The UEFA Europa League previously called the UEFA Cup , is an annual men’s association football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.
Since 2009/10 the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League, with the group stage expanded to 48 clubs playing six matches on a home-and-away format similar to the UEFA Champions League. Club Atlético de Madrid took two of the first three titles, either side of a FC Porto triumph and followed by a Chelsea FC success.