"We are like a family," said Daniel Carriço of the spirit that has taken Sevilla FC to a second final in a row, coach Unai Emery urging his side to "go and win this one as well".
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Sevilla FC defender Daniel Carriço believes unity is what has taken the holders to another UEFA Europa League final. "We are like a family," the Portuguese centre-back told UEFA.com after the 2-0 win at ACF Fiorentina in the return leg of the semi-finals.
After winning the home leg 3-0, Sevilla effectively killed off the tie inside 27 minutes at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Carriço scoring from close range a few minutes after Carlos Bacca's opener. "It's incredible what we have been doing in the last two seasons," said the Portuguese defender, who was part of the Sevilla side that beat SL Benfica on penalties in last season's decider. "We have reached the final of a very big competition for two years in a row. We wanted to make this gift to our fans who are always behind us, so we are very happy."
The competition is certainly a special one for Sevilla, who will have the opportunity to become the first team to lift the trophy four times when they face FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Warsaw on 27 May. Former Sporting Clube de Portugal player Carriço has his own unique place in the UEFA Europa League too – he has played a record 47 games in the competition (group stage to final) since it evolved from the old UEFA Cup.
However, the 26-year-old is happy to be seen as a cog in a bigger machine at Sevilla. "The strength of this team is that we are a unit – we are like a family," he explained. "The solidarity we have between us is incredible. That is the main reason behind our success. We want to keep our ambitions high – we want to win the final.
"We will analyse Dnipro in the days to come," he continued. "They are certainly a strong side as they have defeated significant teams like Napoli."
Coach Unai Emery, meanwhile, was quick to fend off suggestions that his side would be clear favourites in Warsaw. "It will be 50-50 against Dnipro," he told UEFA.com. "They reached the final by beating a strong side like Napoli, and a final is a final – both teams can win."
However, the performance against Fiorentina must have augured well for Emery. "We were up against a very good side but had the better of it, and showed that we can dig in when we have to, and play well both at home and away. We never gave up for the whole 180 minutes. The 5-0 aggregate scoreline is big, but it says a lot about how we played."
Another performance of the same magnitude might be enough to put Sevilla into the history books. "We can become the first team to win this competition four times," said Emery, who is aiming to win back-to-back titles, just like predecessor Juande Ramos did in 2006 and 2007. "The Europa League has given much to me and to Sevilla. We won the title last season, so let's go and win this one as well. it would be huge for all Sevillistas."