Madrid, May 11: The all-Spanish UEFA Cup final between holders Sevilla and Espanyol will be redolent with history for two sides shooting a glance back to the 1980s as they attempt to lift the trophy in Glasgow on Wednesday.

For Sevilla the match at Hampden Park will give them the chance to become the first side since Real Madrid, winners in 1985 and 1986 to make a successful defence of their UEFA Cup crown and could also set them on the way for a memorable domestic and European treble.


The Andalucians have already clinched a place in the final of the King's Cup and are only four points behind leaders Barcelona in the league with five games to play.

"Last year there were people who said we were lucky to have made the final and that it was a miracle that we won the UEFA Cup, but no one can say that now," said Juande Ramos whose side beat fellow Spaniards Osasuna in the semi-finals.

"We are very proud of what we are doing, not even the most optimistic fan could have thought that we'd be in the final of the UEFA Cup, the King's Cup and be in with a strong chance of making the Champions League."

For Barcelona-based side Espanyol it will give them the chance to erase one of the most painful memories in their 107-year history when they squandered a 3-0 first-leg lead in the 1988 final against Bayer Leverkusen only to end up losing on penalties to the Germans after crashing to a 3-0 defeat in the second leg.

Present coach Ernesto Valverde, then a speedy winger for Espanyol, played in the first leg of the final, setting up his side's third goal to seemingly leave them on the brink of a debut European trophy.

He was left on the bench for the second leg, but broke time-honoured footballing superstition by daring to touch the trophy before kickoff.

Bureau Report