Spanish supremacy evident in Sevilla win

MADRID • Sevilla's rout of Liverpool in the Europa League final is further proof of Spain's domination of the continent's football and a powerful warning to Barcelona ahead of their Kings Cup clash.

Coke's double in the 3-1 win in Basel highlighted the value of the Spanish system of turning domestic talent into title winners.

Sevilla's record of five titles in the Uefa Cup/Europa League have shown them to be masters of the art, as they bought their match winner for just €2.5 million (S$3.9 million) from Rayo Vallecano in 2011.

Their win also meant that, with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid clashing in next week's Champions League final, Spanish clubs will have won both European competitions for each of the last three seasons.

"This is our competition, but now we get to play in the Champions League," said Sevilla manager Unai Emery.


Cup final hero Coke roars as he holds aloft the Europa League trophy. The midfielder cost Sevilla just $3.9 million in 2011. PHOTO: REUTERS

Defender Timothee Kolodziejczak believes the Primera Liga side's superior technique, honed by playing in the "best league in the world", was key to their triumph.

Asked why Liverpool failed to muster a response in the second half, when Sevilla scored three unanswered goals, the Frenchman said: "We started the second half with a lot more desire.

"We knew that, technically, we were better than them, although we also stepped up our game physically."

The result again left English Premier League clubs wondering how to turn their wealth into European success.

While Spanish clubs have bought and nurtured outstanding talent from Portugal, South America and other smaller football nations, they also have a core of players, such as Coke, that have come through their own academies.

AS editor Alfredo Relano said that Sevilla have a "magnificent structure with a model sporting system and an extraordinary business plan, buying well and selling even better".

Sevilla can add to their history if they overcome Barcelona in the Kings Cup final on Sunday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline 'Spanish supremacy evident in Sevilla win'. Print Edition | Subscribe