The Europa League, Europe’s second-most prestigious club competition, is a pot of mixed feelings. While it is a joy to win the cup after a season of touring some of the farthest-flung pockets of the continent, some of the teams in the competition feel they should not be playing there in the first place. They are in a hurry to get it over with and get into the more prestigious Champions League.
Super Bounce Back
But winning the cup does offer an exciting prospect. It sets up the winner for a match against the winners of the Champions League; a chance to prove that they are really fit for the elite club. But how have these Europa League winners performed in the Super Cup in recent years?
2019: Liverpool vs Chelsea (7-6, pens)
After four successive years of Spanish dominance, Liverpool and Chelsea locked horns in Istanbul in an all-English Super Cup. Both were coming from all English finals where they beat Tottenham and Arsenal respectively. It was a battle every blow, and things stood even (2-2) after extra time. Liverpool won it on penalties, but they really got a run for their money.
2018: Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (2-4 AET)
It is not long since a Europa League winner beat a Champions League winner. In 2018, Atletico Madrid went every step to beat city rivals Real in 120 minutes to avenge previous CL final losses.
2017: Real Madrid vs Manchester United (2-1)
In a year when Manchester United looked like they were ready to get back to the big table, a dominant Real told them not just yet with a 2-1 win.
2016: Real Madrid vs Sevilla (3-2 AET)
Sevilla lost it for the second time in a row in 2016, this time being tossed from Barcelona to Real Madrid.
2015: Barcelona vs Sevilla (5-4 AET)
A Europa dominant Sevilla dominant fell just short of pipping Barcelona in 2016.