The UEFA Europa League is an annual competition arranged by UEFA for European clubs. It is currently the second tier competition in European club football, below the UEFA Champions League. The clubs qualify for the Europa League based on their performance and placement in their national leagues and cup competitions.
How teams qualify for the Europa League?
There are many ways to qualify for Europe’s second-best competition. In order to qualify for the Europa League, the clubs have to be runners-up in their country’s top-flight league or win the main cup competition. Teams that miss out can also play in qualifiers to get into the UEFA Europa League.
There are two Europa League spots available to English clubs. One goes to the team which finishes fifth in the Premier League, the second goes to the side which wins the FA Cup. It’s important to note that often those English clubs are at the top of the Europa League betting picks, and those odds usually also pay off.
Similarly, there are two Europa League spots reserved for the team that finishes fifth in the La Liga. The second spot goes to the team that wins the Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup). When it comes to Europa League betting, the Spanish teams are going head to head with the English clubs and it’s always an interesting giants fight.
The format of the Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is a competition consisting of a group stage followed by knockout rounds. It consists of 12 groups with 4 teams in each group. The teams in the top two places in each group progress on to the next round. Then, the competition goes on to two-legged knockout rounds up to the final. The final is a one-off match, usually played one week before the UEFA Champions League final.
The Europa League trophy
The trophy for the UEFA Europa League winner is called the UEFA Cup. The trophy was designed and crafted by Bertoni. It weighs 15 kg (33 lb) and is silver on a yellow marble plinth.
The Europa League prize pool
The updated prize pool for qualifying is as follows:
- Preliminary round: €220,000
- First qualifying round: €240,000
- Second qualifying round: €260,000
- Third qualifying round: €280,000
- Play-off round: €300,000
- Qualified to Group Stage: €2,920,000
- Match won in Group Stage: €570,000
- Match drawn in Group Stage: €190,000
- 1st in Group Stage: €1,000,000
- 2nd in Group Stage: €500,000
- Round of 32: €500,000
- Round of 16: €1,100,000
- Quarter-final: €1,500,000
- Semi-final: €2,400,000
- Runners-up: €4,500,000
- Champion: €8,500,000
The Europa League Sponsors
The Europa League has five current major sponsors:
- Heineken International
- KIA Motors
- Enterprise Rent A Car
- Hankook Tire