Ahead of Wednesday’s final match of the UEFA Europa Cup final match in Stockholm, both Manchester United and Ajax Amsterdam have to thank Real Madrid and Juventus, the finalists of the more prestigious UEFA Champions League.
Owing to both Real Madrid and Juventus emerging as champions of their respective domestic leagues, the winners of the Europa Cup final will not have to enter the next season’s Champions League through play off.
It is now direct entry into the group stage for whichever team wins the Europa Cup on Wednesday. Sports Village Square gathered from UEFA that ordinarily, the “UEFA Champions League winners are guaranteed a 2017/18 group place regardless of where they finish in their domestic league while the Europa League winners are to enter the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League play-off league route unless
they are already qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage via their domestic league or the UEFA Champions League winners are already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league, creating a vacancy which would be filled by the UEFA Europa League winners going straight into the group stage.
“Due to the above criteria, as both Real Madrid and Juventus have clinched group places already, the UEFA Europa League winners would enter the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage.”