Top Three Most Popular UEFA Competitions

UEFA competitions are organized by the Union of Football Associations both for clubs and national teams. The most popular competitions are the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europe League for clubs, and UEFA European Championship for national teams.

UEFA Champions League

This is a club football competition held annually in which top-division European clubs take participation. It is without a doubt the most prestigious football tournament in the world and the most elite club competition for European football clubs in which the national champions (even several runners-up from certain leagues) compete. The prestige of this competition makes its final the most watched sporting event worldwide every year.

UCL begins in June and has four knockout and one play-off qualifying rounds. The six winning teams of the final qualifying round enter the group stage and join 26 teams which have qualified in advance. The 32 teams are then divided into eight groups and play in a double round-robin system. The knockout phase which ends with the final match in May is played by the eight runners-up and eight group winners.

The most successful clubs in the UEFA Champions League history are Real Madrid with 13 wins, AC Milan with 7, and Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Barcelona with five respectively.

UEFA Europa League

This is the second-tier European football clubs’ competition in which eligible clubs compete based on their performances in cup competitions and national leagues.

The qualification process consists of five rounds before the group stages. The preliminary round consists of 14 teams with seven teams moving to the first qualifying round consisting of 94 teams. Forty-seven winning teams advanced to the second qualifying round, and then in the second, third and playoff qualifying rounds the teams are divided into two routes – the Champions Route (winners of domestic leagues eliminated in qualifications for the UCL), and the League Route (those who did not win domestic leagues). Eight winners from the Champions Route and thirteen winners from the League Route advance to the knockout phase, beginning with Round of 32 – 12 group winners, 12 runners-up and 8 third-placed from the group stage of the UCL.

The clubs with most wins in the UEFA Europa League are Sevilla (5), Liverpool (3), Juventus (3), Inter (3), and Atletico Madrid (3).

UEFA European Championship

This is the premier championship when it comes to men’s national teams’ competition. It has been held every four years since 1960, and the most successful teams are Germany and Spain with three titles each, followed by France which holds 2.

EURO 2020 will be held in 12 European cities, so there will be no automatic qualifications for the host nations. Instead, 55 UEFA national teams, 12 host nations included, will compete to qualify for one of the 24 places at the tournament.

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