Sevilla's Europa title extends Spain's winning run

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm •  Published: May 14, 2014
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TURIN, Italy (AP) — Spanish football wins. Again.

Sevilla added another title to the top-ranked country's recent roll of international honors Wednesday, beating Portugal's champion Benfica in a penalty shootout after the Europa League final finished 0-0 after extra time.

Since 2006, Sevilla has won this competition three times, Barcelona has won three Champions League titles and Spain has taken home three straight major tournament trophies.

Though Sevilla did not play with the precision passing made famous by the national team or Barcelona, its technique in taking and saving penalties was outstanding. Just as Spain's was when it ousted Portugal in a shootout in the Euro 2012 semifinals.

Victory here ensured Spain will sweep the season-ending European club titles on May 24 when Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid play in the Champions League final.

Of course, next season's curtain-raising UEFA Super Cup in August will now also be all-Spanish clash featuring the two club competition winners.

Before then, the biggest prize of all could return to Spain.

Spain will kick off its World Cup title defense in Brazil next month and seek to be the first back-to-back winner since Brazil in 1962. That would also set a record of four consecutive top-level tournament triumphs following the dominant Euro 2008 and 2012 teams.

Such is Spain's strength that it found space for only one Sevilla player — defender Alberto Moreno — in the 30-man provisional World Cup squad announced Tuesday.