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English sides go second in all-time rankings

English sides moved alongside Spain in second spot in the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League all-time rankings after Chelsea FC sealed the nation's seventh win in the competition.

Chelsea celebrate in Amsterdam
Chelsea celebrate in Amsterdam ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC's UEFA Europa League triumph in Amsterdam was the seventh time an English club has claimed the trophy, moving the country alongside Spain in the all-time stakes and two shy of Italy's record total of nine.

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 FC took the trophy 320km north the following season before Feyenoord finally broke the English stranglehold in 1973/74, beating Tottenham over two legs.

Still, Liverpool regained the trophy in 1976 and there were further successes for Ipswich Town FC (1981) and Tottenham (1984) as England won five of the first 13 editions. Yet before Amsterdam they had mustered just one more title since – Liverpool's remarkable 5-4 triumph over Deportivo Alavés in 2001, England's only previous victory since one-off finals were introduced.

The 1980s and '90s witnessed an era of Italian supremacy – Serie A produced six out of seven winners (and ten finalists) – while the balance of power has swung south since the turn of the century. Spanish clubs have enjoyed an impressive run, with five successes in the past ten years as well as two wins for FC Porto.

SL Benfica could not continue that Iberian theme as Branislav Ivanović's added-time header ensured Chelsea would bring the trophy back to England. The country now shares an identical record with Spain, of seven final victories and five defeats.

As well as Wolves and Spurs, Arsenal FC succumbed on penalties against Galatasaray AŞ in 2000, Middlesbrough FC were overwhelmed by Sevilla FC in 2006 while Fulham FC took Club Atlético de Madrid to extra time before losing the inaugural UEFA Europa League final in 2010. There was no stopping Chelsea, though.

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

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