UEFA Europa League

UEFA Europa League

UEFA_Europa_League_logo1UEFA Europa League, previously known as UEFA Cup, is Europe’s second most prestigious competition. Following UEFA Champions League, it gathers clubs based on their national leagues and cup competitions performance. What started as a Cup for regions that held trade fair in 1955, later evolved into a full-fledged European Competition with over 100 participating teams.

Although the competition was opened only for teams that came second in their domestic leagues, after merging with UEFA Winner’s Cup in 1999, the regulations allowed teams who won their country’s cup competitions to take part in qualifications. Of course rules have changed a lot since then and today we get teams that lost in the third qualifying round of the Champions League and the third placed in the group stage as well as three Fair Play teams chosen by UEFA. Every single bookmaker you can think of will boast with the best Europa League odds during the season – for this particular league, we recommend Pinnacle Sports though, which in most of the cases offers truly great odds.

The qualifications for every year’s Europa League are carried out as follows:

  • There are three qualifying rounds with two matches on a home/away basis. If the winners have the same number of points, their fate is decided by mean of penalty shots. Sometimes bookmakers give their best Europa League bets for penalty decided games.
  • 38 teams survive the play offs and they are joined by 10 teams who lost the Champions League play offs. The games take place through December and at the end of them 2 teams from each group go further and they are joined by the teams that are placed third in the Champions League groups.
  • In the knock out phase teams from the same group or football association can’t be drawn to play together, but this restriction is lifted from round of 16 onwards.
  • As usual, the final is decided by a single game which is held in a different venue each year.

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The trophy awarded to the winning team is different from all others because it has no handles and above the base one could observe a group of players reaching up for something; while UEFA officially state that the players are just supporting the Cup with UEFA’s logo on it. Previously the trophy was given to the winners under the same conditions as the Champions League one, but new rules terminated all that, as the Cup now stays in the UEFA’s hands at all times, while the teams receive a smaller replica to keep in their museums. Follow the best UEFA Europa League predictions presented in this blog and win yourself a trophy in the form of REAL cash.

Europa-Cup-trophyDuring its history the title has been won by 26 different clubs, 12 of which won the title more than once. As a result, the most successful clubs are Liverpool, Internazionale and Juventus, each of them with three titles. Curiously enough since the competition changed its title, no club has had consecutive wins. Following the best online tips you already know that four teams managed to win the UEFA Cup, after winning their country’s internal competitions, as well as the cup: Goteborg in 1982, Galatasaray in 2000, CSKA Moskow in 2005, and FC Porto in both 2003 and 2011.

The last team to win the UEFA Cup was Shakhtar Donetsk, who managed to upset Werder Bremen with a goal in the 97th minute of the game. Bremen managed to outclass such favorites of the competition as AC Milan while Shakhtar eliminated Tottenham before showing CSKA Moskov out of the back door.

As a contrast,UEFA Europa League’s first winners were the Spaniards from Atletico Madrid, who managed to outclass Fulham after extra time in a final held in Germany. Diego Forlan was the player who shined in this first edition of the League, after being a complete hero for Madrid during their game with Liverpool and the one who scored the first goal in the last final game they won.Statistics also show that Atletico Madrid holds the current record of most consecutive wins, in both, home and away games, with 16 in their 2011-2012 Europa League final and the 2012 UEFA Super Cup final. Check our blog on regular basis and you can be sure to find the best Europa League tips and predictions!

Some internal Leagues tend to sometimes minimize the importance of Europa League games, which is a real shame as year by year it offers the possibility to both new players as well as team to shine. Bookmakers are wiser and battle for the possibility to offer the best odds for any game, including the qualifications. This tournament provided its share of interesting and history worthy facts:

  • Until 1997 UEFA Cup was the only European competition which accepted several teams from the same country.
  • Two clubs managed to win the Cup two times twice in a row: Real Madrid and Sevilla in 2006-2007.
  • Espanyol Barcelona was the only team that didn’t lose any match in a season, but stumbled in the UEFA Cup final where it lost to Sevilla on penalties.
  • Europa League’s top scorer is Henrik Larsson with 40 goals in 56 matches.
  • Alexandros Tziolis from Werder Bremen became the first Greek footballer in the history who took part in a UEFA Cup final.

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