Difference between Champions League and Europa League.

Football is one of the oldest team ball games, a sport that gained popularity only in the 20th century. The football world includes thousands of clubs, a huge army of fans and fans, a kind of business built both on the sale of tickets and paraphernalia, and on television broadcasts. The cost of some top clubs sometimes exceeds the GDP of an average European country, and transfers have turned into a kind of hunt for players. But another source of income for a football club is playing in various tournaments, for winning in which you can get good prize money. So, the most popular club tournaments in modern Europe are the Champions League and the LE, founded by the Union of European Football Associations, called UEFA in Russian transliteration. How is the Champions League different from the Europa League? Which of these tournaments is more prestigious, and why are clubs from other parts of the world not destined to play in the top tournaments in the world?


UEFA Champions League - the most prestigious tournament among European associations. Winning the Champions League is considered the best reward of the season, and many top clubs sometimes sacrifice their domestic league title for the Champions League. Until the 1990-1991 season, this tournament was called the Champions Cup, but later it got its current name.

The UEFA Europa League is the second most prestigious club championship in Europe, which, like the Champions League, changed its name in the 2008-2009 season. and gained new rules in the form of additional qualifying rounds. Previously, the Europa League was called the "European Cup".

Qualification for the Champions League is based on the UEFA odds table. The football associations (the first three places in the table) represent in the tournament 4 teams, which took the first four places in the domestic championship. The lower the odds table, the fewer teams a country can represent in the Champions League. So, associations below the 16th place in the table can be represented in the Champions League only by the club that won first place in the national championship. The principle of qualifying for the Europa League is also based on the odds table, but in addition to this, clubs that did not make the Champions League playoffs and were eliminated at the stage of qualifying rounds can get into the UEL. It is also worth noting that the Europa League winner has recently been automatically promoted to the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Accordingly, the difference between the Champions League and the Europa League is mainly in the prestige of the first tournament and the selection scheme for the candidates for the cup.


The scheme of both tournaments is similar and differs only in the level of the clubs. As a rule, the top clubs get into the Champions League, while the middle peasants are content with the Europa League. But after being eliminated from the third qualifying round, the top club could make it to the UEL group stage and win. History knows many such cases...

In fact, all stages of the tournament can be divided into 3 parts: qualifying rounds, group stage and playoffs. In qualifying, the clubs play two matches - “at home” and “away”. The winner of the pair advances to the next round. After several qualifications, the teams advance to the group stage. This is where the differences begin in both tournaments. Thus, only 32 teams take part in the group stage of the Champions League, which are divided into 8 groups. In turn, 48 clubs participate in the Europa League in the group stage, of which 10 clubs are Champions League “losers”.

Only 16 teams make their way to the European Champions League playoffs, while 32 clubs participate in the UEFA Europa League playoffs, of which 24 are the top 2 places in the UEL group stage and 8 from Champions League that did not make it to the playoffs and took third place in the groups.

In the end, another difference between the two tournaments is the way the playoffs are formed and the number of participating clubs. The full UEFA Champions League qualification scheme is available on the UEFA website.

In addition to the prestige of the tournament, most teams dreaming of winning the Champions League pursue a very selfish goal, because participation in the top club championship allows the club to earn “big money”. So, for taking the Cup in the Champions League, the team receives 15 million euros. For winning all matches of the tournament, a football club can earn about 50 million euros. For some clubs in the Champions League, this is a kind of chance to develop their infrastructure. As for the top clubs in which players play at a cost several times higher than the prize money for winning the Champions League, for them winning the tournament is a certain level increase. It's nice to know that your football club is the best in the world.

Comparison table

Champions League Europa League
The most prestigious tournament for European football clubsThe second most important football tournament in Europe
The prize money for winning the final is higherThe winner of the cup will automatically advance to the group stage of the Champions League
16 teams participate in the playoffsIn the final part, 32 teams compete for the cup (24 from groups 8 from the Champions League)
The third-placed club in the group goes to the UEL playoffsClubs eliminated in the group stage end their performance in the tournament