European Cup

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European Cup
Founded 1955; 69 years ago (1955)
Region Europe (EFU)
Number of teams 29
Current champions Italy Milan (3rd title)
Most successful club Italy Milan (3 titles)
1963–64 European Cup

The European Cup is an annual continental club football competition organised by the European Footballing Union (EFU) and contested by top-division European clubs. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions (and, for some nations, one or more runners-up) of the strongest EFU national associations.

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

After the South American Championship of Champions was created in 1947, discussion of a European wide competition didn't really take place until May 1953 when Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated Budapest Honvéd FC which would have five of the World Cup winning squad which would take place the following year. The manager in Stan Cullis staking that they were "Champions of the World". But after some of the media from outside of Europe started to question this claim, talks was slowly starting to creep about a European wide competition which would determine who is truly the best in Europe.

After EFU was formed only a year later, the idea was brought up in a March 1955 meeting and it was decided that a European competition will take place and in April 1955, it was approved to run.

1956-1961[edit | edit source]

The first edition took place in the 1955-56 season with sixteen teams competing in the first competition with the first match being played on September 4, 1955, between Belenenses (Portuguese champions) and Hajduk Split (Yugoslav champions). In the final help in Paris, it was the Italians champions in Milan that would take out the title after they defeated Budapest Honvéd FC 3-1 in the final.

The following year would see Budapest Honvéd FC again fall short in the final after they lost to Yugoslav champions Red Star Belgrade 2-1 in the final in a tournament which got expanded to see five new nations compete in the competition with the winners of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Luxembourg, Romania and Turkey. The English champion in Tottenham Hotspur FC would join the following season and make it all the way to the final where they would lose the final to Milan who became the first team to win two European trophies as they won at Brussels. After Stade de Reims took out the 1959 edition, Budapest Honved would become the first team to win consecutive tournaments as they defeated Romanian club and surprise package, Petrolul Ploiesti in 1960 before defeating AFC Ajax the following year.

1962-[edit | edit source]

The 1962 edition of the tournament saw the first team from a country that was hosting the final with Feyenoord qualifying through to the final to take on the British champions in the Wolverhampton Wanderers. Though the Wolves were too strong as they defeated them 2-0. 1963 saw the first team from Albania compete in the European Cup with KF Partizani Tirana qualifying as the champions. But they would lose in the opening round to IFK Norrköping 3-1 on aggregate. The final saw another Dutch team qualify through to the final with PSV Eindhoven taking on AC Milan at Wembley Stadium. But AC Milan became the first team to win three European Cup titles as they won 3-0 in the final.

List of Finals[edit | edit source]

List of European Cup finals
Season Nation Winners Score Runners-up Nation Venue Attendance
1955–56 Flag of Italy Italy Milan 3-1 Budapest Honvéd FC Hungary France Parc des Princes 25,000
1956–57 Flag of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 2-1 Budapest Honvéd FC Flag of Hungary Hungary Spain Santiago Bernabéu Stadium 31,000
1957–58 Flag of Italy Italy Milan 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur F.C Flag of England England Belgium Heysel Stadium 55,000
1958–59 Flag of France France Reims 2-1 CSKA Sofia Flag of Bulgaria Bulgaria West Germany Neckarstadion 70,000
1959–60 Flag of Hungary Hungary Budapest Honvéd FC 3-0 Petrolul Ploiesti Flag of Romania Romania United Kingdom Hampden Park 127,000
1960–61 Flag of Hungary Hungary Budapest Honvéd FC 2–0 Ajax Flag of Netherlands Netherlands Switzerland Wankdorfstadion 27,100
1961–62 Flag of United Kingdom Great Britain Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–0 Feyenoord Flag of Netherlands Netherlands Netherlands Olympisch Stadium 58,000
1962–63 Flag of Italy Italy Milan 3–0 PSV Eindhoven Flag of Netherlands Netherlands United Kingdom Wembley Stadium 48,240
1963–64 Austria Praterstadion
1964–65 Italy San Siro

Performances by club[edit | edit source]

Performances in the European Cup by club
Club Title(s) Runners-up Seasons won Seasons runner-up
Italy Milan 3 0 1956, 1958, 1963
Hungary Budapest Honvéd FC 2 2 1960, 1961 1956, 1957
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade 1 0 1957
France Reims 1 0 1959
United Kingdom Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 0 1962
United Kingdom Tottenham Hotspur F.C 0 1 1958
Bulgaria CSKA Sofia 0 1 1959
Romania Petrolul Ploiesti 0 1 1960
Netherlands Ajax 0 1 1961
Netherlands Feyenoord 0 1 1962
Netherlands PSV Eindhoven 0 1 1963

External Links[edit | edit source]

Template:European Cup winners Template:EFU competitions

Template:European Club Competitions