Five Facts: The need-to-know Europa League final stats ahead of Sevilla vs Inter


It's taken more than 12 months to get to this point but we finally have a Europa League final for the 2019/20 campaign. Hosted in Germany, Europa League specialists Sevilla are bidding to win the competition for the fourth time in seven years but standing in their way is 2010 Champions League winners Inter.


Here, we look at five facts worth noting ahead of Friday night's showdown in Cologne.


Sevilla love the Europa League


By now Sevilla's love affair in Europe should be common knowledge. Sevilla and the Europa League has become a perfect marriage. The Spanish side are the most successful club in UEFA Cup/Europa League history, making the final on six occasions and winning the competition five times. Sevilla have won their last five European finals and victory on Friday will equal the record, currently held by Liverpool and Real Madrid, for the most consecutive final wins in UEFA competition. Since Inter won the Champions League 10 years ago, they have only qualified for one more European campaign (4) than Sevilla have won the Europa League (3).


Romelu Lukaku's remarkable goalscoring streak


Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last 10 matches in the Europa League, a run that remarkably stretches back to November 2014 with Everton. The Belgium international heads into Friday's Europa League final just two goals behind competition's top scorer Bruno Fernandes despite only managing five appearances since dropping into the competition from the knockout stage onwards. Moreover, Lukaku needs only one more goal to match Ronaldo's record tally of 34 in a debut campaign for Inter.


Inter's final appearance breaks bizarre Italian exodus in Europe


After thumping Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the last four, Inter have become the first Italian side to progress to a UEFA Cup/Europa League final this millennium. It's fair to say this is not a competition Serie A sides have excelled in nor taken seriously for the past 20 years but is all the more bizarre when you consider in the 11 years prior to 2000, 10 of the 11 finals of the UEFA Cup involved Italian teams. Inter were involved in four of those 11 finals, winning it three times, but not since Parma in 1999 has an Italian side got this far in the competition.


Five Facts: The need-to-know Europa League final stats ahead of Sevilla vs Inter


Jesus Navas has Europa League record in sight


Jesus Navas isn't look upon too fondly in England for his underwhelming four-year stint at Manchester City but he is a bona fide legend at Sevilla. The 34-year-old is Sevilla's record appearance maker in its 130-year history and the club named its training ground after him in 2018. Winning Friday's final would take his major honours for the club to seven and outright as the most decorated player in Sevilla's history. Not only would he be a record-breaker for Sevilla but also in the history of the competition, having first triumphed in UEFA's second-tier competition back in 2006/07. The current record for longest time between final wins is held by Ray Clemence, who lifted the trophy with Tottenham in1984, 11 years on from his first victory with Liverpool.


Europa League Final trivia


Friday's match-up between Sevilla and Inter is the 11th Europa League final since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup in 2009. In that time there has never been a sending off or an own goal scored. The last red card shown was back in 2007 when Espanyol's Moises Hurtado was sent off against, ironically, Sevilla in the UEFA Cup final, while no own goal has been scored since Alaves' Delfi Geli put past his own goalkeeper in their 5-4 final defeat to Liverpool in 2001. Moreover, there have only been two penalites awarded in the last 11 finals, though Eden Hazard converted a spot-kick in Chelsea's 4-1 win over Arsenal last year. Only one Europa League final has been decided by a penalty shoot-out, with Sevilla defeating Benfica back in 2014.

Five Facts: The need-to-know Europa League final stats ahead of Sevilla vs Inter