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:
|2020/2021||Villareal CF||1-1 (11-10 on penalties)||Manchester United||Stadion Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland||9,412|
|2019/2020||Sevilla||3-2||Inter Milan||Rhein Energie Stadion, Cologne, Germany||0|
|2018/2019||Chelsea||4-1||Arsenal||Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan||51,370|
|2017/2018||Atlético Madrid||3-0||Olympique de Marseille||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu, France||55,768|
|2016/2017||Manchester United||2-0||Ajax||Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Décines-Charpieu, France||46,961|
|2015/2016||Sevilla||3-1||Liverpool||St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland||34,429|
|2014/2015||Sevilla||3-2||Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk||Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw, Poland||45,000|
|2013/2014||Sevilla||0-0 (4-2 on penalties)||S.L. Benfica||Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy||33,120|
|2012/2013||Chelsea||2-1||S.L. Benfica||Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands||46,163|
|2011/2012||Atlético Madrid||3-0||Athletic Bilbao||Arena Națională, Bucharest, Romania||52,347|
|2010/2011||FC Porto||1-0||Braga||Lansdowne Road Stadium, Dublin, Ireland||45,391|
|2009/2010||Atlético Madrid||2-1 (after extra time)||Fulham||Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany||49,000|
|2008/2009||Shakhtar Donetsk||2-1 (after extra time)||Werder Bremen||Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey||37,357|
|2007/2008||Zenit Saint Petersburg||2-0||Rangers||City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England||43,878|
|2006/2007||Sevilla||2-2 (3-1 on penalties)||RCD Espanyol||Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland||47,602|
|2005/2006||Sevilla||4-0||Middlesbrough||PSV Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands||33,100|
|2004/2005||CSKA Moscow||3-1||Sporting CP||Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon, Portugal||47,085|
|2003/2004||Valencia CF||2-0||Olympique de Marseille||Nya Ullevi, Gothenburg, Sweden||39,000|
|2002/2003||FC Porto||3-2 (after extra time)||Celtic||Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla, Seville, Spain||52,972|
|2001/2002||Feyenoord||3-2||Borussia Dortmund||De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands||45,611|
|2000/2001||Liverpool||5-4 (golden goal in extra time)||Deportivo Alavés||Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany||48,050|
|1999/2000||Galatasaray||0-0 (4-1 on penalties)||Arsenal||Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark||38,919|
|1998/1999||Parma||3-0||Olympique de Marseille||Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia||61,000|
|1997/1998||Inter Milan||3-0||Lazio||Parc des Princes, Paris, France||44,412|
And here are the trophy holders from 1997 to 1971 where the UEFA Cup finals were two-legged affairs:
|1996/1997||Schalke 04||Inter Milan|
|1993/1994||Inter Milan||Austria Salzburg|
|1990/1991||Inter Milan||AS Roma|
|1987/1988||Bayer Leverkusen||RCD Espanyol|
|1986/1987||IFK Göteborg||Dundee United|
|1985/1986||Real Madrid||1. FC Köln|
|1981/1982||IFK Göteborg||Hamburger SV|
|1980/1981||Ipswich Town||AZ Alkmaar|
|1979/1980||Eintracht Frankfurt||Borussia Mönchengladbach|
|1978/1979||Borussia Mönchengladbach||Red Star Belgrade|
|1974/1975||Borussia Mönchengladbach||FC Twente|
|1971/1972||Tottenham Hotspur||Wolverhampton 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.
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:
|Club||Wins||Runners-up||Seasons Won||Seasons Runner-up|
|Sevilla||6||0||2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020||-|
|Inter Milan||3||2||1991, 1994, 1998||1997, 2020|
|Liverpool||3||1||1973, 1976, 2001||2016|
|Juventus||3||1||1977, 1990, 1993||1995|
|Atlético Madrid||3||0||2010, 2012, 2018||-|
|Borussia Mönchengladbach||2||2||1975, 1979||1973, 1980|
|Tottenham Hotspur||2||1||1972, 1984||1974|
|IFK Göteborg||2||0||1982, 1987||-|
|Real Madrid||2||0||1985, 1986||-|
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.
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:
|Name||Number of Titles|
|Quique Sánchez Flores||1|
|Paul Van Himst||1|
|Sir Bobby Robson||1|
|Louis van Gaal||1|
|Bert van Marwijk||1|
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
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.
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