Learn all you need to know about the structure of world football

What is the UEFA Nations League?

March 14, 2022

The UEFA Nations League is a biennial international soccer competition featuring the senior men’s national teams of the 55 member associations of UEFA, the football confederation of Europe. Also, the UEFA Nations League is not actually a league; it's a tournament. We've tried to explain it in the simplest terms below. (Disclaimer: Some of the…

What Does it Mean in English Soccer to “Get Into Europe”?

January 11, 2022

As each English Premier League season winds down, there is a phrase that will be tossed around quite a bit: "Get into Europe." What does this mean? (Updated June 13, 2023) The short answer here is that "making the top four" means "Qualify for European club competition next season." But let's go just a little…

UEFA Europa Conference League logo

What is the UEFA Europa Conference League?

December 20, 2021

The European soccer powers have created yet another continental competition, the UEFA Europa Conference League. It is the third-tier offering underneath the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. So let’s answer the questions, what is the UEFA Europa Conference League, and how will it work? (Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links,…

wembley stadium tickets

What is the FA Vase?

September 10, 2021

What is the FA Vase in English football? Well, the defending champion is Ascot United, who play in a 1,150-seat stadium and were also just promoted to the Isthmian League South Central Division. So one thing the FA Vase is not is glamorous. There are many leagues and cups in English football, from fully professional…

Premier League promotion relegation table

How Does Promotion and Relegation Work in English Soccer?

July 19, 2021

The system of promotion and relegation in English soccer is something Americans find confusing, since it doesn't exist in our sporting culture. But I think it's one of the many reasons to love watching soccer in England, so here is a little more about how it works. Before I explain what that even means, let's use…

wembley stadium hosts english football championship games

Yes, English Soccer Does Have Playoffs

July 18, 2021

Are there playoffs in English soccer? The answer is yes, with two caveats: Not in the Premier League, and not to determine championships. Here's more about the playoffs. One of the biggest differences between English soccer and every American sport is that we Yanks rely on a postseason playoff to determine champions, whereas in England…

What is the English League Cup?

July 8, 2021

What is the League Cup, also known as the EFL Cup or Carabao Cup? There are a lot of things about English soccer that are unfamiliar for the American fan, starting with the fact that the Premier League is only one of several competitions going on during the season. We have a guide to all…

Liverpool's five European trophies champions league

What is the UEFA Champions League?

July 2, 2021

The short answer is that the UEFA Champions League is the club championship of Europe, and probably, therefore, the most prestigious football competition in the world other than the World Cup. Also, somewhat strangely, it's not a league; it's a tournament. But before we explain more, let’s cover a little history. For a little background,…

manchester united trophy cabinet

A Guide to the Leagues and Cups of English Football

July 1, 2021

What are all the leagues and cups of English football? This was utterly mysterious to us for years. And it may still be for many Americans. Allow us to explain. First, here's an example of something a TV announcer in England might say that you would never hear an American announcer say: that a team…

fans singing and waving scarves before a game at Bayer Leverkusen

Promotion & Relegation in Some European Leagues

June 22, 2021

Groundhopper Guides has kept you informed about promotions and relegations in English football this past season. Now we turn our attention to promotion and relegation in some European domestic leagues. Here's a look at what happened in a few of the other major European leagues in 2020-21. GERMAN BUNDESLIGA Champion: Bayern Munich (78 points) Bayern…

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