UEFA Youth League

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UEFA Youth League
UEFA Youth League.svg
Founded2013
RegionEurope (UEFA)
Number of teams64
Current championsSpain Real Madrid (1st title)
Most successful club(s)Spain Barcelona
England Chelsea
(2 titles each)
Television broadcastersList of broadcasters
WebsiteOfficial website
2020–21 UEFA Youth League

The UEFA Youth League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2013. In its current format, it is contested by the youth (under-19) teams of the clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League group stage, plus the domestic youth champions of the best-ranked national associations.

The semi-finals and final matches have been traditionally played at the Colovray Stadium in Nyon, Switzerland. The winners are awarded the Lennart Johansson Trophy, named in honour of the former UEFA president.

The most successful teams are Barcelona and Chelsea with two trophies each. Chelsea won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, while Barcelona won the inaugural season of the competition and clinched their second trophy in 2018. The current champions are Spanish side Real Madrid, who beat Benfica 3–2 in the 2020 final.

History[edit]

In May 2010, UEFA organised a match, referred to as the "UEFA Under-18 Challenge", between the under-18 teams of Bayern Munich and Internazionale, three days prior to the UEFA Champions League Final between the respective senior sides. Internazionale won the match 2–0 with two goals from Denis Alibec. The match was part of "UEFA Grassroots Day", and acted as an inspiration for the UEFA Youth League.[1][2][3]

The teams in the first tournament, 2013–14 UEFA Youth League, played a group stage with the same composition and calendar as the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage, and was held on a 'trial basis'.[3]

The eight group-winners and eight runners-up from group stage then participated in a knockout phase. Unlike the UEFA Champions League, the knockout phase had single-leg ties, with the semi-finals and final played at neutral venues.[3]

British media commented that the competition was formed to displace the NextGen Series.[4][5]

In April 2014, Barcelona became the first champion, beating Benfica by 3–0 in the final-four held in Nyon.

After a two-year trial period, the UEFA Youth League became a permanent UEFA competition starting from the 2015–16 season, with the tournament expanded from 32 to 64 teams to allow the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations according to their UEFA country coefficients to also participate. The 32 UEFA Champions League group stage youth teams retain the group stage format, with the group winners advancing to the round of 16 and the runners-up advancing to the play-offs. The 32 youth domestic champions play two rounds of two-legged ties, with the eight winners advancing to the play-offs, where they play a single match at home against the Champions League path runners-up. The round of 16 onwards retain the same format of single-leg ties as before.[6]

Finals[edit]

Season Winners Score Runners-up Losing semi-finalists
2013–14 Barcelona Spain 3–0 Portugal Benfica Spain Real Madrid
Germany Schalke 04
2014–15 Chelsea England 3–2 Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk Belgium Anderlecht
Italy Roma
2015–16 Chelsea England 2–1 France Paris Saint-Germain Belgium Anderlecht
Spain Real Madrid
2016–17 Red Bull Salzburg Austria 2–1 Portugal Benfica Spain Barcelona
Spain Real Madrid
2017–18 Barcelona Spain 3–0 England Chelsea England Manchester City
Portugal Porto
2018–19 Porto Portugal 3–1 England Chelsea Spain Barcelona
Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
2019–20 Real Madrid Spain 3–2 Portugal Benfica Netherlands Ajax
Austria Red Bull Salzburg
2020–21 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe

Winners[edit]

By clubs
Team Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
England Chelsea 2 2 2015, 2016 2018, 2019
Spain Barcelona 2 0 2014, 2018
Austria Red Bull Salzburg 1 0 2017
Portugal Porto 1 0 2019
Spain Real Madrid 1 0 2020
Portugal Benfica 0 3 2014, 2017, 2020
Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 0 1 2015
France Paris Saint-Germain 0 1 2016
By countries
Country Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
 Spain 3 0 2014, 2018, 2020
 England 2 2 2015, 2016 2018, 2019
 Portugal 1 3 2019 2014, 2017, 2020
 Austria 1 0 2017
 Ukraine 0 1 2015
 France 0 1 2016

Broadcasters[edit]

2021–2024[edit]

Up to four matches per week (total 39 matches per-season) are streamed through UEFA.tv channel in the unsold markets with highlights available in all territories.[7]

Europe[edit]

TBA

Outside Europe[edit]

Country/Region Broadcaster
 United States TBA (English)
TUDN (Spanish)[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Young stars take centre stage". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Inter take Under-18 honours". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "UEFA Youth League club competition launched". UEFA.org. Union of European Football Associations. 7 December 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  4. ^ Herbert, Ian (17 September 2013). "Comment: Brilliant NextGen series sadly sidelined in favour of Uefa Youth Cup". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  5. ^ Twomey, Liam (14 April 2014). "NextGen eyes comeback as Uefa Youth League celebrates finale". goal.com. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
  6. ^ "UEFA Youth League retained and expanded". UEFA.org. 18 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Where to watch the UEFA Youth League". UEFA. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
  8. ^ "TUDN Announces Three-Year Extension with UEFA to Remain Exclusive Spanish-Language Broadcast Partner in the U.S." Univision. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-08-11.

External links[edit]