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Final hurdle facing Sevilla and Benfica

The quest for the UEFA Europa League trophy ends at Turin's Juventus Stadium, with two-time winners Sevilla FC taking on double European champions SL Benfica.

Background: Sevilla FC v SL Benfica ©AFP/Getty Images

Sevilla FC are looking to add victory in the UEFA Europa League to their two recent UEFA Cup successes, while SL Benfica aim to end a seven-game run of defeats in UEFA finals – including last year's disappointment – and a 14-match, 32-year winless run against Spanish opposition.

Previous meetings
• The sides' only previous UEFA meeting came in the preliminary round of the 1957/58 European Champion Clubs' Cup; in what was both teams' first tie in European competition, Satur Grech's Sevilla beat Otto Glória's Benfica 3-1 at home, progressing with a 0-0 draw in Lisbon.

• The teams in Seville on 19 September 1957 were:
Sevilla: Busto, Romero, Campanal, Valero, Ramoní, Herrera, Iborra, Arza, Pepillo, Pepin, Pahuet.
Benfica: José Bastos, Ângelo Martins, Calado, Pegado, Serra, Alfredo Abrantes, Palmeiro, Coluna, Águas, Caiado, Cavém.

• Vicente Pahuet, who scored the opener in the first leg, said: "When games finished then, the teams ate together. That day was great. I'm not a handsome man, but the club directors were all coming up to me saying, 'Oh, Pahuet, you are just gorgeous.'"

• For the return fixture on 26 September, in which Sevilla goalkeeper José Maria Busto put in a star performance, José Martins replaced Caiado in the Benfica lineup, while Sevilla fielded Manuel Ruiz Sosa, Arsenio Iglesias and Lorenzo Martínez in place of Ramoní, Arza and Pepillo.

• Sevilla beat AGF Aarhus in the first round but lost to Real Madrid CF in the quarter-finals, going down 8-0 in the Spanish capital before a 2-2 home draw.

• Since they met Benfica in their debut European campaign, a tile bearing the Eagles' crest features in the façade of Sevilla's Ramon Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium.

• Sevilla have played 16 UEFA games against Portuguese sides, including four this season; they won 2-1 away and drew 1-1 at home against Estoril Praia in the group stage, then eliminated FC Porto in the quarter-finals, losing 1-0 away before triumphing 4-1 in Spain. In total, their record in those 16 games reads W8 D3 L5.

• Benfica have played 22 games against Spanish sides in Europe with the record W5 D7 L10. They have not won in their last 14 games against Spanish opponents (D6 L8) since a 2-1 victory at Sevilla's city rivals Real Betis Balompié on 29 September 1982 – although their only two European final victories have come against Spanish sides.

• This is Sevilla's first competitive game in Turin, but Benfica have played Juventus at all three of their successive homes; they won 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico in the 1967/68 European Cup semi-finals, lost 3-0 in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup quarter-finals at the Stadio Delle Alpi, then eliminated this season's final hosts with a 0-0 draw at Juventus Stadium in the 2013/14 semi-finals.

Final pedigree
• In terms of European trophies, the sides are equal with two apiece; however, Benfica have suffered seven final defeats since winning their second European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1962, while Sevilla boast a 100% record in UEFA finals to date.

• Benfica's previous UEFA finals ended as follows:
1-2 v Chelsea FC, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League
0-1 v AC Milan, 1989/90 European Cup
0-0 aet (5-6 on penalties) v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Cup
1-2 (agg) v RSC Anderlecht, 1982/83 UEFA Cup
1-4 (aet) v Manchester United FC, 1967/68 European Cup
0-1 v FC Internazionale Milano, 1964/65 European Cup
1-2 v AC Milan, 1962/63 European Cup
5-3 v Real Madrid CF, 1961/62 European Cup
3-2 v FC Barcelona, 1960/61 European Cup

• Sevilla's only previous UEFA finals were:
2-2 aet (3-1 on penalties) v RCD Espanyol, 2006/07 UEFA Cup
4-0 v Middlesbrough FC, 2005/06 UEFA Cup

• Benfica have never won the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League, but have been losing finalists in both incarnations of the competition – to RSC Anderlecht in the two-legged 1982/83 final, and to Chelsea FC in last season's Amsterdam decider.

• The Eagles reached the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals in 2009/10, the semi-finals in 2010/11 and – after a one-season absence from the competition – the 2012/13 final.

• Benfica's two European Cup final victories are the only previous occasions when Spanish and Portuguese clubs have met in major UEFA finals.

• Benfica also reached the inaugural UEFA Youth League final this season, but lost out to FC Barcelona in Nyon.

Turin finals
• The new Juventus Stadium is staging its first major UEFA final. It is the sixth time that a UEFA final – or at least part of one – has been staged in Turin, with Juventus and neighbours Torino FC both playing the home legs of UEFA Cup finals in the city, while the 1984 UEFA Super Cup was settled by a single meeting in Turin.

• The previous Turin finals were as follows:
1992/93 UEFA Cup (second leg): Juventus 3-0 Borussia Dortmund (agg: 6-1)
1991/92 UEFA Cup (first leg): Torino FC 2-2 AFC Ajax (agg: 2-2, Ajax win on away goals)
1989/90 UEFA Cup (first leg): Juventus 3-1 ACF Fiorentina (agg: 3-1)
1984 UEFA Super Cup: Juventus 2-0 Liverpool FC
1976/77 UEFA Cup (first leg): Juventus 1-0 Athletic Club (agg: 2-2, Juventus win on away goals)

Team facts
• Lisbon is around 310km away from Seville. Sevilla's journey to Turin is around 1400km, with Benfica's voyage slightly longer: around 1550km.

• Benfica are the first side to reach a UEFA Europa League final without losing a game. Since transferring from the UEFA Champions League group stage, they have won six and drawn two of their eight fixtures.

• Sevilla have made it all the way from the third qualifying round to the final, which will be their 19th game in this season's competition. They are the third side to follow this path, following 2009/10 runners-up Fulham FC and 2011/12 winners Club Atlético de Madrid.

• Benfica are bidding to become the third UEFA Europa League winners out of five to have crossed over mid-season from the UEFA Champions League, after Atlético (2009/10) and Chelsea FC (2012/13).

• Sevilla are on a quest to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League for the third time. Only three other sides have reached that mark before – Juventus (1976/77, 1989/90, 1992/93), FC Internazionale Milano (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98) and Liverpool (1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01).

• Sevilla qualified for the final exactly nine months after their first game in the tournament this season, a third qualifying round win against FK Mladost Podgorica.

• The Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica could briefly house both the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League trophies if Benfica are triumphant, with the UEFA Champions League final to be held there on 24 May.

• Benfica are the highest-scoring team in the history of the UEFA Europa League with 68 goals in 37 games.

• Benfica claimed the Portuguese title on 20 April and on 7 May beat Rio Ave FC in the League Cup final; they will play the same opponents in the Portuguese Cup final on 18 May. Their success in reaching the finals of both Portugal's major cup competitions this season means they will end up playing 57 competitive games this season, their highest total ever.

• Benfica will be the fourth UEFA Europa League finalists from Portugal, and Sevilla the fourth from Spain. Only one other country, England, has been involved in the competition decider, with Fulham finishing runners-up in 2009/10 and Chelsea lifting the trophy in 2012/13.

Player facts
• With five goals, Kevin Gameiro is Sevilla's top European goalscorer this season; Lima has been Benfica's leading marksman with four in the UEFA Europa League, and one more in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Benfica's Óscar Cardozo has scored the most European goals of any player left in the UEFA Europa League: 33 in 75 appearances.

• Luisão and Lazar Marković – who is suspended for the final – are the only players to have featured in all eight of Benfica's UEFA Europa League games this season. With 107 UEFA club competition appearances, Brazilian defender Luisão has more European experience than any other player in the final squads.

• Ivan Rakitić has played the most games of any Sevilla player since the start of the UEFA Europa League group stage – 13, one more than Carlos Bacca and Vitolo.

• Nicolás Gaitán could make his 50th UEFA club competition appearance in the final.

• Lima was part of the SC Braga side that defeated Sevilla in a UEFA Champions League play-off in 2010, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-3 second-leg win. Benfica's Artur and Sílvio were both also part of that Braga squad: the goalkeeper was on the bench in both legs and the versatile defender played the two matches. Federico Fazio featured in both legs for Sevilla, while Javi Varas was an unused substitute in both games.

• Stéphane Mbia's goal in the semi-final second leg was his fourth in six games. It took the midfielder 120 games to score his previous four goals.

• Sevilla's on-loan German midfielder Marko Marin was a member of the Chelsea FC squad that reached the UEFA Europa League final last season, though he was not part of the squad that beat Benfica in the final in Amsterdam.

• Benfica's Lima and Artur have already been on the losing side in two UEFA Europa League finals: with SC Braga in 2010/11 and Benfica last season.

• Benfica's Eduardo Salvio, who is also suspended for the final, has made a record 40 UEFA Europa League appearances. He came on as a substitute in Atlético's 2010 and 2012 final victories, before finishing on the losing side in 2012/13. He could become the first player to win it for a third time.

• Salvio scored for Atlético against a Sevilla side featuring Rakitić, José Antonio Reyes and Fazio in a 1-1 Liga away draw in 2011/12.

• Five Benfica players have Spanish league experience: Salvio (Atlético 2010–12), Rodrigo (Madrid 2009/10), Ezequiel Garay (Real Racing Club 2005–08 and 2008/09, Madrid 2008–11), Guilherme Siqueira (Gránada CF 2010–13) and the injured Sílvio (Atlético 2010–13, RC Deportivo La Coruña 2013).

• Sevilla forward Reyes, who had a loan spell at Benfica in 2008/09, played alongside Salvio and Sílvio at Atlético.

• Garay scored Racing Club's goal in a 4-1 away defeat against Sevilla in the 2007/08 Liga season before being sent off for a second bookable offence.

• Sevilla have three players with Portuguese Liga experience: goalkeeper Beto (Sporting Clube de Portugal 2001–04, GD Chaves 2004/05, FC Marco 2005/06, Leixões SC 2006–09, Porto 2009–12, Braga 2012/13), and defenders Diogo Figueiras (Pinhalnovense FC 2010/11, FC Paços de Ferreira 2011–13, Moreirense FC 2012) and Daniel Carriço (Sporting 2007–12, SC Olhanense 2007).

• Figueiras came through Benfica's youth system but never made it to the first team, joining Pinhalnovense in 2010.

• Sevilla's Beto and Benfica's Lima and Rúben Amorim were Braga team-mates in 2012/13, though Lima left for Benfica early in the season.

• Benfica goalkeeper Jan Oblak could become the first Slovenian to appear in a UEFA Europa League final, and the first of his countrymen to feature in a UEFA final since Zlatko Zahovič was on the losing side with Valencia CF in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League. Srečko Katanec was the last Slovenian to win a UEFA club competition, lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup with UC Sampdoria in 1990.

• Benfica's Rodrigo and Sevilla's Alberto Moreno won the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship together with Spain.

The coaches
• Sevilla coach since January 2013, Unai Emery started out as a midfielder at Real Sociedad de Fútbol, but spent the bulk of his career in Spain's second division, switching from playing to coaching at Lorca Deportiva CF after a serious knee injury. Having led UD Almería to the top tier he coached Valencia from 2008 to 2012, with his side regular European contenders during that spell. More recently, he had a brief stint at FC Spartak Moskva.

• Emery led Valencia to back-to-back wins against another Portuguese side, CS Marítimo, in his first games as a coach in Europe, in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.

• His Spartak side met Jorge Jesus's Benfica in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League group stage; Spartak won 2-1 in Moscow but went down 2-0 in the return fixture in Lisbon. Lima scored for Benfica in the first game, while Óscar Cardozo registered twice in the return. Nicolas Pareja – now on loan at Sevilla from Spartak – featured in both matches.

• Benfica coach Jesus followed his father Jesus Virgolino by signing for Sporting Clube de Portugal as a youngster and was a journeyman midfielder before moving into coaching. He took charge of a number of Portuguese clubs and was given the Benfica job in June 2009 after leading Braga to the last 16 of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. As well as guiding the Eagles to successive UEFA Europa League finals, Jesus won his second Liga title with Benfica this term and his fourth league cup in five attempts.

• The final will be Jesus's 50th game as a coach in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League.

• Jesus is the only Benfica coach – apart from Béla Guttmann in the 1960/61 and 1961/62 European Cup campaigns – to have led the club to European finals in successive seasons.

Extra-time and penalties
• Sevilla's record in four UEFA club competition penalty shoot-outs is W3 L1:
4-3 (away) v Real Betis Balompié, 2013/14 UEFA Europa League round of 16
2-3 (home) v Fenerbahçe SK, 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16
3-1 (neutral) v RCD Espanyol. 2006/07 UEFA Cup final
4-3 (away) v PAOK FC, 1990/91 UEFA Cup first round

• Benfica's record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W1 L1:
4-1 (home) v PAOK, 1999/2000 UEFA Cup second round
5-6 (neutral) v PSV Eindhoven, 1987/88 European Champion Clubs' Cup final

• Only once has more than one goal been scored in extra time in nine UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League finals, with both Sevilla and RCD Espanyol registering in the additional period during the 2006/07 decider.

• Five UEFA Cup finals were settled on penalties, while none have gone all the way since the advent of the UEFA Europa League:
1983/84: Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-2 RSC Anderlecht (agg; Spurs win 4-3 on pens in London)
1987/88: Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-3 RCD Espanyol (agg; Leverkusen win 3-2 on pens in Leverkusen)
1996/97: FC Internazionale Milano 1-1 FC Schalke 04 (agg; Schalke win 4-1 on pens in Milan)
1999/00: Galatasaray AŞ 0-0 Arsenal FC (Galatasaray win 4-1 on pens in Copenhagen)
2006/07: RCD Espanyol 2-2 Sevilla FC (Sevilla win 3-1 on pens in Glasgow)

• Four more were decided in extra time:
2000/01: Liverpool FC 5-4 Deportivo Alavés (in Dortmund, golden goal, 4-4 after 90 mins)
2002/03: Celtic FC 2-3 FC Porto (in Seville, 2-2 after 90 mins)
2008/09: FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 SV Werder Bremen (in Istanbul, 1-1 after 90 mins)
2009/10: Club Atlético de Madrid 2-1 Fulham FC (in Hamburg, 1-1 after 90 mins)

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