There is more to winning the Euorpa Cup title tonight for Liverpool and Sevilla as both teams meet in the final of the Europa League which will take place in Basel.
First, both teams did not qualify for the champions league as Liverpool finished eight in the English Premier League, while Sevilla finished seventh in the Spanish League. There would be greater joy for both clubs in winning the title for qualification to the champions league, than barely winning it for title sake.
For Liverpool, winning the title will give Klopp an opportunity to go and get the type of players needed to build the five-time European champions into the standard which befits their status in Europe.
Winning the title for Sevilla on the other hand is a different story entirely, they would be setting a record of becoming the first club to win three consecutive Europa league title, and also winning five Europa league titles in ten years added to the fact that they have already qualified to the champions league with the win.
The stake seems higher for Liverpool than Sevilla, as Sevilla have already qualified for the Europa league title courtesy of their domestic performance. In fact, even if Sevilla did not qualify through domestic league, they will still have an opportunity to qualify for the Europa League by the time they meet Barcelona in the Copa del Rey Final.
Domestic performance for Liverpool did not favour them, hence outright win tonight is key to the club, otherwise they will not take part in any European tournament next season.
Both teams will interestingly have an opportunity to increase their nation’s representation in the champions league next season, while Liverpool may increase England’s representation to five Sevilla have the opportunity to increase Spain’s representation to six, but that will also be dependent on UEFA’s position on rewarding nations that have performed exceedingly well in tournaments.