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The UEFA Europa League

The UEFA Europa League, previously called the UEFA Cup, has been run annually since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most important European football competition, after the UEFA Champions League.

Places are awarded to the runners-up in top-flight leagues of Europe and the winners of the main cup competitions. France and England also have secondary cup competitions which grant the winners a place in the Europa League.

Europa League Structure

The competition starts in July with 3 qualifying rounds and a play-off, then a group stage and a knockout stage.

The higher a country's football association is ranked, the later its clubs start in the competition. Teams knocked out of the Champions League will also join the Europa League. Beginning with the 2018–19 tournament, all domestic champions eliminated in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds will transfer to the Europa League, rather than just teams that are eliminated in the third-qualifying and play-off rounds.

From the 2021/22 season, UEFA has announced the introduction of the UEFA Conference League, which splits off the lower-ranked teams in the Europa League to give them a greater chance to compete. The Europa League has a reduced format focussing on its group stage. There is also an additional knockout round before the knockout phase proper, allowing third-placed teams in the Champions League group stage to fall into the Europa League while still keeping the knockout stage at only 16 teams.

Tournament Winners

29 different clubs have won the Europa League, with 14 winning more than once. The most successful team in the tournament's history is Sevilla, having won the title 6 times up to the 2022 season. Sevilla are also one of only 2 teams to have retained their title in successive seasons, the other being Real Madrid.

Spain is the most successful nation in the tournament, with Spanish teams claiming the title 13 times. They are followed closely by Italy and England with 9 wins each. France are the country with the most final appearances without ever having won the cup. They have appeared in the final 5 times.

Betting on the Europa League

Like other European tournaments, bets placed on the Europa League can be on the winners' nationality and on individual clubs to win outright. The entry of knockouts from the Champions League competition at the later stages means that they are often favourites as outright winners of the competition.

After the group stages, bets can also be placed on which stage clubs will be eliminated from the competition.

It is also possible to bet on both finalists being from the same national association, this has happened in 10 finals since 1972.

Europa League Key Dates for 2022/23

  • 26 August 2022 - Group Stage Draw
  • 16 & 23 February 2023 - Knockout round play-offs
  • 9 & 16 March 2023 - Round of 16
  • 13 & 20 April 2023 - Quarter finals
  • 11 & 18 May 2023 - Semi finals
  • 31 May 2023 - Final