The UEFA Cup is the second biggest regional club tournament in Europe. The UEFA Cup was created to give the winners of Europe’s domestic knockout competitions the opportunity to contest a regional prize, and has grown to include top ranked teams from domestic leagues throughout Europe.
During past decades the quality of the UEFA Cup lagged somewhat behind the skill and glamour of the UEFA Champions League. However, this has changed during the last ten years, and the 157 participating clubs routinely feature some of the biggest names in European club football.
The UEFA Europa League is extensively covered by all UK sportsbooks, giving punters access to a full range of betting options for all UEFA Europa League matches. UEFA Europa League ante-post betting markets open several months in advance of the tournament, and betting specials are available all year round.
|Europa Cup Matches|
The UEFA Cup is the product of the evolution of one of the first regional football competitions held in Europe – the Inter Cities Fairs Cup. The Inter Cities Fairs Cup was launched in 1955, setting up a regional tournament to promote trade fairs in European cities.
After a slow start the tournament steadily increased in popularity, and by the 1970s was taken over by UEFA and re-branded as the UEFA Cup. UEFA introduced wholesale changes to the format of the tournament to increase its appeal, even going so far as to scrap the existing trophy and cast a new one.
In 1999 the UEFA Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, a regional tournament for domestic knockout cup winners. This change provided a massive boost to the UEFA Cup, and drastically increased the quality of the clubs participating in the tournament.
Italian Clubs have dominated the UEFA Cup since the tournament was launched in 1971. Inter Milan and Juventus share the best record in the tournament with 3 wins in 4 finals apiece. Parma has won the tournament on two occasions, giving Italy a total of 8 UFEA Cup titles.
The UEFA Cup has seen several clubs from weaker European football playing nations make the most of their opportunity to claim a major European prize. UEFA Cup winners from the less prestigious domestic leagues include Anderlecht of Belgium, Russia’s CSKA Moscow, Turkey’s Galatasry and Sweden’s IFK Goteborg.