The Rise Of EUROPA LEAGUE
European Unions have been playing the EUROPA LEAGUE since its inception, more or less a century ago. The first ever UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE tournament was held in the early 1971-2 season, and it was then only staged every other year ever since. So how has the competition changed over the years? The tournament has traditionally been known as the UEFA Cup only since 2021. It used to be a simple knockout competition featuring 64 teams with two-leg knockouts until the 64 teams had been reduced to just two.
But the addition of a further 32 nations has seen the seeds of opportunity to be spread far and wide, and qualification for the group stages become easier. Now, any team that qualifies automatically gets an automatic place in the European soccer club competition, the EUROPA LEAGUE. So what is the format of the competition, and how do you qualify for it?
As you can probably guess, the new format of this cup has been designed to make the competition a little more interesting. In previous tournaments, teams have either just qualified from their respective national leagues, or have reached the last 16 via a playoff. This is a boring way to create interest in the competition, as there is no real motivation to win. The usual penalty that is handed out is a point deduction, meaning that only the biggest and most talented sides will actually be battling it out for a place in the EUROPA LEAGUE.
This is the same system that is being applied to the club competition, too. There are now qualifying rounds that allow aspiring clubs to prove themselves to be worthy candidates for the EUROPA LEAGUE champions league place. This is a good way to motivate the players, who now have a real reason to show up at club football training sessions, knowing that if they don’t perform well, then they could lose not only their place in the league, but their chance to qualify for the europa league. If they perform well enough, then maybe they might even win the trophy.
Now, let’s look at the format for the EU season. Each of the four groups will be comprised of four clubs, who will be scheduled to play each other in round robin format every two weeks. There will be a break between the groups for the cup holders, who will play all the other semi finalists in the quarter final and the final. This means that there will only be four teams in the group stage, which means that only two of them will actually qualify for the league itself. This means that the pressure will really be on the favourites, who have to win their three matches against the runners-up in order to book their place in the playoffs.
The first group stage matches will be played in Tenerife and Barcelona. Both of these teams are favorites to win the league, although Benfica are also believed to have an excellent chance of winning the title if they win the first two games in Tenerife. Real Madrid are also leading the all-time record in European games, but have never won the trophy. Benfica, Leverailles and Sporting Lisbon are the other teams in the group stage. The final is set to be played in the summer of 2021 and it is very likely that the winner will be awarded the right to represent Portugal in the FIFA World Cup in ten years time.