On a long bus journey home from Manchester last week, I purchased a copy of the new edition of When Saturday Comes to pass the time, and there was one article which really caught my attention.
It was one concerning the fact that 99 different clubs have reached a European Final (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and one man is on a mission to see them all in action.
His current total is 66 (Exactly 2/3s of the way through) although being a match going Rangers fan gives him a bit of an advantage, where he can see his own team and three SPL rivals on a weekly basis, as well as foreign opponents due to Rangers Euro adventures.
As the bus was still going through Scotland, I decided to see and tick off how many teams on my list, and got a meagre 22 in comparison, but I did get 8 former European Cup winners, including all 5 to come from Britain.
Can’t say i’m planning on making completing this list a life ambition, but just thought it would be fun to compare.
As with any list, there will always be ones that got away, and mine is not different.
Dinamo Tblisi, 1981 European Cup Winners Cup Winners played Linfield in a European Cup tie in 1993, which I wasn’t at. I don’t know why I didn’t go, but I definately know that I didn’t go.
I remember the first leg tie took place on the same night as a midweek Premier League fixture list, and Alan Green broke off from the commentary game to read out the score, adding “We have a great chance in the second leg with that away goal”
For a 10 year old, having Linfield getting a shout out on Five Live seemed quite exciting.
Linfield lost the tie 3-2, but Tblisi were thrown out for trying to bribe the official, and Linfield went through to face FC Copenhagen, who snuck through to face AC Milan.
If it wasn’t for that cheating bastard ref and his 6 minutes of injury time, I could have had 23 teams on my list.
In 17 years of going to Old Trafford 2-3 times a season, I have seen a wide variety of teams, but Everton are not one of them. For some reason, i’ve never seen them play at Old Trafford.
I was planning to see them in 2001, but that trip got cancelled and I got another game in compensation. I declined the opportunity to see them face a Northern Ireland XI in 2007 as it was only half a team playing, with the other half playing a friendly against Bury the same day.
2009 UEFA Cup Winners Shaktar Donesk played a European Cup Winners Cup tie at Windsor Park in 1995, but with the Ukranians leading 4-1 from the first leg, I decided to give it a miss. If only i’d known the success they would have in 14 years time.
Red Star Belgrade were the biggest miss for me. In 1991, they were reigning European Cup winners, and they began their defence in Portadown.
I wanted to go, but my dad wouldn’t take me. It was a school night, end of debate.
The first team on the list I saw was Marseille in 1992, the most recent Birmingham City and Wolves in 2010.
I’ll definately be adding Tottenham Hotspur at the end of October, and hopefully Barcelona and Athletico Madrid in February. Maybe one day, i’ll be able to add Linfield.
Feel free to post your own totals
Team (Year first seen)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Brimingham City (2010)
Dynamo Zagreb (2008)
Leeds United (1993)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Real Madrid (2003)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)