Arsenal’s 2018-2019 Europa League tournament got off to a winning start against Ukrainian side FC Vorskla Poltava. While the Europa League is considered the lesser of the two yearly UEFA tournaments, it does provide something that the more glamorous Champions League doesn’t. It gives us the ability to learn geography while figuring out the location of teams you otherwise would never have heard of.
Prior to round one I can honestly say I never heard of Poltava. Then there’s Arsenal’s next opponents Qarabag. Until I read about the potential Henrikh Mkhitaryan problem I would never have heard of Qarabag. Nor would I know that team is based in the former Soviet republic nation of Azerbaijan.
Let’s take for example Ludogorets from Razgrad, Bulgaria. When I first heard the name mentioned I mistook it for a brand of throat lozenges. Actually, the club has become a mainstay in this tournament since making its European debut in the 2012-2013 Champions League. Who knew being a soccer fan could be so educational?
With that in mind I decided to put together a little quiz I call the Europa League Geography Challenge. See how many of these you can get correct without cheating?
- In Group A we have AEK Larnaca. In what country will you find the city of Larnaca?
- From Group D comes Spartak Trnava. The team plays in a country that used to go by a different name. Can you guess what country the club is in?
- Dudelange of Group F are the first club from this country to reach the group stage of a European competition. Can you name it? Here’s a hint, the capacity at this team’s home ground is 2,558.
- In Group H is Apollon Limassol. The club has won its nation’s title three times and was formed in 1945. Can you name the country this team hails from?
- European debutants Sarpsborg are part of Group I. What European nation do they come from?
- Group J gives us two teams to guess. First up is FC Krasnodar. In what country would you find this club?
- Then there is Akhisar. In what country would you find the city of Akhisar?
- Jablonec plays its home matches in a stadium with a seating capacity of 6,108. Where is Jablonec?
- Videoton is not a new music channel. Instead, they are a team that play in which country?
- Here’s the brain buster. You get five extra points if you can name the city that Videoton play in.
Good luck with the quiz! We’ve all learned something today.
Answers: 1. Cyprus 2. Slovakia 3. Luxembourg 4. Cyprus 5. Norway 6. Russia 7. Turkey 8. Czech Republic 9. Hungary 10. Székesfehérvár