Sevilla FC – 2014 UEFA Europa League Champions!

After a hard fought 120 minutes, the game was decided in penalties and our boys from Andalucia lifted the cup in jubilation.  I thought Mark’s summary below pretty well summed up the game and the season.  Sevilla are now tied with Inter Milan, Liverpool, and Juventus as three time winners of this tournament.

From a top commenter Mark:

Hi all, how are we feeling..I’m a little flat today, after all the nerves and excitement has taken it out of me. Having chance to reflect, it was an immense performance taking everything into account. We were playing against a team of a higher level, with them having added experience of playing in a Euro final last year, playing in the same stadium recently against Juve, and having already bagged their domestic league weeks ago. Our season began back in July / August when we started the qualifiers. I sensed we were looking tired and was praying for them not to score, that was the key, as long as that was the case I felt we would find a way to win.Stand out players, really for me – Pareja, he saved his best performance for today. I also felt Fazio played well. Coke had a solid game and held his positions well, his great penalty swung the shoot-out, going 3-1 up was decisive. Moreno, on any other night, could have cost us, perhaps his youthful exuberance got the better of him at times. Carrico, he put in 100% as normal, but I’ve felt in the past few games, the demands of the season have caught up with him, no shame in that, he only played 3 times for Reading last year. This year he has been a mainstay, still he did nothing wrong last night. Mbia, this guy has turned into a Hercules like figure. The signing we have been looking for years. Many have crashed and burned in this role, the likes of Romaric and Zokora. The young Kondogbia I don’t think would have been at Mbia’s level this year. Caprak, no words to describe really, inspirational leader, great to see him lift his first trophy. He has a decision to make in the summer, become a small fish in a big pond somewhere else, or continue building his legacy as a true Sevilla legend. If he commits and we strengthen as we go, great times lie ahead. Vitolo, good display, worked hard, give everything, capped a great first season in the top flight. Cemented his position now. Reyes, again put in a good display, couldn’t fault him, Bacca, was close in extra time, wonderful first pen, played well. Then how could I forget, Beto, superb performance, was very composed in the game, he looked up for it in the shootout. Deserves the glory has worked hard all year.Another mention to Emery, I think he knew that this was a game we were never going to out perform Benfica, it had to be a battle, and we were set up for that. I think the Gameiro sub changed the game. Not sure what happened to Marin, but I thought we edged them in Extra time, having the attacker on kept us on the front foot as much as possible. Great pen to win, they don’t come much better than that. But over the season I can see Emery has learned to be more flexible and adjust to the environment, his use of squad after Christmas has been key, and also the togetherness he has forged in the squad is quite remarkable.Sorry it’s a long post, but there is so much to take in. Is this Euro triumph our best one yet? I’ll need a few days to think on this. In the Juande years, back then we had a settled team with many true greats, the team wasn’t given the universal credit it deserved, we won those tournaments largely on being the better team. (What team beats R.Madrid 5-3 in their own stadium)? This achievement has been more built on guts, hard work, and heart and team ethics. Winning against much adversity. After the past few years of hardship this title perhaps doesn’t have the sense of pure jubilation of the first too (it does), but more of a relief satisfaction, a feeling of great suffering has its awards and a fuller sense of comradeship amongst our fellow Sevillstas.Party time in Sevilla later on!!!