Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, the Italian coach of Rome, never lost any European final, in contrast to Seville, who achieved the full mark by winning the 6 finals he reached in the European League. So, tonight’s final in Budapest will witness the abdication of one of the two sides.
Mourinho has in his coffers 5 major continental titles, with two titles in the European Champions League, and others in the Europa League, and last year he won the first title in the third continental championship in terms of importance, which is the European Conference League with the Italian capital club.
The 60-year-old coach announced himself on the big stage in 2003, when he led Porto to win the UEFA Cup (the name of the tournament before it turned into the European League), and the following year he achieved the Champions League with the same team.
The Italian Inter became European champions under his leadership for the first time in 45 years in the year 2010, and he celebrated his fourth continental cup during his leadership of Manchester United in 2017 when he won the European League.
And if Rome lifts the cup in Hungary, Mourinho will equal the number of Italian coach Giovanni Trapattoni, who also won five major European titles in his coaching career.
European league leader
In order to achieve his goal, Mourinho must surpass Seville, the second “leader” in European competitions, with 6 titles, which is twice what the Italians Inter and Juventus, the English Liverpool and the Spanish Atletico Madrid achieved.
The Andalusian team won the title in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020.
Seville is in 11th place in the La Liga table, but its performance in the European League was exceptional, as it managed to eliminate Manchester United from the quarter-finals, before beating Juventus in the semi-finals.
It will be a great end to the season for the club, which includes Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bono and compatriot striker Youssef En-Nesiri. The Andalusian team flirted with the relegation zone for most of the season, sacking two coaches, Julen Lopetegui and then Argentine Jorge Sampaoli, before Jose Luis Mendelibar returned the ship to its steady course.
Veteran full-back and captain Jesus Navas aspires to win the European League title for the fourth time, just two months after Mendelibar took over.