UEFA Cup
Overview
 
The UEFA Europa League (previously called the UEFA Cup) is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

Previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format.
Encyclopedia
The UEFA Europa League (previously called the UEFA Cup) is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

Previously called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being simply a rebranding.

The competition replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition was the idea of Swiss pools supremo Ernst Thommen, Ottorino Barassi from Italy, and the English Football Association general secretary Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials...

; however, as the competition was not organised by UEFA, for their records purposes it is not considered a continuation of the same tournament. A prime example is Leeds United
Leeds United A.F.C.
Leeds United Association Football Club are an English professional association football club based in Beeston, Leeds, West Yorkshire, who play in the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system...

, who were twice winners of the Fairs Cup, but are not recognised by UEFA as having won any European trophies.

In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup is one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by UEFA. The first competition was held in the 1960–61 season—but...

 was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knock out stage. The 2009 rebranding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup, also abbreviated as UI Cup and originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the two major UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The competition was discontinued...

, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and changed qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup.

The title has been won by 26 different clubs, 11 of which have won the title more than once. The most successful clubs in the competition are Juventus
Juventus F.C.
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. , commonly referred to as Juventus and colloquially as Juve , are a professional Italian association football club based in Turin, Piedmont...

, Internazionale
F.C. Internazionale Milano
Football Club Internazionale Milano, often referred to as Internazionale or simply Inter, is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Italy. Outside Italy, the club is often called Inter Milan. They are the reigning FIFA Club World champions and Coppa Italia holders.Inter have always...

 and Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

 with three titles apiece.

History

The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition was the idea of Swiss pools supremo Ernst Thommen, Ottorino Barassi from Italy, and the English Football Association general secretary Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials...

, which was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup (1955–58) to 64 teams by the last cup which was played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was overtaken by the UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 and then relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup.

The UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club that represents the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region. They are members of the Premier League, the highest level of English football. The club was founded in 1877 and since 1889 has played at...

 versus Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

, with Spurs taking the first honours.

The competition was traditionally open to the runners-up of domestic leagues, but the competition was merged with UEFA's previous second-tier European competition, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup is one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by UEFA. The first competition was held in the 1960–61 season—but...

, in 1999. Since then, the winners of domestic cup competitions have also entered the UEFA Cup. Also, clubs eliminated in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League and the third placed teams at the end of the group phase could go on to compete in the UEFA Cup. Also admitted to the competition are three Fair Play
UEFA Fair Play ranking
The UEFA Fair Play ranking has been used by UEFA since 1995 to grant three berths for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.-Current club qualification system:...

 representatives, eleven UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup, also abbreviated as UI Cup and originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the two major UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The competition was discontinued...

 winners, and winners of some selected domestic League Cup
League Cup
In association football, a League Cup or Secondary Cup generally signifies a cup competition for which entry is restricted only to teams in a particular league. The first national association football tournament to be called "League Cup" was held in Scotland in 1946/47 and was entitled the Scottish...

 competitions.
The winners keep the trophy for a year before returning it to UEFA. After its return, the club can keep a four-fifths scale replica of the original trophy.

Four teams have won the UEFA Cup as well as their domestic league and cup competitions in the same season, those being IFK Göteborg
IFK Göteborg
IFK Göteborg is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded in 1904, the club has won 18 national championship titles, five national cup titles, and two UEFA Cups....

 in 1982, Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K. (football team)
Galatasaray Anonim Şirketi is a Turkish football club, part of the Galatasaray S.K. multi-sport club of Istanbul. Galatasaray is a major sports club in Turkey, holding 17 Turkish Super League titles and the highest number of Turkish Cups....

 in 2000, F.C. Porto in 2003 and 2011
2011 in association football
The following are the scheduled events of association football for the year 2011 throughout the world.-Men:* January 5 – 17 — 2011 Nile Basin Tournament in Egypt** ** ** ** 4th:...

, and PFC CSKA Moscow in 2005. This accomplishment is known as a treble that only Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K. (football team)
Galatasaray Anonim Şirketi is a Turkish football club, part of the Galatasaray S.K. multi-sport club of Istanbul. Galatasaray is a major sports club in Turkey, holding 17 Turkish Super League titles and the highest number of Turkish Cups....

 completed with the European Super Cup
European Super Cup
The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football game between the reigning champions of the two cup competitions organized by UEFA: the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League...

. Additionally, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach is a German association football club based in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia. The team plays in the Bundesliga and is one of the country's most well-known, well-supported, and successful teams. Borussia Mönchengladbach has over 40,000 members and is the sixth...

, IFK Göteborg
IFK Göteborg
IFK Göteborg is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded in 1904, the club has won 18 national championship titles, five national cup titles, and two UEFA Cups....

 (twice), AFC Ajax, Galatasaray S. K. and Feyenoord are the only teams to have won the cup without suffering a single loss in their campaign. RCD Espanyol
RCD Espanyol
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona is a sports club based in Barcelona, Spain. It is best known for its football team. Espanyol currently play in the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat with seats for 40,500 spectators. It was inaugurated on 2 August 2009...

 is the single runner-up without a defeat. IFK Göteborg played 25 consecutive matches in the UEFA Cup between 1980 and 1987 without a single loss, including their 1981–82 and 1986–87 winning campaigns.

From the 2009–10 season, the competition is known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup, also abbreviated as UI Cup and originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the two major UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The competition was discontinued...

, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League.

Trophy

The UEFA Cup, also known as the Coupe UEFA, is the trophy
Trophy
A trophy is a reward for a specific achievement, and serves as recognition or evidence of merit. Trophies are most often awarded for sporting events, from youth sports to professional level athletics...

 awarded annually by UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 to the football club that wins the UEFA Europa League. Before the 2009–10 season, both the competition and the trophy were known as 'the UEFA Cup'.

Before the competition was renamed the UEFA Europa League in the 2009–10 season, the UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

 regulations stated that a club could keep the original trophy upon their third consecutive win or fifth win overall. However under the new regulations the trophy remains in UEFA's keeping at all times. A full-size replica trophy is awarded to each winner of the competition. Also a club that wins three consecutive times or five times overall will receive a 'special mark of recognition'.

The trophy was designed and crafted by Bertoni
Bertoni, Milano
GDE Bertoni is a trophy and medal manufacturer, in Milan, Italy. It was transfered to AC milan Until 1995, the company was known as 'Bertoni, Milano'....

 for the 1972 UEFA Cup Final
1972 UEFA Cup Final
The 1972 UEFA Cup Final was the final of the first ever UEFA Cup football tournament. It was a two-legged contest played on 3 May and 17 May 1972 between two English clubs, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur....

. It weighs 15 kg and is silver on a yellow marble plinth.

Anthem

The Paris Opera under the direction of composer Yohann Zveig recorded the anthem of the UEFA Europa League in March–May 2009. This theme for the re-branded UEFA Cup competition was first officially unveiled at the Grimaldi Forum
Grimaldi Forum
Grimaldi Forum, Monaco is a conference & congress centre located on the seafront of Monaco's eastern beach quartier, Larvotto. Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra regularly perform here...

 on 28 August 2009 before the 2009–10 season group stage
2009–10 UEFA Europa League group stage
The 2009–10 UEFA Europa League group stage matches took place between 17 September and 17 December 2009.The group stage featured the 38 winners of the play-off round and the 10 losing sides of the Champions League play-off round....

 draw.

The anthem is to be played before every Europa League game at a stadium hosting such an event and also before every television broadcast of a Europa League game as a musical element of the competition's opening sequence.

Zveig himself hopes that his anthem will achieve a similar success as the UEFA Champions League Anthem in terms of global recognition.

Qualification

Qualification for the competition is based on UEFA coefficients, with better entrance rounds being offered to the more successful nations. Actually, each association has a standard number of three berths, excluding
  • Nations ranked 7 to 9, which have four berths
  • Nations ranked 52 and 53 (for the season 2011-2012 Malta
    Malta
    Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

     and San Marino
    San Marino
    San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino , is a state situated on the Italian Peninsula on the eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. It is an enclave surrounded by Italy. Its size is just over with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino...

    ), which have two berths
  • Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

    , which qualifies only the Cup Winners


Usually, places are awarded to teams who finish in various runners-up places in the top-flight leagues of Europe and the winners of the main cup competitions. A few countries have secondary cup competitions but the only countries which currently grant a UEFA Europa League place to their secondary cup winners are England
Football League Cup
The Football League Cup, commonly known as the League Cup or, from current sponsorship, the Carling Cup, is an English association football competition. Like the FA Cup, it is played on a knockout basis...

 and France
Coupe de la Ligue
The Coupe de la Ligue , known outside of France as the French League Cup, is a knockout cup competition in French football organized by the Ligue de Football Professionnel...

.

If the previous UEFA Europa League title-holders are not eligible to take part in either of the current UEFA club competitions (UEFA Champions League or UEFA Europa League) by virtue of their domestic form, the UEFA Administration may, at the request of the association of the club concerned, admit this club to the current UEFA Europa League competition. Its participation will not be at the expense of the contingent of its association.

Qualification can be quite complicated if one team qualifies for European competition through two different routes. In all cases, if a club is eligible to enter the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 then the Champions League place takes precedence and the club does not enter the UEFA Europa League. The UEFA Europa League place is then granted to another club. If a team qualifies for European competition through both winning a cup and league placing, the "spare" UEFA Europa League place will go to either the cup runners-up or the highest placed league team which has not already qualified for European competition, depending on the rules of the national association.

Three more berths are given to federations that finish above a certain level in UEFA's Fair Play table
UEFA Fair Play ranking
The UEFA Fair Play ranking has been used by UEFA since 1995 to grant three berths for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.-Current club qualification system:...

. The top three federations automatically receive a Fair Play entry if their rating is at least 8.0. The berth goes to the highest-placed team in the Fair Play table of that country's top league that has not already qualified for Europe.

More recently, clubs that are knocked out of the qualifying round and the group stage of the Champions League can also join the UEFA Europa League, at different stages (see below).

Background

UEFA coefficients were introduced in 1980 and, until 1999, they gave a greater number of berths in UEFA Cup to the more successful nations. Three nations had four places, five nations had three places, thirteen nations had two places, and eleven nations only one place. Since 1999, a similar system is used for UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

. Before 1980, the entrance criteria of last Fairs Cup were used.

Historical formats

The competition was traditionally a pure knockout tournament. All ties were two-legged, including the final. Starting with the 1997–98 season
UEFA Cup 1997-98
The UEFA Cup 1997–98 was won by Internazionale comfortably in an all-Italian final against Lazio. It was their third title in eight years in the competition....

, the final became a one-off match, but all other ties remained two-legged.

Before the 2004–05 season, the tournament consisted of one qualifying round, followed by a series of knockout rounds. The 16 losers in the third qualifying round of the Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 entered at the first round proper; later in the tournament, the survivors would be joined by third-place finishers in the group phase of the Champions League.

From the 2004–05 season
UEFA Cup 2004-05
The 2004–05 UEFA Cup season was won by CSKA Moscow, coming from behind in the final against Sporting Clube de Portugal. It was the first win by a Russian side in any European competition, and was even more impressive considering that the final was held at the José Alvalade Stadium, the home of...

 competition started with two knockout qualifying rounds held in July and August. Participants from associations ranked 18 and lower entered the first qualifying round with those from associations ranked 9–18 joining them in the second qualifying round. In addition, three places in the first qualifying round were reserved for the UEFA Fair Play ranking
UEFA Fair Play ranking
The UEFA Fair Play ranking has been used by UEFA since 1995 to grant three berths for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.-Current club qualification system:...

 winners, and eleven places in the second qualifying round for the UEFA Intertoto Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup, also abbreviated as UI Cup and originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the two major UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The competition was discontinued...

 winners.

Winners of the qualifying rounds then joined teams from the associations ranked 1–13 in the first round proper. In addition, losers in the third qualifying round of the Champions League also joined the competition at this point along with the current title-holders (unless they had qualified for the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 via their national league), for a total of 80 teams total in the first round.

After the first knockout round, the 40 survivors entered a group phase, with the clubs being drawn into eight groups of five each. Unlike the Champions League group phase, the UEFA Cup group phase was played in a single round-robin format, with each club playing two home and two away games. The top three teams in each of the eight groups qualified for the main knockout round along with the eight third-placed teams in the Champions League group phase. From then on a series of two-legged knockout ties were played before a single-legged final, traditionally held on the Wednesday in May immediately preceding the Champions League final.

Current format

From the 2009–10 season, the competition has been rebranded as the UEFA Europa League in a bid to increase the competition's profile. As well as changing the competition's name, an extra 16 teams now qualify for the main stages of the competition, with the group stage now consisting of 12 groups of four teams (in a double round robin
Round-robin tournament
A round-robin tournament is a competition "in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn".-Terminology:...

), with the top two placed teams in each group progressing. The competition then progresses in much the same way as the previous format, with 4 rounds of two-legged knockout rounds and a one-off final held at a neutral ground meeting UEFA's Category Four stadium criteria.

Qualification has also changed significantly. Associations ranked 7–9 in the UEFA coefficients
UEFA coefficients
In European football, the UEFA coefficients are statistics used for ranking and seeding teams in club and international competitions.The coefficients are calculated by UEFA, who administer football within Europe...

 will send the Cup winner and three other teams to the UEFA Europa League qualification, all other nations send a Cup winner and two other teams, except Liechtenstein, Andorra and San Marino, who will only send a Cup winner. Usually, the other teams will be the next highest ranked clubs in each domestic league after those qualifying for the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

, however France and England will continue to use one spot for their League Cup winner. Additionally, three places in the first of four qualifying rounds are still reserved for Fair Play winners
UEFA Fair Play ranking
The UEFA Fair Play ranking has been used by UEFA since 1995 to grant three berths for the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.-Current club qualification system:...

. For the inaugural 2009–10 season these places went to Rosenborg of Norway, Randers
Randers FC
Randers FC is a Danish professional football team based in Randers, which plays in the top-flight Danish Superliga championship. Founded as a merger on January 1, 2003, the club builds upon the license of Randers Freja, a former three-time Danish Cup winning team...

 of Denmark and Motherwell
Motherwell F.C.
Motherwell Football & Athletic Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire. The club compete in the Scottish Premier League and are one of only seven teams to have remained in this league since it was founded in 1998...

 of Scotland. With the scrapping of the Intertoto Cup
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The UEFA Intertoto Cup, also abbreviated as UI Cup and originally called the International Football Cup, was a summer football competition for European clubs that had not qualified for one of the two major UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the UEFA Cup. The competition was discontinued...

 there will no longer be spaces reserved in the qualifying rounds for teams qualifying through that route. Generally, the higher an association is ranked in the UEFA coefficients, the later its clubs start in the qualification, however every team except the title holder has to play at least one qualification round.

Apart from the teams mentioned, an additional 15 losing teams from the Champions League qualification round three will enter in the fourth and last UEFA Europa League qualification round, formerly known as the first round, and the 10 losers of the Champions League qualification round 4 will directly enter the UEFA Europa League group stage. The 12 winners and the 12 runners-up in the group stage will advance to the first knock out round, together with eight 3rd placed teams from the Champions League group stage. The losing finalist for the domestic cup competition will still be entitled to be entered for the UEFA Europa League should the domestic cup winners qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Referees

The Europa League have implemented the extra officials rule since September 2009. Under the rule, there will be a total of six officials: the main referee, two assistant referees, fourth official of the sideline, and two extra assistants (one alongside each goal).

Prize money

Similarly to the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

, the prize money received by the clubs is divided into fixed payments based on participation and results, and variable amounts that depend of the value of their TV market.

A group stage participation in the Europa League nets €640,000, with a €60,000 bonus per group match played. A victory in the group pays €140,000 and a draw €70,000. Reaching the knock-out matches triggers additional bonuses: €200,000 for the round of 32, €300,000 for the round of 16, €400,000 for the quarterfinals and €700,000 for the semifinals. The losing finalists receive €2 million and the champions get €3 million. In comparison, any team that reaches the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 group stage will be paid €3.9 million.

According to UEFA the fixed payments for the 2010/2011 UEFA Europa League season were as follows:
  • 1st qualifying round: €90,000
  • 2nd qualifying round: €90,000
  • 3rd qualifying round: €90,000
  • Playoffs: €90,000
  • Group stage: €640,000
  • For each match in group stage: €60,000
  • Group match victory: €140,000
  • Group match draw: €70,000
  • Round of 32: €200,000
  • Round of 16: €300,000
  • Quarter-finals: €400,000
  • Semi-finals: €700,000
  • Losing Finalist: €2,000,000
  • Winning the Final: €3,000,000

Sponsorship

The UEFA Europa League is sponsored by a single multinational company; the current tournament sponsor is SEAT
SEAT
SEAT, S.A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer founded on May 9, 1950 by the Instituto Nacional de Industria , a state-owned industrial holding company....

.

Adidas
Adidas
Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company , and Rockport...

 is a secondary sponsor and supplies the official match ball, as they do for all other UEFA competitions.
Konami
Konami
is a Japanese leading developer and publisher of numerous popular and strong-selling toys, trading cards, anime, tokusatsu, slot machines, arcade cabinets and video games...

's Pro Evolution Soccer
Pro Evolution Soccer (series)
Pro Evolution Soccer is a series of football video game developed and published by Konami...

 is also a secondary sponsor as the official Europa League video game.

Individual clubs may wear jerseys with advertising, even if such sponsors conflict with those of the Champions League. However, only one sponsorship is permitted per jersey (plus that of the manufacturer), and if clubs play a match in a country where the relevant sponsorship category is restricted (such as the case of France, alcohol, and betting), then they must remove that logo from their jerseys.

Media coverage

The competition attracts an extensive television audience, not just in Europe, but throughout the world.

Records and statistics

The UEFA Cup finals were played over two legs until 1997. The first final was played on 3 May 1972 in Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, England. For Eurostat purposes Walsall and Wolverhampton is a NUTS 3 region and is one of five boroughs or unitary districts that comprise the "West Midlands" NUTS 2 region...

 and 17 May 1972 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. The first leg between Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club is an English professional association football club that represents the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands region. They are members of the Premier League, the highest level of English football. The club was founded in 1877 and since 1889 has played at...

 and Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

 was won 2–1 by the away side. The second leg finished as a 1–1 draw, meaning that Tottenham Hotspur became the first UEFA Cup winners.

The one-match finals in pre-selected venues were introduced in 1998. A venue must meet or exceed UEFA Category three standards to host UEFA Cup finals. On two occasions, the final was played at a finalist's home ground: Feyenoord defeated Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund
Ballspielverein Borussia Dortmund, commonly BVB, are a German sports club based in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia. Dortmund are one of the most successful clubs in German football history. Borussia Dortmund play in the Bundesliga, the top league of German football...

 at De Kuip
Feijenoord Stadion
The Feijenoord Stadion, better known by its nickname De Kuip , is a stadium in Rotterdam, Netherlands that was completed in 1937. The name is derived from the area "Feijenoord" in Rotterdam, and from the club with the same name .Capacity at completion: 64,000. Maximum capacity: 69,000...

, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 in 2002, and Sporting CP lost to CSKA Moscow at their own José Alvalade Stadium
Estádio José Alvalade
Estádio José Alvalade is a football stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, home of Sporting Clube de Portugal, one of the country's biggest clubs. It is the center of a complex called Alvalade XXI , designed by Portuguese architect...

, Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 in 2005.

The winner of the last UEFA Cup final (prior to the competition being rebranded the UEFA Europa League) was Shakhtar Donetsk on 20 May 2009. The Ukrainian team beat Werder Bremen of Germany 2–1 at Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium
Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium
Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is a football stadium in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey, and is the home venue of Fenerbahçe S.K.. It was inaugurated in 1908 and renovated between 1999 and 2006...

, Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

.

The first ever winner of the rebranded Europa League was Atlético Madrid, beating Premier League side Fulham
Fulham F.C.
Fulham Football Club is a professional English Premier League club based in southwest London Fulham, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Premier League, their 11th current season...

 2–1 after extra time.

Winners

Club Winner Runner-up Years won Years runner-up
  Juventus
Juventus F.C.
Juventus Football Club S.p.A. , commonly referred to as Juventus and colloquially as Juve , are a professional Italian association football club based in Turin, Piedmont...

3 1 1977, 1990, 1993 1995
  Internazionale
F.C. Internazionale Milano
Football Club Internazionale Milano, often referred to as Internazionale or simply Inter, is a professional Italian football club based in Milan, Italy. Outside Italy, the club is often called Inter Milan. They are the reigning FIFA Club World champions and Coppa Italia holders.Inter have always...

3 1 1991, 1994, 1998 1997
  Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

3 0 1973, 1976, 2001
  Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach is a German association football club based in Mönchengladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia. The team plays in the Bundesliga and is one of the country's most well-known, well-supported, and successful teams. Borussia Mönchengladbach has over 40,000 members and is the sixth...

2 2 1975, 1979 1973, 1980
  Tottenham
Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club , commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English Premier League football club based in Tottenham, north London. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane....

2 1 1972, 1984 1974
  Feyenoord 2 0 1974, 2002
  Göteborg
IFK Göteborg
IFK Göteborg is a Swedish professional football club based in Gothenburg. Founded in 1904, the club has won 18 national championship titles, five national cup titles, and two UEFA Cups....

2 0 1982, 1987
  Real Madrid
Real Madrid C.F.
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol , commonly known as Real Madrid, is a professional football club based in Madrid, Spain. The club have won a record 31 La Liga titles, the Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional , 18 Copas del Rey, 8 Spanish Super Cups, 1 Copa Eva Duarte and 1 Copa de la...

2 0 1985, 1986
  Parma
Parma F.C.
Parma Football Club , commonly referred to as just Parma, is an Italian professional football club based in Parma, Emilia–Romagna that will compete in Serie A for the 2011–12 season, having finished in twelfth position last season. Founded as Verdi Foot Ball Club in July 1913, the club changed its...

2 0 1995, 1999
  Sevilla
Sevilla FC
Sevilla Fútbol Club S.A.D. is a Spanish professional football club based in Seville, Spain that plays in the Spanish La Liga championship.They are one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football having won a 1 La Liga title, 5 Spanish "Copa del Rey" Cups, 1 Spanish Super Cup and 2 UEFA...

2 0 2006, 2007
  Porto 2 0 2003, 2011
  Anderlecht
R.S.C. Anderlecht
Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht, usually known as Anderlecht or RSCA , is a Belgian professional football club based in Anderlecht in the Brussels Capital Region. Anderlecht plays in the Belgian Pro League and is the most successful Belgian football team in European competitions as well as in the...

1 1 1983 1984
  PSV Eindhoven 1 0 1978
  Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt is a German sports club, based in Frankfurt, Hesse that is best known for its association football club.- Club origins :...

1 0 1980
  Ipswich Town
Ipswich Town F.C.
Ipswich Town Football Club are an English professional football team based in Ipswich, Suffolk. As of 2011, they play in the Football League Championship, having last appeared in the Premier League in 2001–02....

1 0 1981
  Bayer 04 Leverkusen 1 0 1988
  Napoli
S.S.C. Napoli
Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, commonly referred to as Napoli, is a professional Italian football club based in Naples and founded in 1926. The club has spent most of its history in Serie A, where it currently plays its 2011–12 season....

1 0 1989
  Ajax 1 0 1992
  Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich , is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which is the most successful football club in Germany, having won 22 national titles and 15 cups....

1 0 1996
  Schalke 04
FC Schalke 04
Fußball-Club Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04, commonly known as simply FC Schalke 04 or Schalke , is a German, association-football club originally from the Schalke district of Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. Schalke has long been one of the most popular football teams in Germany, even though major...

1 0 1997
  Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K. (football team)
Galatasaray Anonim Şirketi is a Turkish football club, part of the Galatasaray S.K. multi-sport club of Istanbul. Galatasaray is a major sports club in Turkey, holding 17 Turkish Super League titles and the highest number of Turkish Cups....

1 0 2000
  Valencia
Valencia CF
Valencia Club de Fútbol is a Spanish football club based in Valencia, Spain. They play in La Liga and are one of the most successful and biggest clubs in Spanish Football and European Football. Valencia have won six La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey trophies, two Fairs Cups which was the...

1 0 2004
  CSKA Moscow 1 0 2005
  Zenit St. Petersburg
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
Football Club Zenit is a Russian football club from the city of Saint-Petersburg. Founded in 1925 , the club plays in the Russian Premier League...

1 0 2008
  Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Shakhtar Donetsk
FC Shakhtar Donetsk is a Ukrainian professional football club from the city of Donetsk. Shakhtar has appeared in several European competitions and currently is often a participant of the UEFA Champions League. The club became the first Ukrainian club to win the UEFA Cup in 2009, the last year...

1 0 2009
  Atlético Madrid 1 0 2010

External links

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