Makoto Hasebe knows what is important.

"Big goals are important," says the veteran of Eintracht.

The Japanese is already 37 years old - but no trace of tiredness.

The game strategist, on the ball for Frankfurt since 2014, verbally played one-two with his midfielder Djibril Sow on Wednesday.

Both agree: “We want to achieve something great.” A goal that has a name: Champions League.

“We haven't talked about it in the team yet,” says Hasebe, who is “proud” to be one of the deputies of Captain Sebastian Rode.

“But we have good quality and a broad squad.

Unfortunately, we missed the Champions League goal last season. "

Ralf Weitbrecht

Sports editor.

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The Swiss Sow, 13 years younger than Hasebe, sees himself at a possible turning point in his career.

“It was always said that I was coach Hütter's player,” he says.

"Now a burden is also taken from me." Hütter is gone, trying his luck at Gladbach Borussia.

Sow sees the fact that his Austrian compatriot Glasner has succeeded Eintracht as an advantage.

"Oliver Glasner is a trainer who can help me."

More appearances, more goals, more assists - everything is possible with the strong midfielder Sow, who played 28 times in the Bundesliga last season but didn't score a goal with only two assists.

There is still a lot of room for improvement.

“The trainer works in great detail,” says Sow.

"That is good for my development."

Pattern of solidity

If you want to know how you can become a reliable professional player of stature even in old age, you just have to look at Hasebe. The Japanese is a model of solidity. For Sow, the secondary player is an “absolute role model”, about whom he is only surprised: “I don't know what Hasebe is doing. I don't really trust him. We young players receive treatment after every training session. And he? He drinks a lot of tea. ”The result: Sow has recently started drinking tea.

Sow has been constantly on the road for Eintracht since 2019.

His contract runs until mid-2024. Time enough to make the leap in quality under Glasner that the Swiss hopes for.

“The trainer talks to us a lot during training and he also works with video.

I like that a lot, "says Sow, who has come to realize himself:" Sometimes I was too wild.

Now is the time to save energy. "

Stable at the back, reliable at the front

New coach, new tactics, new approach to the game.

“It is important to him that everyone does the runs together,” says Sow, who is certain: “If we all push, the opponent will have a hard time developing scoring chances against us.

That's the focus.

We conceded way too many goals last season. "

There were 53 in total. The immediate table neighbors Wolfsburg, who made it into the Champions League with just one point before Eintracht, only conceded 37 goals. The former VfL and current Eintracht coach Glasner has raised the stabilization of the Frankfurt defensive to one of the highest maxims.

Stand stable at the back and hit the front reliably: Djibril Sow believes that Eintracht, despite the departure of André Silva, “has a lot of potential again to score one or two goals per game”. While Hasebe has finished his national team career, it should now really take off for Sow. At the previous European championship, it was not used as desired. "Nevertheless, a childhood dream came true for me." There should be lasting nominations in the "Nati" through consistently good performances in the dress of Eintracht. Sow speculates “that the new younger team is very hungry. I think that a lot is still possible. A title? Then all hell would be going on here in Frankfurt, ”says Sow.

Beside man Hasebe calls for moderation despite all optimism. "We have to stay humble and find a good balance," says the veteran, who sees himself well prepared for the demands of another first-class season. Eintracht will be required in at least 41 competitive games in the future. No problem for an ascetic like Hasebe, who sleeps eight hours a day, is at the stadium two hours before training to prepare, and in the evenings goes on a well-known ritual.

“You already know that,” he says. Yes, everyone knows that. Hasebe and the bathtub - a very special topic that doesn’t fail to have an impact. Hasebe also refueled the energy there that made him a role model and a reliable figure among younger people like Sow. Hasebe is sure to be fit for the tasks in everyday Bundesliga life as well as in the Europa League and in the cup, where Eintracht will play against Mannheim this Sunday (3:30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the DFB Cup and on Sky). "Two times ninety minutes a week, I can do that."