The day before, the protagonists of German soccer champions Bayer Leverkusen were impressively shown that a European Cup final is an international event. At the press conference with coach Xabi Alonso, defense chief Jonathan Tah and midfielder Granit Xhaka in the packed room of the Dublin Arena, questions came from journalists from all over the world – and always with a local flavor.

Those involved seemed to enjoy the fact that they didn’t have to answer the usual standard questions before today’s Europa League final against Atalanta Bergamo (9 p.m./RTL) and appeared relaxed and cheerful.  

“Tell the people of Nigeria that we are happy with bonuses,” said Alonso when a Nigerian journalist asked him about striker Victor Boniface and his role. The coach’s further comments about the width of the squad could of course indicate that Boniface will still not be in the starting line-up. 

The Basque world man Alonso dutifully confirmed to the local press representatives from Ireland that “it is very nice to be in Ireland” and that the stadium, which was modeled on a horseshoe, was of course “fantastic”. And a reporter from the Czech Republic said he was “very happy” with all three Czech players in the squad. 

Meanwhile, Tah received a special tip, who explained that all of this season’s successes with winning the German championship and the possible treble will probably only be realized “when we are on vacation on the beach at some point.” To which a Greek journalist immediately wanted to recruit him as a prominent tourist: “We have very beautiful beaches in Greece.”