UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League (abbreviated as UEL) is an annual football club competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for eligible European football clubs. It is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League and above the UEFA Europa Conference League after being the third-tier competition from 1971 to 1999 before the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was discontinued. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.
Introduced in 1971 as the UEFA Cup, it replaced the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was abolished and merged with the UEFA Cup. From the 2004–05 season a group stage was added before the knockout phase. The competition has been known as the Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. The 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.
Spanish clubs have the highest number of victories (thirteen wins), followed by England and Italy (nine wins each). The title has been won by 29 clubs, thirteen of which have won it more than once. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with six titles. Villarreal are the reigning champions, having beaten Manchester United 11–10 on penalties in the 2021 final.
Wikipedia — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_Europa_League