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.
Latest in Sport
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
Steven Defour: Anderlecht midfielder sent off after kicking ball into Standard Liege fans who unveiled huge banner showing him decapitated
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Product Owner/Business Analyst is required t...
£28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is going through a period o...
£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...