The Spanish football club Sevilla had a normal season with an ordinary ending. After a season in which they lost their coach and barely avoided relegation from the Spanish league, Sevilla won the Europa League again on Thursday. The club’s record-setting seven titles in Europe’s second-tier competition were swiftly forgotten as the team won the Europa League final on penalties against Roma on Wednesday in Budapest.
The Spanish team, which has been dominant in this competition in previous years, turned what seemed like an unremarkable season into a victory. Within the recent decade, it has released five titles (in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020–2023). This season, Sevilla advanced to the final four after eliminating two European powerhouses, Manchester United and Juventus. Earlier in the tournament, it had beaten Fenerbahce and PSV Eindhoven.
After a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, the club prevailed 4-1 in a penalty shootout against Roma, coached by José Mourinho.
The decision in March to replace Jorge Sampaoli with José Luis Mendilibar was a turning point in Sevilla’s season. The team has only won twice in eight games across all competitions before Mendilibar’s arrival. Since he took control, Sevilla has only dropped four of sixteen games. “I’m happy to be here,” Mendilibar added, “to have won for the club, which was having a hard time when we got here.” As the saying goes, “We have done something good that can have repercussions for the good of the club.”
The coach, who had spent most of his career at Eibar, was brought in on a contract that would expire at the end of the season but was widely expected to remain with Sevilla. Sevilla defender Jess Navas is the only member of the current squad to have been at the club when it won the Europa League in 2006. “He transformed us,” Navas remarked. He coaxed our best efforts, and the outcome is clear for all to see. He has had a long and fruitful career with this organization.
After an unprecedentedly bad start to the season, Sampaoli replaced Julen Lopetegui as head coach. Over the past three seasons, Sevilla had placed fourth in the league, behind only Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid. Although it won the Europa League this season, it is still in 11th place heading into Sunday’s season finale away at Real Sociedad. In 2018, Sevilla made it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Since then, they have just once made it out of the group stage. Despite having to compete in the Europa League, Sevilla has won yet another European championship and will be parading with its fans on Thursday to celebrate.
News on SNBC13.com