Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers inspired by Sevilla to becoming Europa League kings and dreams of doing same
BRENDAN RODGERS has been inspired by Sevilla’s stunning Europa League successes – and is dreaming of doing the same.
Leicester, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals in 2017, take on Ukraine side Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League.
Spanish side Sevilla have repeatedly punched above their weight in the Europa League, winning it four times in seven years including in 2016, when they saw off Liverpool.
Also last season, they beat big-spending Inter Milan in the final.
Rodgers said: “It is something for clubs of that size to aspire to and teaches you that once you come in, you have a realistic chance of achieving something. So Sevilla are inspiring, for sure.
“I think if you look at Sevilla’s record in the competition, it is incredible in the last decade or so.
"I remember seeing the stats in one of the years they won it. That they had not won away from home in the league but did so well in Europe.
“I watched the final last season and saw them pick up the trophy and I saw the joy and emotion of them doing it.
“We would like to go as far as we can. The first job is to get out of the group stage and as early as possible but we must not look too far ahead.
“We fought so hard to arrive in this competition and now want to embrace it and enjoy it.
"This will be a great experience for the players who have never sampled European football before.”
Leicester will fancy themselves against Zorya who are playing in the competition for the seventh successive year and lost both their matches to Manchester United four seasons ago.
Also in the group are AEK Athens and Sporting Braga.
Rodgers has numerous issues with Jamie Vardy to miss the match with a calf issue.
After a bright start to the season, Leicester have lost their last two games against West Ham and Aston Villa.
The Leicester boss added: “We just have to find ways of being more clinical. It is so early in the season and we are trying to find a way in."
Defender Jonny Evans said: “We're really looking forward to this. It's a been a target for a while now and something we highlighted at the start of last season.
"We managed to achieve it and it's a pity the fans can't experience it with us but as players we will go out and hopefully get off to a good start.
“We're stepping into the unknown a little because they have played in the Europa League more and have a bit more experience. We know it'll be a tough group.”
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