The UEFA Europa League’s Most Successful Teams

On April 20th, 2023, Sevilla stunned the footballing world when they romped to a 3-0 victory against Manchester United in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League quarterfinal tie. The Andalusians have endured a dismal season domestically and are currently embroiled in a relegation fight in La Liga. On the continent, however, the Spanish side continues to enjoy success, and their love affair with the Europa League simply knows no bounds. 

Prior to a ball being kicked in their last eight matchup against the English giants, Sevilla were rank outsiders. Those odds lengthened further once The Red Devils raced into a 2-0 lead in the first leg at Old Trafford. But their Spanish counterparts came back from the dead, unbelievably netting twice through own goals to take a 2-2 draw back to Spain. 

Despite their late heroics in Manchester, Sevilla were still the underdogs to progress, even though the second leg was on home turf. They were priced as long as 3.70 (+270) to get the victory with online sports betting sites such as Bovada, but goals from Loïc Badé and a brace from Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri secured a comfortable 3-0 victory and progression through to the semifinals. And it would take a brave punter to bet against the Andalusians romping to a record-breaking seventh Europa League crown this term.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the most successful teams in the history of European football’s secondary competition. And spoiler alert, Sevilla is top of our list. 

Sevilla – Six Titles 

With a whopping six titles to their name, Sevilla is by far the most successful team in Europa League history. Their run began with success in the formerly named UEFA Cup back in 2006, where they thumped English side Middlesbrough by four goals to nil. They would successfully retain the trophy the following season when they defeated compatriots Espanyol on penalties in Glasgow however, they would have to wait seven years for their dominance to truly take off. 

Between 2014 and 2016, Sevilla lifted the famous trophy in three consecutive seasons. They first beat Benfica on penalties in Turin, before defeating plucky Ukrainian underdogs Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Warsaw the following season. In 2016, they would then stun Liverpool in Basel, coming back from a goal down to blow their English opponents away in the second half, scoring three unanswered goals to secure their fifth crown. 

They added a sixth crown to their overflowing trophy cabinet in 2020 when they defeated Antonio Conte’s Italian champions, Inter Milan. Only Juventus stands between Sevilla and a seventh Europa League final, and despite their domestic woes, they could very well be the team to beat in 2023. 

Atletico Madrid – Three Titles 

Fellow Spanish outfit Atletico Madrid are the second most successful team in the history of the tournament, and they too are unbeaten in Europa League finals, just like Sevilla. Their first crown came back in 2010 when a Diego Forlan brace downed Roy Hodgson’s Fulham in Hamburg. Two years later, Diego Simeone led the club to the trophy once again in his first season in charge, defeating compatriots Athletic Bilbao in Bucharest by three goals to nil. 

Under their maverick Argentinian manager, Los Rojiblancos reached the UEFA Champions League final twice in three seasons in 2014 and 2016. Unfortunately, however, they slumped to defeat on both occasions, and to make matters worse, it was their city rivals Real Madrid that beat them on both occasions. Atleti put those defeats behind them in 2018 however when they defeated Marseille in Lyon to secure a third Europa League crown in eight years courtesy of goals from Antoine Griezmann and captain Gabi. 

Liverpool – Three Titles 

The majority of Liverpool’s European success has come in the UEFA Champions League. The Reds are six-time European Champions and have reached the final in Europe’s most elite club competition three times in the last five years. But they have also enjoyed plenty of success in the Europa League as well. 

The Merseysiders tasted success in the tournament on three separate occasions, however, they haven’t lifted the trophy since way back in 2001. That year, they beat Spanish side Alaves in a blistering final that eventually finished 5-4. Before that, their two previous triumphs came back in 1973 and 1976. They most recently reached the final in 2016 however, were defeated by Sevilla, who handed them their first-ever defeat in a Europa League final. 

Juventus – Three Titles 

Juventus is one of the most successful clubs in Italian football, and their success in the UEFA Europa League is a testament to their greatness. The Bianconeri has won the competition three times including two triumphs in three years in the early 1990s. This season, they have reached the semifinals for the first time in nine years, and they will be aiming to secure their first European trophy since their maiden UEFA Champions League success in 1996. 

The Old Lady of Italian Football won their first two titles in 1977 and 1990. They added a third in 1993 and were beaten finalists in 1995, eventually finishing runners-up to compatriots Parma. No team has lost more European finals than Juventus, and they have also lost seven UEFA Champions League finals, including twice in three seasons in 2015 and 2017.

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