From SPORTING INTERESTS UEFA Europa League Final
24 May, Friends Arena, Solna Sweden

First known as the Inter City Fairs Cup when introduced in 1955, the UEFA Cup was a tournament that originally lasted three years and was designed more as a showpiece to promote trade rather than as a genuinely competitive footballing tournament. That has changed considerably though and, in Europe, it is viewed as second only to the Champions League as the continent's most prestigious club competition.

Originally a knockout tournament played across two legs, home and away, it has evolved into a league and knockout competition, but will change again next year when the competition is rebranded as the UEFA Europa League. However it is known, though, it is a competition that pits teams against each other from far and wide across Europe - leading to games in which Mediterranean flair can meet Scandinavian grit, or English passion faces Russian pragmatism.

Won three times apiece by Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool, it is nevertheless a tournament that often allows teams considered as European underdogs the chance to win a major trophy.

www.UEFA.com/competitions/UEFACup
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