pig” who had switched “to the evil side of football”. At the same time, with reference to Eberl’s burnout diagnosis, the group wrote about “his invented ‘disease’, which then coincidentally and appropriately paved the way for him to Leipzig”.

On Saturday, the fans also added banners. “Empty words just for appearances, for us just a bull pig” or “Miracle healing by Red Bull. When lying becomes a business model” was read in the block and superimposed a little on the sporting appearance of both teams.

“I deliberately looked the other way. I’m trying to free myself from it,” said Eberl. “I made a decision that I stand by 100 percent.”