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Porto and Braga take local rivalry to grand stage

There are no introductions required as the first major final in Dublin brings together FC Porto and SC Braga – Portuguese rivals separated by a mere 47km, a UEFA competition final record.

The Dublin Arena is being prepared for the UEFA Europa League final
The Dublin Arena is being prepared for the UEFA Europa League final ©Sportsfile

There are no introductions required as Dublin's inaugural major showpiece brings together FC Porto and SC Braga for another first – an all-Portuguese final on the continental stage with the UEFA Europa League trophy at stake.

Previous meetings
• The sides have never met before in Europe; indeed, this is only the second UEFA club competition tie to be contested by two Liga sides. Braga eliminated SL Benfica in the first in this season's semi-finals, losing 2-1 in Lisbon but prevailing on away goals with a 1-0 home victory.

• In domestic football they have faced each other 131 times, Porto claiming 92 wins to Braga's 17 with 22 draws.

• They have met in two finals, both in the Portuguese Cup; Porto won 1-0 in 1977 and 3-1 in 1998.

• Porto have triumphed in the clubs' last three meetings, scoring nine goals and conceding three. Braga last prevailed with a 1-0 home victory on 19 September 2009.

• That is Braga's only win in their last nine games against Porto, with seven producing victory for the blue-and-whites.

• The last five meetings between the sides:
24/05/2009: Porto 1-1 Braga (Farías 41)
19/09/2009: Braga 1-0 Porto (Alan 69)
21/02/2010: Porto 5-1 Braga (Meireles 15, Pereira 34, Falcao 35 72, Belluschi 83; Alan 90)
11/09/2010: Porto 3-2 Braga (Varela 33 70, Hulk 63; Aguiar 16, Lima 61)
13/02/2011: Braga 0-2 Porto (Otamendi 45 67)

• Porto are the designated home team for the final; Braga have not beaten them in six 'away' games, since a 3-1 Liga victory on 30 January 2005.

Final pedigree
• Braga have appeared in four major finals, all in the Portuguese Cup. They beat Vitória FC 1-0 in 1966 – their only major honour to date – but lost three subsequent finals, going down 4-0 to Sporting Clube de Portugal in 1982 between their two defeats by Porto.

• Porto have won 15 of their 27 Portuguese Cup finals, and will play in another on 22 May, against Vitória SC. They have won 17 of their 26 Portuguese Super Cup showpieces.

• Porto have played nine UEFA competition finals, winning six and losing three:
2004 European/South American Cup: Porto 0-0 CD Once Caldas, 8-7 pens
2004 UEFA Super Cup: Porto 1-2 Valencia CF
2003/04 UEFA Champions League: AS Monaco FC 0-3 Porto
2003 UEFA Super Cup: AC Milan 1-0 Porto
2002/03 UEFA Cup: Celtic FC 2-3 Porto (aet)
1987/88 UEFA Super Cup: AFC Ajax 0-2 Porto, agg
1987 European/South American Cup: Porto 2-1 CA Peñarol
1986/87 European Champion Clubs' Cup: FC Bayern München 1-2 Porto
1983/84 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: Juventus 2-1 Porto

Match background
• No previous UEFA club competition final has been contested by sides this close in geographic terms; Porto and Braga are just 47km apart. The previous record was set in the 1988 UEFA Super Cup, between KV Mechelen and PSV Eindhoven whose home cities are 84km apart.

• This is Braga's first appearance in a European final; prior to this season their most substantial achievements in Europe were reaching the UEFA Cup round of 16 in 2006/07 and 2008/09.

• Neither side has played a competitive game in Dublin before.

• A 3-2 loss at Villarreal CF in the semi-final second leg ended Porto's five-game winning streak in Europe. Their record in 16 European games since they kicked off their season in the UEFA Europa League play-off round reads W13 D1 L2 F43 A16.

• Braga's campaign began in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, where they eliminated Celtic FC and then Sevilla FC in the play-offs to reach the group stage. Their overall record in 18 European games in 2010/11 is W9 D3 L6 F20 A20.

• Braga's record in eight games since transferring into the UEFA Europa League is W3 D3 L2 F6 A4. Thus they have scored an average of a goal every 120 minutes, conceding one every 180 minutes.

Team facts
• Falcao is the highest scoring player in a single UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League season; his goal in the semi-final second leg against Villarreal CF took him on to 16 (in addition to one in the play-off round), surpassing Jürgen Klinsmann's record of 15 set with FC Bayern München in 1995/96.

• With two goals, Alan is Braga's top UEFA Europa League goalscorer this season. Lima has also scored twice in Europe, though one of his goals was in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Braga's leading scorer overall in Europe this season remains Matheus, who struck three times in the UEFA Champions League group stage but left the club for Ukrainian side FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the winter.

• Helton and Porto team-mate Sereno celebrate their birthdays on the day of the final, turning 33 and 26 respectively.

• Having played all 1,260 minutes of Porto's campaign since the start of the group stage, Helton is the only player to have featured in every minute of this season's UEFA Europa League. Team-mates João Moutinho and Hulk have also featured in all of the games.

• Artur and Sílvio have not missed a minute of Braga's campaign since they switched to the UEFA Europa League, with Mossoró, Leandro Salino, Alan, Hugo Viana and Lima also featuring in each fixture.

• Alan and Lima also appeared in all six of Braga's UEFA Champions League group stage outings.

• Alan won two league titles and a Portuguese Cup as a Porto player between 2005 and 2007, joining Braga in 2008 after a year on loan at Vitória SC.

• Former Porto youth product Hélder Barbosa played five league games for the Dragons, then was loaned out for several years before joining Braga in 2010.

• Porto's Andre Villas-Boas will be 33 years and 213 days old on the day of the final and, should his side prevail, would become the youngest coach to win a UEFA club competition.

• Having wrapped up the Liga title on 3 April, Villas-Boas could emulate José Mourinho's 2003 achievement and end the season with a treble. Porto contest the Portuguese Cup final on 22 May.

• Braga coach Domingos Paciência was a prolific striker at Porto, whom he represented from 1987-97 and again from 1999-2001. He was the Liga's top scorer with Porto in 1995/96, registering 25 times, and coached Porto's B team in 2004/05.

• If Braga are victorious Paciência will become the first coach to defeat a side he represented as a player in a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League final.

• Three coaches have beaten sides they had previously coached in UEFA Cup finals:
Luigi Simoni (1997/98: FC Internazionale Milano 3-0 S.S. Lazio)
Juande Ramos (2006/07: Sevilla FC 2-2 RCD Espanyol aet, Sevilla won 3-1 on pens)
Dick Advocaat (2007/08: FC Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 Rangers FC)

• Two other UEFA Cup-winning coaches subsequently had spells in charge of the teams they defeated in the final:
Friedel Rausch (1979/80: VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-2 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt, Eintracht won on away goals)
Bert van Maarwijk (2001/02: Feyenoord 3-2 Borussia Dortmund)

Penalty shoot-outs
• Porto have been involved in three penalty shoot-outs in UEFA competition:
2004 European/South American Cup final: Porto 8-7 CD Once Caldas, after 0-0 draw
2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16: Porto 1-4 FC Schalke 04, after 1-1 aggregate draw
1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals: Porto 3-5 UC Sampdoria, after 1-1 aggregate draw

• Braga have never been involved in a European penalty shoot-out.

• Five UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League finals have gone to penalties:
1983/84: Tottenham Hotspur FC 2-2 RSC Anderlecht (agg; 4-3 penalties)
1987/88: Bayer 04 Leverkusen 3-3 RCD Espanyol (agg; 3-2 penalties)
1996/97: FC Schalke 04 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano (agg; 4-1 penalties)
1999/2000: Galatasaray AŞ 0-0 Arsenal FC (4-1 penalties)
2006/07: Sevilla FC 2-2 RCD Espanyol (3-1 penalties)

• In addition four finals have been settled by extra time, most recently Club Atlético de Madrid's 2-1 victory against Fulham FC last season.

Weekend results
CS Marítimo 0-2 Porto
(Silvestre Varela 21, Walter 32)
• Success in Saturday's final league game of the season enabled Porto to become only the second team to finish a Portuguese league season unbeaten, matching Benfica's 1972/73 achievement. With 27 wins in 30 league games, André Villas-Boas's side also wound up with a record winning margin of 21 points over second-placed Benfica.

Braga 0-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
(Yannick Djaló 5)
• A last-day defeat meant the Arsenalistas slipped to fourth in the final rankings, a position which guarantees them a place in qualifying for next season's UEFA Europa League. If they defeat Porto in Dublin, Braga would go straight into the group stage.