Football: Tenerife's turn in Europe's spotlight
Tuesday 08 April 1997
While Internazionale and Monaco, who play in the other semi-final, can both claim a glittering past and would provide glamour opposition in the final, neither Schalke nor Tenerife have figured prominently either in Europe or even in the more earthy confines of their domestic competitions.
Schalke have lifted the German championship seven times, but not since 1958, and they currently lie seventh in the Bundesliga. Tenerife have won no major honours since their formation in 1910 and, after their 3- 1 defeat by Celta Vigo at the weekend, are moored in ninth place in the standings.
Even so, their coach, Jupp Heynckes, who graced the Bundesliga in his playing career, can be excused for thinking that Tenerife deserved to be drawn in the weaker of the two semifinals after overcoming some of Europe's best teams in earlier rounds.
The Spaniards knocked out Lazio of Italy and Feyenoord of the Netherlands before a dramatic extra-time win over Brondby of Denmark in the quarter- finals. The delights of Europe, though, have affected Tenerife's league form in recent weeks and this was reflected by Saturday's defeat.
"We couldn't find our position on the field, and that's why we lost," said Heynckes, who was formerly at Borussia Monchen- gladbach, Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt.
The short-term good news from the game was that none of Heynckes' players were injured. The long-term bad news is that a well-publicised row over flights means that Heynckes may not stay on.
Heynckes wants to take the team to away games in chartered flights rather than the regular flights preferred by club management. His patience was strained to breaking point when the return flight from Celta arrived home at three o'clock on Sunday morning and training later in the day had to be abandoned.
The Germans, however, have been left to rue the fact that the tie may be decided by the men off the field rather than those on it. The absence of injured strikers Martin Max and Youri Mulder for the rest of the season will be a huge blow.
Max and the Dutchman Mulder, who helped steer the club into the last four with a quarter-final win over another Spanish club, Valencia, were both injured in the the goalless draw at Karlsruhe in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Mulder underwent an operation on his left knee and could be out of the game for up to eight months while Max, who has torn ankle ligaments, is not expected to play for six weeks.
"We have no alternatives up front. This has obviously been a double blow," the general manager, Rudi Assauer, said.
The options are not obvious with David Wagner the only other striker in the squad although Belgian Marc Wilmots could play up front.
Tenerife (possible): Ojeda; Suarez, Gomez, Paz, Mata, Llorente, Cruzado, Minambres, Dorado, Castano, Kodro.
Schalke 04 (possible): Lehmann; Thon, de Kock, Linke, Latal, Eigenrauch, Nemec, Anderbruegge, Bueskens, Wilmots, Wagner.
A cautionary tale for ambitious would-be authors
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
Latest in Sport
MMA: UFC heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva in fight for the ages
Roy Keane omits Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs from 'greatest' Manchester United team
Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira relive the rivalry - after a shared ice cream in Warsaw
Ashes 2013-14 match report: Alastair Cook future in jeopardy after another woeful display sees England lose to Australia by 218 runs to go down 2-0
Manchester United player ratings: The best (and worst) performers for David Moyes during the season so far
- 1 Dear Sir Jimmy Savile: A comedian's words of valediction to the nation's trusted uncle
- 2 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 3 Teenage girl convicted of robbery after taking pre-crime selfie wielding knife
- 4 Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Server Side De...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...
£40000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits : Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (P...
£44000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Confide...