The end of a ‘love affair’

The paths of Bruno Hübner and Eintracht crossed early. Tuesday marks 10 years since he became sporting director, a position the 60-year-old is now leaving.

Exactly 10 years ago today (Tuesday), Eintracht Frankfurt put out a press release at 17:19. It stated that Bruno Hübner was the new sporting director, starting immediately. Eintracht had just been relegated to Bundesliga 2 and were still looking for a coach for the new season. The then 50-year-old therefore had a job on his hands from the start.

From Kastel to Kaiserslautern

Hübner was born on 28 January 1961 in Mainz-Kastel, a district of Wiesbaden since 1945. He made his debut in the Bundesliga under future Eintracht coach Karlheinz Feldkamp on 8 August 1981, in Frankfurt of all places, when SGE and Kaiserslautern played out a 2-2 draw on Matchday 1. Injuries hindered his playing career, which he ended in 1986 with ‘only’ 76 Bundesliga appearances (19 goals), as well as eight in the UEFA Cup and three in the DFB Cup.

Bruno Hübner (top left) with other new signings at 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1982.

Successful and formative years at Eintracht

When he took up the position, Hübner stressed that, as someone born in Hesse, Eintracht had always been a “love affair”. In his first year at the club, Hübner achieved promotion back to the Bundesliga. Further highlights include the sixth-place finish and qualification for the Europa League in 2012/13, and then some memorable away days in Bordeaux and Porto with thousands of Eintracht fans during the following season.

In his decade with the Eagles, the direction has almost entirely been upwards. The only minor blip of the relegation play-off against 1. FC Nürnberg in 2015/16 ended well, also thanks to Hübner’s appointment of the Kovac brothers. And that was more than outshone by the DFB Cup final in 2017, which Eintracht lost 2-1 against Dortmund, and then again by the phenomenal 3-1 triumph in the cup final against Bayern the following year. After 10 eventful years, he leaves Eintracht – as he has done at his previous clubs – following great success over the last season: 60 points, fifth place and qualification for the Europa League for the third time in four years.

The greatest success: The DFB Cup victory in 2018, of course.

Football-mad family

The ever-approachable and friendly Hübner knows exactly what he is going to do with his new-found free time: enjoy the atmosphere in Frankfurt as a spectator, without responsibility or pressure, and in particular, finally watch football matches involving his sons Benjamin (31, Hoffenheim) and Florian (30, Union Berlin) in peace.

An Eagle now and forever: Bruno Hübner.
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