Explore some of the key plotlines as the six-time winners take on a side led by master campaigner José Mourinho in the Europa League final in Budapest.
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Six-time winners Sevilla are up against last season's UEFA Europa Conference League winners Roma in the UEFA Europa League final.
In this piece presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, we pick out some key talking points ahead of the decider at Budapest's Púskas Aréna on 31 May.
Seven the lucky number for Sevilla
Sevilla's relationship with this competition has been an incredibly rewarding one. Since picking up the trophy for the first time in 2005/06 they have won five more editions, six in total making them by far the most successful club in the tournament's history. Crucially, they have a 100% record in finals in this competition (including two penalty shoot-out victories) – a daunting record as they head to Budapest.
However, if Sevilla's tournament pedigree is impeccable, European success would represent a remarkable outcome for their 2022/23 vintage. This season, they have flirted with relegation from the Liga and gone through three coaches, 62-year-old José Luis Mendilibar finally pulling them out of their domestic nosedive and steering them to Budapest. "In two months everything has changed and now there's euphoria about playing a final," said midfielder Fernando. All they need now is a happy ending.
Mourinho to the power of three
Mendilibar is two years older than Roma boss Mourinho but knows full well that in terms of silverware, the Spanish second-tier title he won with Valladolid hardly measures up to the Special One's career haul. "He's always the main man and winning things, while I haven't won so much," the Sevilla boss said. Crucially, Mourinho has taken his sides to five major European finals and won all of them.
He won the UEFA Champions League with Porto and Inter, and last season became the first coach to complete a full set of the current major UEFA club trophies when he steered Roma to the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League title. This season, his mission is to become the first coach to win this trophy with three clubs, having won the UEFA Cup at Porto (2002/03) and the Europa League at Man United (2016/17). "Sevilla are a very strong team and have great experience," he said as he looked ahead to the decider, knowing he has a continental pedigree few can match.
Have we met before?
Sevilla and Roma both have considerable experience in this competition; only Villarreal (88) have played more Europa League games than Sevilla (80), while the Giallorossi have appeared in 58. Perhaps surprisingly, their paths have crossed only once before, current Sevilla star Youssef En-Nesyri among the scorers as his side beat Roma 2-0 in the round of 16 (a tie played over one-leg on neutral territory in Duisburg during the COVID-disrupted 2019/20 campaign).
It was not a match that Roma attacking midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini – who has had a hand in eight goals in this season's competition – enjoyed much. "They played a great game and we didn't," he reflected at the final whistle. "They won; they deserved it, and that's it. We're very annoyed, me in particular." Could revenge be a dish best served cold?
Where is the 2023 UEFA Europa League final being played?
The 2022/23 Europa League season will conclude at Budapest's Puskás Aréna on 31 May 2023.
Officially opened in 2019, the 65,000+ capacity ground stands on the site of the old Hungarian national team stadium, which was also named in honour of former Honvéd and Real Madrid forward Ferenc Puskás. The venue is located in the Zugló district of the Hungarian capital.