This season’s Champions League was a nail-biter, and it’s finally led to the announcement of the eight-strong teams that will now be part of the Europa League.
As per the usual rules, the teams that ended up in the third spot in the Champions League automatically get a ticket to the Europa League. This adds a dash of thrill to the next knockout stage.
So, let’s take a look at the top-notch teams that will be battling it out in this season’s Europa League.
Galatasaray, a prominent team in Turkish football, has indeed moved to the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group. Known as the Lions, they are no strangers to European competition and will undoubtedly bring their rich history and experience to the knockout stage.
2. RC Lens
RC Lens is a French football club based in Lens, a city in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France; it secured its place in the Europa League group stage after finishing fifth in Ligue 1 in the 2022-23 season.
With their eyes on European success, Lens will be determined to impact the knockout rounds significantly.
Braga, hailing from Portugal, adds a touch of Iberian flair to the Europa League. Braga qualified for the Europa League group stage by winning the 2020–21 Taça de Portugal.
Known for their attacking prowess, Braga’s journey in the competition promises to deliver entertaining football as they aim to progress deep into the knockout stage.
The Portuguese giants, Benfica, faced a challenging group stage in the Champions League but are now set to showcase their talents in the Europa League. Benfica’s pedigree and continental reputation make them a force to be reckoned with as they enter the knockout phase.
The Dutch football powerhouse Feyenoord joins the Europa League fray after finishing fifth in their Champions League group. Known for their passionate fan base and attacking style of play, Feyenoord will be eager to make a mark on the European stage.
6. AC Milan
AC Milan, one of Italy’s most successful clubs, experienced an unexpected detour to the Europa League after their Champions League group stage journey.
7. Young Boys
Swiss club Young Boys earned their spot in the Europa League knockout stage, showcasing the competitive nature of football in Switzerland. Young Boys will look to carry their domestic success onto the European stage and make a lasting impression in the knockout rounds.
8. Shakhtar Donetsk
Ukrainian football powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk completes the list of teams dropping into the Europa League. Known for their talented squad and continental experience, Shakhtar Donetsk will be a formidable opponent as they navigate the knockout stage.
Eight teams are now moving into the play-offs of the Europa League knockout round. It’s a tough competition with a lot at stake. The play-offs will see eight top teams (who came second in their Champions League groups) going head-to-head with eight other teams (who finished third in their Champions League groups).
The big reward? They will make it to round 16, facing the eight teams who won their groups. It’s all to play for!