Europa League

The Europa League is a yearly event organised by the UEFA. As a result, it is commonly known as the UEFA Europa League, or UEL for short. To qualify to this tournament, any football club first needs to show their performance in either their own national League. Or, related cup competition. As to the competition itself, it has been around since 1971. However, the way it plays, names, and the number of teams have gone through some changes from its early days. That we will, of course, cover in a later segment of this article. So, do you want to get a fairly good base knowledge of the Europa League and how its work today, but also discover some interesting data? Well, then you are in the right place. On that reveal, let’s get down to it, and start things off with a swift history lesson.

Quick history

To understand the origin of the Europa League we first need to check out the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which was a football competition meant for European teams. That saw its heyday between 1955 and 1971 where it started with 11 teams. However, it didn’t take long before it grew, and by the time it came to completion in 1971 the cup included 64 teams. Moreover, due to its popularity and importance of European football, UEFA took over the reins and rebranded it to UEFA Cup. Now, with UEFA as a custodian, the previous status quality cup competition became even bigger and more beloved. And it was only in the season 2009/10 that the cup saw the rebrand launch that we see today. As a result, the old name UEFA Cup adopted the name Europa League. However, even though the name has gone through some changes, the foundations remain the same.

How many teams include in the Europa League?

In the Europa League Group Stage, it all kicks-off with 48 teams that get separated into 12 different groups of 4. That include 21 teams from the qualifying round of the League’s playoff. Plus, 6 teams that lost the Champions League playoff qualifying round. And the 2 teams that lost the third qualifying round in the Champions League. But also the teams the rank 1st to 12th in domestic cup champion of association. And 4th placed team in the domestic League ranked 5th in the association. And, the domestic leagues 5th placed team rank 1st to 4th in accordance with UEFA’s Club Coefficient Rankings. As a result, all 48 teams are now accounted for. Which get narrowed down to 32 after all matches have elapsed in the Group Stage. As an effect, the 5 stages of the knockout phase commence.

A season of Europa League

As UEFA is the beacon of light leading the competition, it should come as no surprise, that a season of the Europa League follows the same patterns as the rest of football Europe. Meaning that the qualifying rounds see the light in the early summer months. Telling us that, normally a season get on its way in June or July, and continues to around August or September. Then, when all the qualifying rounds are out of the way, the proper comes into play. Which usually initiates in September. And doesn’t come to its final stages until the following year. That usually happens in the month of May. And that’s normally how any given season of the League looks from year to year.

Who owns the League?

As the label on the tin says, UEFA Europa League. As such, the organisers and the owner is the same thing. However, worth pointing out is that holding the title of Europa League Champion comes with its own bragging rights. And although, that there is a covenant body overseeing and reaping the cash benefits from the event. The champions can say that they own the League for being the best club.europa league

Europa League competition champions

The reigning Champion of Europa League is the Spanish club, Sevilla. That lifted the 15kg, 33cm wide, 23cm deep, and 65cm high silverware 5 times (2005/06, 2006/07, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16). On the second place, it gets a bit more crowded, where we see 4 different clubs taking home the win 3 times each. As such, we are going to consider the second and third place the same. In order of the first victory, we have Liverpool (1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01), Juventus (1976/77, 1989/90, 1992/93). But also Internazionale (1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98) and Atlético Madrid (2009/10, 2011/12, 2017/18).

Extraordinary moments in Europa League

One historical event that will go down as a viewer success, as well as a crowd-pleaser, is the Tottenham Hotspur versus Gent 2–2 match on February 23rd 2017 that had an on-site audience of over 80,000. Or how about when Ajax made a fool of Red Boys Differdange on March 10th in season 1984/85 scoring an astonishing 14 goals to Red Boys Differdange in one game. While we are at the subject of goals, let’s see who the overall goal king in the League is.

Top goal scorers and record keepers in Europa League

In a respective lead, we have Celtic’s former legendary player, Henrik Larsson, that during his career in the League scored even 40 goals. Then in second place is “the Hunter” Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with his 34 goalkeeper de-motivators. Closely followed by Colombian born Radamel Falcao and Spanish player Aritz Aduriz. That each has connected 31 times and counting. However, on a club level, the current top goal-scoring team is Club Brugge KV with is 295 goals. But, on the other side of things, they also lead the most goals conceded with 228.

Live viewership and the home audience

That the League is one of the most anticipated football events in Europe is an understatement, to say the least. In fact, for the last 5 years, the interest has grown exponentially indicating that the stadiums hosting the matches work on an average of around 70% capacity. Plus, with all broadcasting rights that stretches across the globe on over 200 sports media networks, the home spectators number is gargantuan. Where the in-spotlight matches usually see somewhere around 2 million remote viewers.

Can you place bets on Europa League?

When the season is in full motion, you will find all type of bets to sink your teeth in to. Where you are going to find all typical bet types, but also typical to a League kick-off, you most definitely will see the bookmakers offer such things as free bets and other types of betting bonuses. As a result, beginning your sports betting venture on said League will offer you a broad platform to stand on.