Europa League Final
"Playing Liverpool is a sign of how far Sevilla have come"
Basel is decked in red and white for the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla. We spoke to fans from each club.
Liverpool - Sevilla. The Europa League final. A dream ticket. And for a lucky 12,000 Liverpool and Sevilla fans they’ll be there this evening, Wednesday 18 May, at St Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland.
Red everywhere: Liverpool v Sevilla
Basel this morning was decked in red and white, with the colours of the two clubs taking over bars, cafés, streetlamps: flags, scarves and football shirts everywhere. Clearly despite the fact UEFA had only decided to give 6,000 fans from each club tickets to the match hadn’t prevented a lot of supporters without a seat making the journey in the hope of sneaking in, or simply enjoying being in the city where their side makes history.
As of the early afternoon the Liverpool fans seemed to be in the majority, making more noise than their Sevilla counterparts, with more banners and more 'refreshments' to hand. However the Spaniards are more than likely to get louder as the afternoon as goes on.
Sevilla are going for a record fifth title, while Liverpool could equal Sevilla’s current record four if they win the title.
Veteran Sevilla fans
Jesús and Felipe were both born by the Guadalquivir river in the Andalusian capital and have supported Sevilla since they can remember. They were up bright and early this morning to catch a charter plane from San Pablo airport to Basel. “We’re heading straight back on the same plane after the final, I guess it waits if it goes to penalties”, grins Jesús. Though he doesn’t think it will. “Dos-uno for Sevilla, 2-1”, he predicts. His mate Felipe thinks there’ll be even more goals: 3-2.
Jesus can’t stop focusing on today’s opposition. “As a niño growing up it was all about about Liverpool, they were the best in Europe. Dalglish, Souness, Keegan… To think our Sevilla is playing Liverpool in a European final shows how far the club has come, with no disrespect to the other sides we’ve beaten in the final!” he says.
With so few tickets on offer how did Jesús and Felipe get theirs? “Ah! We had to pull in some favours” grins Felipe, nodding conspiratorially. He refuses to say what these favours might have been however, but just smiles happily at the knowledge he will be there.
Anfield season ticket holder
Greg is from Belfast, where he still lives, and a long-time season ticket holder at Anfield, meaning he had no trouble getting his ticket for tonight’s game. He flew from Belfast to Liverpool yesterday and was on the red-eye and red-scarf 4am charter to Basel this morning. He’s also flying straight back after the game.
“Sevilla? I’m worried too many Liverpool fans are underestimating them. I think it’s going to be a really tight game, and wouldn’t be surprised if it’s decided by a mistake in injury time”, he says.
As to why Liverpool are here Greg think’s it’s all down to one fact: “the belief Klopp has brought to Anfield. Nothing more”.
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