UEFA Europa League

UEFA Europa League
Europa League.svg
Founded1971; 48 years ago (1971)
(rebranded in 2009)
RegionEurope (UEFA)
Number of teams48 (group stage)
8 clubs join after Champions League group stage[a]
160 (total)
Qualifier forUEFA Super Cup
UEFA Champions League
Related competitionsUEFA Champions League (1st tier)
UEFA Europa League 2 (planned 3rd tier)
Current championsSpain Atlético Madrid (3rd title)
Most successful club(s)Spain Sevilla (5 titles)
Television broadcastersOfficial website
2018–19 UEFA Europa League

The UEFA Europa League (abbreviated as UEL) is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League.[1]

Previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season,[2][3] following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being simply a rebranding.[4]

In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup.[5] For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase. The 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.

The title has been won by 28 clubs, 12 of which have won the title more than once. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with five titles. The current champions are Atlético Madrid, after defeating Marseille in the final to win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League.


The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup (1955–58) to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA and relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup.

The UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool, in 1973, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, and reach the final again in 1980. Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after defeating Club Brugge in the final.

During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg (1982 and 1987) and Real Madrid (1985 and 1986) won the competition twice each, with Anderlecht reaching two consecutive finals, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984. The year 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Diego Maradona's Napoli defeated Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two all-Italian finals, and in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a third time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year. The year 1995 saw a third all-Italian final, with Parma proving their consistency, after two consecutive Cup Winners' Cup finals. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996. Internazionale reached the final the following two years, losing in 1997 to Schalke 04 on penalties, and winning yet another all-Italian final in 1998, taking home the cup for the third time in only eight years. Parma won the cup in 1999, which ended the Italian club era.

Match between Lech Poznan and Deportivo La Coruña in 2008–09 season.

Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001 and Porto triumphed in the 2003 and 2011 tournaments, with the latter against Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, and then Sevilla succeeded on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007, the latter in a final against fellow Spaniards Espanyol. Either side of Sevilla's success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third cup in eight years after defeating Benfica on penalties. Just one year later, in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League and , in an unprecedented feat, they defended their title a third year in a row beating Liverpool FC in the 2016 final, making Sevilla FC the most successful team in the history of the competition with 5 titles.

Since the 2009–10 season, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League.[2][3] At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League.

UEFA Europa League 2

UEFA had reportedly considered adding a third-tier competition since at least 2015, believing that a bottom-level tournament could act as a means of giving clubs from lower-ranked UEFA member countries to have a chance of progressing to the later stages beyond the stages they traditionally would be eliminated in the Europa League.[6] In mid-2018 talk of an announcement intensified, with news sources claiming an agreement had already been reached for the competition to be launched and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be split into two, with the lower-half forming the nucleus of what would be the new event.[7]

On 2 December 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA announcing that the new tournament would bring "more matches for more clubs and more associations".[8]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: UEFA Avropa Liqası
беларуская: Ліга Еўропы УЕФА
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Ліга Эўропы УЭФА
български: Лига Европа
فارسی: لیگ اروپا
français: Ligue Europa
Bahasa Indonesia: Liga Eropa UEFA
Basa Jawa: Liga Eropah UEFA
magyar: Európa-liga
македонски: УЕФА Лига Европа
Bahasa Melayu: Liga Europa UEFA
Nederlands: UEFA Europa League
Napulitano: Coppa UEFA
norsk nynorsk: Europa-ligaen
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: UEFA Yevropa Ligasi
Qaraqalpaqsha: UEFA Evropa Ligası
sicilianu: Coppa UEFA
Simple English: UEFA Europa League
slovenčina: Európska liga UEFA
slovenščina: Evropska liga
српски / srpski: УЕФА лига Европе
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: UEFA Europska liga
татарча/tatarça: УЕФА Аурупа лигасы
українська: Ліга Європи УЄФА
vèneto: Copa UEFA
Tiếng Việt: UEFA Europa League
粵語: 歐霸盃