Sion's love affair with the Swiss Cup
On Easter Monday FC Sion take on Bern's Young Boys in the 81st Swiss Cup final, held once again in the Swiss capital after a five-year hiatus.
Since the competition began in 1925, Sion have made it to the final nine times – and on every occasion they have returned to canton Valais with a winning smile.
The love affair between Sion and the Swiss Cup goes back to 1965, their first final – and first win – beating Servette 2-1. Since then, Valais magic has continued to work in the knockout competition.
Supported by a sea of red and white wherever they go, Sion have always shown great character often in difficult circumstances.
In the 1991 final, for example, they were 2-0 down at half-time when two inexperienced 20-year-olds were sent on.
Alexandre Rey and David Orlando promptly netted three extraordinary goals between them, leading Sion to an unforgettable victory for Sion fans – and equally memorable for their then opponents: some certain Young Boys!
The two clubs haven't met in the final since, but memories linger.
"We want to honour our elders and do what they did! We're playing to win," said Sion manager Christophe Roulin.
However, Sion are going into their tenth final as underdogs. In 2001 they were relegated into the Challenge League, Switzerland's second division, whereas the Young Boys are currently third in the first division.
Back to Bern
What's more, the Bernese club have been waiting to top up their silverware for two decades since their extra-time victory against FC Servette in the 1987 Swiss Cup final.
And in addition to being one of the country's best clubs, they will also have home advantage.
The Swiss Cup final had been played at Bern's Wankdorf stadium from 1937 until 2000, but it then moved to the St Jakob's Park stadium in Basel while the Bern stadium underwent a facelift.
This year sees the cup final take place in the new Wankdorf national stadium, the Stade de Suisse.
After hosting FC Thun's Champions League adventures and the controversial World Cup qualifier between Switzerland and Turkey, the stadium will be filled on Monday with the chants of fans from Sion and Bern.
Each club has received 11,800 tickets for fans – the remainder of the 30,000 places have been reserved for the families and friends of those connected to the teams and football organisations and for sponsors.
swissinfo, Mathias Froidevaux
Sion and the Young Boys have met in the Swiss Cup final twice – in 1980 and 1991. Sion won both times.
Sion have won the Swiss Cup nine times from nine attempts (1965, 1974, 1980, 1982, 1986, 1991, 1995, 1996 and 1997).
The Young Boys have won the Swiss Cup six times (1930, 1945, 1953, 1958, 1977 and 1987) and have been runners-up five times (1929, 1956, 1979, 1980 and 1991).
The Swiss Cup was founded in 1925. It was preceded by the Anglo Cup (1910-1913) and the Och Cup (1921-1922).
Swiss Cup winners since 1995:
2005 FC Zurich
2004 FC Wil
2003 FC Basel
2002 FC Basel
2001 FC Servette
2000 FC Zurich
1999 FC Lausanne-Sport
1998 FC Lausanne-Sport
1997 FC Sion
1996 FC Sion
1995 FC Sion
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