Kevin Trapp: 10 things on the Eintracht Frankfurt and Germany goalkeeper
Kevin Trapp was one of the heroes of Eintracht Frankfurt's 2021/22 UEFA Europa League final triumph over Glasgow Rangers. bundesliga.com presents 10 things on one of Germany's finest modern goalkeepers...
1) Raised by Devils
With his safe hands and catalogue model good looks, Trapp has never been short of admirers. Kaiserslautern were the first German football staple to turn the Merzig-born stopper's head, luring him to their U17 team in January 2007. He also played for the U19s and reserves before making his first-team debut in a DFB Cup first-round match against Carl Zeiss Jena in August 2008. Trapp eventually established himself as Kaiserslautern's No.1 two thirds of the way through the 2010/11 Bundesliga campaign, but left the club for Frankfurt a year later following the Red Devils' relegation to the second tier.
2) The Frankfurt years - part I
Trapp was instantly installed as first choice keeper for the newly promoted Eagles, helping Frankfurt win six of their opening eight games of the 2012/13 Bundesliga season. A fractured hand brought a premature end to Trapp’s campaign but his six clean sheets in 22 outings helped secure a sixth-placed finish and European football for the Frankfurters. He would make 82 appearances in his first spell in Germany’s financial epicentre and was rewarded with his maiden call up to the national team’s senior side in June 2015; one month before Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain came calling for his services.
Watch: Kevin Trapp: One of the Bundesliga's best
3) Parisienne walkways
Trapp was an instant hit in the French capital, deposing Salvatore Sirigu as PSG's No.1 in Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League matches. Despite spending the majority of the 2017/18 club circuit playing second fiddle to Alphonse Areola, Trapp made his Germany debut in June 2017 and was a member of his country’s FIFA Confederations Cup winning squad that lifted the trophy that same year. Trapp also travelled to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as Germany's third-choice custodian.
4) In awe of Buffon
Upon his return to pre-season training in July 2018, Trapp was greeted by the news that Gianluigi Buffon was about to join PSG from Juventus. The 6’2” stopper graciously welcomed the arrival of one of the world's best ever goalkeepers, even if - deep down, much like Sirigu before him - he probably knew it spelled the end of his Parisian tenure.
"For me, as a goalkeeper, Gigi of course is a legend," Trapp said. "What he did the last couple of years, at that age, on that level, that is remarkable. To train with him every day is really special."
5) The Frankfurt years - part II
Sure enough, Trapp spent little more than six weeks in Buffon's shadow. All manner of potential suitors were mooted by the European press, but when push came to shove there was only ever one winner. "While in Paris, I regularly recalled my great times in Frankfurt," Trapp said, having rejoined Frankfurt on a season-long loan in August 2018. "It is important that I get back into an environment where I feel good and can play."
And play he did, aiding Frankfurt’s run to the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, as well as an assault on the top four that eventually ended in a seventh-placed Bundesliga finish. That secured another year of European football in 2019/20, with Trapp ending the loan spell with 12 clean sheets from 45 appearances in all competitions.
6) Kevin and RiRi go large
In October 2015, Trapp caught the eye of international RnB superstar and fashion mogul Rihanna, a spectator at PSG's Parc des Princes for a Ligue 1 match against Marseille. Trapp, who saved an Abdelazizi Barrada penalty, later took to Instagram to show off a picture of the pair, stealing a peck on the cheek and autograph for his commanding efforts.
7) Fighting Neymar's corner
Clearly, Trapp is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with the stars. Arguably one of the biggest he has encountered is Neymar, who joined PSG from Barcelona in summer 2017 for what, at the time, was a world record transfer fee. Trapp has happily recalled the pleasure it has been to play alongside one of the world’s most famous players. "Neymar has a huge heart," he told Bild. "He is incredibly nice and helpful. He's anything but arrogant and is totally integrated into the team. He's just a leader who wants to win."
8) Dispelling the Zlatan myth
Trapp spoke in similarly effusive tones about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, having played in the same PSG team as one of football's most polarising figures in 2015/16. "He's very, very professional and never slacks off," Trapp said in an interview with Die Welt. "A lot of people think he's unapproachable, but that couldn't be further from the truth. He came up to me on my first day and said he's here to help me if I need anything. Much like Cristiano Ronaldo, people have the wrong perception of him. He's professional, friendly and a top guy."
9) Germany goals
A six-time Germany international, Trapp has been unfortunate that his career has coincided with those of Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen. They are three of the best stoppers of their generation and with just one spot up for grabs in the starting line-up, two men will always miss out. But that doesn’t mean Trapp isn’t up for the challenge of dislodging the pair, not one bit. "Playing for the national team is a very, very important goal for me, of course. But it's also my goal to be the number one,” the 32-year-old told Sky Germany. “That's completely normal. Something would be wrong if that wasn't the case.”
10) The Frankfurt years - part III
After three seasons and 91 appearances in Paris, Trapp made his permanent return to the Bundesliga as a three-time French champion and with a trio of both French Cup and French League Cup trophies in his checked luggage. He helped Eintracht finish sixth in 2020/21 to seal a return to the Europa League, and duly played in every game as the Eagles soared unbeaten to the final.
Trapp was beaten by Rangers' Joe Aribo in the 57th minute, but came out fighting after Rafael Borre equalised to send the game into extra time. Joe Kent was denied a certain goal by a quite brilliant point-black save deep into the contest, before Trapp came up trumps yet again in the shootout to thwart Aaron Ramsey. After Frankfurt prevailed 5-4 on penalties, there was only every going to be one winner of the Man of the Match award.
"This is not my night. It's everyone’s night," Trapp said modestly after helping Frankfurt win their first European trophy for 42 years. "It doesn't come down to one player, it comes down to a whole team. The league season was a disappointment because we didn't qualify for Europe, now the euphoria is huge as we look forward to the UEFA Champions League. It's hard to find the words."
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