Both sides will represent Spanish football in the semi-finals of European competition, the Champions League and Europa League respectively, in search of yet more European glory.
Real Madrid has won more Champions Leagues (14) than any other club in history, Sevilla FC (6) more Europa Leagues than any other club in history
There are clubs that are just built differently, and this is definitely the case with Real Madrid and Sevilla FC. When things seem to be going badly, they are reborn like a phoenix. Real Madrid may be 11 points behind FC Barcelona in LaLiga Santander, but Los Blancos are just one step away from playing in yet another Champions League final and being in contention for La Quincena, their FIFTEENTH European Cup.
Over at Sevilla FC, the team have struggled in LaLiga Santander this season and has been in and out of the relegation zone. And yet the side has really shown their mettle in European competition, knocking out Manchester United to reach a Europa League semi-final against Italian side Juventus.
The importance of the coach: Carlo Ancelotti and Jose Luis Mendilibar
Ancelotti, who is also the only coach to reach five European Cup finals, has won continental football’s most prestigious title twice with Real Madrid alone. The first was in his previous spell at the club when he won the long-awaited Decima in Lisbon in 2014; the second was just last year against Liverpool in Paris. Now the Italian coach has an eye on clinching his sixth European title and his third as Real Madrid’s coach.
Mendilibar, meanwhile, who arrived at Sevilla FC only a month ago with the team sitting in the relegation places in LaLiga Santander, has managed to lift Los Rojiblancos out of the bottom half of the table (they are now eight points clear) and get Sevilla FC into the semi-finals of the Europa League with a remarkable comeback win over Manchester United, a turnaround masterminded by a man facing up to his first-ever European campaign as a coach.
They’re both European comeback specialists
Real Madrid and Sevilla FC have a special love affair with the Champions League and Europa League, respectively. So much so that their opponents already know that taking the lead in the tie isn’t enough to beat them. Time and time again, they have overturned deficits that would be almost impossible for other sides.
Look no further than Sevilla FC this week. At one point down 2-0 in the first leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford, they dragged it back to 2-2 before trouncing the English side 3-0 at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán in midweek. It’s not an isolated incident either, with their record of comebacks going back through the years. In 2006/07, the year of their second European title win, they overcame losing positions against Shakhtar Donetsk, Tottenham Hotspur and CA Osasuna on their path to beating RCD Espanyol in the final in Glasgow.
In Real Madrid’s case, their comeback history is known and feared by clubs and fans around the world. Just last season, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City fell victim to three seemingly impossible comebacks in the knockout stages, with Los Blancos leaning on decades of experience and sentiment to reach the final in Paris, which they ultimately won against Liverpool FC.