Football, as it’s known in the rest of the world, is so popular fans are willing to do just about anything for their favorite soccer team. Now, if we take a deep dive into just how popular soccer is, you will find multiple supporters clubs across the globe featuring fans sporting their favorite club’s gear. But that’s not all; there are numerous football leagues out there, such as the UEFA Europa League, which can give you sports betting wins that will make you happy if you bet on the correct team. But what is the Europa League? The UEFA Europa League, formerly known as the UEFA Cup, is a yearly soccer competition organized since 1971 by the European Football Associations. As the name suggests, only European football clubs are eligible to participate. We’ve looked at some of the greatest moments the tournament has ever seen.
2012/2013 season – the upsetting win
Romanian team Steaua Bucharest was against a top-performing Chelsea featuring the legendary Fernando Torres. What unfolded in this game is part of the history books forever. For Steaua Bucharest to take on Chelsea, they needed to beat Ajax in round 32 of the competition, and they did just that. Next, the team caused a major upset by beating Chelsea 1 – 0. Believe it or not, this upset nearly cost Chelsea the league. However, in their next meet-up, the English side redeemed themselves to beat Steaua 3 – 1 in London.
2010 and 2012 season – Europa League winners beat Champion League winners
Now, this is one phenomenon that’s interesting and rare. And while this had happened before 2010, what makes these instances unique is that one team beat two Champion League winners. Atletico Madrid beat Inter Milan and Chelsea, respectively, which left no room for doubt about how incredible Europa League teams are. It’s also been said that because of Atletico Madrid’s stellar wins in those games, if they had been allowed entry into the Soccer World Cup, they might have equalled the success of Inter Milan, succeeding where Chelsea could not.
2016 final – Sevilla vs. Liverpool
At this point, Jurgen Klopp had only managed Liverpool for about a year and the team made incredible headway to reach the 2016 final (their first one in almost a decade at the time) against Sevilla. Liverpool earned their spot in the final, even beating their fiercest rival Manchester United and winning a stunning comeback against German side Borussia Dortmund in the last eight rounds. For Sevilla, this was their third successive final; they were victorious in 2014 and 2015, so the team was ready for a third win. Liverpool started strong as expected with an excellent goal from Daniel Sturridge. But by the second half, the Reds were having a tough time. Sevilla began to dominate and ultimately beat Liverpool 3 – 1.
2009/2010 season – Fulham reached the finals
The first time Fulham secured a spot in the Europa League finals was in Hamburg in 2010. Unfortunately, this is hardly a Cinderella story for Fulham; however, reaching the final was a significant win for this team. Fulham did play their hearts out throughout the tournament and rightfully deserved their spot. Eventually, Atletico Madrid beat Fulham, but it was a hard-fought battle as the Spanish side had to prove themselves during extra time.
2020 season – Romelu Lukaku scores twice… sort of
There is nothing worse than an own goal that allows the other team the prize of beating you. And this is precisely what happened in the 2020 season. Sevilla secured their 6th Europa League Trophy following the 3 – 2 victory over Inter Milan. But it was not as simple as that. It was a hard watch as Inter Milan’s hopes of ending the 21-year Europa League trophy losing streak for Italian clubs were dashed.
Superstar Romelu Lukaku was the star of that season, winning man of the match in earlier games and scoring goals, of course, but everything would come crashing down. Once Lukaku secured Inter Milan’s second goal, the teams were tied at half-time. In the second half, with just under 20 minutes to go, Lukaku accidentally diverted the ball into his team’s net which ultimately secured Sevilla their win.