Rangnick lauds RB Leipzig's unique rise
RB Leipzig's rise to becoming a top-level Bundesliga club, and now DFB-Pokal finalist, is unprecedented in Germany, according to coach Ralf Rangnick.
Rangnick, who will make way for current Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann at the end of the season and carry on as Leipzig's sporting director, led his side to their first ever major final on Tuesday, with a 3-1 DFB-Pokal win over 2. Bundesliga side Hamburg.
Leipzig have also enjoyed another fine season in the Bundesliga, with a 12-game unbeaten run that stretches back to January having seen them consolidate third place.
Only founded in 2009, it has been a rapid rise for Leipzig, who were promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016, and as far as Rangnick is concerned, an unparalleled one.
"I think not one of our team [has played] in a cup final," Rangnick told reporters. "So far nobody has won national titles with the exception of Emil Forsberg, who won the league with Malmo.
"If you actually have the chance to win a title in the third year of your participation in the Bundesliga, then that says all about our development over the past few years. And I do not know if there has ever been such a thing since the existence of the Bundesliga.
"The fact that a club that was still in the fourth league six years ago qualifies three times for the international competition within three years and twice even for the Champions League... that says it all."
Leipzig's ascendancy has not been without its controversy, with many opposition fans angered by the rise of the club, which was previously known as SSV Markranstadt.
However, Rangnick insists that the bond and togetherness between the players is a crucial factor in their success.
"In our starting 11 [on Tuesday] were seven players who, together with me, were promoted from the second [tier] to the Bundesliga three years ago," Rangnick said.
"This also shows how closely the relationship of many players to this city and this club are. That particularly pleases me.
"There are very few or no professional clubs in Germany, where currently seven players are in the starting 11 who played already three or four years ago for the club."
Bayern Munich or Werder Bremen, who play on Wednesday, will be Leipzig's opponents in the final on May 25.