Bayern have plenty of players who fit into those categories too, but they don’t have a Messi of their own. The Champions League betting takes as much into account – Messi is why the Catalans are clear favourites in the odds.
There have been occasional successes since – 2001 and 2013 – but each of Sevilla’s five UEFA Cups/Europa Leagues was claimed within a 10-year period, between 2006 and 2016.
It may be a step up to compete in the latter stages of the Champions League – one Sevilla haven’t yet made – but there was a time they hadn’t made that step in the Europa League either. Now, they are the competition’s most successful club.
Quite the opposite. Jupp Heynckes’ side may have crushed Borussia Dortmund on Saturday – winning 6-0 – but this isn’t the Dortmund of a few years ago, but rather a Dortmund in a continual state of flux. And while the points gap between Bayern and Dortmund is smaller than the gap between Barca and Sevilla, the gap for 88 minutes on the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan pitch on Saturday was non-existent.
There’ll be no Messi this time. And that could be the difference again.