Introducing: FC Sevilla
This Tuesday FC Bayern contest their Champions League quarter-final first leg at Spanish club FC Sevilla. It is the first meeting between the clubs in European competition. fcbayern.com has all you need to know about FCB's upcoming opponents.
Sevilla Fútbol Club was founded in the Andalusian captain on 25 January 1890 by a group of young Brits and Spaniards. Just two months later, on 8 March, the first official football match in Spain took place between Sevilla and the oldest club in the country, Recreativo de Huelva, with the Seville club winning 2-0.
The new sport quickly gained popularity in the Iberian Peninsula at the turn of the century. Numerous new clubs were founded and the first regional and national leagues organised. Sevilla dominated the Andalusian league and were also contenders for the national title thanks to their style of play which included short passing and quick dribbling. It was the birth of what was known as the "Sevilla school of football".
The first title came in the 1930s with triumphs in the Spanish Cup (1935, 1939 and 1948) as well as their one and so far only La Liga title in 1946. However, the club's golden era in terms of trophies really came following the turn of the millennium. Back-to-back UEFA Cup triumphs in 2006 and 2007 as well as three in a row in the Europa league (2014, 2015 and 2016) thrust Sevilla into the European spotlight. Domestically, the Andalusians continued to win honours with the 2007 and 2010 Copa del Rey and the 2007 Spanish Supercup. They are in the final of the cup once again this season, where they will face Barcelona on 21 April.
Champions League record:
Sevilla are currently 62nd in the all-time record books of the Champions League. This season was only the fifth time they have competed in the competition, where they have been eliminated in the Last 16 on three occasions. Thanks to a 2-1 win at Manchester United, they have reached the last quarter-finals for the first time and now face Bayern Munich.
The Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuan is named after the most important president in the club's history. Built in 1958, it holds 42,500 spectators and is known for its remarkable atmosphere, especially before the game when the fans sing the club's anthem. The stadium was also the long-time home of the Spanish national team. German fans may remember the ground as the scene of the 1982 World Cup match between Germany and France.
Vincenzo Montella took over the team in January. The 43-year-old Italian succeeded Argentine Eduardo Berizzo following stints in his homeland with Roma, Catania, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and lately AC Milan. Following a tough start, the former Italy international has Sevilla back to winning ways, reaching the Champions League quarter-final and the final of the Copa del Rey.
The most important player in the Sevilla squad is without doubt the Argentine Ever Banega. The 29-year-old midfielder controls the team's game, providing rhythm and balance. The Argentina international, who returned to the club following a brief spell with Inter Milan, is however suspended for Bayern's visit. Steven Nzonzi and Franco Vazquez have also shone in midfield, while Frenchman Wissem Ben Yedder is currently the Champions League's second top scorer this season (8 goals). Jesus Navas, who has played over 400 games for the club, and centre-back Clement Lenglet are also key performers.
Sevilla's season has been rather up and down. Montella's side have often lacked consistency and are currently sixth in the league after 30 games. The gap to fourth and the Champions League is 13 points. However, the Andalusians have impressed in cup competitions. They have reached the final of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona and are in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history.