Sevilla's 1,106 days of being the Europa League holders are about to come to an end
When one of Manchester United or Ajax lift the Europa League trophy in Stockholm, they will bring to an end Sevilla’s three-year hold on the cup.
The Spanish team were champions in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and the end of that domination came, somewhat ironically, because they played too well, progressing to the second round of the Champions League, therefore bypassing Europe’s secondary cup competition.
2013/14: Benfica 0-0 Sevilla (Sevilla win 4-2 on penalties)
The first of Sevilla’s three consecutive titles was won the hard way, on penalties, with a team that included Barcelona-bound Ivan Rakitic and former Arsenal Invincible Jose Antonio Reyes.
Their time as champions began that day: May 14 2014.
2014/15: Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 2-3 Sevilla
Sevilla successfully defended their title against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk with a thrilling 3-2 win, a brace from Carlos Bacca sealing the title again, after going behind just seven minutes in.
2015/16: Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla
And the third and last of the consecutive titles came against Liverpool in another entertaining game.
The five-time European champions went ahead thanks to a glorious Daniel Sturridge finish, but Kevin Gameiro scored the equaliser for Sevilla immediately after half-time, and a quick brace from Coke ensured title number three.
There’ll be no European trophy of any sort for Sevilla this season, after Leicester City surprisingly knocked them out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage.
Someone alert the trophy engraver: you’ll be carving someone else’s name into the cup this year.