The 2021/2022 UEFA Europa League will be 51st edition of Europe’s 2nd club football competition, and the 13th since it was renamed from UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.
This season’s Europa league will take place from the 16th of September 2021 to the 18th of May 2022.
The final of the 2021/22 Europa league will be played at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain. (The stadium serves as the home ground of Sevilla FC).
Villareal are the current defending champions of the Europa league after defeating Manchester United on penalties in last season’s final. They won’t be available to defend their title as they have automatically qualified for the UEFA Champions League, the only way they can compete in the Europa league is if they finish 3rd in their Champions league group stage and drop down to the Europa league.
Due to the forming of a new UEFA club tournament (UEFA Europa Conference League), the teams competing in the Europa league group stage have been reduced from 48 to 32. Also the top teams from each group will automatically go to the round of 16 while the runners-up will first compete in the first round of the knock-out phase with the 3rd-placed teams dropping down from the Champions league, with winners going to the round of 16.
The 3rd placed teams in the Europa league group stage will drop down to the UEFA Conference League.
Due to UEFA’s abolishment of the away goal rule, teams tied on the same goal(s) scored after normal regulation time in the 2nd legs of knockout matches will go to extra time (and probably penalties, if they are still tied).
The full qualified teams for the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League are:
- Sparta Prague
- PSV Eindhoven
- Real Sociedad
- Sturm Graz
- Spartak Moscow
- Legia Warsaw
- Eintracht Frankfurt
- Royal Antwerp
- Lokomotiv Moscow
- Red Star Belgrade
- Bayer Leverkusen
- Real Betis
- Dinamo Zagreb
- West Ham
- Rapid Vienna.
Danish club, Brøndby and English club West Ham United will both be making their debut appearances in the Europa League group stage.
Official Match Ball
The name of official match ball of UEFA Europa League 2021/2022 is Molten Europa League. UEFA announced that Japanese sports ball manufacturer the Molten Corporation signed a new three-year licencing agreement to become the official match ball supplier of the UEFA Europa League. The deal will run from 2021 until 2024, and Molten will also be providing the official match ball for the newly created UEFA Europa Conference League.
The 2021/22 Champions League will have a higher prize money budget than last season, but the total prize money budget for the 2021/22 Europa League will reduce from €510 million to €465 million. However, it is advantageous for the clubs that play this season, because the competition has cut the number of participants from 48 to just 32, so participating teams will earn a higher amount.
The breakdown of the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League prize money is as follows:
- Teams that qualify for the group stage will earn €3.63 million.
- For winning a group stage game, each club will get €630,000, and drawing guarantees €210,000. Topping the group brings in an extra €1.1 million.
- The prize money for the winners of the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League is €8.6 million, while the runner-up will get €4.6 million.