Sevilla were in their third successive final whereas Liverpool had not appeared in a European showpiece for nine years – yet there was little sign of nerves from the English newcomers. Emre Can forced the first save of the evening from David Soria before ten minutes had been played, then Daniel Carriço acrobatically cleared a Daniel Sturridge header off the line.
Sevilla's sustained success over the past 11 years has been nothing short of remarkable, but the fact they have done it amid constant rebirth makes it doubly so. Sergio Ramos, Jesús Navas, Dani Alves, Adriano, Ivan Rakitić, Júlio Baptista, Carlos Bacca – all have been snapped up by wealthier clubs but, like the salamander, Sevilla have the ability to regenerate limbs and come back stronger. Sporting director Monchi says Unai Emery is the "victim" of this model; as he equals Giovanni Trapattoni's record for wins in this competition, he does not appear to be complaining.
Eight of the last 13 teams to lift this trophy have been from the Liga and tonight's triumph was the tenth in all, meaning Spain surpass Italy as the leading nation in the competition's history. It is a similar story in the European Cup, where Real Madrid and Atlético will vie in ten days' time to become the fifth Spanish winner in eight season. As Klopp points out, these eras of hegemony are always cyclical, but how long can Spain's supremacy continue? It does not look like it is on the wane just yet.