At the end of the longest season there has ever been, with 2019-20 still going on when others were starting 2020-21, Sevilla FC manager Julen Lopetegui broke down and the tears flowed. And don’t think for a moment that he was the only one. Sevilla, somehow, had gone and done it again — just as they always do. The UEFA Cup, the Europa League, call it what you like, it’s theirs. A dramatic 3-2 win over Internazionale means Sevilla have never lost a final; they have never even reached the quarters and not won it. The Sevilla Cup — that’s better — came home. “No one wants it like we do,” the message said in the dressing room, and so it was.
For the sixth time — almost a third of all those played this century — Sevilla won it. They won it in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020. Six adorned the T-shirts they had made. On them were the late Antonio Puerta, winner in 2006 and 2007, scorer of the late, late goal that saw them through in his second season. And the late Jose Antonio Reyes, the man who has won this competition more times than anyone else, the kid who cried when he first left Sevilla and who came back again years later. Just in case anyone doubted what this meant.
Jesus Navas says Sevilla’s Europa League title win is in memory of the club’s former stars Jose Antonio Reyes and Antonio Puerta as the La Liga side win the competition for the sixth time against Inter in a 3-2 victory.