Europa League

Match Preview: 2020-2021 Uefa Europe League Final ; Villarreal vs Manchester United

The 2021 UEFA Europa League Final will be the final match of the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League, the 50th season of Europe’s secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 12th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League. It will be played on 26 May 2021 at the Stadion Miejski in Gdańsk, Poland, between Spanish club Villarreal and English club Manchester United.

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The final was originally scheduled to be played at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in Seville, Spain. However, due to the postponement and relocation of the 2020 final to Cologne, the final hosts were shifted back a year, with Gdańsk instead hosting the 2021 final, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

The winners will earn the right to play against the winners of the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League in the 2021 UEFA Super Cup. They will also qualify to enter the group stage of the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League. If Manchester United, who have already qualified for the Champions League group stage through their league performance, win the final, the berth reserved will be given to the third-placed team of the 2020–21 Ligue 1, the 5th-ranked association according to next season’s access list.

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The match will be played at the Stadion Miejski in Gdańsk, Poland. At the meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee in Kyiv in May 2018, the stadium was initially selected to host the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final, but when the COVID-19 pandemic forced UEFA to move the latter stages of the 2019–20 competition to Germany, the UEFA Executive Committee delayed Stadion Miejski’s hosting of the Europa League final to 2021. The original venues for the 2021 and 2022 finals were also delayed by a year.

This will be the first UEFA club match hosted at the stadium, which was one of the venues for UEFA Euro 2012. It is the second UEFA club competition final to be played in Poland, as the 2015 UEFA Europa League Final was played at the National Stadium in Warsaw. When the stadium was selected to host the 2020 final, it was known as Stadion Energa Gdańsk, so due to UEFA sponsorship regulations, marketing materials for the match referred to the venue as Gdańsk Stadium. Although the sponsorship deal with Energa was ended in November 2020, the stadium will continue to be known as Gdańsk Stadium for the final.


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Villarreal vs Manchester United


On 12 May 2021, UEFA named Frenchman Clément Turpin as the referee for the final. Turpin has been a FIFA referee since 2010, and was previously the fourth official in the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final. He officiated six matches in the 2020–21 Champions League season, and one leg in the 2020–21 Europa League round of 32. He served as a referee at UEFA Euro 2016 in France and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, and was selected as an official for UEFA Euro 2020. Turpin also was a video assistant referee at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia (including in the final), the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. He will be joined by five of his fellow countrymen, with Nicolas Danos and Cyril Gringore as assistant referees, François Letexier as the video assistant referee, and Jérôme Brisard and Benjamin Pagès as two of the assistant VAR officials. Slavko Vinčić of Slovenia will serve as the fourth official, while Dutchman Pol van Boekel will serve as the remaining assistant VAR.

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