UEFA Europa League Winners (1971 – 2021)

The UEFA Europa League has long been considered Europe’s second tier intercontinental cup competition, particularly because of the popularity of the UEFA Champions League.

Despite the fact that the latter tournament attracts considerably higher fan viewership, there are a lot of soccer supporters who view this trophy as a great chance for their club to win something.

It used to be known as the UEFA Cup, and clubs qualify for it based on their positional standings within their domestic leagues and other cup competitions.

What’s quite interesting about this tournament was the format that it used to adopt.

You see, for the first 25 years that the competition existed, the final would be contested by way of two-legged ties at each team’s respective home venue!

So, what that means is that…

For example, you could have Manchester City and Manchester United facing off against each other in a first leg at Old Trafford and a second fixture at the Etihad Stadium.

The first single-legged final took place in 1988 where Inter Milan defeated Lazio at a neutral venue – the Parc de Princes in Paris.

Since that year, single-legged finals have been embedded into the competition’s format.

Now, let’s take a look at all the past winners of this tournament from 2021 down to 1998:

2020/2021Villareal CF1-1 (11-10 on penalties)Manchester UnitedStadion Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland9,412
2019/2020Sevilla3-2Inter MilanRhein Energie Stadion, Cologne, Germany0
2018/2019Chelsea4-1ArsenalOlympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan51,370
2017/2018Atlético Madrid3-0Olympique de MarseilleParc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu, France55,768
2016/2017Manchester United2-0AjaxParc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu, France46,961
2015/2016Sevilla3-1LiverpoolSt. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland34,429
2014/2015Sevilla3-2Dnipro DnipropetrovskStadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland45,000
2013/2014Sevilla0-0 (4-2 on penalties)S.L. BenficaJuventus Stadium, Turin, Italy33,120
2012/2013Chelsea2-1S.L. BenficaAmsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands46,163
2011/2012Atlético Madrid3-0Athletic BilbaoArena Națională, Bucharest, Romania52,347
2010/2011FC Porto1-0BragaLansdowne Road Stadium, Dublin, Ireland45,391
2009/2010Atlético Madrid2-1 (after extra time)FulhamVolksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany49,000
2008/2009Shakhtar Donetsk2-1 (after extra time)Werder BremenŞükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey37,357
2007/2008Zenit Saint Petersburg2-0RangersCity of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England43,878
2006/2007Sevilla2-2 (3-1 on penalties)RCD EspanyolHampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland47,602
2005/2006Sevilla4-0MiddlesbroughPSV Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands33,100
2004/2005CSKA Moscow3-1Sporting CPEstádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal47,085
2003/2004Valencia CF2-0Olympique de MarseilleNya Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden39,000
2002/2003FC Porto3-2 (after extra time)CelticEstadio Olímpico de Sevilla, Seville, Spain52,972
2001/2002Feyenoord3-2Borussia DortmundDe Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands45,611
2000/2001Liverpool5-4 (golden goal in extra time)Deportivo AlavésWestfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany48,050
1999/2000Galatasaray0-0 (4-1 on penalties)ArsenalParken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark38,919
1998/1999Parma3-0Olympique de MarseilleLuzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia61,000
1997/1998Inter Milan3-0LazioParc des Princes, Paris, France44,412

And here are the trophy holders from 1997 to 1971 where the UEFA Cup finals were two-legged affairs:

1996/1997Schalke 04Inter Milan
1995/1996Bayern MunichBordeaux
1993/1994Inter MilanAustria Salzburg
1992/1993JuventusBorussia Dortmund
1990/1991Inter MilanAS Roma
1988/1989NapoliVfB Stuttgart
1987/1988Bayer LeverkusenRCD Espanyol
1986/1987IFK GöteborgDundee United
1985/1986Real Madrid1. FC Köln
1984/1985Real MadridVideoton
1983/1984Tottenham HotspurAnderlecht
1982/1983AnderlechtS.L. Benfica
1981/1982IFK GöteborgHamburger SV
1980/1981Ipswich TownAZ Alkmaar
1979/1980Eintracht FrankfurtBorussia Mönchengladbach
1978/1979Borussia MönchengladbachRed Star Belgrade
1977/1978PSV EindhovenBastia
1976/1977JuventusAthletic Bilbao
1975/1976LiverpoolClub Brugge
1974/1975Borussia MönchengladbachFC Twente
1973/1974FeyenoordTottenham Hotspur
1972/1973LiverpoolBorussia Mönchengladbach
1971/1972Tottenham HotspurWolverhampton Wanderers

As you can see, the most recent winners were Villarreal CF.

The Spanish side defeated Manchester United by 11 goals to 10 in a tense and lengthy penalty shootout, which happened after the match was tied by 1 goal apiece in normal time.


Which team has won the most Europa league trophies?

Many clubs have won this competition a couple of times, but there’s one particular team that stands out as the dominant figure in this tournament.

Sevilla FC have won the Europa League trophy more than any other club; lifting the trophy on six separate occasions.

team with most europa league winners trophies - sevilla

The La Liga side are renowned for their strength in this competition, and in fact plenty of fans like to joke about how well they perform in the Europa League as opposed to the Champions League.

Here are a few light hearted ones that really emphasize this point:

Beyond Sevilla, there are a number of other teams that have won the Europa League quite a few times.

Check out the table below, which breaks this information down:

ClubWinsRunners-upSeasons WonSeasons Runner-up
Sevilla602006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020-
Inter Milan321991, 1994, 19981997, 2020
Liverpool311973, 1976, 20012016
Juventus311977, 1990, 19931995
Atlético Madrid302010, 2012, 2018-
Borussia Mönchengladbach221975, 19791973, 1980
Tottenham Hotspur211972, 19841974
Feyenoord201974, 2002-
IFK Göteborg201982, 1987-
Real Madrid201985, 1986-
Parma201995, 1999-
Porto202003, 2011-
Chelsea202013, 2019-


Which English teams have won the Europa League?

England has a fairly good amount of representation when it comes to the amount of clubs in the country that have won this competition.

And this is because…

Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Ipswich Town have all won the Europa League on at least one occasion.


Has Real Madrid ever won the Europa League?

Real Madrid are a team known for their illustrious history of winning the UEFA Champions League on numerous occasions.

In fact, the vast majority of fans who grew up supporting the club in the early 2000s won’t have seen their side participate in Europe’s second tier competition!

However, the Spanish giants do have a bit of a footprint in the Europa League.

Real Madrid have won the Europa League twice; back in the 1984-1985 season and the 1985-1986 campaign when the competition was formerly known as the UEFA Cup.


Who are the coaches with the most Europa League victories?

Just like teams, coaches and managers can be lauded for their performances in competitions.

The Europa League has seen multiple winners, but there’s one coach who stands out for his exemplary record in this tournament.

coach with most europa league winners medals - unai emery

Unai Emery is the coach who has managed the most Europa League wins in history, having lifted the trophy a total of four times across managerial spells with Sevilla FC and Villarreal CF.

At Sevilla he won three consecutive Europa League trophies, before managing his most recent one with Villarreal when they overcame Manchester United in 2021.

Here’s how the rest of the coach list looks in this regard:

NameNumber of Titles
Unai Emery4
Giovanni Trapattoni3
Diego Simeone2
José Mourinho2
Rafael Benítez2
Juande Ramos2
Luis Molowny2
Julen Lopetegui1
Maurizio Sarri1
André Villas-Boas1
Quique Sánchez Flores1
Paul Van Himst1
Bill Nicholson1
Bill Shankly1
Wiel Coerver1
Hennes Weisweiler1
Udo Lattek1
Bob Paisley1
Kees Rijvers1
Sir Bobby Robson1
Friedel Rausch1
Sven-Göran Eriksson1
Ottavio Bianchi1
Keith Burkinshaw1
Gunder Bengtsson1
Dino Zoff1
Erich Ribbeck1
Mircea Lucescu1
Louis van Gaal1
Dick Advocaat1
Gianpiero Marini1
Alberto Malesani1
Nevio Scala1
Klaus Augenthaler1
Huub Stevens1
Luigi Simoni1
Valeri Gazzaev1
Fatih Terim1
Gérard Houllier1
Bert van Marwijk1


Do winners of the Europa League qualify for the Champions League?

The allure of Europa League football mainly comes from the fact that the winner of the competition is guaranteed an automatic spot for the UEFA Champions League group stages in the next campaign.

Here’s a good quote for some additional context:

“The rule was first introduced in season 2014/15 – for access to the 2015/16 competition – though winners were initially assured only of a UEFA Champions League play-off spot, going straight into the group stage if either themselves or the UEFA Champions League holders had already qualified via their domestic league. 

That, in fact, always happened in the three seasons that particular rule existed. It switched to automatic entry in 2017/18.”

Source – UEFA


Final thoughts

That brings us to the end of this article on historic Europa League winners.

You’ll have learnt about all the teams that have emerged victorious in this competition since its inception in 1971.

If you want to read about content that’s related to this topic, then you should check out the past winners of Europe’s highest level competition.

Samuel Waihenya
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