Another glorious weekend of football came to an end across Europe with Manchester United delaying Leicester’s title party and Dortmund piling on the pressure on Bayern in Germany. The top three in Spain continued their quest for the La Liga with victories while Juventus and PSG continued their winning run after already being crowned champions of Italy and France.
All eyes now turn to the Champions League games where Real Madrid and City are tied after the stalemate in Manchester, and Bayern have a tough task on hand needing to break Atletico’s rigid defence. Jurgen Klopp put out a second string side in the league with Liverpool needing to overturn a one goal deficit against Villareal in the Europa semis. But one team that caught my attention are Spain’s Sevilla. The Los Rojiblancos needed a late penalty from Gimenez to tie the scores, but they welcome Shahktar with the comfort of having scored two away goals.
No team has won the Europa Cup/UEFA Cup three times in a row and Spain’s oldest team have a golden chance to create history. This feat has been achieved only twice in the Champions League/European Cup. Real Madrid, led by the legendary Di Stefano and Puskas, dominated the continent with five successive triumphs in the late 50s while Bayern won three in a row in the 70s under Beckenbauer, and if Sevilla manage to go all the way this year, they will be joining a very elite club.
It may be said that winning a cup competition on the bounce is easier than winning the league but if a team has built a strong squad, it is possible to be dominant in a country for over a period of time. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all done the league hat trick in England, probably the toughest league in the world. Juventus just clinched their fifth consecutive Serie A title. However, in a knockout competition, there are too many variables; a chance of having an off day is much higher. No team has won the FA Cup, the oldest cup competition in football, three times in succession. No team, not even the mighty Brazil during their golden era, could do a World Cup hat-trick.
It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Sevilla this season. They were in the Champions League courtesy of their Europa triumph last season and finished third in the group of death behind Manchester City and Juventus. A nail-biting shootout against Bilbao followed by a tricky trip to Ukraine. If Sevilla do manage to lift the trophy in Basel in a couple of weeks, then it’ll be a trophy well deserved and will find themselves in very elite company.