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Vicente Iborra has hat-trick of medals despite only playing 12 minutes in finals

Leicester's Spanish midfielder admits he probably clocked up more kilometres during three laps of honour than he did on the pitch in those showpieces

Don’t you love it when you turn up at exactly the right time and win three cup finals?

Leicester’s Vicente Iborra could well be the luckiest man in football when you look at the trophies in his cupboard and the amount of time he played in the finals.


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Vicente Iborra celebrates Sevilla winning the Europa League with victory Liverpool in 2016

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Vicente Iborra celebrates Sevilla winning the Europa League with victory Liverpool in 2016

Iborra is an expert at winning Europe’s top prizes — despite playing just TWELVE minutes in three massive finals.

Now the Leicester City star wants to add FA Cup glory to his impressive honours list.

Iborra bagged a hat-trick of winners’ medals as La Liga cup specialists Sevilla became the most successful Europa League winners in history — helping the five-time winners to success in 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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Iborra had also made his mark on the tournament in 2015 when Sevilla beat Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

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Iborra had also made his mark on the tournament in 2015 when Sevilla beat Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

Yet the midfielder seemed to be unlucky on cup final nights — admitting he probably clocked up more kilometres during three triumphant laps of honour than he did on the pitch in those showpieces.

Now the vastly experienced Spaniard, 30, is ready to run himself ragged against Chelsea on Sunday as he targets a Wembley FA Cup semi-final date in his debut season in England.

Yet there is not any shred of bitterness when Iborra reflects on his three Europa League final experiences.

…and again in 2014 after beating Benfica

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…and again in 2014 after beating Benfica

Speaking exclusively to SunSport, Iborra revealed: “I have nothing but happy memories from the Europa League.

“Every final was a positive experience for me because I know the part I played in getting us there.

“When I joined Sevilla I wanted to win trophies and that’s what I achieved.

“We created history in the Europa League and made a lot of people very happy.

Iborra scored in Leicester’s recent Premier League win at West Bromwich

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Iborra scored in Leicester’s recent Premier League win at West Bromwich

Now the Spaniard wants to strike it rich in the FA Cup against Chelsea

Getty Images - Getty
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Now the Spaniard wants to strike it rich in the FA Cup against Chelsea

“I scored important goals along the way. We wouldn’t have reached two of those finals if I hadn’t scored in big games against tough opponents like Monchengladbach and Villarreal.

“For three amazing years, no one could beat us in the Europa League. But that was down to the success of the team, not individuals.”

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side were stunned this week when Sevilla slayed them at Old Trafford to kill their Champions League ambitions stone dead.

But Iborra knew better than to write off the formidable cup fighters and added: “I have so many great  memories.

“These were really important, famous games for us and we beat Benfica, Dnipro  and Liverpool in three amazing finals.”

As a defensive midfielder, Iborra was hugely important for Sevilla’s away ties en route to the final but was usually sacrificed for the final itself as attack-minded Unai Emery looked to go on the front foot to win silverware.

He said: “I stayed on the bench for the first success against Benfica, came on for the final few minutes of the second against Dnipro and played for the last three minutes against Liverpool in 2016.”

Now Iborra, who scored in Leicester’s 4-1 win at West Brom last week, hopes some of Sevilla’s cup expertise rubs off him for the Foxes.

And he is even willing to overcome one of his phobias if Claude Puel’s side goes all the way in this competition.

The strapping 6ft 3in star confessed: “I’m a bit of a softie — I’m  scared of heights.

“I’ve played in great arenas like the Nou Camp, Vicente Calderon and La Mestalla but I wouldn’t be able to watch games from the top tier there.

“However,  I would make a massive effort to get up the steps if it means winning the FA Cup at Wembley in May.”


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