The Europa League is always an intriguing tournament. Tucked away on a Thursday evening, it welcomes some real giants of the continent, as well as a huge number of minnows from far flung regions.
This season we’ve seen Luxembourg’s Dudelange, a side with a stadium capacity of under 3,000. Chelsea have been over to Hungary and Arsenal visited Azerbaijan, where of course they will be again for the Europa League Final.
Every year the tournament throws up a number of surprises and that makes up for some incredibly interesting facts.
With Arsenal and Chelsea’s final approaching, we decided to take a look throughout the tournament’s history and pick out 20 of the most fascinating moments and statistics…
1 2019 marks the first all-English Final since the very first tournament in 1972. Tottenham took on Wolves over two legs, with the London side winning 3-2 on aggregate.
2 The Final didn’t become a one-legged affair at a neutral venue until 1998. Inter beat Lazio at the Parc des Princes.
3 A Spanish side have won five of the last seven Europa League titles. English teams have won the other two, including Chelsea in 2013.
4 Sevilla have won the most titles at five. Each of those coming within the space of a decade (2006-2016).
5 Chelsea would become only the third English team to win the trophy more than once if they win this year. They are favourite to do so with William Hill at 27/20.
6 No stadium has hosted the Final more than once as a neutral venue. Only the Etihad Stadium has been host in England.
7 The largest attendance in a Final is 90,000 in the 1985 second leg at the Bernabéu. Real Madrid beat Videoton 3-1 on aggregate.
8 The 1980 trophy saw all four semi-finalists hail from the same country. The only time this has ever happened. All four game from Germany, Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt (winners), Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart.
9 Seville and Madrid are the competition’s most successful cities with five apiece. Sevilla have secured all Seville’s while Atlético Madrid (three) and Real Madrid (two) share the spoils for the Spanish capital.
10 Jose Antonio Reyes is the tournament’s most successful player, lifting the trophy five times. Twice with Atlético and three times with Sevilla.
11 Inter Milan have amassed the most wins in the competition’s history at 91 across 27 years. Their win percentage is an impressive 49%.
12 Germany have enjoyed the most representatives in the competition at 17. Italy and England have both had 14 teams represent the country.
13 Only six teams have won the trophy going undefeated. Tottenham, Borussia Mönchengladbach, IFK Göteborg, Ajax, Galatasaray and Feyenoord have achieved the feat.
14 Atlético Madrid created the longest winning streak in history between 2011 and 2013. They won 15 Europa League games on the bounce.
15 Club Brugge have the record for appearing in the tournament for consecutive seasons. They appeared for 20 seasons in a row between 1996 and 2016.
16 Radamel Falcao holds the record for the most goals scored in a single season. The current record stands at 17 goals.
17 Sweden’s Henrik Larsson has scored the most Europa League/UEFA Cup goals of all-time. During his career he netted 40 in just 56 games.
18 Ajax hold the record for the highest win in one leg. They beat Luxembourg side Red Boys Differdange a whopping 14-0 in 1984/85.
19 Fellow Dutch side Feyenoord have the record for highest aggregate score. They thrashed Rumelange 21-0, another Luxembourg side.
20 Chelsea v Arsenal will mark the 10th Final in which both teams hail from the same nation. Athletic Bilbao v Atlético Madrid was the last in 2012.
Watch highlights of Arsenal’s 4-2 win in Valencia.