Sevilla and Spain with two Euro-finals ahead
The Sevilla expedition fly to Basel today ahead of their fifth UEFA final in just ten years and hope to lift what would be their fifth UEFA Cup/Europa League title. It's been a prodigious decade for the Andalusian club which was kick-started with their centenary anniversary and in recent time has seen the club win titles and glean international prestige. When they faced Middlesbrough in Eindhoven in 2006, twenty thousand Seville fans descended on the Dutch city, convinced that they would witness a unique one-off in the club's history as Sevilla had gone 58 years without winning a title. The beat the English side and subsequently won the same trophy on another three occasions as well as a Copa del Rey and two Spanish Super-cups.
Eight titles later and now they face the prospect of two finals in five days. Tomorrow they face Liverpool and on Sunday, Barça in the final of the cup. A huge surge of demand for tickets for both finals has seen the club overwhelmed and have decided (as is the case with Atlético) to honour the longest serving supporters with many fans opting to attend both competitions. This is a reward for those who stuck by the club as they meandered in mid-table and who even suffered relegation to the second tier. Now the club are a force to be reckoned with in Spain and in Europe with a solid model and an excellent policy of buying and selling the right players.
Tomorrow is the first of Sevilla's two finals and the first of the European finals that features major Spanish interest. The other takes place in Milán on May 28 between the two big Madrid sides who have managed to eliminate Barça and now face each other again. Who's in charge in the capital? When I went to Lisbon in 2014, I thought I was witnessing a unique one-off and that was just two years ago! Once again trying to secure a match ticket has been one of the main talking points but not for a unique event, but for a repeat of a film that certain fans want to see a repeat of and for others a different ending.
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