The 38th and last edition of the UEFA Cup brings together FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Werder Bremen for the final in Istanbul, with the former looking for a first European trophy and the latter hoping for their second.
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The 38th and last edition of the UEFA Cup brings together FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Werder Bremen for the final in Istanbul, with the former looking for a first European trophy and the latter their second following their triumph in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
• Shakhtar are aiming to become the first Ukrainian side to win the UEFA Cup. Should Bremen triumph, it would be a seventh success for German clubs, which would make the Bundesliga the second most successful league in UEFA Cup terms behind Serie A, who have provided nine winning teams.
• Not only are Shakhtar bidding for their first continental title, they are also playing in their first major European final. Prior to this season, their most substantial UEFA Cup achievements were in reaching the last 16 on three occasions, most recently losing out to eventual winners Sevilla FC in 2005/06.
• Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf was a member of the team which beat AS Monaco FC 2-0 to lift the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the club's only final in one of the three major European competitions. They have reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals on three previous occasions (1987/88, 1989/90 and 2006/07), although this is the first time they have managed to get to the final.
• Shakhtar's Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu was a UEFA Super Cup winner in 2000 while in charge of Galatasaray AŞ and knows all about Fenerbahçe SK's Şükrü Saraçoglu Stadium from his time as coach of Istanbul rivals Galatasaray and Beşiktaş JK.
Shakhtar's record against German clubs: P9 W4 D2 L3 F10 A10
Bremen's record against Ukrainian clubs: P4 W2 D1 L1 F14 A6
• The two finalists and their two coaches have never met in UEFA club competition.
• Shakhtar first came up against German opponents in the 1976/77 UEFA Cup first round, winning 3-0 at home and drawing 1-1 away against Berliner FC Dynamo from the former East Germany.
• They first faced opposition from the old West Germany in the 1980/81 UEFA Cup first round, winning 1-0 at home against Eintracht Frankfurt but losing 3-0 away.
• In total Shakhtar have played four two-legged ties against German opponents, winning two and losing two.
• In 2005/06, they met VfB Stuttgart in the UEFA Cup group stage, earning an impressive 2-0 win in Germany.
• Shakhtar are unbeaten in their last three games against German sides, all under Lucescu's leadership. The success at Stuttgart followed a meeting with FC Schalke 04 in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup Round of 32 which Shakhtar won 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-1 home draw and 1-0 away success.
• During his time as coach of Romania, Lucescu's side lost 2-1 against both West Germany and East Germany, the former game at the 1984 UEFA European Championship and the latter in August 1984.
• As a striker for FC Dinamo 1948 Bucureşti, Lucescu also played in a two-legged 1974/75 UEFA Cup tie against 1. FC Köln, with his side losing 3-2 in Cologne after a 1-1 draw in Romania.
• Bremen first met Ukrainian opponents in the first round of the 1985/86 UEFA Cup, losing 2-1 away against FC Chornomorets Odesa and winning 3-2 at home to bow out on away goals. Schaaf was in the starting lineup in both legs.
• With Schaaf installed as coach, Bremen's second taste of Ukrainian opposition came against Shakhtar's city rivals FC Metalurh Donetsk in the first round of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup, drawing 2-2 in Ukraine before an emphatic 8-0 victory in the return fixture.
Shakhtar: Olexandr Kucher returns from suspension but Tomáš Hübschmann misses the final following a booking in the semi-final second leg.
Bremen: Diego and Hugo Almeida are serving one-match bans.
Penalty shoot-out record
Shakhtar: Shakhtar were beaten 4-1 on penalties at Club Brugge KV following a 2-2 aggregate draw in the third qualifying round of the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League.
Bremen: Bremen have never been involved in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA club competition.
• Both Shakhtar and Bremen are playing at the Şükrü Saraçoglu Stadium for the first time in a competitive fixture. Shakhtar lost 2-1 in a friendly against Fenerbahçe at the stadium on 23 July 2008, with Brandão scoring their only goal (84) after Semih Şentürk (46) and Daniel Güiza (57) had put the home side ahead.
• Bremen have played in Istanbul once before, with Schaaf in the team as they earned a 0-0 draw at Galatasaray in the quarter-finals of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup en route to winning the competition. Shakhtar have never played in Istanbul.
• Shakhtar's Oleksandr Chyzhov has played at the stadium before having appeared in Ukraine's 2-0 defeat against Turkey on 14 October 2007 in qualifying for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 championship. Goalkeeper Bohdan Shust was an unused substitute.
• Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese has appeared at the Şükrü Saraçoglu Stadium too, featuring in the Germany side that drew 1-1 with Turkey in a play-off to reach the 2004 U21 finals on 18 November 2003.
• Bremen's Jurica Vranješ has also played at the arena, coming on in the 90th minute of Bayer 04 Leverkusen's 2-1 win at Fenerbahçe SK in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League first group stage on 23 October 2001.
• Lucescu famously coached both of Fenerbahçe's local rivals to title success, winning the 2001/02 Süper Lig with Galatasaray and then guiding Beşiktaş to the championship the following season.
• During his time in Turkey, Lucescu played a total of five games at the Şükrü Saraçoglu Stadium with his record reading W1 D1 L3. That sole victory was a 1-0 win for Beşiktaş on 2 February 2003.
• Bremen midfielder Mesut Özil was born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents, although he has never before played in Turkey.
• Özil's father Mustafa and mother Gülizar are both from Zonguldak in Turkey, though Mustafa was just two when he moved to Germany and is now a German citizen, as is his son – who made his senior international debut for Germany 78 minutes into a 1-0 friendly defeat against Norway on 11 February 2009.
• In a recent interview, Özil revealed that Fenerbahçe were his boyhood club, saying: "I am happy to be playing at the stadium of a team I supported as a child. I have lots of friends and family in Turkey who say they are going to be at the final. If I play I will be the only Turkish player on the pitch and I have no doubt that the Turkish fans will get behind me for what should be an entertaining game."
• This is the third UEFA Cup final featuring two teams who transferred into the competition through finishing third in their section in the UEFA Champions League, after 1999/00 (Galatasaray v Arsenal FC) and 2001/02 (Feyenoord v BV Borussia Dortmund).
• Bremen have won one major final, beating Monaco 2-0 in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final in Lisbon. They played FC Barcelona in the 1993 UEFA Super Cup as a result, going down 3-2 on aggregate – losing 2-1 at the Camp Nou and drawing 1-1 at home.
• Coach Lucescu aside, only three members of the Shakhtar squad have experience of a European final. Andriy Pyatov and Dmytro Chygrynskiy were in the starting lineup as Ukraine lost 3-0 to the Netherlands in the 2006 European U21 Championship, while Mykola Ischenko was an unused substitute.
• Bremen's Vranješ was an unused substitute for Bayer 04 Leverkusen as they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid CF in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League final in Glasgow.
• Bremen's Duško Tošić was part of the Serbia team who lost 4-1 to the Netherlands in the 2007 U21 final in Groningen.
• Schaaf is the longest serving coach currently operating in the Bundesliga, having joined Bremen in May 1999. Before that, he spent 17 years as a defender with the club, appearing in 262 Bundesliga games and scoring 13 goals.
• Bremen's Serbian full-back Tošić came up against Shakhtar's Pyatov and Chygrynskiy in the semi-finals of the 2006 European U21 Championship in Portugal, with Ukraine beating Serbia and Montenegro 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw. Another Shakhtar player, Ischenko, was an unused substitute.
• Bremen midfielder Vranješ and Shakhtar captain Dario Srna were both members of the Croatia squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although the former has not been capped since October 2007.
• Bremen left-back Tošić and Shakhtar midfielder Igor Duljaj play together in the Serbia national team.