2012 UEFA Europa League Final
Match programme cover
|Event||2011–12 UEFA Europa League|
|Date||9 May 2012|
|Venue||Arena Națională, Bucharest|
|Man of the Match||Radamel Falcao (Atlético Madrid)|
|Referee||Wolfgang Stark (Germany)|
15 °C (59 °F)
The 2012 UEFA Europa League Final was the final match of the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League, the 41st season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA (after the UEFA Champions League), and the 3rd season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League. The match was played on 9 May 2012 at the Arena Națională in Bucharest, Romania, and was contested between two Spanish sides – Atlético Madrid and Athletic Bilbao. The match ended with Atlético Madrid winning 3–0, with Radamel Falcao scoring two goals and Diego scoring another. In doing so, Falcao was named man of the match, and became the first player to win back-to-back Europa League titles with different teams.
The Arena Națională was announced by UEFA as the venue of the 2012 final on 30 January 2010. This was the first final of a European football club competition hosted by Romania.
This was the second consecutive Europa League final contested by two teams from the same nation, and the ninth time overall (including UEFA Cup). The only other all-Spanish final of UEFA's second club competition was the 2007 UEFA Cup Final, when Sevilla defeated Espanyol. That was also the last final where both finalist teams had played only in the UEFA Cup/Europa League in their routes to the final (rather than dropping down from the UEFA Champions League, either after the early knockout rounds or after the group stage).
Both teams have played in one previous Europa League/UEFA Cup final. Atlético Madrid won the first Europa League final after its renaming in 2010, beating Fulham 2–1 after extra time. Athletic Bilbao lost in 1977 to Juventus on away goals after the tie finished 2–2 on aggregate. The two teams have never met in European competition before. They have met each other in three Copa del Rey finals, with Athletic Bilbao winning two and Atlético Madrid winning one. In the 2011–12 La Liga season, Athletic Bilbao won their home fixture 3–0 and Atlético Madrid won their home fixture 2–1.
After losing to Udinese on 20 October 2011, Atlético Madrid went on a run of 11 straight victories to the final, a record in European football, winning their remaining group games to top their group and then defeating four knockout opponents both home and away.
Road to final
|Atlético Madrid||Round||Athletic Bilbao|
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Qualifying phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Strømsgodset||4–1||2–1 (H)||2–0 (A)||Third qualifying round||Bye|
|Vitória Guimarães||6–0||2–0 (H)||4–0 (A)||Play-off round||Trabzonspor||n/a†||0–0||Cancelled†|
|Celtic||2–0 (H)||Matchday 1||Slovan Bratislava||2–1 (A)|
|Rennes||1–1 (A)||Matchday 2||Paris Saint-Germain||2–0 (H)|
|Udinese||0–2 (A)||Matchday 3||Red Bull Salzburg||2–2 (H)|
|Udinese||4–0 (H)||Matchday 4||Red Bull Salzburg||1–0 (A)|
|Celtic||1–0 (A)||Matchday 5||Slovan Bratislava||2–1 (H)|
|Rennes||3–1 (H)||Matchday 6||Paris Saint-Germain||2–4 (A)|
|Group I winners
|Final standings||Group F winners
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Knockout phase||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Lazio||4–1||3–1 (A)||1–0 (H)||Round of 32||Lokomotiv Moscow||2–2 (a)||1–2 (A)||1–0 (H)|
|Beşiktaş||6–1||3–1 (H)||3–0 (A)||Round of 16||Manchester United||5–3||3–2 (A)||2–1 (H)|
|Hannover 96||4–2||2–1 (H)||2–1 (A)||Quarter-finals||Schalke 04||6–4||4–2 (A)||2–2 (H)|
|Valencia||5–2||4–2 (H)||1–0 (A)||Semi-finals||Sporting CP||4–3||1–2 (A)||3–1 (H)|
- † As a result of match-fixing allegations, Turkish club Fenerbahçe were removed from the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League and were replaced with Trabzonspor on 24 August 2011. As a result, Trabzonspor's second leg against Athletic Bilbao was cancelled, and Athletic Bilbao advanced to the group stage.
The two finalist teams received 9,000 tickets each for distribution to their supporters. 20,000 tickets have been sold to local football fans with a further 3,000 tickets available for sale to fans worldwide via UEFA.com, with prices between 100 RON and 500 RON. The remaining tickets are allocated to the local organising committee, UEFA’s 53 national football associations, and commercial and broadcast partners.
|Atlético Madrid||3–0||Athletic Bilbao|
|Falcao 7', 34'
- 2011–12 UEFA Europa League
- 2012 UEFA Champions League Final
- 2012 UEFA Super Cup
- Atlético Madrid in European football
- Athletic Bilbao in European football
- Atkin, John (9 May 2012). "Falcao at double as Atlético march to title". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Stark gets Bucharest call-up". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "Full Time Summary" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "2011/12 draw and match calendar". UEFA.com. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012.
- "UEFA Europa League trophy handed to Bucharest". UEFA.com. 11 April 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "UEFA unveil 2011 and 2012 final venues". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- "Final shining spotlight on local rivalries". UEFA.com. 7 May 2012.
- "Bucharest stage set for all-Spanish showpiece". UEFA.com. 27 April 2012.
- "Fenerbahçe replaced in UEFA Champions League". UEFA. 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2011.
- "UEFA Europa League Final 2012 ticket sales launched". UEFA.com. 7 March 2012.
- "Ambassador: Miodrag Belodedici". UEFA.com. 1 March 2012.
- "Regulations of the UEFA Europa League 2011/12" (PDF). UEFA.com. Nyon: Union of European Football Associations. March 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Team statistics" (PDF). UEFA. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012.