The "little sister" of the Champions League is treated somewhat disparagingly by a large group of fans. For what reason? It's hard for us to say. After all, the clubs participating in the Europa League are also top soccer teams. You want to know some interesting facts about these competitions, as well as learn more about the rules that prevail in them.
Europa League - History
The Europa League is an annual soccer club competition organized by UEFA since the 2009/2010 season. They are a kind of continuation of the City Fairs Cup (1955-1971) and the well-known KF9Aka (1971-2009). Clubs get into the competition based on their home leagues as well as cup competitions. Currently it is the second tier of European soccer. They rank below the Champions League and above the UEFA Conference League.
Current Europa League game system
With the advent of 2008, new rules for the UEFA Cup were established. In addition to changing the name to the Europa League, the entire playing system was also transformed.
In short, it seems that qualification for the Europa League takes place in four rounds. The participating teams play in pairs. It takes the form of an aggregate matchup. There are 174 teams qualified for the qualifying round.
The last and most important qualifying round is the playoffs (the fourth round). It involves 74 teams:
- 35 winners of two-match matches of the third round;
- 15 national cup holders from countries ranked 1-15 in the UEFA ranking;
- 3 third-place teams from countries ranked 7-9;
- 3 fourth-place teams from countries occupying positions 4-6;
- 3 teams from the fifth position in the countries ranked in the top three of the EFA ranking;
- 15 teams eliminated in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.