Eintracht Frankfurt fans have been gracious winners in the presence of downtrodden Rangers supporters.
In the aftermath of the Glasgow side’s heartbreaking failure to claim its first European title in 50 years, the Record joined some of the overjoyed followers of the top-flight German club as they made their way home.
German fans spent almost 45 minutes celebrating their team’s victory inside the Ramon Jiménez Pizjuan stadium in Seville.
Many Rangers supporters were quick to leave the arena after Welshman Aaron Ramsey’s penalty failed to make it past Eintracht keeper Kevin Trapp, making the Bundesliga side’s victory all but assured.
But those who lingered were comforted by kindly Frankfurt fans unwilling to rub in their victory.
One Eintracht man, who told the Record his name was Jurgen, shook the hands of upset Rangers fans and told them: “You are a good team.”
Across the city, our reporter saw dejected Rangers fans being comforted by their rivals, and some even having drinks together in bars close to the Eintracht fan zone in the city’s San Sebastian area.
Others were seen high-fiving, slapping one another’s backs and hugging – in recognition of a good-natured face-off between two equally capable teams.
The prevailing narrative from both sets of fans throughout the week was that the game would be too close to call – and that the teams, and their followers, have much in common.
Frankfurt fan Jochen Allman, 44, said: “The heart of the Glasgow fans is the same as the Frankfurt fans.
“It wouldn’t have been a problem for us to say congratulations if it went the other way.”
Spanish cops had been on high alert following the conclusion of the game at midnight, amid violent confrontations between German ultras and Rangers fans in the days and hours before kick-off.
Five Germans were arrested by the National Police Corps on Tuesday night after an estimated 200-strong mob of Eintracht hooligans attacked Scots fans as they sat outside pubs along Paseo de Cristobal Colon.
Ultras hurled flares at Rangers fans on the riverside boulevard before being chased off by cops in riot gear.
One Teddy Bear reportedly suffered a head injury that was not believed to be serious.
A Spanish bar owner who witnessed the chaos said German ultras had antagonized their rivals, describing them as “animals”.
Police were also called to deal with isolated outbursts of violence across Seville on Wednesday in the hours before the match began.
German and Scots fans were given separate walking routes to access the stadium, with a heavy police presence all the way along both routes as a precaution.
While they had described the peacekeeping challenge as the “most complicated” they had faced in years, Spanish police say no Rangers fans were arrested before or after the game.
However, a further German supporter was arrested and fined following a post-match confrontation with police.
A police insider said: “The vast majority of both teams’ fans have been great and demonstrated exemplary behaviour.”
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.