Hendrik Schmidt / dpa
The sports director of RB Leipzig, Max Eberl, commented on the abusive posters in the stands on the sidelines of the game against 1. FC Köln.
"I would be interested to know if these people know what burnout means," said the 49-year-old on Saturday evening after the 0-0.
Eberl had been disparaged by some fans.
The posters included the following slogans: "From Burnout-Max to Alzheimer's Eberl - RB shit." and "Red Bull heals burnout."
»Burnout means when people push themselves until they can't anymore.
And beyond the point.
Some drown it in alcohol, some do drugs, some kill themselves.
That's the hard truth,' said Eberl.
Eberl resigned from arch-rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach in January 2022 for health reasons and was hired in Leipzig on December 1st.
The change had been heavily criticized in fan circles because of the rejection of the RB business model, and personally Eberl had already been verbally attacked.
Emotional resignation press conference
When asked if, after this experience, he would be as open with his mental life again as he was at his resignation press conference over a year ago, Eberl said: "I had to do it.
Otherwise I might have ended up somewhere else.
And I don't want to be there." At the time, he couldn't think about going public.
»My body and my mind said to me: this is the end, enough is enough.«
He is »zero point zero about me.
I'm over there.
But I wasn't the only one who was sick.
A lot of people out there have these issues.
I fought my way out of there.
Every other person has the same chance,” said Eberl.
That's why he wants to "show that it's possible.
And I want to show that admitting weakness is strength.
When parts of society think they can exploit this weakness and step on it, that's sad.
If you're constantly being ridiculed and taunted, it's clear that people won't stand up and say I'm sick.
These people should put that behind their heads.« After all, said Eberl, this had »not happened at all« to him since his return.
»In general, I really enjoy being back in football.«
»These are not the values of 1. FC Köln«
The Cologne sports director Christian Keller was shocked.
"These are not the values of 1. FC Köln," said the FC managing director.
Some posters in the past against patron Dietmar Hopp in games against TSG Hoffenheim were "even more tasteless": "But you don't have to talk about whether something is very tasteless or even more tasteless.
Any form of discrimination has no place in the football stadium.«
He also saw a number of posters "that showed in a creative and decent way that you don't like the RB model," said Keller.
But with the personal posters »you tear down this creativity.
Because that's not how the message gets across.
Because only what is discriminatory sticks.« In principle, posters in the Cologne stadium are subject to approval.
"But things are always brought in without it," said the FC sports director: "We didn't approve these posters, that goes without saying."