The Europa League final is played on Friday in Cologne, Germany, and will face Sevilla FC against Inter Milan. Both teams are regulars in this competition. While the Italians play their fifth final, the Spaniards will play their sixth.
By playing its sixth final in the Europa League, Friday 21 August, in Cologne, Germany, against Inter Milan, Sevilla FC has the opportunity to make history a little more. While the Andalusians have chained the crown for fifteen years in C3 (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016), Inter have not picked up anything on the European stage since their Champions League 2010.
“They have won a lot in seven, eight years, they are sharp,” warns inner coach Antonio Conte, who will oppose the power of Spanish habit “his envy and enthusiasm”, including two proprietors. Ashley Young (with Manchester United) and Diego Godin (twice with Atlético Madrid) have already won the C3.
If Inter, with their attacking duo Romelu Lukaku-Lautaro Martinez on fire (54 goals between them) and a Barella in good shape, seem more suited for the Champions League, Conte will not miss the opportunity to win a first continental trophy after national titles with Juventus and Chelsea.
“People only remember you when you win the final,” said coach Antonio Conte at the press conference that comforted Italy a bit after the eliminations of Juventus, Napoli and Atalanta in C1.
The goal is therefore clear: to put the country, which has not won a European competition in ten years (Inter’s victory in C1 against Bayern), on the roof of Europe. “This final must be a success, a starting point” for Inter, Nerazzurri goalkeeper and captain Samir Handanovic wanted at a press conference on Thursday.
Save the glory of Spanish football
After the blow that Barça received against Bayern (2-8), Sevilla FC, for their part, has the task of saving the glory of Spanish football for the first confrontation in its history against Inter.
With on his bench revenge Julen Lopetegui, who dreams of returning to the front of the European scene after his failures in Porto, Real Madrid and in the Spanish selection, Sevilla FC has the opportunity to achieve his ambitions. The effective duo he forms with his sporting director Monchi has pushed Sevilla FC to a record: 20 unbeaten matches since February 9 (and a 2-1 loss to Celta Vigo in La Liga), a fourth place in La Liga, which is synonymous with to qualify for the opening round of C1 next year and maybe a sixth C3 (after 2006, 2007 and the incredible hat-trick for Unai Emery 2014, 2015 and 2016) that reaches him.
“Between the Europa League and Sevilla, it’s a love story […] Nobody likes the Europa League as much as we do, says Monchi. “From our first European match in September, we had in mind to win this cup. They say it is our cup,” also said in Marca, the young central defender Jules Koundé (21).
The Sevillians have reason to believe this and even more about the league goalkeeper Lucas Ocampos (17 goals this season in all competitions), hampered by pain in the right knee in the semifinals, holds his place in the final in Cologne, which suggests this week’s training.
However, after a pandemic that has upset the football season like the rest, the first big loser will be the public. Due to sanitary measures, the match, like all others since mid-March, will be played behind closed doors at the RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne.