Home » Knee surgery on Eintracht player Sebastian Rode: The tears have dried

Knee surgery on Eintracht player Sebastian Rode: The tears have dried

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Knee surgery on Eintracht player Sebastian Rode: The tears have dried

Sebastian Rode climbs onto the podium on crutches and – smiles! The Frankfurter Eintracht team captain is a thoroughly positive person. An injury cannot throw him off balance, not even the last one he suffered as a professional footballer. And that once again thwarted his plans. Until the last matchday, the 33-year-old Hessian wanted to stick his neck out for the club he loves, as he has done over 200 times, and help achieve the season’s goals before he retires.

Two days after being eliminated from the Conference League against Union Royale Saint-Gilloise, it was clear that nothing would come of it. An examination confirmed that the knees were no longer working. “I may have felt it subconsciously on the pitch after the final whistle against Saint-Gilloise,” said Rode on Tuesday at the Eintracht Campus. That’s also why he cried, “after it was a fait accompli that I had played my last international game for Eintracht.”

On Tuesday, Rode’s tears had long since dried and he smiled his little smile again, which expresses calm and confidence. “I had an operation five days ago and my knee is doing well again. I can look to the future with optimism again.” This means that he is undergoing rehab for the umpteenth time in his playing career so that he may be able to say goodbye to the fans on the field.

Why does he put himself through the ordeal again? “I didn’t want to rush into just quitting, but rather tackle my recovery with full motivation and see how the knee develops.” At the moment, Seppl, as he is affectionately known at Eintracht, certainly has the hope that to return to the pitch for a few minutes on the last matchday against Leipzig. “My surgeon said it was possible and even if I played 90 minutes three more times, my knee wouldn’t blow out. But he doesn’t recommend another season.”

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Even if Rode’s wish to return to the pitch doesn’t come true, he would still consider the effort justified. “It’s about my health and my life after football. The options I have at Eintracht for passive and active treatments are perfect. That’s why I will spend the last three months, except for a few days, in the Eintracht camp, try to enjoy the time with my teammates and support them as best as I can.”

Sports director Markus Krösche is happy about Rode’s support. “Seppl is very important to us as a figure of identification and role model.” That’s why Krösche wants the Eintracht midfielder to stay with him over the summer. Not just as an ambassador for the club, for which he seems predestined as a Hesse. “He could also help us in the operational business with his experience and expertise.” Initial discussions have been held. “But Seppl has to tell us what he wants.” Rode asked for time to think about it. After 30 years of everything revolving around football, he couldn’t imagine breaking away from the sport completely. “But we’ll see.” The blonde would like to take a break for at least a year, travel with his family and gain some distance. After all, he missed many a summer vacation because rehabilitation was pending.

The internet portal transfermarkt.de registered 389 appearances for Rode, but also over 300 missed games. His injury history makes scary reading. Most professionals would have ended their careers long ago because of the pain and frustration. What motivated Rode to keep fighting back? “I was always aware that as professional footballers we lead a privileged life. We have turned our hobby into a profession and earn a lot of money. Other people have it much worse than I do when I’m injured. I am also very aware of this because of my social commitments.” Contact with seriously ill children and socially disadvantaged people would ground him. “Compared to these fates, my injuries are trivial.”

Knows about injuries: Sebastian Rode : Image: picture-alliance / Eibner press photo

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But doesn’t he sometimes think about what would have been possible for him with two healthy knees and a more resilient body? “It is human nature to always strive for higher things, to always want more. I try to look from a different perspective and wish that this was done more throughout society.” Rode adds: “Don’t look at others with envy, but ask yourself, am I okay? And if someone is healthy and has a family and friends, then they already have a lot.” Isn’t there anything missing from your career? “I would have liked to play an international match once. But otherwise I’m really, really happy with my career.”

Peter Heß Published/Updated: Recommendations: 1 Peter Heß, Frankfurt Published/Updated: A comment from Peter Heß Published/Updated: Recommendations: 4

Rode could also be, he became German champion with Bayern and German cup winner with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund. The title win with BVB in 2017 hurt him a bit because it came in the final against Eintracht. But Rode, who sees himself as a “real Frankfurt boy”, gave a lot back to Eintracht after he returned in January 2019. “Winning the Europa League in Seville in the final against Glasgow Rangers was certainly the highlight of my career. At Bayern you are almost forced to become champions and cup winners. Celebrating such a triumph with Eintracht is even nicer.” And it was a very typical Rode triumph. After five minutes of being injured in the head by a Scotsman, Rode struggled through the final wearing a turban. Successful. Like throughout his entire football career.

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