Less than 100 days out from the start of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Mexican duo of Marco Fabian and Carlos Salcedo are already beginning to look forward to their opening match against world champions Germany in Moscow.
Speaking exclusively to bundesliga.com, the German-based pair revealed their plans for an inside job as they look to give their nation the edge. All, of course, after winning the DFB Cup and qualifying for Europe…
“It’s a special game for us because it’s against a country that has opened its doors to us and allowed us to play in one of the best leagues in the world,” Fabian said of the significance of the match against Germany, against whom the Guadalajara native scored in the semi-finals of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Asked about what inside knowledge he could bring into the Mexican changing room, the now fit again midfielder replied, “We know a bit more about how Germans think and play football. We can pass that on for the match, but anything can happen out on the pitch. Nevertheless, we’ll try to help our team out so we can beat Germany.”
Salcedo echoed his compatriot’s ideas, but with an added personal element. “It’s a special game because we live here, but also because my son was born here. The match has that added importance, but you forget all about that when you step onto the pitch, and hopefully we can get a good result.”
Former Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez will also have inside information for “El Tri”, but all that is to come in the summer. Before then, Fabian and Salcedo have a domestic campaign with Frankfurt to see out. And that includes possible silverware in the cup and European qualification.
Watch: The Bundesliga's top 5 Mexican goals
Eintracht face Schalke in the semi-finals as they look to secure back-to-back final appearances for the first time since the 1970s. The Eagles were pipped in last season’s final by Borussia Dortmund, but Salcedo is confident his team can now go one step further this year.
“I think it’s our turn to win this year. I wasn’t here last season but Marco told me about the final and how the fans welcomed the team home even though they didn’t win. I hope we can get the result against Schalke in the semis, and then go on and win it. Being champions would be a great gift for the fans.”
A first DFB Cup triumph since 1988 would see the Eagles return to the European stage for the first time in five years, but defender Salcedo firmly believes Frankfurt can also achieve that via the Bundesliga – and even qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
Watch: Salcedo: "Frankfurt like brothers"
“We can definitely finish in a European position. I don’t know whether it’ll be the Champions League or Europa League, but one of them,” said the loanee from Chivas in Mexico. “It’ll be a great achievement because this team is doing really well. I think this team will definitely qualify for Europe.”
Currently sitting fourth in the Bundesliga and in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup, qualification via either competition appears a distinct possibility for Eintracht. They face Schalke in the cup on 18 April, but before then have a real test of their European credentials when they meet the Royal Blues’ fierce neighbours Dortmund this weekend.
The sides are currently level on 42 points and occupying Champions League positions. Can Fabian and Salcedo take one step closer to their European goals with a big result at the Signal Iduna Park?