PRAGUE (AP) – West Ham and Fiorentina haven’t won a European trophy in more than 50 years.
The drought will end for some of the teams playing the final of the Europa Conference League in Prague on Wednesday.
West Ham won their only European title in 1965 in the old European Cup Winners’ Cup. Alan Seely scored twice as 1860 Munich were beaten 2–0 at Wembley Stadium. By 1976 the Hammers reached the finals again.
Forward Jarrod Bowen contributed four goals for West Ham in the team’s third European final. Bowen can’t wait to play.
“I played for England but I think to get it with my teammates where I was in the final and have the chance to win a trophy together is an incredible moment.”
Fiorentina’s only European title was also in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961, beating Rangers 4–1 on aggregate.
After reaching its second final in the Europa Conference League, Fiorentina became the first club to contest finals in four European competitions.
They lost the 1957 European Cup Final to Real Madrid and the 1990 UEFA Cup Final to Juventus. They also failed to win the Cup Winners’ Cup in consecutive years, losing to Atlético Madrid in the 1962 final.
Fiorentina had good preparation. He played in the Italian Cup final two weeks earlier, in a 2–1 loss against Inter Milan. This is their only defeat in their last six matches. Their last fixture was a 3-1 win against Sassuolo in Serie A on Friday.
“We need to win,” admitted coach Vincenzo Italiano. “Now we have a mountain to climb, but we’re going to the top in Prague.”
The reward for the winner is not only a trophy, but also a ticket to the next Europa League.