On the verge of a potential Clasico-club thwarting La Liga/Champions League double Diego Simeone’s fantastic work at Atletico Madrid has finally begun to gain worldwide recognition.
However, before the right to be regarded as European champions is rewarded, there is the small matter of the Europa League final in Turin.
Sevilla’s place in the aforementioned showpiece owes a great deal to Unai Emery, a coach whose achievements this term have been every bit as impressive as Simeone’s.
Emery’s men have been price boosted from 21/10 to 23/10 in their quest to win the competition for the third time in nine years.
The loss of €60m , 28-goal hitman Radamel Falcao to Monaco in pre-season was undoubtedly a big blow for Atletico boss Simeone.
Yet the Colombian’s departure was a relatively soft strike in comparison to the sustained barrage of enforced sales inflicted upon his Sevilla counterpart.
Continued financial problems at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan meant Emery’s squad was raided to the tune of no less than €81.2m-worth of talent before the first transfer window of 2013/14 slammed shut.
Alvaro Negredo, Jesus Navas, Antonio Luna, Luis Alberto, Gary Medel and Jose Campana all swapped Spain for the Premier League, while Geoffrey Kondogbia joined Monaco.
Simeone was able to reinvest in excess of €29m of the money received for Falcao on five new signings, yet of those only David Villa has featured regularly.
Kevin Gameiro and Carlos Bacca have had a far greater effect since joining Emery, bagging 29 goals between them.
Fancied by some judges as a shrewd outside bet for relegation at the start of the campaign as a result of their summer plundering, Sevilla have instead played themselves into qualification for next year’s Europa League and the final of this season’s competition.
A scintillating burst of 13 wins in 16 matches across a two-month spell from the end of February has propelled Los Palanganas into fifth-spot in La Liga and on to a potential cup win which would cap a phenomenal campaign for their underrated manager.