Germany: Bundesliga
FT
3 - 1
(1 - 1)
RB Leipzig
Hoffenheim
L. Klostermann (34), E. Forsberg (70), M. Simakan (74)
O. Kabak (42)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Forsberg bids farewell to Leipzig: "A wonderful nine years."

RB Leipzig's Emil Forsberg delivered an emotional farewell to his long-time club both on and off the pitch last night. 
Matters could have hardly gone better for veteran Swedish attacker Emil Forsberg in his final home appearance for RB Leipzig last night. The 32-year-old scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 70th minute against visiting TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Just four minutes after being subbed on, Forsberg timed an attacking run perfectly to meet a Loïs Openda forward ball. One intelligent touch and a superb finish gave him his 72nd goal in RB colors.Shortly after that, the Swede set-up Mohamed Simikan's 3-1.

Forsberg narrowly missed recording a brace when TSG keeper Oliver Baumann tipped his volley of a corner off a tight angle off the crossbar. Simakan nevertheless stuffed home the rebound and Forsberg was credited with his 70th RB assist.

The festivities were only just beginning. Forsberg's teammates presented him with an honor badge after the full-time whistle. Highlights from his nine years at Leipzig were broadcast over the Red Bull Arena Jumbotron while RB sporting director Rouven Schröder presented him with gifts.

"It's very difficult to stand up here and say goodbye," Forsberg himself added when stepping in front of the microphone, "It's been a wonderful nine years. Everything I ever wanted to happen did."

"I can hardly believe it," Forsberg continued when speaking to the Sky microphones afterwards, "One dreams about experiencing moments like this. It feels incredible. I love this club, the city, and the fans. I've experienced everything."

Forsberg departs the Saxon capital having helped the German Red Bulls achieve promotion to the top flight from the 2. Bundesliga in the 2015/16 season. In Leipzig's first season in the top division (2016/17) Forsberg set the record for assists in a single season (22) by a Bundesliga player.

Reflecting on his journey, which also saw the club take back-to-back DFB Pokal victories in 2022 and 2023, Forsberg again emphasized that he was grateful have "experienced everything". Long-time teammate Yussuf Poulsen and head-coach Marco Rose added their own warm words in their interviews.

"We played together for nine years and were together more or less every day," Poulsen said,  "You become very good friends. He's a great guy and there's nobody who says anything bad about him. We got a great reaction from the crowd today."

"It was a perfectly scripted ending," Rose added, "It's extraordinary. We know what a great footballer we're losing and what quality he has. We wish him all the best. Today he made the difference in a close game and gave us a deserved win."

Forsberg now heads to Leipzig's sister club in the Big Apple. Former FSV Mainz 05 and Hertha BSC head-coach Sandro Schwarz will coach the Swede at the New York Red Bulls of America's MLS. Forsberg's new deal runs for two years.

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