Sevilla v Fiorentina: reaction and what to expect
Friday, April 24, 2015
Holders Sevilla FC have been drawn against ACF Fiorentina in the last four. UEFA.com sums up the reaction, uncovers the facts behind the tie and gets expert insight.
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Óscar Arias, Sevilla head of elite football
Any of the teams would have been tough; maybe everyone wanted to avoid Napoli and we did. Fiorentina are a typical Italian side with great spirit. It's an attractive game, an open one, against a top-level opponent – like the ones we have eliminated in Borussia, Villarreal and Zenit. Sevilla can beat anyone. We do things well and we have the never-say-die attitude that's required.
Monchi, Sevilla director of football
It will be a difficult tie. Any of the teams was going to be tough and Fiorentina are a competitive side. To get here we've had to suffer and we will continue to do so, but this competition has given us such joy.
Vincenzo Montella, Fiorentina coach
I'm happy we avoided an all-Italian tie with Napoli, although I hope we will meet them in a few weeks [in the Warsaw final]. Sevilla are the holders and they must therefore be considered favourites, but we have reached this stage of the competition by eliminating several good teams. Sevilla have lots of experience in the competition, having won it three times in the last ten seasons, but we deserve our place in the semis and will do our best to keep going.
• Nick Aitken, Sevilla: What is it about Sevilla and the UEFA Europa League? Out to win a fourth edition in nine years, they reserve their best for this competition, as proven by victories over the dangerous VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, Villarreal CF and FC Zenit already. Last season's victorious campaign can only aid their chances, their knowledge of how to get over the line potentially being the difference between two equally matched groups of players.
• Paolo Menicucci, Fiorentina: With Fiorentina having earned the nickname of 'little Barcelona' in Italy for their playing style, this tie promises to be highly entertaining. The Viola will need to be more clinical in attack and try to contain in-form striker Carlos Bacca if they want to knock out the holders.
Facts and figures
• The sides are meeting for the first time in UEFA competition. Sevilla's record against Italian clubs is: W0 D1 L3 (W0 D1 L0 at home; W0 D0 L2 in Italy). They also lost 3-1 to AC Milan in the 2007 UEFA Super Cup, with Renato's 14th-minute strike their only goal in four games against Serie A opposition.
• Fiorentina's record against Spanish teams reads: W2 D4 L6 (W2 D1 L1 – W0 D2 L4). They have yet to win in Spain, including a defeat by Real Madrid CF in the 1957 European Champion Clubs' Cup final, and they also went down to Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1962 European Cup Winners' Cup final.
• Fiorentina's Joaquín started his career with Sevilla's neighbours Real Betis Balompié and played under current Sevilla coach Unai Emery at Valencia CF (2008–11), where present Sevilla playmaker Éver Banega was one of his team-mates.
• Other Fiorentina players have Liga experience too: Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal CF 2007–13), Marcos Alonso (Real Madrid 2010), Khouma Babacar (Real Racing Club 2012).
• Sevilla hope to become the first side to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League for a fourth time. At the moment, three others can match their tally of three victories: FC Internazionale Milano, Juventus and Liverpool FC.
• This season's records: Sevilla W8 D3 L1 F21 A12; Fiorentina – W7 D4 L1 F21 A7.