"We can't wait!" gushed David Soria after Sevilla made it to the final yet again; UEFA.com's Nick Aitken gets to grips with their UEFA Europa League love affair.
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"Rub your eyes and open them wide," begins the report in Friday's edition of Seville-based daily Estadio Deportivo. "Yes, they've done it again – for the fifth time in ten years and the third season in a row, Sevilla have written their name in golden letters in the history of a competition they love more than anyone else." UEFA.com explains how Sevilla have become the ultimate UEFA Europa League contenders.
They love the competition
"Everyone connected with Sevilla thoroughly enjoys taking part in this competition, and I've always encouraged everyone to approach it with the passion it deserves," explained coach Unai Emery. The club's 'passion' and 'love' for the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League was a recurring theme among the supporters and media throughout the build-up to the semi-final second leg.
Their nerve never fails them
Thursday's 3-1 sinking of Shakhtar Donetsk completed a 5-3 aggregate success – Sevilla's fifth triumph in five semi-finals in this competition. Los Nervionenses went on to lift the trophy in their four previous finals – in 2006, 2007, 2014 and 2015. "We knew that Sevilla were a great team with a huge amount of experience in the Europa League – after all, they've won it four times in nine years or something, haven't they?" said Shakhtar's scorer Eduardo. "We tried everything – we gave it our all, but it just wasn't to be. Sevilla played a great match and I congratulate them for reaching the final."
They never take victory for granted
Sounding a word of warning among this wave the optimism was Grzegorz Krychowiak. "We've not won anything yet," said the Poland midfielder, who supplied the assist for Kevin Gameiro to make it 2-1 against Shakhtar. "We can make history by winning it three times in a row but we've still got one game to go – a dream of a match. Liverpool are a great side but this team has plenty of experience in this competition and, as we showed tonight, we've got enough hunger and fight to dream of a fifth Europa League title."
The experience never gets stale
"What we're experiencing just can't be put into words," said keeper David Soria, before touching on his own remarkable individual journey to the 18 May showpiece in Basel. "I started this season with Sevilla Atlético [Sevilla's B-team, in Spain's third tier] and to be in with the chance of playing in the Europa League final is something to savour, to dream about. Liverpool are a team with plenty of titles and European trophies, but when you reach a final you're delighted to take on anybody. We can't wait!"