The Old UEFA (The Union of European Football Associations) Cup it’s now called Europa League due to competition rebranding to attract bigger teams interest. Last edition of the old structure was the 2008-2009 season, won by romanian manager Mircea Lucescu with his ukrainean team Shaktar Donetsk.
A total of 192 teams from 53 UEFA associations are expected to participate in the 2009-2010 UEFA Europa League season. Each country / association will send a number of teams according to their UEFA coefficient. The top countries are England, Spain and Italy each with three teams places followed by Germany and France each sending 3 teams.
The only difference between first 3 and these 2 it’s the UEFA Champions League Places.
To be mentioned that current cup holders, Shaktar Donetsk have a place guaranteed in the group stage even if they are not in the right position in their country league, «The Ukrainian Premier League».
Also, the top three associations of the 2008-2009 UEFA Fair Play ranking (Norway, Denmark, Scotland) each gain an additional berth.
Distribution is as follows:
1) First qualifying round (46 teams)
2) Second qualifying round (80 teams)
3) Third qualifying round (70 teams)
4) Play-off round (76 teams)
5) Group stage (48 teams)
6) Knockout stage (32 teams)
To be mentioned that also the prizes in money have increased once with the rebranding process and the brand new competition also got a new identity logo. The Europa league final will be played in Germany, Arena Hamburg on 12th May 2010