Ulrich "Uli" Hoeneß, is the president of German football club Bayern Munich and a retired footballer for West Germany who played as a forward for club and country. Hoeneß represented Germany at one World Cup and two European Championships, winning one tournament in each competition. During his playing career he was associated with Bayern Munich, with whom he won three league championship titles and three European Cup titles, he served as the club's general manager. In 2014 he pleaded guilty to tax evasion serving 18 months in prison for the offence. Hoeneß was born in Baden-Württemberg; the left-sided forward was recruited from amateurs TSG Ulm 1846 by Udo Lattek manager of Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich, at the age of 18, in 1970. The player made an impact, scoring six times in 31 matches as the Bavarians finished in second position, behind Borussia Mönchengladbach, adding the domestic cup. During his eight-and-a-half-year stint with Bayern, Hoeneß enjoyed great success, winning a total of eight major titles, including three league titles and as many European Cups.
In the 1973–74 edition of the latter competition, the final replay against Atlético Madrid, he produced one of his most outstanding performances, scoring two goals in the 4–0 victory. However, in the final of the following year's European Cup, against Leeds United, he suffered a knee injury from which he never recovered. In late 1978, Hoeneß was loaned to Bayern neighbours 1. FC Nürnberg, where it was hoped he could get more match practice, his recovery failed, he was forced to hang up his boots at a mere 27. He had appeared in 250 matches in Germany's top division, netting 86 times. Hoeneß played 35 times for West Germany, his debut came on 29 March 1972, he scored the final goal in a 2–0 friendly win in Hungary. As one of six Bayern players in the German squad, Hoeneß won both UEFA Euro 1972 and the 1974 FIFA World Cup. In the final of the latter, against Holland, he committed a foul on Johan Cruyff in the opening minutes that led to a goal from the subsequent penalty, but West Germany came from behind to win 2–1.
He played with the national side in Euro 1976 in Yugoslavia, where he missed the decisive West German shot in the penalty shootout loss against Czechoslovakia, skying it over the crossbar. Hoeneß had retained his amateur status until 1972, allowing him to take part in that year's Summer Olympic Games. There, he played alongside future Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld as West Germany failed to qualify for the semifinals of the tournament, losing 3–2 to East Germany, a match in which Hoeneß scored his only goal of the tournament; this historic match was the first between West Germany and East Germany. After retiring as a player in 1979, Hoeneß was appointed commercial/general manager of Bayern Munich, overseeing a period in which the club enjoyed continued sporting success, winning the Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Cup, 15 German leagues and seven domestic cups. During his reign, the club experienced strong growth: revenue increased by twenty-fold and membership of the club increased more than twenty-fold to over nearly 230,000, the second largest membership a football club has in the world.
Between 2000 and 2005 Bayern built a state of the art stadium, the Allianz Arena, at a cost of €340m. It was one of the venues during the 2006 World Cup. 2012, FC Bayern had an equity of 249 Mio Euro. Hoeneß is a son of a butcher, now co-owns a Nuremberg-based bratwurst factory. Hoeneß's younger brother Dieter had a successful career as a player in the Bundesliga. A striker, he represented the national team at the 1974 World Cup, at which Germany won. In 1982, Hoeneß was the sole survivor of the crash of a light aircraft. Sleeping in the rear of the plane, he sustained only minor injuries. Hoeneß has provided financial assistance, either or through organizing benefit games, to other German league teams like FC St. Pauli, Hertha BSC, Borussia Dortmund, 1860 München and Hansa Rostock. On 20 April 2013, it was reported, he was reported to have held a Swiss bank account for the purpose of evading taxes due on investment income, to owe between €3.2 million and €7 million in taxes to the German state.
The reports came after journalists "gained access to a document meant only for internal use by tax officials." Prosecutors from Munich carried out raids in offices of two Bavarian tax offices after Hoeneß filed a complaint. Despite increasing public criticism, Hoeneß has remained in his position as president and chairman of the supervisory board of Bayern Munich. Hoeneß was accused of tax evasion and his trial began on 10 March 2014; the FC Bayern München AG supervisory board had a "unanimous opinion" that Hoeneß should continue in his role despite being sent to trial. During the trial, he admitted evading 28.5 million euros in taxes. He was subsequently found guilty of seven serious counts of tax evasion and sentenced to three and a half years in prison on 13 March 2014; the following day he resigned from his roles as President of Bayern Munich e. V. and chairman of the board of Bayern Munich AG and announced that he would not be appealing against his sentence. Hoeneß was to serve his sentence at Landsberg Prison.
Hoeneß submitted a request to be confined to a different prison, however, he reported to Landsberg on 2 June 2014. During the first two weeks of his sentence, Hoeneß was housed in a larger cell with a cellmate "for medical reasons" and to help adjust to life behind bars. After the initial two weeks, he was moved into a single cell
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards; some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders; the number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation. Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who travel the greatest distance during a match; because midfielders arguably have the most possession during a game they are among the fittest players on the pitch. Central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided equally between attack and defence and to dominate the play around the centre of the pitch.
These players will try to pass the ball to the team's attacking midfielders and forwards and may help their team's attacks by making runs into the opposition's penalty area and attempting shots on goal themselves. When the opposing team has the ball, a central midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward and press the opposition ball-carrier to recover the ball. A centre midfielder defending their goal will move in front of their centre-backs in order to block long shots by the opposition and track opposition midfielders making runs towards the goal; the 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders. The 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder; the term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who are hard-working and who have good all-round abilities, which makes them skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can therefore track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots and run to the opponents' box to try to score.
The change of trends and the deviation from the standard 4–4–2 formation to the 4–2–3–1 formation imposed restrictions on the typical box-to-box midfielders of the 80s, as teams' two midfield roles were now divided into "holders" or "creators". Notable examples of box-to-box midfielders are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Touré, Radja Nainggolan. Left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch, they may be asked to cross the ball into the opponents' penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates, when defending they may put pressure on opponents who are trying to cross. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1 and the 4−5−1 formations. Jonathan Wilson describes the development of the 4−4−2 formation: "…the winger became a wide midfielder, a shuttler, somebody who might be expected to cross a ball but was meant to put in a defensive shift."
Notable examples of wide midfielders are Ryan Giggs. The historic position of wing-half was given to midfielders, it became obsolete as wide players with defensive duties have tended to become more a part of the defence as full-backs. Defensive midfielders are midfield players; these players may defend a zone in front of their team's defence, or man mark specific opposition attackers. Defensive midfielders may move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude: "The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someone's position, great." A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of opponent's play, tackling, interceptions and great stamina and strength. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their team's defence, while other midfielders may move forward to attack; the holding midfielder may have responsibilities when their team has the ball.
This player will make short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the team's strategy. Marcelo Bielsa is considered as a pioneer for the use of a holding midfielder in defence; this position may be seen in the 4 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 4 -- 2 diamond formations. A defensive midfielder, or "destroyer", a playmaker, or "creator", were fielded alongside each other as a team's two holding central midfielders; the destroyer was responsible for making tackles, regaining possession, distributing the ball to the creator, while the creator was responsible for retaining possession and keeping the ball moving with long passes out to the flanks, in the manner of a more old-fashioned deep-lying playmaker or "regista". Early examples of a destroyer are Nobby Stiles, Herbert Wimmer, Marco Tardelli, while examples include Claude Makélélé and Javier Mascherano, although several of these players possessed qualities of other types of midfielders, were therefore not confined to a single role.
Early examples of a creator would be Gérson, Glenn Hoddle, Sunday Oliseh, while more recent examples Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick. The latest and third type of holding midfielder developed as a box-to-box midfielder, or "carrier", neither destructive nor creative, capable of winning b
FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War; the current champion is France. The current format of the competition involves a qualification phase, which takes place over the preceding three years, to determine which teams qualify for the tournament phase, called the World Cup Finals. After this, 32 teams, including the automatically qualifying host nation, compete in the tournament phase for the title at venues within the host nation over a period of about a month; the 21 World Cup tournaments have been won by eight national teams. Brazil have won five times, they are the only team to have played in every tournament; the other World Cup winners are Italy, with four titles each.
The World Cup is the most prestigious association football tournament in the world, as well as the most viewed and followed sporting event in the world, exceeding the Olympic Games. Brazil, Italy and Mexico have each hosted twice, while Uruguay, Sweden, England, Spain, the United States and South Korea, South Africa and Russia have each hosted once. Qatar are planned as hosts of the 2022 finals, 2026 will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States and Mexico, which will give Mexico the distinction of being the first country to have hosted games in three finals; the world's first international football match was a challenge match played in Glasgow in 1872 between Scotland and England, which ended in a 0–0 draw. The first international tournament, the inaugural British Home Championship, took place in 1884; as football grew in popularity in other parts of the world at the start of the 20th century, it was held as a demonstration sport with no medals awarded at the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, at the 1906 Intercalated Games.
After FIFA was founded in 1904, it tried to arrange an international football tournament between nations outside the Olympic framework in Switzerland in 1906. These were early days for international football, the official history of FIFA describes the competition as having been a failure. At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, football became an official competition. Planned by The Football Association, England's football governing body, the event was for amateur players only and was regarded suspiciously as a show rather than a competition. Great Britain won the gold medals, they repeated the feat at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm. With the Olympic event continuing to be contested only between amateur teams, Sir Thomas Lipton organised the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy tournament in Turin in 1909; the Lipton tournament was a championship between individual clubs from different nations, each one of which represented an entire nation. The competition is sometimes described as The First World Cup, featured the most prestigious professional club sides from Italy and Switzerland, but the FA of England refused to be associated with the competition and declined the offer to send a professional team.
Lipton invited an amateur side from County Durham, to represent England instead. West Auckland won the tournament and returned in 1911 to defend their title. In 1914, FIFA agreed to recognise the Olympic tournament as a "world football championship for amateurs", took responsibility for managing the event; this paved the way for the world's first intercontinental football competition, at the 1920 Summer Olympics, contested by Egypt and 13 European teams, won by Belgium. Uruguay won the next two Olympic football tournaments in 1924 and 1928; those were the first two open world championships, as 1924 was the start of FIFA's professional era. Due to the success of the Olympic football tournaments, FIFA, with President Jules Rimet as the driving force, again started looking at staging its own international tournament outside of the Olympics. On 28 May 1928, the FIFA Congress in Amsterdam decided to stage a world championship itself. With Uruguay now two-time official football world champions and to celebrate their centenary of independence in 1930, FIFA named Uruguay as the host country of the inaugural World Cup tournament.
The national associations of selected nations were invited to send a team, but the choice of Uruguay as a venue for the competition meant a long and costly trip across the Atlantic Ocean for European sides. Indeed, no European country pledged to send a team until two months before the start of the competition. Rimet persuaded teams from Belgium, France and Yugoslavia to make the trip. In total, 13 nations took part: seven from South America, four from Europe and two from North America; the first two World Cup matches took place on 13 July 1930, were won by France and the USA, who defeated Mexico 4–1 and Belgium 3–0 respectively. The first goal in World Cup history was scored by Lucien Laurent o
Aachen known as Bad Aachen, in French and traditional English as Aix-la-Chapelle, is a spa and border city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen developed from a Roman settlement and spa, subsequently becoming the preferred medieval Imperial residence of Charlemagne, from 936 to 1531, the place where 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans. Aachen is the westernmost city in Germany, located near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 61 km west south west of Cologne in a former coal-mining area. One of Germany's leading institutes of higher education in technology, the RWTH Aachen University is located in the city. Aachen's industries include science and information technology. In 2009, Aachen was ranked eighth among cities in Germany for innovation; the name Aachen is a modern descendant, like southern German Ach, German: Aach, meaning "river" or "stream", from Old High German ahha, meaning "water" or "stream", which directly translates Latin Aquae, referring to the springs.
The location has been inhabited by humans since the Neolithic era, about 5,000 years ago, attracted to its warm mineral springs. Latin Aquae figures in Aachen's Roman name Aquae granni, which meant "waters of Grannus", referring to the Celtic god of healing, worshipped at the springs; this word became Åxhe in Walloon and Aix in French, subsequently Aix-la-Chapelle after Charlemagne had his palatine chapel built there in the late 8th century and made the city his empire's capital. Aachen's name in French and German evolved in parallel; the city is known by a variety of different names in other languages: Aachen is at the western end of the Benrath line that divides High German to the south from the rest of the West Germanic speech area to the north. Aachen's local dialect belongs to the Ripuarian language. Flint quarries on the Lousberg, Königshügel, first used during Neolithic times, attest to the long occupation of the site of Aachen, as do recent finds under the modern city's Elisengarten pointing to a former settlement from the same period.
Bronze Age settlement is evidenced by the remains of barrows found, on the Klausberg. During the Iron Age, the area was settled by Celtic peoples who were drawn by the marshy Aachen basin's hot sulphur springs where they worshipped Grannus, god of light and healing; the 25-hectare Roman spa resort town of Aquae Granni was, according to legend, founded by Grenus, under Hadrian, around 124 AD. Instead, the fictitious founder refers to the Celtic god, it seems it was the Roman 6th Legion at the start of the 1st century AD that first channelled the hot springs into a spa at Büchel, adding at the end of the same century the Münstertherme spa, two water pipelines, a probable sanctuary dedicated to Grannus. A kind of forum, surrounded by colonnades, connected the two spa complexes. There was an extensive residential area, part of it inhabited by a flourishing Jewish community; the Romans built bathhouses near Burtscheid. A temple precinct called. Today, remains have been found of three bathhouses, including two fountains in the Elisenbrunnen and the Burtscheid bathhouse.
Roman civil administration in Aachen broke down between the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th centuries. Rome withdrew its troops from the area. By 470, the town came to be ruled by the Ripuarian Franks and subordinated to their capital, Cologne. After Roman times, Pepin the Short had a castle residence built in the town, due to the proximity of the hot springs and for strategic reasons as it is located between the Rhineland and northern France. Einhard mentions that in 765–6 Pepin spent both Christmas and Easter at Aquis villa, which must have been sufficiently equipped to support the royal household for several months. In the year of his coronation as king of the Franks, 768, Charlemagne came to spend Christmas at Aachen for the first time, he remained there in a mansion which he may have extended, although there is no source attesting to any significant building activity at Aachen in his time, apart from the building of the Palatine Chapel and the Palace. Charlemagne spent most winters in Aachen between 792 and his death in 814.
Aachen became the political centre of his empire. After his death, the king was buried in the church. In 936, Otto I was crowned king of East Francia in the collegiate church built by Charlemagne. During the reign of Otto II, the nobles revolted and the West Franks, under Lothair, raided Aachen in the ensuing confusion. Aachen was attacked again by Odo of Champagne, who attacked the imperial palace while Conrad II was absent. Odo relinquished it and was killed soon afterwards; the palace and town of Aachen had fortifying walls built by order of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa between 1172 and 1176. Over the next 500 years, most kings of Germany destined to reign over the Holy Roman Empire were crowned in Aachen; the original audience hall built by Charlemagne was torn down and replaced by the current city hall in 1330. The last king to be crowned here was Ferdinand I in 1531. During the Middle Ages, Aachen remained a city o
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic. Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team; the official name and code "Germany FR" was shortened to "Germany" following the reunification in 1990. Germany is one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won four World Cups, three European Championships, one Confederations Cup, they have been runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup, a further four third-place finishes at World Cups. East Germany won Olympic Gold in 1976.
Germany is the only nation to have won both the FIFA Women's World Cup. At the end of the 2014 World Cup, Germany earned the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history, with a record 2205 points. Germany is the only European nation that has won a FIFA World Cup in the Americas; the manager of the national team is Joachim Löw. Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a national team, there were five unofficial international matches between German and English selection teams, which all ended as large defeats for the German teams. Eight years after the establishment of the German Football Association, the first official match of the Germany national football team was played on 5 April 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, with the Swiss winning 5–3. Gottfried Fuchs scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm on 1 July, becoming the top scorer of the tournament, he was Jewish, the German Football Association erased all references to him from their records between 1933 and 1945.
As of 2016, he was still the top German scorer for one match. The first match after World War I in 1920, the first match after World War II in 1950 when Germany was still banned from most international competitions, the first match in 1990 with former East German players were all against Switzerland as well. Germany's first championship title was won in Switzerland in 1954. At that time the players were selected by the DFB; the first manager of the Germany national team was Otto Nerz, a school teacher from Mannheim, who served in the role from 1926 to 1936. The German FA could not afford travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After a poor showing at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sepp Herberger became coach. In 1937 he put together a squad, soon nicknamed the Breslau Elf in recognition of their 8–0 win over Denmark in the German city of Breslau, Lower Silesia.
After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country's national team – one of Europe's best sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having qualified for the 1938 World Cup. Nazi politicians ordered five or six ex-Austrian players, from the clubs Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, First Vienna FC, to join the all-German team on short notice in a staged show of unity for political reasons. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, this "united" German team managed only a 1–1 draw against Switzerland and lost the replay 2–4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France; that early exit stands as Germany's worst World Cup result, one of just two occasions the team failed to progress the group stage. During World War II, the team played over 30 international games between September 1939 and November 1942. National team games were suspended, as most players had to join the armed forces. Many of the national team players were gathered together under coach Herberger as Rote Jäger through the efforts of a sympathetic air force officer trying to protect the footballers from the most dangerous wartime service.
After World War II, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until 1950. The DFB was not a full member of FIFA, none of the three new German states — West Germany, East Germany, Saarland — entered the 1950 World Cup qualifiers; the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to as West Germany, continued the DFB. With recognition by FIFA and UEFA, the DFB continued the record of the pre-war team. Switzerland was once again the first team that played West Germany in 1950. West Germany qualified for the 1954 World Cup; the Saarland, under French control between 1947 and 1956, did not join French organisations, was barred from participating in pan-German ones. It sent their own team to the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic was founded. In 1952 the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR was established and the East Germany national football team took to the field, they were the only team to beat the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning West Germans in the onl
UEFA Europa League
The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions, it is the second-tier competition of European club football, ranking below the UEFA Champions League. Called the UEFA Cup, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League since the 2009–10 season, following a change in format. For UEFA footballing records purposes, the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League are considered the same competition, with the change of name being a rebranding. In 1999, the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup. For the 2004–05 competition a group stage was added prior to the knockout phase; the 2009 re-branding included a merge with the UEFA Intertoto Cup, producing an enlarged competition format, with an expanded group stage and a change in qualifying criteria. The winner of the UEFA Europa League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and, since the 2014–15 season, the following season's UEFA Champions League, entering at the group stage.
The title has been won by 28 clubs. The most successful club in the competition is Sevilla, with five titles; the current champions are Atlético Madrid, after defeating Marseille in the final to win the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. The UEFA Cup was preceded by the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971; the competition grew from 11 teams during the first cup to 64 teams by the last cup, played in 1970–71. It had become so important on the European football scene that in the end it was taken over by UEFA and relaunched the following season as the UEFA Cup; the UEFA Cup was first played in the 1971–72 season, with an all-English final of Wolverhampton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs taking the first honours. The title was retained by another English club, Liverpool, in 1973, who defeated Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final. Borussia would win the competition in 1975 and 1979, reach the final again in 1980. Feyenoord Rotterdam won the cup in 1974 after defeating Tottenham Hotspur with 4-2 in aggregate.
Liverpool won the competition for the second time in 1976 after defeating Club Brugge in the final. During the 1980s, IFK Göteborg and Real Madrid won the competition twice each, with Anderlecht reaching two consecutive finals, winning in 1983 and losing to Tottenham Hotspur in 1984; the year 1989 saw the commencement of the Italian clubs' domination, when Diego Maradona's Napoli defeated Stuttgart. The 1990s started with two all-Italian finals, in 1992, Torino lost the final to Ajax on the away goals rule. Juventus won the competition for a third time in 1993 and Internazionale kept the cup in Italy the following year; the year 1995 saw a third all-Italian final, with Parma proving their consistency, after two consecutive Cup Winners' Cup finals. The only final with no Italians during that decade was in 1996. Internazionale reached the final the following two years, losing in 1997 to Schalke 04 on penalties, winning yet another all-Italian final in 1998, taking home the cup for the third time in only eight years.
Parma won the cup in 1999. Liverpool won the competition for the third time in 2001. In 2002 Feyenoord Rotterdam won it for the 2nd time in the club history by defeating Borussia Dortmund during the final in their own stadium, Stadion Feijenoord in Rotterdam with 3-2. Porto triumphed with the latter against Portuguese team Braga. In 2004, the cup returned to Spain with Valencia being victorious, Sevilla succeeded on two consecutive occasions in 2006 and 2007, the latter in a final against fellow Spaniards Espanyol. Either side of Sevilla's success, two Russian teams, CSKA Moscow in 2005 and Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2008, had their glory and yet another former Soviet club, Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, won in 2009. Atlético Madrid would themselves win twice in three seasons, in 2010 and 2012, the latter in another all-Spanish final. In 2013, Chelsea would become the first Champions League holders to win the UEFA Cup/Europa League the following year. In 2014, Sevilla won their third cup in eight years after defeating Benfica on penalties.
Just one year in 2015, Sevilla won their fourth UEFA Cup/Europa League and, in an unprecedented feat, they defended their title a third year in a row beating Liverpool FC in the 2016 final, making Sevilla FC the most successful team in the history of the competition with 5 titles. Since the 2009–10 season, the competition has been known as the UEFA Europa League. At the same time, the UEFA Intertoto Cup, UEFA's third-tier competition, was discontinued and merged into the new Europa League. UEFA had considered adding a third-tier competition since at least 2015, believing that a bottom-level tournament could act as a means of giving clubs from lower-ranked UEFA member countries to have a chance of progressing to the stages beyond the stages they traditionally would be eliminated in the Champions League and Europa League. In mid-2018 talk of an announcement intensified, with news sources claiming an agreement had been reached for the competition to be launched and that the 48-team Europa League group stage would be split into two, with the lower-half forming the nucleus of what would be the new event.
On 2 December 2018, UEFA announced that the competition – provisionally known as "Europa League 2" or just "UEL2" – was to be launched as part of the 2021–24 three-year competition cycle, with UEFA announcing that the new tournament would bring "more matches for more clubs and more