The 5 best Europa League/UEFA Cup Finals of the modern era

Featuring Henrik Larsson, original Ronaldo and THAT Liverpool final

Lucky Liverpool What's your favourite UEFA Cup final? Image Getty

Liverpool takes on Sevilla in the final of the Europa League with the Spaniards looking to maintain their vice-like grip on the trophy and earn a place in next season’s Champions League in the process.

The Andalusians are the most success club in the history of the competition with four Europa League titles to their name but the Reds can draw level with their opponents provided they win in Switzerland.

Ahead of what promises to be a memorable encounter for all involved, Loaded is looking back at five UEFA Cup/Europa League finals that were memorable for a number of reasons.

5

Lazio vs Inter Milan – 1998

The culmination of Ronaldo’s one standout season with Inter Milan came in the UEFA Cup, where the Brazilian put in a Man of the Match performance to help the Nerazzurri brush Serie A rivals Lazio aside 3-0 at the Parc des Princes.

Ronaldo scored his 34th goal of the season to complete the victory and collect what would ultimately prove to be his one and only piece of silverware with Inter. He would return to France and Paris later that same summer in very different circumstances with Brazil…

4

Dnipro vs Sevilla – 2015

A recent addition to the canon, last season’s clash between Europa League regulars Sevilla and Ukrainian outsiders Dnipro proved to be a game to remember.

Dnipro took the early initiative with a goal through former Blackburn misfit Nikola Kalinic before Sevilla hit back with two goals in three minutes. Captain Ruslan Rotan levelled things up again before a defensive error saw Carlos Bacca bag a second goal and what proved to be the winner.

3

Feyenoord vs Borussia Dortmund – 2002

Pierre van Hooijdonk’s name may still be mud among Nottingham Forest fans but to Feyenoord supporters, he will always be a hero after bagging a brace in this memorable UEFA Cup final .

Jurgen Kohler, who was playing his last professional game for Dortmund, was dismissed after just half-an-hour with Van Hooijdonk converting the resulting penalty and a fine free kick before half time. 

Dortmund pulled one back through Marcio Amoruso before John Dahl Tomasson restored the two-goal advantage. A superb strike from Jan Koller reduced the arrears but the Dutch side ultimately held on to win 3-2.

2

Celtic vs Porto – 2003

Martin O’Neill Celtic side put in a spirited performance against a Porto team that would go on to enjoy Champions League success next season under then-manager Jose Mourinho.

Led by the goals of Henrik Larsson, who bagged two in this final, Celtic twice came from a goal behind against a cynical Mourinho side before eventually succumbing to an extra time winner from Brazilian striker Derlei – his second goal of the game.

1

Liverpool v Deportivo Alaves – 2001

The mother of all UEFA Cup finals, Liverpool faced off against Spanish minnows Deportivo Alaves in arguably the most bonkers final ever witnessed in European football with the Reds running out 5-4 winners after extra time.

Steven Gerrard, Gary McAllister and Robbie Fowler were among the five different goalscorers for the Merseysiders with Alaves fighting back from 3-1 down and 4-3 down to take the game to extra time.

Alaves goalscorers included former Manchester United misfit Jordi Cruyff and future Bolton flop Javi Moreno but, in a cruel twist, it was their teammate, Delfi Geli, who got Liverpool’s winner after heading the ball into his own net.

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Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.

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