SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Rafael Borré was used to playing in big games with River Plate in the Copa Libertadores. Now he hopes his experience in South America will help Eintracht Frankfurt succeed in the Europa League.
The 26-year-old Colombian forward will be playing in his first European final when Frankfurt faces Rangers on Wednesday in Seville.
He played twice in the final of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s most important club competition, winning the title with River against Argentine rival Boca Juniors in 2018 and finishing runner-up the following year against Brazilian club Flamengo.
“I think every Copa Libertadores final gives you more experience and more confidence for these types of matches,” Borré said on Tuesday.
Borré was wanted by several clubs in South America and Europe before joining Frankfurt from River at the beginning of the season, and it didn't take long for him to become a regular starter with the German club.
He was key in the team’s run to the final, scoring once in the team’s 3-2 win at Barcelona in the second leg of the quarterfinals, and the winner in the second leg against West Ham in the semifinals.
“I’m going through a great moment,” Borré said. “It’s great to be able to play a final with Eintracht Frankfurt. We have been enjoying special moments throughout the competition.”
Frankfurt, which arrives at the final unbeaten in the competition, is trying to win its first European title in more than 40 years. A victory would also put the club in the Champions League for the first time since it lost the final of the 1960 European Cup.
“This team has always been very united,” Borré said. “We’ve been working together in attack and defense and it’s what has brought us this far. Hopefully we will play like that again in the final and win the title.”
Borré said he has learned a lot tactically as a player since making his move to Germany.
“The teams in Germany play a lot more vertically, with quick transitions,” he said. “In South America we like to keep possession more, passing the ball around more often. I had to change that mentality.”
Borré said it is disappointing that he won’t get to face Colombia teammate Alfredo Morelos in the final. The Rangers forward had to undergo surgery in April and is out for the season.
“We've talked about it. It’s a pity,” Borré said. “But it will be nice to at least see him before the match tomorrow.”
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