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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 18:05 GMT 19:05 UK
Build-up as it happened
The build-up, as it happened, to Middlesbrough's historic night in Eindhoven.

NEWS UPDATES

1842 BST: Jay, via e-mail Eindhoven: It's absolutely amazing here, the atmosphere is electric and we're all singing: "There's only one Stevie McClaren".

1815 BST: Julian, via e-mail on Teesside: Everyone on Teesside has got their Boro shirts on from the babies to the old grannies. It's a warm summer night and everyone is out on the streets.

1803 BST: Shane, via e-mail in Eindhoven: The atmosphere is unbelievable, everyone is in good spirits. I'm just entering the ground. Looks like it's going be a fantastic night.

1758 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: The Sevilla fans have converged at the entrance to the stadium, presumably waiting for their team to turn up and greet them on their arrival. I had to force my way past the Spanish supporters and had to be lifted over a crash barrier in order to take my place in the press box.

1751 BST: James Alexander, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: It feels like half of Middlesbrough is here. There is a concert going on in what has been re-named Boro square. Everywhere you look is red, hair is painted red, scarves, flags, anything you can see is red.

1748 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: The stadium opened its doors at about 6.15 local time and a small stream of fans from both sides made their way to the entrances. But the majority of the fans are still packing out the bars and squares around the stadium savouring the atmosphere before taking up their seats.

1740 BST: Ian, via e-mail in Eindhoven: We just had a friendly kick about with a few Sevilla supporters. Both sides have said the score is going to be 2 -1 to Middlesbrough as that was the score of the game we just had.

1731 BST: Rik, via e-mail in Eindhoven: The atmosphere is incredible here. It is an experience of a lifetime and I cannot wait until the match starts. Come on you Reds!

1719 BST: William, via e-mail in Eindhoven: I just saw Mark Viduka near the ground, he seemed to be play fighting with Franck Queudrue. They looked relaxed and in good spirits. Not too relaxed I hope. Come on Boys!

1710 BST: Adrian, via e-mail in Eindhoven: It's great here with all the Boro fans, we came across to Amsterdam from Leeds Bradford. If the weather stays like this I may need to fake a sickie for Friday!

1703 BST: Josh, via e-mail in Eindhoven: Looks maginificent. Atmosphere is amazing, especially as a Middlesbrough fan. Both sets of fans are getting on and enjoying the moment.

1645 BST: Graeme, via-e-mail in Eindhoven: I've never experienced Eindhoven as exciting and buzzing in my 10 years living here. There's a carnival like atmoshpere here with friendly 'banter' being exchanged between both sets of supporters.

1620 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: The party atmosphere of Middlesbrough fans' in Eindhoven has been interrupted by a rumour doing the rounds that 1,500 tickets have been put on general sale at the ground. The half-mile dash to the ground will prove quite a test for those fans who have been re-fuelling as part of the pre-match build-up.

1615 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: There will be a few Boro fans nursing bruises tomorrow morning after spilling out of bars, into bike lines and bikes. No major incidents, just a few prangs. I've found a big marquee for the Seville tourist board which is doing a roaring trade. There must be one for Middlesbrough around somewhere!

1600 BST: David, via-e-mail in Eindhoven: I've never seen Eindhoven so full of colour and life! The entire place is buzzing and the atmosphere is superb. Both sets of fans are enjoying the day and being extremely hospitable. This is what football should be about, people loving the beautiful game. Good luck to both teams!

1530 BST: Ivar Willemse, via-e-mail in Eindhoven: I just took a drive through the city centre and the atmosphere reminds me of our Championship celebration - although the weather makes it even more perfect.

1515 BST: Carolina, in Eindhoven: I've lived in London for two years but I had to come to this game! The flight was expensive, very expensive, but this is going to be a great party. It's hotter than I thought but my Sevilla scarf is staying on all day.

1505 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: Boro fans have spent much of the day leading the way in the singing stakes, with cries of "Red Army" ringing around the city. But Sevilla fans are responding in the afternoon sun with more operatic renditions.

1410 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: There are Boro fans of every age - and shape! - arriving at Eindhoven train station. Every one has a different story of how they have made it here, via Amsterdam, Germany or Belgium by plane and ferry. Not all have tickets - but every one has a big smile on their face. The stadium's nearby and people are having a peer at it. You can't walk more than 20 metres without a Boro voice asking for any spare tickets.

1400 BST: Simon & Arthur en route to Eindhoven: We're about two hours away now and have seen plenty of Boro fans on the motorway. We've winged it a bit - got up at 3am and got the ferry over from Ramsgate and am absolutely exhausted, but that first beer will taste good when we get there.

1345 BST: James Doe, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: It seems the Spaniards have all gone for a siesta. There are Boro shirts everywhere now. The very friendly and helpful locals say the atmosphere is much better than the recent PSV-Ajax game which they describe as being "disastrous".

1250 BST: James Pearce, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: There's a wonderful atmosphere building here on a glorious day. It's a special occasion for these Middlesbrough fans who yearn for success. It's the biggest match in their history and they are here in large numbers. We estimate there will be at least 10,000 Boro fans here by the time of kick-off.

1240 BST: Wim, via e-mail in Eindhoven: This beautiful day reminds me of the European Cup final PSV played against Benfica in Stuttgart 1988. A sunny day, fans who just enjoyed each others company, enjoying the day, discussing football. The same is happening in Eindhoven. I just returned from the city centre and it is one big party.

1215: Sean, via e-mail in Eindhoven:I work opposite the airport where there's a steady stream of Spaniards arriving. I have my ticket for tonight and cannot wait to get to finish work and savour the atmosphere. Haway Boro!

1200 BST: James Doe, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: Boro's designated square in the city centre is filling up and everyone's in good spirits on a gorgeous day. Sevilla fans seem to be going for the artistic option instead at the Vanabbe Art Museum next door.

1115 BST: Chris Bevan, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: It's a beautiful day in Eindhoven and there's a red army of fans converging on the city centre with both sets of fans decked out in their home colours.

1050 BST: James Doe, BBC Sport in Eindhoven: The atmosphere is building in Eindhoven already and the Boro fans round the pool at our hotel have already cracked open the beer.


The journey out

The club was given an official allocation of 9,000 tickets but many more were expected to travel via ferry, Channel rail links or into airports across Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Several thousand Boro fans have opted to turn the match into a longer break on the continent and partied in Amsterdam on Tuesday night.

However, those going out on Wednesday face potentially long days in transit as Sevilla fans have been given right of way to land at Eindhoven while Boro fans are flying to other destination.

Stuart, Boro fan: "We were due to go to Liege to start with, but our flights were changed. Now we're going to Cologne, so it's a bit of a globe-trotting experience. Then there's a coach transfer direct into Eindhoven - we hope!"

James Alexander, BBC Five Live reporter, Durham Tees Valley Airport: "5,000 fans are flying out on 17 specially laid-on flights. But if you look at the departure board, you won't see Eindhoven listed as a destination. The Sevilla fans are flying direct to Eindhoven."

Richard Whitehouse, Durham Tees Valley Airport spokesman: "Eindhoven Airport initially put some quite severe restrictions on the type of aircraft they would accept - those that could park. As a consequence the main operators that fly the Middlesbrough fans out took the decision fairly early on not to fly into Eindhoven.

"I believe, but this is only speculation, that the mayor of Eindhoven wasn't happy with the segregation arrangements at Eindhoven Airport and then unilaterally declared it will only be one set of fans. Because most of the Middlesbrough fans had decided not to go in there, he said Seville fans only."

Matthew Griffiths, UK: "I passed Boro fans on their coaches at midnight on Tuesday on the M25 heading for Dover, on my way home in Kent. I'm a Luton fan but good luck Boro, we're all backing you."

Richard Stone, UK: A good friends is getting there by hook and by crook. He is flying to Dublin from Stansted and then Dublin to Eindhoven. Amid flight cancellations and copiuos amounts of alcohol, he is still on shcedule to arrive in Eindhoven last we heard.


Team news

Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is set to return after being sidelined by a fractured cheekbone leading to "Mask of Boro" headlines in the dailies.

Sevilla skipper Javi Navarro is back having missed the semi-final second leg through suspension, but Fredi Kanoute is a doubt with a foot problem.

QUOTES FROM THE KEY FIGURES AND PUNDITS

Boro boss Steve McClaren:
"Sevilla are favourites. They have a good pedigree in Europe and are doing very well in the Spanish league. But we don't mind being the underdogs, we will relish that.

Sevilla skipper and defender Javi Navarro:
"I've never played a match like this before so it is really important for me and I am terribly proud we've made it.

"I just hope now we can go on and win it. We need to combine a cool head and a hot heart. It is 90 minutes at full tilt and no mistakes allowed."

Sevilla forward Fredi Kanoute:
"English football is technically not as good as in Spain. That is why I think we will beat Middlesbrough.

"I got frustrated in the Premiership. The game is too physical. I enjoy my football more now."

Arsenal's former Sevilla forward Jose Antonio Reyes: "Jesus Navas is a fantastic player. He has so much potential and his greatest assets are composure and speed.

"I'm looking forward to seeing a big performance from him and all the Sevilla players. I'll be cheering them on."

YOUR COMMENTS

McClaren will have to pull something special out of the bag to silence the critics.
Laura Baker, England

This is a great chance for McClaren to prove to English, European & Worldwide football fans that he has the tactical nous to win big games. A good win tonight will show his development over the past decade.
Bill Harrigan, Libya

My Boro-born-and-bred husband flew out of Malaga airport this morning, having opted to fly to Brussels, only to be met by a coachload of Sevilla fans on the same flight and 20 Belgium pensioners who didn't have a clue what was happening! Go on Boro!
Kate, Spain

Middlesbrough will lose. Sevilla are far superior in terms of technical ability and are more composed on the ball. They have a goal-poacher up front and a relatively solid defence. Middlesbrough will find it tough in the middle of the park and I expect Sevilla to retain most of the possession.
Dylan Wilson, England

The atmosphere in Boro is amazing at the moment. The whole town has been a painted red and white! Win or lose this small town in Europe is going to have the party of its life!
Helen Bees, UK

The atmosphere here in Seville is electric and still building. With Real Betis being the city's other team the whole place will be cheering one way or the other!
Tim, Sevilla, Spain

Let's see if the new England manager is able to show some tactical nous from the start by having an organised defence, rather than having to go chase the game
Graeme Stubbs

Second child due any day, so guaranteed everything'll start at 7pm tonight and I'll be listening to the match in the maternity ward! Come on Boro!
Toby Potter, Maidenhead, UK

Boro fan living in Villarreal. Not all of Spain are cheering Sevilla. Most Villarreal fans will be with me tonight in a local bar supporting the Boro. The "Yellow Submarines" are hoping we sink Sevilla.
Tony Hutchinson, Spain

I am an Englishman living in Seville. The build up here is incredible. Make no mistake, Sevilla are the better team and, at the moment, are on a very good run.
Ian, Sevilla fan, Spain

Sat at work in my Boro scarf. Really proud to wear my colours today although I wish the clock would tick around quicker. Win or lose the whole of Teesside is proud. The People's Republic of Teesside is beaming with pride. Come on Boro!
Matt, England

I'll be watching the TV in Sydney. For months I've been getting up at ungodly hours to listen to the internet and finally the game is on TV. I can feel in my bones that the Boro won't let me down!
Gareth, Australia

If Sevilla keep their cool and play their game, then the team which everyone down here has so many difficulties pronouncing - Middlesba - won't have a chance.
Neil, Sevilla, Spain

I've been a Sevilla fan for five years now - my wife's originally from there - and I really think it's going to be a close game. Kanoute could be the difference between the teams. Come on the Sevillismo!
Ben Heath, Portsmouth, UK

I'm a faithful Boro supporter and since tickets were like gold dust I'll be in the Lloyds bar in Boro where the best atmosphere will most definately be.
Jack Frost, England

PREDICTIONS

Late Winner for Sevilla - 3-2, Graeme Hill, Scotland
Navas to miss shoot-out pen - Boro win, Daniel, England
Sevilla win comfortably 3-1, Xavier Rossiter, Egypt
2-1 Boro, Viduka to score both, John E, Ireland
My heart says 4-3 comeback, my head says we've had too many goals in past two rounds - 1-0 Sevilla, Justin, England
3-2 Boro - late Hasselbaink winner, Kevin Tosh, Scotland
6-1. Saviola, Navas, Navarro & Kanoute to run riot, Ben, UK
3-1 Sevilla, Dylan Wilson, England
Viduka hat-trick & Boro win 4-2, Adam Bate, England
Quedrue to score an ET deadball winner, Steve, England
Sevilla's defence is superb. 2-0 Sevilla, Johnny Good, Sevilla
Boro to win 4-3 on penalties, James Mccafferty, England
Boro to win 2-1 in extra-time, Ben Smith, Surrey
Sevilla 1-2 Boro & a dramatic winner, Simon, England
Boro on pens after being 3-0 down, Mark Harrison, Serbia
HT: 3-0 Sevilla. FT: 4-3 Boro, Andy, England
Sevilla to ruin Macca's last game 2-0, Jak, england
3-3 classic, Schwarzer shoot-out hero, Ben Steed, England
2-1 Boro with Viduka & Downing scoring, Chaz, NI
HT: 3-0 Boro. FT: 4-3 Sevilla, Jon, UK
Uefa Cup is coming home! Ryan Saunders, England



SEE ALSO
Middlesbrough 0-4 Sevilla
10 May 06 |  Europe
McClaren tries to console players
10 May 06 |  Middlesbrough
Uefa Cup final photos
10 May 06 |  Photo Galleries


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