It was just after 2 p.m. when the RB Leipzig team bus arrived at Leipzig’s Rathausplatz on Sunday. Oliver Mintzlaff, the CEO of RB, was already there. With emotional words he thanked the fans for their years of support.
Before the reception of the football cup winner in the town hall, Mintzlaff said to around 4,000 supporters: “As RB Leipzig, we are proud to have such fans.” The cup victory is also a reward for the support over the past 13 years.
He spoke to coach Domenico Tedesco, said Mintzlaff, and asked him whether they wanted to save on the budget in the future and always play with ten players. “We want to hold the Nkunku,” said the manager to the cheers and laughter of the fans.
Leipzig had won the final against SC Freiburg on penalties the night before and had previously been outnumbered in extra time and for much of the second half. Despite the red cards against Marcel Halstenberg (57th), they still made it 1-1 and finally triumphed.
But Mintzlaff addressed words to the RB critics: “Anyone who still hasn’t understood that RB Leipzig is an integral part of German football can no longer be helped – and we don’t want to help them anymore either.”
Mayor Burkhard Jung had previously emphasized the importance of the club for the city. The cup victory is an incredibly important message for the soul and the self-confidence of the people. “We’re back, we’re back on par with other cities,” said the mayor.
Jung also referred to the fact that the German Football Association was founded in Leipzig and that the first German football champions – VfB Leipzig – came from the Saxon city: “I am so proud of this team. I am sure this is the beginning of a much greater story that can and will be written.”