Somebody’s got to go: Jose Mourinho and Sevilla will put their proud records on the line in the Europa League final TONIGHT, with the Roma boss unbeaten in five European finals and the Spanish side having won all six.
- Roma boss Jose Mourinho is unbeaten in his five European finals as manager
- Sevilla’s opponents boast a perfect record of six Europa League final wins
- The teams will meet at the Puskas Arena in Budapest with the story on the line
Tonight in Budapest, someone has to go.
Two decades have passed since Jose Mourinho lifted a European trophy for the first time, leading Porto to UEFA Cup glory in 2003. Now, 20 years later, the Portuguese can clinch a sixth European trophy when the Roma meets Sevilla.
Mourinho’s record in previous finals is: five games played, five wins.
The most recent came last year when Roma won the inaugural Europa League and Mourinho became the first manager to wipe the slate clean of current European competitions. To mark this slice of history, the 60-year-old got the Conference League trophy tattooed on his arm.
The problem for Roma and Mourinho is that the Europa League has long been engraved in the soul of Seville.
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Sevilla meet Roma in Budapest on Wednesday as both clubs pursue European glory
Last season’s Europa Conference League gave Jose Mourinho a fifth victory in the European final
Sevilla won a record sixth Europa League in 2020 and will aim to maintain their perfect record
The Spanish club have triumphed in this competition six times – more than anyone. And their form in the final is perfect too. Since 2006 they have played six, won six.
A new site will therefore be opened in Budapest. The one who triumphs.
Mourinho tried to ignore the weight of memory.
“I don’t think too much about what happened before,” he said. Even if the omens are there: that victory in the 2003 UEFA Cup against Celtic came in Seville.
“History does not win games,” added Mourinho. “It’s a new final. It’s a new story.
And the Roma boss can become the first manager to win this competition with three different teams after triumphs with Porto and Manchester United in 2016-17. “I really don’t care,” insisted Mourinho.
His stubborn Roma side – five clean sheets in eight knockout games – know a Champions League place awaits tonight’s winner.
Mourinho insisted history doesn’t win matches before the Europa League final
Sevilla have been transformed since the appointment of Jose Luis Mendilibar in March
Budapest’s Puskas Arena will host the first of this season’s European finals
It’s remarkable that Sevilla have come this far. They have spent most of this season fighting to stay in La Liga. They burned two managers before Jose Luis Mendilibar arrived in March.
The turnaround was stunning and now Sevilla are back in more familiar waters. United and Juventus have both been beaten en route to this final – they have only lost twice since Mendilibar took over.
They are still anchored by experienced heads like Ivan Rakitic (35) and Jesus Navas (37) and arrive in Budapest brimming with a familiar sense of fate.
“We are transforming (European nights),” Navas said. “It’s unbelievable…it’s a competition that has given us a lot and the joy it gives us every time we participate pushes us to go as far as possible.”