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Spain close on Italy in all-time rankings

Published: Thursday 15 May 2014, 0.03CET
Spanish sides moved clear of England in second spot in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League all-time rankings after Sevilla FC sealed the nation's eighth final triumph.

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Published: Thursday 15 May 2014, 0.03CET

Spain close on Italy in all-time rankings

Spanish sides moved clear of England in second spot in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League all-time rankings after Sevilla FC sealed the nation's eighth final triumph.

Sevilla FC's UEFA Europa League triumph in Turin was the eighth time a Spanish club has claimed the trophy, moving the country clear of England in the all-time stakes and within one of Italy's record total of nine.

Spanish sides have enjoyed an impressive run, with six successes in the past 11 years; they have also had two runners-up during that time. Sevilla now boast three wins to their name, equalling a mark set by Juventus, FC Internazionale Milano and Liverpool FC, while Valencia CF prevailed in 2003/04 and Club Atlético de Madrid lifted the trophy in 2009/10 and 2011/12.

England was for a long time the competition's dominant force, the tone set in the inaugural final as Tottenham Hotspur FC defeated domestic rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers FC. Liverpool took the trophy 290km north the following season before Feyenoord broke the English stranglehold in 1973/74, beating Tottenham over two legs.

Still, Liverpool regained the trophy in 1975/76 and there were further victories for Ipswich Town FC (1980/81) and Tottenham (1983/84) as England won five of the first 13 editions. They have mustered just two successes in the three decades since, Chelsea FC triumphing last term to add to Liverpool's remarkable 5-4 conquest of Deportivo Alavés in 2000/01.

The 1980s and 90s witnessed an era of Italian supremacy – Serie A produced six out of seven winners (and ten finalists) between 1988/89 and 1994/95 – while the balance of power has swung towards Spain since the turn of the century. Liga clubs have led the way with that remarkable sequence of six victories in 11 years. Their only previous successes had belonged to Real Madrid CF, who enjoyed back-to-back triumphs in 1984/85 and 1985/86.

Portugal, whose two wins were both earned by FC Porto, has now supplied three of the last four runners-up. SC Braga lost to Porto in 2011, while SL Benfica's defeat at Juventus Stadium makes them the first team in the competition's history to lose successive finals.

UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League winners by country (runners-up in brackets)
Italy – 9 (6)
Spain – 8 (5)
England – 7 (5)
Germany – 6 (8)
Netherlands – 4 (2)
Portugal – 2 (5)

Last updated: 15/05/14 2.45CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=2103132.html#spain+close+italy+time+rankings

 
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