Five things you need to know about Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.05.2015
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Five things you need to know about Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

In the Europa League final four, one team stands out - Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The Ukranian underdog faces Italian side Napoli in the semis and DW's Alex Chaffer reveals the top five facts to know about the unknowns.

The four teams in the semifinals of the Champions League have all the stars, history and prestige you would expect in football's elite club competition. In the Europa League, three of the four teams can boast something similar. Defending champions Sevilla have long been in Spain's top six, Fiorentina are returning to previous heights, and Napoli are lead by a head coach who has a great record in cup competitions. And then there's Dnipro - the humble side from the Ukraine that nobody expected to make the final four. Here are five things you need to know about the Europa League's unlikeliest semifinalist.

1. Still waiting for another title: Dnipro have industrial roots and were founded in 1918 before being incorporated into the Petrovets steel plant sports club. The team won the city championship in 1927 and 1935, before the USSR league system formed a year later. Dnipro's next title, its first USSR Championship title, came in 1983. Their last came in 1988.

2. A stadium name to remember: In the early 1960s, rocket and missile manufaturer Yuzhmash took the reigns, and the club was given the Dnipro name, one that hails from the Dnieper, Ukraine's longest river. In 1966, the Meteor Stadium was opened and remained the team's stadium for 42 years until they moved into the newly built Dnipro Arena.

3. Struggling to beak boundaries: Despite being the first professional club in the Soviet Union, Dnipro has stayed in the shadows since Ukrainian independence, languishing behind Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk. Domestically though, they've always been in the hunt. The last time the club finished outside the top four was in 2008-09, and under Juande Ramos in 2013-14 they only missed out on the title by six points.

4. Dnipro in form: They have only lost twice in their last 23 games in all competitions - Shakhtar in Ukrainian Cup and Ajax in Europa League. In those 23 games, they have kept 15 clean sheets. This is also the first time that Dnipro have ever reached the semifinal of a European competition.

5. A German influence: After 3 years and four months of work from 2002 to 2005, Dnipro's new Dnipro Arena was completed. Germany's largest construction company, Hochtief, was responsible for building the club's new 30,000 seater stadium. It cost Dnipro an estimated €40 million.

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