Well over a decade ago now, Sevilla began what turned out to be one of European football’s greatest dynasties.
At the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven, the Spanish side tore through Middlesbrough 4-0 on their way to their first of five Europa League crowns since that day – and we want to catch up with the men who kicked off this run.
They weren’t the most fancied side and they didn’t even have that much of a legacy prior to the tournament, and yet they came away from it with a new purpose. Unbeknownst to most of us, it turns out that their purpose was to transform Europe’s secondary cup competition into the Sevilla show for the next 10 years.
Some of the players on this list will ring a bell, meanwhile others will provide you all with a fantastic pub quiz question in the weeks and months to come. Either way they all played a big part in creating something special, and for that they’ll likely be immortalised within the Spanish city.
Or, you know, they’ll have free beers for life. Same thing really.
GK – Andres Palop
Following eight long and fruitful years in Sevilla, Andres moved on to Leverkusen before retiring in 2014. He can still be proud of lifting that gorgeous trophy, though.
Image Source: Twitter
RB – Dani Alves
You may love him or you may hate him, mainly because he looks like a supervillain, but Dani Alves continues to thrive at the highest level following a successful stint with Barcelona. He’s currently gearing up for the Champions League Final with Juventus – what a journey. Image Source: Twitter
CB – Javi Navarro
Captain marvel himself Javi Navarro was Sevilla through and through, hanging his boots up just three years after this triumph. Image Source: Twitter
CB – Julien Escude
Aside from having one of the coolest names known to man, Julien Escude was also a capable centre-back who moved to Besiktas for two years prior to riding off into the sunset. Image Source: Twitter
LB – David Castedo
Castedo didn’t stick around for all too long following his exploits in Eindhoven, leaving Sevilla in 2007 before retiring with Levante. Image Source: Twitter
RM – Jesus Navas
The prodigal son Jesus Navas spent another seven years in Seville before moving on to greener pastures with Manchester City, however reports are suggesting that he could be on the verge of a return to his homeland. Source: Twitter
CM – Jose Luis Marti
Jose Luis Marti clearly preferred the benefits of playing near holiday resorts, going to Mallorca for seven years before retiring. Nowadays, he’s manager of CD Tenerife – yup, definitely loves a good Thomas Cook getaway.
Image Source: Twitter
CM – Enzo Maresca
Good old Enzo became a bit of a journeyman after leaving in 2009, taking his talents to Olympiacos, Malaga, Sampdoria, Palermo and Verona before calling it a day back in February. Image Source: Twitter
LM – Adriano
Adriano likely lived out his dreams by making the switch to Barcelona in 2010, but he’s over in good old Turkey now with Besiktas. Fun fact, he’s also ambidextrous. Image Source: Twitter
CF – Luis Fabiano
One half of the lethal duo that started this game, Luis Fabiano is back in his home nation playing for Vasco de Gama at the ripe old age of 36. What a player. Image Source: Twitter
CF – Javier Saviola
Javier Saviola is a legend of the game and that’s just a fact. The Argentine, who was on loan, seemingly has a psychological connection with Maresca as he also played for Malaga, Olympiacos and Verona. Nowadays he’s the assistant manager at FC Ordino in Andorra, because why not. Image Source: Twitter
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Whether or not they ever ascend to the heights of winning the Champions League is irrelevant at this stage, because Sevilla have done something that any other teams could only dream of doing. Accumulating the amount of trophies in this competition that they have is a remarkable achievement, and the likelihood of it being matched anytime soon is quite slim.
Manchester United, you’re up.