The UEFA Europa League is an annual football competition, which is governed by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) since 1971. Europa League is a second-tier European football tournament after the most prestigious tournament UEFA Champions League.
Every year, the Europa league champion will compete against the Champions league winner at the UEFA Super Cup. The name Europa League was given after the 2008-09 season, which was formerly known as UEFA Cup. Officially, the first UEFA Europa League was held in 2009-10 season.
Who Won the First UEFA Europa League?
The first UEFA Europa League, formerly called as the UEFA Cup was won by the England based Tottenham Hotspur team with a score of 2-1 in the 1971-72 season. The match was a two-legged final, played against their fellow England based opponent Wolverhampton Wanderers which resulted in a 2 -1 win for the Spurs in the first leg and 1-1 draw in the second leg.
After the first win for the Spurs in the 1971-72 season, they reached the finals in the 1973-74 season but were defeated by the Dutch club Feyenoord 2-0. The next victory for the Spurs was a penalty win in the 1983-84 season against the Belgium team Anderlecht. This was the last win as recorded by the Spurs till date.
Which Team Has Won the UEFA Europa League the Most?
The team with the most wins in the competition is the Spanish professional football club Sevilla, with five titles. Since the inception of the tournament, the title has been won by 28 clubs. Out of the 28 winning clubs, 12 teams have won the competition’s title more than once. Juventus, Liverpool, Internazionale, and Atletico Madrid have won the title thrice each.
The Spanish club Atlético Madrid is the reigning champion, after defeating the French team Olympique de Marseille 3-0 in the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League final. The final was played at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu, France and it was the third UEFA Europa League title for Atletico Madrid.
Teams that have won the title twice are listed below:
- Borussia Monchengladbach (1975, 1979)
- Tottenham Hotspur (1972, 1984)
- Feyenoord (1974, 2002)
- Real Madrid (1985, 1986)
- IFK Goteborg (1982, 1987)
- Parma (1995, 1999)
- Porto (2003, 2011)
Sevilla – the Most Successful Club in the Europa League
Sevilla is the most successful team in the Europa League on combining UEFA Cup and Europa League victories, with 5 wins. 3 out of 5 wins have come after the rebranded UEFA Europa League, whereas the previous two wins were during the days of UEFA Cup.
Sevilla is the first ever club in the history of the UEFA Europa League to win the title three consecutive times in 2014, 2015 and, 2016. The club has never been in the runner-up standing ever. Benfica is the only team that has been runners-up twice in the UEFA Europa League.
History of the UEFA Europa League Winners
The Spanish clubs have won the title most of the times, with 11 wins. Italy teams are the second most dominating at Europa League, with 9 wins so far.
The countries that have won the title just once are Belgium (team Anderlecht), Turkey (team Galatasaray), and Ukraine (team Shakhtar Donetsk). The table shared below contains the all-time winners of the UEFA Europa League since 1971.
|1971–72||Tottenham Hotspur||England||Wolverhampton Wanderers||England||2–1|
|1972–73||Liverpool||England||Borussia Mönchengladbach||West Germany||3–0|
|1974–75||Borussia Mönchengladbach||West Germany||Twente||Netherlands||0–0|
|1978–79||Borussia Mönchengladbach||West Germany||Red Star Belgrade||Yugoslavia||1–1|
|1979–80||Eintracht Frankfurt||West Germany||Borussia Mönchengladbach||West Germany||2–3|
|1981–82||IFK Göteborg||Sweden||Hamburg||West Germany||1–0|
|1985–86||Real Madrid||Spain||Köln||West Germany||5–1|
|1986–87||IFK Göteborg||Sweden||Dundee United||Scotland||1–0|
|1987–88||Bayer Leverkusen||West Germany||Espanyol||Spain||0–3|
|1988–89||Napoli||Italy||VfB Stuttgart||West Germany||2–1|
|1999–00||Galatasaray (UCL)||Turkey||Arsenal (UCL)||England||0–0|
|2001–02||Feyenoord (UCL)||Netherlands||Borussia Dortmund (UCL)||Germany||3–2|
|2004–05||CSKA Moscow (UCL)||Russia||Sporting CP||Portugal||3–1|
|2007–08||Zenit Saint Petersburg||Russia||Rangers (UCL)||Scotland||2–0|
|2008–09||Shakhtar Donetsk (UCL)||Ukraine||Werder Bremen (UCL)||Germany||2–1|
|2009–10||Atlético Madrid (UCL)||Spain||Fulham||England||2–1|
|2011–12||Atlético Madrid||Spain||Athletic Bilbao||Spain||3–0|
|2012–13||Chelsea (UCL)||England||Benfica (UCL)||Portugal||2–1|
|2017–18||Atlético Madrid (UCL)||Spain||Marseille||France||3–0|