The Europa League is the annual competition for the men’s association football club. Since 1971, the Union of European Football Association, or UEFA, has planned the event for the European football clubs that qualify. Clubs become eligible for the competition based on their national league and cup contest performances.
Europa League History
The football competition has only been known as the Europa League since the 2009 and 2010 season. Before that, event organizers called it the UEFA Cup. However, there was an even earlier title for the competition, which was the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. Clubs competed for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup from 1955 until 1971. It began with just 11 teams, and by 1971, 64 teams played for the title. The UEFA took it over due to its popularity and changed the competition’s name.
The Wolverhampton Wanders played against the Tottenham Hotspurs during the first UEFA Cup event at the end of the 1971 and 1972 season. Both teams were English Clubs, and the Hotspurs won. Originally, the competition was open to the domestic league’s second place clubs. However, in 1999, the UEFA merged the cup with its earlier second tier event, which was the EUFA Cup Winners’ Cup. Since then, domestic cup winners have been eligible for the event. The UEFA also permits other clubs to enter the competition such as those that have been eliminated in the third round of the Champions League and third place teams that are in the last section of the group phase as well as several domestic League Cup competition winners and three Fair Play delegates.
About the Trophy
When a club wins the Europa League, they get to keep the official trophy for one year. At the end of the year, they return the prize, and the UEFA replaces it with a replica that they get to keep permanently. The replica is a four-fifths scale version of the original prize. If one club wins the competition three times consecutively or five times overall, then that team will receive additional recognition. Bertoni, an Italian trophy and medal producer, designed and constructed the trophy for the 1972 UEFA Cup Final. Bertoni mounted the silver trophy on a yellow marble pedestal, and it weighs 15 kilograms.
Clubs that compete in the Europa League also have the opportunity to win prize money. For the first qualifying round, clubs win €120,000 while a group match victory results in winnings that total €200,000. The final champion receives €5,000,000.
The UEFA uses coefficients to qualify clubs for its championship events. Coefficients are the statistics that determine team rankings and seeding. For the men’s competitions, the UEFA uses three groups of coefficients, which include the national team, country and club. Furthermore, nations that are more successful receive better entrance rounds.
The clubs that have won the most titles include Sevilla, Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool.
Who wins the Europa League 2016/2017?