Sevilla will target a record-extending seventh Europa League title in Wednesday’s final against an AS Roma side under Jose Mourinho, who has himself won five major European trophies including last year’s Conference League with the Italians.
Neither Sevilla nor Mourinho have ever lost a European final, with the Spaniards having won all six of their Europa League finals and the Portuguese having last year become the first coach to win all the European trophies.
Mourinho’s haul includes two Champions League titles (Inter Milan and Porto), two Europa League crowns (Porto and Manchester United) and the inaugural Conference League trophy.
However, the Roma manager will have a hard task to steer his team to victory against Europa League thoroughbreds Sevilla who will arrive with momentum as they try to keep their astounding record in their favourite competition after a difficult season.
Languishing in the bottom half of La Liga for a large part of a campaign in which they fired two managers, Sevilla rediscovered their mojo after exiting the Champions League.
They beat PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahce and Manchester United before downing Juventus in the semis to reach the final.
They have lost only two matches since the arrival of manager Jose Luis Mendilibar in mid-March and are in the race for a Conference League place with one game left in La Liga after spending most of the season fighting to avoid relegation.
Roma, however, are without a win in seven consecutive Italian league games and suffered a late collapse to lose 2-1 to Fiorentina on Saturday, ending any hopes Mourinho’s side had of a top-four finish in Serie A.
They earned a spot in Wednesday’s Europa League final after a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen in their semi-final return leg, securing a 1-0 aggregate win.
With Sevilla and Roma both having struggled for form in their domestic leagues, they need to win on Wednesday to qualify for the Champions League next season. In the case of Sevilla, who are 11th in LaLiga, they could miss out on Europe entirely.
After winning the 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020 Europa League finals, Sevilla have the chance to work their magic yet again in their favourite competition.
However, they will be without talismanic left back Marcos Acuna, who was sent off in extra time in the second leg of the semi-final against Juventus, which Sevilla won 2-1 for a 3-2 aggregate victory, for time wasting after a second yellow card.
‘The Special One’ Mourinho, who knows a trick or two of his own when it come to European finals, will have full-back Leonardo Spinazzola back after a muscle strain, while forwards Stephan El Shaarawy and Paulo Dybala should also be fit.
Roma have never won the Europa League, although they were runners up in the 1991 UEFA Cup and 1984 European Cup, with their only European title apart from last year’s Conference League triumph being the 1961 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.