Inter v Sevilla: Who should you root for tonight

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Five-time UEFA Europa League/UEFA Cup-winners Sevilla take on three-time champions in Friday’s decider at Stadion Köln: who will you be supporting?

Club colours
Sevilla: White and red
Inter: Blue and black

Why will they win?
Sevilla: Because Sevilla always win the Europa League – it’s just what they do. Their experience, nous and know-how in this competition is second to none. They have reached a sixth final this season, having won all of their previous five.

Inter: Because I have rarely seen such a united group; the team comes first for every single Inter player in Antonio Conte’s team. Everyone is pushing in the same direction, and seem to be reaching a peak as they head for the final.

Key man
Sevilla: Éver Banega – The Argentinian playmaker is a joy to watch. He pulls the strings from midfield for Julen Lopetegui’s side and may have extra motivation in Cologne, having spent the 2016/17 season with Inter after wining the UEFA Europa League in the previous two campaigns with Sevilla.

Inter: Romelu Lukaku – Always ready to put in an extra run, and quick with a word of support (in fluent Italian), the Belgian’s first season at San Siro has been phenomenal. A good omen: in his first Inter season, Ronaldo scored 34 goals and won the 1997/98 UEFA Cup; Lukaku’s goal tally going into the Europa League final: 33.

What is their pedigree?
Sevilla: One of Spain’s oldest clubs (their first president was Scottish), Sevilla have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League five times since 2006, in addition to five editions of the Copa del Rey over the years. Notable ex-Sevilla stars include Diegos Maradona and Simeone as well as Sergio Ramos and Dani Alves.

Inter: Helenio Herrera’s ‘Grande Inter’ won the European Cup twice in the 1960s, while the ‘German Inter’ of Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthäus and Jürgen Klinsmann won the first of their three UEFA Cups during the 1990s. UEFA Champions League success under Josè Mourinho completed a 2009/10 treble.

Ones to watch
Sevilla: Signed from Bordeaux last summer, 21-year-old centre half Jules Koundé plays with a maturity beyond his years, while hometown hero Jesús Navas has reinvented himself as an attacking right-back after coming through as a winger.

Inter: Lautaro Martínez’s goalscoring is not to be underestimated, but keep an eye out for Nicolò Barella – a new arrival from Cagliari. “He is everywhere,” Lukaku said of the 23-year-old midfielder after the quarter-final win against Leverkusen.

The coaches
Inter: Antonio Conte won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League as a Juventus player, and steered the club to three Italian titles as a coach. Italy boss from 2014 to 2016, he won the Premier League as Chelsea manager, and took charge at Inter in 2019.

Sevilla: Julen Lopetegui has been in charge at Sevilla since 2019, having spent the whole of his playing career (and the bulk of his coaching career) in Spain. Porto coach between 2014 and 16, he was in charge of Spain’s national team from 2016 to 2018.

The big song
Sevilla: The famous Sevilla anthem is blasted out by fans every matchday
Y es por eso que hoy vengo a verte (And that’s why I’ve come to watch you today)
Sevillista seré hasta la muerte (I’ll be a Sevillista until I die)
La Giralda presume orgullosa (The Giralda – the bell tower of Seville Cathedral – looks proudly)
De ver al Sevilla en el Sánchez Pizjuán (On Sevilla in the Sánchez Pizjuán)
Y Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla (And Sevilla, Sevilla, Sevilla)
Aquí estamos contigo Sevilla (Here we are with you Sevilla)
Compartiendo la gloria en tu escudo (Sharing the glory in your badge)
Orgullo del fútbol de nuestra ciudad (The footballing pride of our city)

Inter: The big Inter chant derives from song used in a 1970s cartoon: Daytan 3.
Ovunque noi saremo (Wherever we will be)
Sempre ti sosterremo (We will always support you)
E non ti lasceremo mai (And we will never leave you)
Forza Inter dai (Come on Inter)

What do you need to eat to fit in?
Sevilla: ‘Pipas’ (sunflower seed) are the go-to snack for football fans of all ages

Inter: A ‘panino con salamella’ (a grilled sausage, often with onions and peppers) is a must at San Siro.


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