The Europa League
is the second most important club competition in Europe. Participants are defined based on their performance in national leagues and cups. Each federation has a number of assigned places that varies depending on the performance of its teams in continental tournaments in recent years. The champion is automatically classified for the next edition of the Champions League and their presence in the European Super Cup is guaranteed.
It was born under the name of the UEFA Cup
as the successor to the Fairs Cup
, a tournament that had gained great importance on the continent, but was not under the organization of UEFA. Its first edition was played in 1972, with an English final between Tottenham
in which the Spurs came out as champions.
In the following years, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Real Madrid and Göteborg
were the first to win it on more than one occasion. Everything changed from 1989, with the great irruption of the Italian clubs. Between Inter, Juventus, Maradona's Napoli and Parma
they won six of the next seven editions.
Starting in 1998, the final was played as a single match at a neutral venue. From the 2009-10 season, the competition changed its name and format to become the Europa League
Currently, it has the participation of 48 teams. A figure that drops to 32 since 2021, due to the creation of the Conference League
. The top two finishers in each group, along with the eight third finishers in each group in the Champions League, face a round-trip tie until they reach the big game for the title.Atlético
was the first champion of the Europa League
era after defeating Fulham
2-1 thanks to two goals from Forlán. The club from the capital of Spain landed in the tournament from the Champions League and eliminated Galatasaray, Sporting CP, Valencia and Liverpool
to stand in the final in Hamburg.
The history of the Europa League cannot be understood without Sevilla
. The Seville team has dominated the competition in recent years, being the only one capable of repeating the title since 1986. The Andalusians have in their windows the trophies of 2005, 2006, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020 after winning in the final at Middlesbrough , Espanyol, Benfica, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Liverpool and Inter