BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -Atletico Madrid striker Falcao is assured of a title before the all-Spanish Europa League final against Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest on Wednesday.
Falcao shares the competition's scoring lead with 10 goals and is the Europa League's top striker for the second straight season, something no player has achieved before.
Having scored 17 times in leading FC Porto to the title last season, the Colombian can win his second consecutive winner's medal.
"I think it's only natural to feel a little nervous before the final because I know it's going to be historic to win two straight titles with two different clubs," Falcao said Tuesday.
Falcao said the experience of winning a final is important but not everything.
"You need the experience of a veteran but the hunger of a youngster to win," he said.
Schalke forward Klaas-Huntelaar also has 10 goals this season. Falcao's 17 goals for Porto last season was a competition record.
"A goal in the final would be very special, but the important thing is to win the match," Falcao said.
Falcao has helped Atletico become the Europa League's top scoring team, with 30 goals. But Athletic is close behind with 28, so the final at Bucharest's National Arena should provide for an entertaining match.
"We can't wait for this game to come already, we've been waiting for it. It's the game we've been thinking about the most and we can't wait to play it," Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe said.
Teammate Iker Muniain has promised to have an image of the Europa League trophy tattooed on to his body if his team wins.
Muniain is the only doubt as he has been troubled by a muscle strain in his left leg, forcing him into limited duties. He might have to come off the bench, but he has practiced with the team and Bilbao is likely to give until the last moment to prove his fitness.
In 150 domestic league meetings, Atletico has a slight edge with 64 wins to Bilbao's 59.
The two matches between the teams in the Spanish league this season finished with Atletico beating Bilbao 2-1 in March, while Bilbao won 3-0 at home.
Both teams have Argentine coaches and it promises to be an intriguing meeting when Atletico's Diego Simeone and Bilbao's Marcelo Bielsa find themselves on opposing sides.
Simeone played under Bielsa for the Argentine national team for four years, reaching a then-record 106th cap at the 2002 World Cup.
"I'm very happy about going up against a Spanish team, it speaks volumes about Spanish football, and I'm even happier that two Argentine coaches will meet in a European final," Simeone said. "Knowing each other gives us both an advantage, but a final is a final. Both teams have the same chance of winning. I haven't spoken to Bielsa but I hold great admiration for him."
Only three non-European coaches have won a major UEFA competition, and all three were Argentines: Luis Carniglia with Real Madrid, Helenio Herrera with Inter Milan and Alfredo di Stefano with Valencia.
Simeone could become the third man to win the competition as coach and player. He played for the Inter Milan side that won the 1998 title, then known as the UEFA Cup.
Dino Zoff won in 1977 with Juventus (beating Bilbao in the final) as a player and in 1990 as the coach. Huub Stevens won with PSV Eindhoven in 1978 and as coach of Schalke in 1997.
Atletico, which beat Fulham in the final two years ago, is on an 11-match winning run in this season's competition.
"For a lot of us it's the most important game of our careers," Atletico midfielder Gabi Fernandez said. "The team that commits fewer errors will be champion.
We know each other very well. We need to keep their key players from getting involved, like Llorente and the midfielders."
Fernando Llorente has seven goals in the competition this season, including a late strike against Sporting Lisbon that allowed Bilbao to advance to the final.
These teams have met three teams in a final. Bilbao leads 2-1, with the last meeting 27 years ago.
AP Sports Writer Paul Logothetis in Madrid contributed to this report.