In 2008, it was decided that UEFA Cup would change the name to UEFA Europe League for the coming next season. The competition change format from knockout matches to a group play in the first phase that would be succeeded by a knock-out stage. Another novelty was that the teams that were third-placed in the first group phase of UEFA Champions League would be participating in that knock-out stage.
All the winners and runners-up so far trough the years of the Europa League.
|2011-2012||Atlético Madrid||Athletic Bilbao|
The first Europa League tournament was played in the season 2009-2010. Before 2009 the tournament was called UEFA Cup, continue to UEFA Cup winners and runners-up.
The Europa League is a rather young competition and the legacy can't compete with other big European Cups. The most successful club so far are Sevilla and Atlético Madrid with remarkable results, both collecting three trophies.
As mentioned above, Sevilla has so far excelled themself in the competition. If all competitions, with both UEFA Cup and Europa League aggregated, Sevilla would have five titles, two more than any other time.
Table 2 is a comparison by clubs in UEFA Europa League with UEFA Cup editions excluded, between 2010 and 2019.
If UEFA Cup was included, Sevilla would still top the list with six titles. Benfica is so far the only team that have been the runners-up twice.
UEFA Europa League timeline
1971 UEFA Cup, the predecessor of UEFA Europe League, is established.
2009 The competition is established.
2012 Atlético Madrid become the first club to win the tournament twice (2010 and 2012).
2016 Sevilla become the first club to win the tournament trice and also by consecutive victories (2014, 2015 and 2016).
2020 Sevilla become the first club to win the tournament four times.