The football competitions in which English teams play are considered to be among the best in the world. There are nine main events in the English football calendar. These include the following:

Domestic competitions

  • Premier League
  • FA Cup
  • League Cup

International club competitions

  • Champions League
  • Europa League
  • Super Cup
  • FIFA Club World Cup

International competitions (involving the England national team)

  • FIFA World Cup
  • European Championship

Domestic competitions

Premier League

The Premier League is the top tier of English football. It was founded in 1992 when the top 22 teams in the Football League resigned en masse to form the new league. The Premier League now consists of 20 teams.

The top four teams in the Premier League qualify to compete in the UEFA Champions League, while the bottom three teams are relegated to the Football League Championship. The team that finishes fifth qualifies to compete in the Europa League.

FA Cup

The FA Cup is an annual knockout cup competition. First held in 1871-72, it is the oldest association football competition in the world. Any team down to Level 10 in the English football pyramid can take part.

The FA Cup is unseeded, but the system ensures bias to clubs higher in the football pyramid by allowing them to enter at progressively later stages. As a result, Premier League clubs don’t need to qualify and don’t enter until the third round.

The semi-finals of the FA Cup have taken place at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium since 2008, while the final has also taken place there exclusively since 2007.

Football League Cup

The Football League Cup is a knockout cup competition, much like the FA Cup. Yet unlike the FA Cup, the League Cup is restricted to the 92 teams in the top four divisions.

Although one the three major domestic competitions in England, most top clubs consider this competition to be the least important in domestic football.

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International club competitions

UEFA Champions League

Commonly known simply as the Champions League (and sometimes the European Cup – its former official name), many consider this prestigious continental competition to be the holy grail of club football.

The top three teams in the Premier League enter the group stage automatically. Those who place fourth must take part in a play-off round to reach the competition proper.

There are eight groups in total (dubbed A-H), each consisting of four teams. Every team plays the other three teams in their group twice (home and away). The top two teams from each group go into the knockout stage. The team which finishes third in each group enters the knockout stage of the UEFA Europa League.

The 16 teams that reach the knockout stage play one other team twice (home and away) in each round except the final. During each draw, the teams with the most goals over the two legs progress to the next round.

The first English team to win the competition was Manchester United in 1968.

UEFA Europa League

The Europa League is the secondary European football club competition, involving 48 teams from around the continent during the group stage.

English teams that qualify for the Champions League do not participate in the Europa League, however the team finishing 5th in the Premier League qualifies for the Europa League during the next season.

Teams that are knocked out of the Champions League at certain stages are able to participate in the Europa League, joining the competition from the Play-off round onwards.

The winners of the FA Cup and League Cup also qualify for the competition (except when they have qualified for the Champions League).The winners of the Europa League qualify for the Champions League the next year.

UEFA Super Cup

The Super Cup is an annual cup competition in which the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League play each other in a one-off match. The event takes place at a neutral venue.

FIFA Club World Cup

The Club World Cup began in 2000 (2005 in its current format). The event begins with the winners of the OFC Champions League playing the host nation’s national league champions in a play-off.

The quarter final draw includes the winners of the AFC Champions League, the CONCACAF Champions League, the CAF Champions League and the aforementioned play-off round.

The semi-final draw takes place between the winners of the UEFA Champions League, the winners of the Copa Libertadores and the winners of the two quarter finals. The victors of these two matches go on to face each other in the final.

International competitions (involving the England national team)

FIFA World Cup

The World Cup takes place every four years in a different host nation. Each team must qualify for the event when not the host nation (whose team qualifies automatically).

There are two stages to the competition itself: the group stage and the knockout stage. All 32 teams enter the competition in one of eight groups (A-H), each of which consists of four teams.

Every team plays the other three teams in its group only once. The two teams that finish their group with the most points progress to the knockout stage.

The knockout stage takes the form of a single elimination tournament in which teams play each other in one-off matches.

UEFA European Football Championship

The European Championship is held every four years in a different country within the European continent. Like other all teams in the competition, England must qualify for the event (except when it is the host nation, as in 1996).

Like the World Cup, the European Championship consists of a group stage and a knockout stage. As of Euro 2016, 24 teams now take part in the competition proper.

There are many prestigious football events that take place every year, giving players plenty of opportunity to show us what they are made of, both on the international and domestic scenes.