Soccer: the origin of Champions and Europa League

Oct 30 13:33 2010 Michele De Capitani Print This Article

Champions and Europa League are now hotting up. But how many people really know where these tournaments come from?

 


Normal 0 14 false false false IT X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Tabella normale"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",Guest Posting"sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Champions and Europa League are the two most important soccer competitions as far as European clubs is concerned, and millions of supporters all over Europe follow the exploits of their favorite team watching all the matches of Europa or Champions League. A contagious passion, which can be compared to the passion that moves many European supporters to follow the matches of the national leagues, although the history of the international tournaments started a little later. The history of the European competitions starts neither with the history of soccer, nor with the first national leagues, and the idea to organize a tournament with teams of different countries began to flash through people’s mind only in the 1950s, more precisely in 1954. In those years some French magazines started a debate to decide which was the best European team among Real Madrid, Milan, Honvéd and Arsenal, the then-leading teams of Spain, Italy, Hungary and England. Following this debate, the French newspaper L’Équipe suggested FIFA and UEFA to organize a tournament with the best European teams, and later on, also due to the intervention of many club managers, the European club championship was really organized.

 

The first match of the European Champions’ Cup (this was the first name of the UEFA Champions League) took place on the 4th of September 1955 between Sporting Lisbon and the Partizan Football Club, and the first team to win was Real Madrid. In the beginning the tournament was different from now, with the elimination tournament mechanism, and only one team per country could take part in it; the club did not need to be the leading team of the national league, and was chosen by the national federations. With the passing of time the rules of the Champions League have changed, as well as the name of the competition itself, which has been called UEFA Champions League since 1992-1993.

 

The origin of the second European competition, i.e. the UEFA Europa League, which was called  UEFA Cup until last year, is even more recent. The ten-UEFA Cup was instituted in 1971, replacing the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, a competition that took place from 1955 to 1971. The number of clubs taking part in the UEFA Cup was higher than those which took part in the UEFA Champions League and in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and these were the clubs that in the national leagues had been classified just after the clubs that could compete for the Champions League. The first club to win the Cup was Tottenham. The UEFA Cup, as well as the Champions League, has changed throughout its history; in the last few years, in particular, along with the opening of the Champions League to include other teams, it has been downsized. However, this has not undermined the success of this competition, which is still considered as a prestigious tournament, which attracts many supporters and makes the clubs honored to take part in it. To score in the Europa or Champions League is really exciting for both the player and the supporters that watch the match from the terraces or in TV.

 

In conclusion, although the history of these competitions is pretty recent, and although they have been reorganized and downsized, the European soccer competitions can always galvanize players and supporters.

 

 


 


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Michele De Capitani
Michele De Capitani

This article was written by Francesca Tessarollo with help from video Champions League. For more help, please visit video mondiali di calcio or news calciomercato.

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