What is the UEFA Europa League?
European football’s second-biggest club tournament is the UEFA Europa League. The tournament began in 1971 as the UEFA Cup and was renamed recently to the UEFA Europa League in 2010.
Spain, England and Italy have dominated this tournament over the years with 12, nine and nine trophies. Next in order is Germany with six winners and Netherlands with four. Every year many big teams compete to win the Europa League.
Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Roma and Milan are only a few notable mentions in recent years. West Ham United, Leicester City, Napoli, Lyon and Lazio are only a few of the clubs that have qualified for the UEFA Europa League group stages, and supporters will be looking ahead to playing against each other.
Each group stage match will be played on a Thursday night. It has been confirmed that the draw for the Europa League group stages will take place on 27 August 2021.
Despite the competition featuring some of the lesser clubs in Europe, the trophy is still often lifted by the team coming from one of the top five leagues in Europe. Porto from the Liga NOS won in 2010.
In 2009 Ukranian club Shakhtar Donetsk were the last winner of the tournament when it was still called the UEFA Cup.
Who are traditional favourites?
La Liga leads the pack is heavily attributed to the previous success of Sevilla and Atlético Madrid. Los Nervionenses were three-time winners from 2014-2016 and won in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007.
With 2020’s win, Los Nervionenses have extended their record to six UEFA Europa League trophies and four in the past seven years. Atletico Madrid have also won three titles this past decade.
Meanwhile, Juventus and Inter Milan rank near the top of the all-time records with 3 wins each. It’s been a long time since either has won the UEFA Europa League title. Bianconeri last won 1993, while the Nerazzurri did so in 1998.
These clubs are often not participating in the tournament, as they’re typically included in the UEFA Champions League. Ligue 1 club Marseille and Liga NOS giants Benfica have come up just short on most occasions, having been a runner-up 3 times each club. Both did so recently with the Olympians in 2018 and the Eagles in 2014.
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