How the UEFA Europa League works Differences from the Champions League

Europe League

Do you know about the tournament called UEFA Europa League? The main competition is the UEFA Champions League, and the Europa League is admittedly less prominent. We will explain the differences between the UEFA Europa League and the Champions League.


What is the UEFA Europa League?

The UEFA Europa League is an international competition for European club teams sponsored by UEFA, the European football federation. This competition was originally founded as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and was officially launched as the UEFA Cup in 1972. In 1999, it merged with the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, one of Europe’s three major cup competitions, and became the Europa League. The winning team of the UEFA Europa League is given the right to play in the next season’s CL, regardless of their ranking that season, so many teams fight desperately.

Eligibility for participation

A total of five clubs will participate in the group stage: the club that placed 5th in the previous year’s domestic league from countries ranked 1st to 4th in the UEFA rankings, and the club that placed 4th in the domestic league from the country ranked 5th in the same ranking. However, in England and France, which have quotas from the League Cup matches, only one club will be allowed to participate based on their results in the domestic league matches. Since the 1996-97 season, some of the eliminated teams from the same year’s UEFA Champions League have also participated in this competition.

Holding method

The qualifying rounds will be played in a tournament format with home and away matches. After that, the main tournament will begin, and the group stage will consist of home and away games, with 32 teams divided into 8 groups of 4 clubs each, and the one team with the most points will advance. The club in second place will compete for a place in the final round through a playoff against the club that finished third in the Champions League group stage. The final tournament will be a tournament format with 16 clubs playing home and away matches. However, the final match will be a one-shot match.

What is the UEFA Champions League?

The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of competition to determine the number one club in Europe. Thirty-two clubs, including the top clubs from the top countries in the UEFA rankings and clubs that made it through the playoffs, compete in the group stage, with the top two teams advancing to the top. After that, tournament games will be played home and away, but the final will be a one-shot match and will be played on neutral ground. This tournament attracts the most attention in the world, as it attracts the top clubs from each league.

UEFA European Conference League

As an added bonus, the UEFA Europa Conference League has been newly established since 2020. The UEFA Europa Conference League is a tournament in which teams ranked lower in each country’s league participate. 32 teams will participate and aim for the championship through the group stage and knockout stage. It can also be seen as a competition to maintain motivation for lower-ranking clubs in major European leagues. The UEFA Europa Conference League is the lowest tier of competitions.

Difference between Champions League and Europa League

And here comes the main question: What is the difference between the Champions League and the Europa League? There are following points.


There are clear divisions in each tournament. The Champions League is a competition in which strong teams from major leagues participate, the Europa League is a competition in which mid-tier teams from major leagues participate, and the European Conference League is a competition in which even lower teams participate, so each competition has a clear ranking. It’s decided. Therefore, the Europa League cannot be said to be a competition that attracts much attention.

Prize amount

As explained above, each tournament has a clear division of competition, and the higher the tournament, the higher the prize money. In the case of the Champions League, just making it to the group stage will earn you 15.64 million euros. And if you make it to the final, you’ll get 20 million euros. In comparison, in the Europa League, teams earn 3.63 million euros for advancing to the group stage and only 8.6 million euros for winning. Even if you look at this, there is a considerable disparity.

UEFA Champions LeagueUEFA Europe League
Group stage participation15.64 million euros3.63 million euros
round 169.6 million euros1.2 million euros
best 810.6 million euros1.8 million euros
best 412.5 million euros2.8 million euros
2nd place15.5 million euros4.6 million euros
First place20.0 million euros8.6 million euros

Watch the UEFA Europa League

The UEFA Europa League can be watched on TV. Please refer to the article below which introduces streaming services where you can watch the game.