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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

'We need cool heads, not hot hearts - Sevilla's Navarro

Sevilla defender Javi Navarro played down his hard-man reputation and insisted a 'cool head' will be just as important as a 'hot heart' in tonight's UEFA Cup final against Middlesbrough.

Navarro is renowned in Spain for his uncompromising approach but he vowed to keep a lid on his fiery temper against the Teessiders at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven.

The Sevilla captain said: 'I have never played a match like this one before so it is really important for me and I am terribly proud that we have 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.'

Navarro is likely to be a key figure for the Primera Liga side as Boro's strengths undoubtedly lie in attack, with the club boasting strikers of the quality of Mark Viduka, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Aiyegbeni Yakubu and Massimo Maccarone.

'We know them,' Navarro said of the quartet. 'They are good strikers, people capable of creating lots of problems, they are dangerous.'

Navarro has in the past used rather crude methods to halt opposing strikers.

In 2001 he sat out four games for punching an opponent and last year he was banned for five matches for leaving Real Mallorca's Juan Arango with a fractured cheekbone courtesy of a stray elbow.

'I try to go to the limit and give my best for the team,' he said.

'If, sometimes, I step over the red line then it is up to the referee. But people talk too much about the way I play.'

Navarro addressed the press yesterday sitting 10 yards away from the UEFA Cup trophy.

And the 32-year-old admits winning the silverware would represent the pinnacle of his career.

'I would certainly like to touch it and find out how much it weighs,' he said.

'If I was to do that, it would be a just reward for the hard work we have done this season. It is certainly close.

'Looking back, I have seen a number of critical points in my career but I now see football from a different perspective and it (a win) would be a reward for everything I have been through personally.'

The clash in Eindhoven means a swift return to Holland for former Ajax defender Julien Escude, who left the Amsterdammers in January.

Frenchman Escude said: 'I played at Ajax and now I am coming back to Holland to play in a final. I am really happy.

'It has all happened very quickly. I have been here four months now and already I am playing in the UEFA Cup final, which is a dream for any player.'