What’s In It For The Four Europa League Semi-Finalists?
With the recent change of regulation and protocols, the Europa League has gained new status and importance within European competitions. Nowadays, some of the best “b sides” in Europe look at the Europa League as a stage to showcase their talent and even gain access to the Champions League.
Going into the semi-finals, the last four teams standing are just three games away from glory. But what would a Europa League trophy mean for each club? Join us as we go over some of the main aspects to keep in mind about all four teams and what a win would mean for them.
West Ham: First European semi-final in 46 years
The East Londoners have been one of the most consistent sides in England this season. They have been looking to gain access to European competitions once again, but it is too early to tell if they’ll make it. Nonetheless, according to odds on the Premier League, they are priced to finish in the top six at odds of 33/10. However, if they fail to finish in the first six spots, they could reach the UCL by winning the Europa League.
West Ham has a considerable background when it comes to European competitions. The Hammers had their best moment in international football when they won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1964/65 and then when they were runners-up in the same competition in 1965/66. The following decade, in 1975/76, they would go on reach their European final again, but ended up losing 4–2 to Belgian side, Anderlecht. 46 years later, The Cockney Boys are ready to relive history and come to terms with their past mistakes.
Eintracht Frankfurt: The third European final
Eintracht Frankfurt is among the German clubs with the most European achievements. They reached Europa League’s semi-final in 2018/19, won the UEFA Cup in 1979/80, and were the runners up in the 1959/60 Champions League, among other achievements.
They haven’t been one of the strongest sides in Bundesliga in the past years, but their unexpected win over Barcelona has certainly proven their potential. Ultimately, Frankfurt will have to be extraordinary, especially considering how much Germans sides have often struggled in UEFA’s secondary tournaments.
RB Leipzig: The ninth German team to win a continental tournament
For the past few years, RB Leipzig has become a regular in European competitions. Their greatest international achievement came just two years ago when they reached the 2019/20 Champions League semi-final. This time around they’ll want to seal the deal and become the ninth German team to win a continental trophy. Founded just 12 years ago, Leipzig has had an exponential rise in German football and a win in a European final would certainly confirm their potential for the coming years.
Rangers: A 14-year wait
When it comes to international competitions, Rangers are usually overshadowed by Celtic’s 1967 European Cup win. However, the Teddy Bears also have a European trophy of their own, namely a Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971/72. More recently, in 2007/08, they came close to a second win but ended up losing the final 2-0 against Zenit.
In the past few years, Rangers have been operating one of the most epic comebacks ever and winning Europe League would certainly be the most important moment in the club’s history. It would also be a beautiful tribute to Walter Smith, the legendary coach who recently passed away.