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UEFA Europa League competions history and winners

The UEFA Europa League (short UEL) is an annual football club competition, organized since 1971 by UEFA for eligible European football clubs. The clubs qualify for the competition on the basis of their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions. It is the second-tier European club football competition under Uefa Champions league.

The previously designated as UEFA Cup competition has been known since the 2009/10 season as UEFA Europa League, the change of name merely being a change of name.

In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004/05 competition, a group phase was added before the knockout stage. Rebranding 2009 included a merger with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, which resulted in an expanded competitive format with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014/15 season, the next season's UEFA Champions League group stage campaign.

The title was won by 28 clubs, 13 of which have won the title more than once. The most successful club of the competition is Sevilla with five titles. The current champion is Chelsea, after beating Arsenal 4-1 in the 2019 final to win their second title.

The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a European football competition held between 1955 and 1971. The competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup (1955-58) to 64 teams until the last cup played 1970-71. It had become so important in the European football scene that it was eventually taken over by UEFA and reissued as the UEFA Cup the following season.

The UEFA Cup was first held in the 1971/72 season when Wolverhampton Wanderers played Tottenham Hotspur in a purely England football final and Spurs received the first award. The title was taken in 1973 by another English club, Liverpool, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia won the competition in 1975 and 1979 and reached the final again in 1980. Feyenoord won the trophy in 1974 after beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 (2-2 in London, 2-0 in Rotterdam). Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after beating FC Brugge in the final.

In the 1980s IFK Gothenburg (1982 and 1987) and Real Madrid (1985 and 1986) won the competition twice, with Anderlecht finishing twice in a row, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984. The dominance of the Italian clubs began in 1989 when Diego Maradonas defeated Napoli Stuttgart. The nineties started with two purely Italian finals, and in 1992 Turin lost the final against Ajax on away goals. Juventus won the competition for the third time in 1993 and Internazionale retained the trophy in Italy football the following year. In 1995, after two cup finals in a row, there was a third purely Italian final in which Parma proved its consistency. The only final without Italians in this decade was 1996. Internazionale reached the final in the next two years, lost in 1997 on penalties against Schalke 04 and won another purely Italian final in 1998 and took the trophy for the third time in just eight years. Parma won the trophy in 1999, ending the era of Italian supremacy. Coincidentally, it was from 2019 the last final of the UEFA Cup / Europa League for an Italian club.

Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001. In 2002, Feyenoord won Rotterdam for the second time in their club's history, defeating Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in their own De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam. Porto won the tournaments in 2003 and 2011, most recently against the Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the trophy returned to Spain when Valencia won. In the years 2006 and 2007 Sevilla succeeded twice in a row a success, most recently in the final against the Spanish compatriots Espanyol. Both teams, CSKA Moscow (2005) and Zenit Saint Petersburg (2008), triumphed against Sevilla,Spain football. Another former Soviet club, the Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk, won 2009. Atlético Madrid would win twice in three seasons in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another purely Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would be the first Champions League winner to win the UEFA Cup / Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third Cup in eight years after beating Benfica on penalties. Just a year later, in 2015, Sevilla won its fourth UEFA Cup / Europa League title and defended its title in the 2016 final for a third consecutive year against Liverpool FC's history of the 5-title competition.

Since the 2009/10 season, the competition is known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-rate competition, was discontinued and integrated into the new Europa League.


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