Italian teams in 3 European finals: Inter vs Man City in Champions League, Roma vs Sevilla in Europa League, Fiorentina vs West Ham in Conference Lg.
|Jose Mourinho rolled back the years to dump Bayer Leverkusen out of the Europa League and booked a place in the final against Sevilla. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
The dust has settled on the rest of European conversations until the respective European finals take centre stage next month, but tribute must go the way of certain people who deserve it.
Beyond the heroics of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City that saw them overcome the reigning Champions League kings Real Madrid, away from the fairytale run of Inter Milan that saw them hit the Istanbul final, there’s also a place of celebration for other teams in the finals of other European contests.
The Italian Serie A has a team in every European finals, and that means a lot to a much-beleaguered league.
From the crisis of corruption that hit Juventus to the scandals around bribery, match-fixing, and financial doping, the league is rising through it all, and they deserve respect.
AS Roma, under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho, are in the Europa League final, where they will entertain Sevilla.
Roma overcame Xabi Alonso’s Bayern Leverkusen over two legs, but the second leg was a prime example of Mourinho’s famous "haram ball".
Zero shot on goal, zero effort to do anything up-field, but all energy on protecting the goal and going long whenever there’s a chance to.
They will face a team that knows exactly how to win the Europa Cup, but they will be doing that with another man who knows how to win a final.
Fiorentina, another Italian side, made it to the final of the Europa League after beating Basel away on Thursday.
Fiorentina had lost the first leg in Italy but rallied with a 3-1 win after extra time to book a date with West Ham in the final.
Eighth on the log in their domestic league and with no hope of making Europe, Vincenzo Italiano’s side can fly straight into the Europa League with a win over West Ham United at the Fortuna Arena on the 7th of June.
For West Ham and David Moyes, what a run they’re having in Europe!
Despite surviving relegation on the domestic front by the skin of their teeth, the Hammers have shone brightly in the Conference League and could well go all the way to land their first title of the modern era.
What will become of the likes of Declan Rice and Lucas Paqueta in the transfer window is left to be seen in the summer, but right in front of them is a cup final that could lead the club to the Europa League next season and would erase all the groans of their better-forgotten league season.
The stage is set across all European Finals.
Manchester City will square off against Inter Milan in the Champions League final on June 10 in Istanbul.
Roma will negotiate with Sevilla for the right to go straight into the Champions League next season, with the Europa Cup to brag about too.
And West Ham will test Fiorentina for size in the Conference League final.