Van Persie: Man Utd must respect Sevilla's Europa League pedigree

By Sports Desk August 15, 2020

Manchester United should be wary of seasoned knockout campaigners Sevilla when the sides clash in the Europa League semi-final. 

That is the warning from former United star Robin van Persie, who cited the Spanish club's fine record in the competition as a reason for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to be on high alert in Cologne. 

Sevilla have won the Europa League five times, including twice when it was the UEFA Cup, and claimed the honour three times in a row from 2014 to 2016. 

Even before that emergence as the dominant force in Europe's secondary knockout tournament, Sevilla had a profile that put them firmly on Dutchman Van Persie's radar before he ultimately swapped Feyenoord for Arsenal in 2004. 

And he knows Julen Lopetegui's men, unbeaten in 19 matches in all competitions, will pose a threat to United on Sunday.

"[Sevilla are] one of the favourites, [but] first they have to find a way around Manchester United," Van Persie, who won the 2012-13 Premier League at Old Trafford, told Stats Perform News. 

"They are cup fighters, they live to play these type of games. 

"I almost talked to them before my time at Arsenal, they were one of the three options I could go to. It was tempting to go there, but then I chose Arsenal." 

United finished the domestic season with a flourish to claim third spot in the Premier League, but it is a club which measures success in trophies. 

Asked if securing silverware was a prerequisite for calling this campaign a success, Van Persie said: "[The] last couple of months [have] definitely [been] positive but they have to keep showing that – the pressure is on. 

"I can't say that if they don't win the season is not a success, after the break it looks positive. It's promising for next season."

 

Robin van Persie is working with UEFA Europa League partner Enterprise Rent-A-Car. To discover more and to enjoy special rates on car hire across Europe, visit www.enterprise.co.uk

Related items

  • Haaland joined Dortmund because Leipzig couldn't guarantee him minutes – Rangnick Haaland joined Dortmund because Leipzig couldn't guarantee him minutes – Rangnick

    Erling Haaland chose Borussia Dortmund over RB Leipzig because the latter could not guarantee game time, according to the club's former sporting director Ralf Rangnick.

    Norway striker Haaland has been a sensation at Dortmund, scoring 18 goals across all competitions since joining from Salzburg in January.

    Leipzig were also said to be in the running for Haaland given their links to the Austrian side but Rangnick acknowledged that at the time Dortmund had a spot in their line-up.

    "From everything I know about him and his father, the main reason was that Dortmund could guarantee him a regular place," Rangnick told MDR. 

    "Which wasn't so difficult because apart from [Paco] Alcacer they had no central striker. Alcacer was half the size of Haaland and only half as fast and twice as often injured."

    The likes of Naby Keita and Dayot Upamecano have made the move from Salzburg to Leipzig and Rangnick was disappointed to miss out on a player of Haaland's quality.

    "What a shame for Leipzig, it would have been a perfect match for us, our team and our style of play," Rangnick added.

    Leipzig do now have a Norwegian striker in the form of Alexander Sorloth, who failed to make an impact in the Premier League with Crystal Palace but starred on loan for Trabzonspor in Turkey.

    "Maybe with Alexander Sorloth a Haaland two will come to RB Leipzig," Rangnick said.

  • Mbappe a 'prototype' Ballon d'Or winner, says Anelka Mbappe a 'prototype' Ballon d'Or winner, says Anelka

    Kylian Mbappe is the "prototype" for a future Ballon d'Or winner, according to Nicolas Anelka.

    At just 21, the Paris Saint-Germain forward has already accumulated a plethora of top-tier trophies having won the World Cup with France, while reaching the Champions League final for PSG, with whom he has lifted eight domestic titles.

    However, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo practically enjoying dual custody of the most prestigious world player of the year award, that honour has thus far eluded Mbappe.

    But compatriot Anelka, whose career saw him win silverware in England, Spain, France, Italy and Turkey, feels it is only a matter of time.

    "There are the old guys who are known and recognised, like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but for me it is Mbappe who is really the image of the prototype of the striker with all the qualities required to be a future Ballon d'Or winner," he told RMC Sport. 

    "He's very fast, very smart, very technical. He has the qualities to do great things. He has proven it time and time again and he shows it in every game.

    "Neymar is very strong too. He is very strong too."

    Mbappe has endured a disrupted start to the new campaign after testing positive for coronavirus, but he made a goalscoring return in the 3-0 win over Nice.

    Thomas Tuchel's side are in action at Reims on Sunday.

  • Struggling Schalke sack Wagner Struggling Schalke sack Wagner

    David Wagner has been sacked by Schalke after just two games of the new Bundesliga season, the club confirmed on Sunday.

    Former Huddersfield Town boss Wagner was appointed ahead of the 2019-20 season and Schalke lost just twice in the first half of that campaign.

    But their form plummeted from there, with Schalke ultimately finishing 12th and just seven points above the relegation zone last term.

    An 8-0 hammering at champions Bayern Munich in their Bundesliga opener was followed by another poor showing in a 3-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday.

    Schalke have failed to win their last 18 Bundesliga matches, which represents a club-record and the third worst streak for a coach in the competition's history.

    "We had all hoped that we could improve on the pitch together with David Wagner. Unfortunately, we haven't seen the right performances and results from the first two games of the season for this to happen," said Jochen Schneider, Schalke's head of sport.

    "We have therefore decided to make a fresh start. Despite the disappointing results, this wasn't an easy decision for us to make. 

    "I would like to thank David Wagner, Christoph Buhler and Frank Frohling, who, up until their departure, have done everything they can to get Schalke back on track."

    Buhler and Frohling, Wagner's assistants, have been placed on gardening leave, with Schalke saying a successor will be named in the coming days.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.