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The Europa League is the second-biggest club competition in European soccer. Launched in 1971 as the UEFA Cup, it has been held on an annual basis ever since and was rebranded as the Europa League in 2009.
The tournament begins with a group stage featuring 32 teams, who book their places either through the qualifying rounds or by securing an automatic spot via their performance in their domestic league or cup competitions.
The winner of each group goes straight through to the round of 16, while the runners-up and eight Champions League dropouts take part in the knockout round play-offs.
The winners of those play-offs advance to the round of 16, which is followed by two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals, and then the main event.
Who is likely to win the trophy? Check out the odds below, before we explore the Europa League 2023/24 winner in more detail.
The odds for the Europa League winner 2023/24 winner have been taken from the DraftKings sportsbook. Bet $5 and you will get $200 in bonus bets immediately.
Liverpool are the favorites to win the Europa League 2023/24 with the best online sportsbooks. Jurgen Klopp’s side have reached three Champions League finals in recent years, so it is no surprise they are widely fancied to triumph in the continent’s junior competition.
Their fellow English side Brighton & Hove Albion are worth watching too. The Seagulls have been superb domestically over the last couple of seasons, but we will have to see if a lack of experience at this level counts against them.
Roma will be looking to go one better after their near-miss last time out, while Real Betis could be strong contenders too. The dark horses include Villarreal, Atalanta, and West Ham United, while Bayer Leverkusen looks undervalued at present.
Remember, eight teams will join the Europa League from the Champions League, so the tournament will not necessarily be won by any of the teams above.
Sevilla won the Europa League 2022/23 for a record-extending seventh time. They beat Roma on penalties in the final following a 1-1 draw after extra time.
Sevilla began the season in the Champions League, but a third-place finish in the group stage saw them drop into this tournament. They beat PSV, Fenerbahce, Manchester United, and Juventus to reach the final.
Roma finished as runners-up in their Europa League group, behind Real Betis but ahead of Ludogorets Razgrad and HJK. In the knockout phase, they got the better of Red Bull Salzburg, Real Sociedad, Feyenoord, and Bayer Leverkusen.
|Club||Number of Trophies|
Since its creation as the UEFA Cup, a total of 29 different clubs have won this tournament. Fourteen sides have lifted the trophy on more than one occasion, including those listed in the above table.
A team from Spain has won the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 14 of its 52 seasons. England and Italy are joint-second with nine triumphs apiece, followed by Germany (seven), the Netherlands (four), Portugal, Russia and Sweden (two).
The Europa League winners are awarded the Coupe UEFA. However, the trophy is permanently held by UEFA, so the triumphant team is instead given a full-size replica. The trophy was designed by Silvio Gazzaniga and weighs 33 pounds.
The winning squad are also given a set of medals for their players and coaching staff, and around $9.5m in prize money (although this figure is subject to change year on year). The victorious club automatically qualifies for the following season’s edition of the Champions League.
The Europa League final will be held on 22 May 2024 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The winner of the tournament will be decided on that date.
Soccer fans based in the United States can watch the Europa League on CBS.
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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