Liverpool may not have secured glory in Basel against a Sevilla side that showed exactly what resilience and game management in a major final looks like, but two Liverpool players have been recognised for their efforts in the competition. Liverpool have rediscovered a taste for fine European nights at Anfield along with reigniting hope among a nervous yet expectant fan base. Sevilla, however, underlined their status as Europa League kings with an incredible third trophy in succession.
UEFA's technical folks have assessed all the games and named their 18-man squad of the season, giving seven places to the champions. Liverpool have two representatives in Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can. Although both disappointed in the final, there were fine contributions over the course of the tournament. It isn't easy to forget how Can returned so quickly from what appeared to be a season-ending ankle injury to boss the midfield in the second leg against Villarreal in the semi-finals. Philippe Coutinho's standout moment was against fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford when he scored a most delightful and spectacular goal to level the match as well as restore Liverpool's two-goal aggregate lead.
Liverpool won't take part in European football of any kind next season, but perhaps the players can take heart from a thrilling run to the final to ensure that Champions League football is on offer in 2017/18. There were other notable players during Liverpool's European exploits this season, but if Can and Coutinho can take the next step in their careers on Merseyside, there should be more potentially magical European nights -- the victory over Borussia Dortmund was one of the finest comebacks in the club's history -- on offer in the years ahead.