Ladies and gentleman. We’ve spent all year speculating and debating. How do we define a successful season? Can we finish fourth? Can we make another run at the Europa League? Is this the beginning of a new era of Sevilla glory? Or is it just another solid season with an off season of uncertainty around the corner?
Somehow, despite a club record 76 points, we still haven’t qualified for the Champions League. And so this little trip to Warsaw has EVERYTHING riding on it. Maybe some here would argue this season has still been wildly successful even if we don’t win tomorrow. That case can certainly be made. But if we DO manage to win tomorrow, the season is undoubtedly, unambiguously one of our teams very best ever: a season we will tell our kids about. I want another photo to go along with the ones we’ve collected from 2006, 2007, and 2014. We have work to do.
Coming into this game, many have considered us the favorites. In many respects, that seems reasonable. But being a favorite doesn’t mean anything if you don’t actually win. There is a world of uncertainty in any given match. If there weren’t we wouldn’t bother actually playing the games. Last season, Benfica were probably the rightful favorites, but we played them to a gritty draw and won in the shootout. Nothing will be easy and nothing should be taken for granted in the final.
We have reason to be optimistic, and perhaps even confident (without over-confidence or arrogance). We’ve, literally, been there before in a European final. This team is as experienced and prepared as imaginable this matchup. And we are playing in good form.
While Dnipro might not have the glamour that Napoli would’ve, taking them lightly would be foolish. I know little about Dnipro and hopefully those who are more educated than I am can give us a scouting report in the comments. But the little bit I’ve heard is that they’re organized, disciplined, and physical. Those are characteristics that will make any tie complicated. I’ll add to that that they are likely confident. They just knocked out Napoli and made them look bad in the process. They won’t be intimidated by being underdogs or by playing us. This is going to be more than a battle, its going to be an all out war.
In some ways, its almost nice that we missed on 4th. It makes the stakes higher. It puts the excitement and drama of the game up past 10 to 11. This is what we dream of as fans and supporters. An opportunity to watch our beloved team play the beautiful game with everything at stake.
Our entire season rides on this match. This is it. Let’s go add to our photo album.