UEFA Europa League

UEFA Europa League
Europa League.svg
Founded 1971; 46 years ago (1971)
(rebranded in 2009)
Region Europe ( UEFA)
Number of teams 48 (group stage)
8 clubs join after Champions League group stage [1]
160 (total)
Qualifier for UEFA Super Cup & UEFA Champions League
Related competitions UEFA Champions League
Current champions England Manchester United (1st title)
Most successful club(s) Spain Sevilla (5 titles)
Television broadcasters List of broadcasters
Website Official website
2017–18 UEFA Europa League

The UEFA Europa League 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.

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 changed qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup, and since the 2014–15 season the winner of the UEFA Europa League also qualifies for the next edition of the UEFA Champions League. The winner enters at least at the play-off round (assuming they do not already qualify through domestic performance), and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used.

The title has been won by 28 different clubs, 12 of which have won the title more than once. The most successful club in the competition are Sevilla with five titles and the current champions are Manchester United after defeating Ajax in the final to win the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League.

History

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 versus Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool in 1973, beating 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, beating 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. 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Maradona's Napoli beat 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. 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 beating Benfica on penalties. Just one year later, in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League, becoming the most successful club in the competition.

The competition was traditionally open to the runners-up of domestic leagues, but the competition was merged with UEFA's previous second-tier European competition, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, in 1999. Since then, the winners of domestic cup competitions have also entered the UEFA Cup. Also, clubs eliminated in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League and the third placed teams at the end of the group phase could go on to compete in the UEFA Cup. Winners of some selected domestic League Cup competitions are also admitted.[ citation needed]

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.

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: 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
українська: Ліга Європи УЄФА
vèneto: Copa UEFA
Tiếng Việt: UEFA Europa League
粵語: 歐霸盃