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An Overview of Europa League Finals Records

Europa League Finals

The Europa League finals are full of surprises. Winners of the tournament secure an automatic place in the following season’s Champions League, and the roster of teams that start in the competition proper secure their places by finishing in a certain position in their domestic leagues or by winning their domestic cups.

It is easy to say that each year there are different teams and the finals are always played by different teams, which is true to some extent. There have been 61 different teams who have made it to the Europa League finals, coming from 16 different nations. These numbers are far higher than the number of Champions League winners, counting from the creation of the UEFA Cup or Europa League in 1972.

Winners of the Final with More Than One Club

The late Jose Antonio Reyes holds the record for winning the most Europa League finals with 5 titles. He won with Atletico Madrid in 2010 and 2012, and won the finals a further 3 times with Sevilla FC in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Both Kevin Gameiro and Vitolo have won 4 Europa League titles with different clubs, incidentally following the reverse route of Reyes. They both won with Sevilla FC in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and then both moved to Atletico Madrid where they won their fourth title in 2018.

Another member of the Sevilla FC winning team of 2014-16 was Vicente Iborra, who won three titles with the team before moving to Villarreal where he won a fourth title in 2021. Carlos Bacca would have the same record as Iborra, but he only stayed in Sevilla FC until 2015, so he won 2 titles with Sevilla FC and then moved to Villarreal where he won his third title in 2021. Sergio Asenjo won two titles with Atletico Madrid in 2010 and 2012, and he also moved to Villarreal where he won his third title in 2021.

Radamel Falcao won the Europa League with Portuguese team FC Porto in 2011 and then Atletico Madrid in 2012. David de Gea won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid in 2010 and then won it again with English team Manchester United in 2017. Fernando Torres won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013 and then in 2018 with Atletico Madrid.

Spaniard Juan Mata is the only player who has won the Europa League finals with two different English teams, Chelsea in 2013 and Manchester United in 2017.

Goals in Different Final Legs

Only a handful of players have scored goals in finals in different years. When the finals were held over two legs, there were players who scored in both legs, such as Kevin Keegan who scored in the 3-2 first leg between Liverpool and Club Brugge in 1976, and then in the 1-1 second leg. Club Brugge player Lambert also scored a goal in each of the fixtures. Dutch player Frans Thijssen and Scottish player John Wark scored a goal each in the two fixtures between Ipswich Town and AZ Alkmaar in the 1981 finals, which finished 3-0 to Ipswich Town and 4-2 to AZ Alkmaar. Careca scored in both fixtures in the 1989 final between Napoli and VfB Stuttgart, where he helped Napoli teammate Diego Maradona win the first leg 2-1 and then draw the second match 3-3.

In the 1993 finals between Borussia Dortmund and Juventus, Italian striker Roberto Baggio scored two goals in the first leg, with his teammate Dino Baggio (of no family relation) netting a goal in a 1-3 win away, and then Dino scored two more goals in the return fixture played in Turin, to win the game 3-0 and outshine the legendary Roberto Baggio in the finals. Dino Baggio replicated this feat two years later in 1995, with his new side Parma. They played Juventus, captained by Roberto Baggio, and Dino scored in a 1-0 win at Parma, and then in the return fixture in Turin, he scored again to tie the game 1-1, winning Parma’s first Europa League.

Mehmet Scholl was the last player to score across two legs of the final, when he scored in both fixtures in 1996 with Bayern Munich. Munich played Bordeaux, whom they beat 2-0 at home, and then 1-3 in France.

Multiple Goal Scorers in Single Game Finals

Radamel scored three goals over two finals, 2 with Porto in 2011 and 1 with Atletico Madrid in 2012. There have been players who have scored 2 goals in a single final, including Diego Forlan with Atletico Madrid in 2010, Carlos Bacca with Sevilla FC in 2015, Coke with Sevilla FC in 2016, Antoine Griezmann with Atletico Madrid in 2018, Eden Hazard with Chelsea in 2019 and Luuk de Jong with Sevilla FC in 2020.

Youngest and Oldest Europa League Champions

The youngest champions of the Europa League are Yeremi Pino, who was 18 years and 218 days old when he won with Villareal CF vs Manchester United in 2021, Marcus Rashford who was 19 years and 205 days old when Manchester United beat AFC Ajax in the 2017 finals and Eduardo Salvio, who was 19 years and 303 days old when Atletico Madrid beat Fulham in the finals in 2010.

The oldest champions of the Europa League are Amedeo Carboni who was 39 years and 43 days old with Valencia vs Marseille in 2004, Raul Albiol, who was 35 years and 264 days when he won with Villarreal CF vs Manchester United in 2021, Frank Lampard who was 34 years and 310 days when he won with Chelsea vs Benfica in 2013, and Gabi who was 34 years and 274 days old when he won with Sevilla FC vs Inter Milan in the finals in 2020.

Finals with Clubs from the Same Country

It does not happen very often, but sometimes the contestants in the Europa League finals are teams from the same domestic league. The very first edition of the UEFA Cup, or Europa League, featured an all English final between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1972. Tottenham won the first leg 2-1 when they played in White Hart Lane, and then they drew the second leg 1-1 in Molineux to win their first and only European trophy.

In 1980, West German sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach met in the finals for an all-German final. In the first match Frankfurt lost 2-3 in the Bokelbergstadion, but they won the second leg 1-0 in Waldstadion to win the title on away goals.

In 1990 there was an all-Italian final between Juventus and Fiorentina. Juventus won the first leg 3-1 in the Stadio Comunale and then drew 0-0 away at the Stadio Partenio to win the final. In the following year, there was another all Italian final, only this time between Inter Milan and Roma. Inter Milan won the first leg 2-0 at home in the San Siro. Roma won the second leg 1-0 in the Stadio Olimpico, but it was not enough and Inter Milan became the champions.

In 1995, there was another all-Italian final between Juventus and Parma. Parma won the first leg in the Stadio Ennio Tardini 1-0, and then drew 1-1 away at the San Siro. Juventus would have played in Turin, but they decided to play in the Milanese San Siro stadium because of financial difficulties, and ultimately they paid the price when Parma won the UEFA Cup.

In 1998, the inaugural season of the new single game finals, Inter Milan faced Lazio in an all Italian final, played in the Parc des Princes in Paris, France. Inter Milan won the game 3-0, winning their third UEFA Cup title.

The 2007 Europa League finals saw the first all-Spanish final, between Sevilla FC and RCD Espanyol. The game was played in Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, and after the 90 minutes ended 1-1, the tie went to extra time. Both teams scored in extra time, to make the score line 2-2, but finally the match went to a penalty shootout that Sevilla FC won.

In 2011, FC Porto and Braga faced each other in the first all-Portuguese finals. The finals were played in Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and FC Porto won the game 1-0.

The following year there was another all Spanish final between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. The final was played in the Arena Nationala in Bucharest, Romania, and Atletico Madrid beat their historical parent club Athletic Bilbao 3-0.

2019 saw the second all English final and first all London final, between Chelsea and Arsenal. Played in the Olympic Stadium in Baku, Azerbaijan, Chelsea beat their neighbouring rivals Arsenal to win their second Europa League title.

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