Champions League and Europa League: features and differences

Soccer is not only a very popular sport. It is a unique world of players, fans, coaches, associations and clubs.

Moreover, it's quite a profitable business that exists through the sale of tickets, equipment, buying and selling players and organizing tournaments.

Fans know that in Europe there are two most popular tournaments, which take place hosted by UEFA.

These are the Champions League and the Europa League.

Once they were called differently: the UEFA Cup and the European Cup.

Soccer fans often wonder: what is the difference between the two tournaments?

Let us tell you about this.

Champions League

This club tournament is the most prestigious, and winning it is considered the best award at the end of the season.

Therefore, teams often sacrifice their national championships to win the trophy.

The fans bet huge money on the victory of their favourite clubs (the best forecasts on the Champions League and other tournaments in various sports you can find on

These competitions have been held since 1955.

The structure of the Champions League consists of the following stages:

  • First, there are the qualification rounds (each team plays two home and two away matches).
  • If successful, the clubs qualify for the group stage along with those teams that have made it there directly. The 32 participants are then divided into 8 groups.
  • The final stage is the playoffs. This is where the 16 clubs ranked first and second in their groups qualify. Those who finish in third place qualify for the Europa League.

At the same time, clubs are allowed to qualify based on the UEFA coefficient ranking table.

This figure is calculated on the basis of the results of continental tournaments.

The points earned by the national team and clubs of each country are added up and divided by the number of participants in different championships.

The four countries that lead in the rankings can send the four best clubs of the domestic championship to the Champions League.

If a state is ranked lower than No. 15 in the list, it may send only one team to the Champions League.

Europa League

The Europa League is considered the second most important tournament.

Winning it is also very honorable and profitable.

Selection is also based on UEFA coefficients.

The stages of the tournament are the same (qualification, group, playoffs).

However, in the group stage, there are 48 teams, not 32.

Ten of them are teams that made it to the Europa League after qualifying from the third round of the Champions League.

There are also more clubs making the playoffs: 32, not 16.

Twenty-four of these are teams drawn at the bottom of the Champions League group stage standings. Another eight are the teams who finished third in the playoffs.

Such a strong combination of the participants makes the matches more entertaining and interesting.

Champions League and Europa League: differences

The strongest clubs in Europe compete in both tournaments. The selection is based on UEFA coefficients. But there are differences between these popular tournaments:

  • The Champions League is considered the most prestigious European cup, which is reflected in the amount of prize money. The Europa League is still the second most important.
  • If a club wins the Europa League, next season it automatically qualifies only for the group stage of the Champions League. However, teams that finish third in the Champions League may qualify for the Europa League playoffs.
  • There are many more teams in the Europa League, and their list is extended by clubs that were eliminated from the more prestigious tournament.

SEE ALSO | Richest Football Club Owners In The World – The Top 10

This article was most recently revised and updated 5 months ago

Greg is a Sports content writer. He has many years of experience in Sports Writing. He was a writer for Opera News and is Editor-in-Chief at GoalBall.