West Ham United got a special mention by UEFA general before the last 16 draw today as Sevilla await David Moyes’s boys.
West Ham had the luxury of sitting back and relaxing as they watched some top class clubs battle it out for the right to play them in the Europa League last 16 over the last two Thursday nights.
All eyes were on today’s big draw for the last 16 in Nyon after the conclusion of the play-off second legs last night, which pitted the eight Champions League dropouts against the eight Europa League group stage runners-up.
West Ham pulled out arguably the toughest possible draw with the Hammers set to face SIX time winners Sevilla over two legs.
Sevilla have won the Europa League four times and the UEFA Cup twice. The Spaniards won the Europa three seasons on the trot between 2013 and 2016 and again two years ago.
Julen Lopetegui’s side are seriously strong and are vying for the La Liga title this season, currently sitting second behind leaders Real Madrid.
But on their day West Ham are a match for anyone.
And Sevilla did, after all, lose to Dinamo Zagreb last night who a full strength West Ham comfortably beat 2-0 in their own back yard.
This is all new to West Ham and fans are embracing the exciting adventure.
Just how new it all is for the club was highlighted when the UEFA deputy general overseeing the draw made special mention of West Ham.
Speaking to the watching millions, UEFA deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti, paused on stage to make special mention of West Ham.
“Let me just take a moment to make a special mention for West Ham United,” Marchetti said during the draw.
“The English Premier League club have reached this stage of the competition for the first time in their history.”
The words would have filled West Ham fans – and undoubtedly Moyes and his players – with pride.
Let’s hope we are visiting Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium twice in as many months to really make some Hammers history as the final is being held there in May.
West Ham will play Sevilla in the first leg in Spain on Thursday March 10th followed by the return at the London Stadium on March 17th.
Come on you Irons.