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5 reasons why the FA Cup is a prestigious cup competition

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Arsenal have bagged more FA Cups than any other club
Arsenal Presser

After a whirlwind Christmas fixture list, the FA Cup weekend is finally here. It’s the 3rd round of the FA Cup and this is where all the Premier League clubs join the proceedings. Some would view this weekend as a break from the all so important Premier League, but in reality, it’s a continuation of the continual strive for success.

In today’s standing, the FA Cup is one of the most celebrated tournaments in world football. And that’s why the whole world is abuzz that the 3rd round is finally upon us. The tournament’s prestige speaks for itself, but some have still questioned its honor.

Here are 5 reasons why the FA Cup is still a prestigious cup competition.


#5 Offers a place in Europe

Previews - UEFA Europa League Final
FA Cup winners get a shot at the Europa League

As money continues to take the world of football by storm, it’s now more important than ever to accredit European status to your name. It may not be the Champions League, but the FA Cup gives its winners a direct route into the Europa League. With one of the biggest clubs in the world winning the tournament last summer, the Europa League is now nothing to be sniffed at.

Based on last year’s revenue report, each team that qualifies for the Europa League can expect to receive at least £2.31million. Bonuses are awarded for each game you win and how far along you get into the tournament.

For any team, regardless of status, this is a lucrative amount that places an added incentive on winning the FA Cup. If that wasn’t enough, the winner of the FA Cup receives £2m prize money, the Carabao Cup only offers £100,000.

#4 Greater chance of David vs. Goliath match-ups

Luton Town Media Access Ahead of FA Cup Third Round
Luton Town Media Access Ahead of FA Cup Third Round

The FA Cup is the best chance for small teams to face a giant in the Premier League. Some would argue that the Carabao Cup offers the same opportunities, but it doesn’t and it’s not even close. In last year’s FA Cup, 736 teams participated in the competition, while only 92 participated in the Carabao Cup. That’s why a team like Fleetwood Town can host the former Premier League Champions in a stadium that only holds 5,327 people.

That’s the magic of the cup, anyone can play anyone. Granted to teams in the lower divisions, many qualification matches have to be played from August. But the opportunity of a lifetime makes it all worth it. The FA Cup mixes together the grassroots of football with the upper echelon of global finances, it brings together the Davids and Goliaths, giving us an experience we can’t replicate anywhere else in football.

#3 A trip to Wembley is still iconic

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium

If you ask most footballers across the world what stadium they’d most want to play at, they’d say Wembley. The stadium’s name alone holds so much weight in the world of football, as it is the crowning jewel of the source of football. When you think Wembley Stadium, you think of big matches, finals, world cup glory and world-class players.

As a player that’s where you want to be competing at and as a fan, there’s no outing more special than a day out at Wembley. Fused with the prestige of the FA Cup, those finals at Wembley are forever stored in the history books.

#2 Everybody wants to win it

Aston Villa v Arsenal - FA Cup Final
Arsenal have won the FA Cup on 13 occasions

Some try to belittle the prestige of the FA Cup by saying it doesn’t matter in the wider range of matters. But you say that to the big teams, who have all gone out of their way to win the tournament in recent years. Since 2009, the FA Cup has been won by either Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City or Manchester United in 8 out of the past 9 editions.

Last year’s FA Cup semi-finals were filled by Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal, four of the biggest teams in England. So, it’s farcical to say this cup isn’t prestigious, everybody wants to win it. Even from a managerial perspective, all of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Arsène Wenger are under pressure to win silverware this season and the FA Cup offers a great opportunity.

#1 Its heritage speaks for itself

Halifax Town v Bradford City - FA Cup First Round
the FA Cup was founded in 1871

When you consider the fact that the sport of football itself only became official in 1869, while the FA Cup was created in 1871, there’s no way you can tell me this cup isn’t as prestigious as it gets. Not only is it the longest running cup competition in England, it’s the longest-running cup competition in the whole world. The FA Cup more so than the league is what most football fans have grown up loving and cherishing.

The FA Cup has an amazing 148-year history, in that time, a total of 43 different clubs have lifted the trophy. Arsenal stands at top of that list, having won it a record 13 times. Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger has personally won it the most as a manager, with 7 victories to his name. Just to show the grandeur of the situation, the Carabao Cup has only been around for 55 years.

Edited by Akhilesh Tirumala

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