Real Madrid were considered the only legitimate contender for the La Liga crown this season, following the lacklustre league campaigns Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are experiencing.
Even though the usual suspects are apparently out of the title race, Sevilla can mount a formidable challenge to Los Blancos for the La Liga title.
Thanks to their 1-0 away win at Cadiz, the Andalusians now stand only five points away from Real Madrid and have a match in hand.
Any team would regard that gap surmountable.
But, you would feel there is a sense of humility around the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
Seville needs European football
Whether you ask the manager Julen Lopetegui or the director of football Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo, better known as Rodri, you would be reminded that Sevilla can’t compete with the top brass of Spanish football and the only way to stay competitive is to ensure Champions League football every season.
Sevilla don’t have the financial means to challenge for the title.
While it’s true that Sevilla can’t match the glamour and finances of the La Liga big three, they have bridged the gap significantly over the past few years.
The club have won several Europa Cups in recent years, been regular in the Champions League, and also had a fair shot at the title last season, when they finally finished fourth.
Monchi the talent hunter
Monchi, who devoted his entire playing career to Sevilla, has earned a great reputation for spotting future superstars.
The former goalkeeper unearthed the likes of Jesus Navas, Sergio Ramos, and the late Jose Antonio Reyes.
After 16 years at Sevilla as the club’s director of football, Monchi left for AS Roma in 2017, but he came back to his roots two years later and continues to work his magic.
Monchi and Lopetegui have assembled a fantastic team at Sevilla, who are capable to give Real Madrid a run for their money.
They have two dynamic strikers in the form of Youssef En-Nesyri and Rafa Mir.
They also have Ivan Rakitic, an experienced midfield warrior who continues to prove he has a few more good years remaining on him.
In addition, the centre-back pairing of Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos, who can take the credit for Sevilla’s impressive defensive record, which happens to be the best in La Liga.
The right mix
Sevilla have the right mix of youth and experience that can propel them all the way to the top.
Atletico Madrid and Barcelona’s struggles have paved the way for them to become Spanish champions for the first time since 1946.
Real Madrid have also shown that they can be vulnerable as they have recently dropped points against teams like Cadiz and Getafe.
Lopetegui has to instil the belief in his players that Sevilla have a genuine shot at the title. If they can keep on their momentum for the next few months, this year can be theirs!
Los Nervionenses have progressed remarkably over the last couple of years, now it is time to take a big step and create a landmark moment in their history.