THE UEFA 102 CLUB – UPDATE

You may have noticed a new title. First of all, congratulations to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk on becoming the 102nd club to reach a European final.

So, what is the 102 Club? Simple, it’s a task to watch every club that has played in a final of one of the three (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) European competitions. It was inspired by an article I saw about it in When Saturday Comes in 2010, so I decided to keep a note of my own progress.

I’d need a lottery win to have a chance of completing this. I’d be the sort of person who would spend a lottery win watching fallen East German giants now playing in lower leagues.

There are no official rules in place, but i’m counting teams I saw before they reached a final (Middlesbrough) and friendlies (Benfica, Feyenoord, Rangers)

I’m currently on 34, having added Espanyol, Sevilla and Valencia to my list over the past season. So, what are my chances of adding more teams in 2015-2016?

Well, there is the tantalising prospect of Ipswich Town playing Shelbourne in a friendly on July 11th. Ipswich are the English team on the list that I don’t have.

It’s the draw for the first round in both competitions tomorrow, and there are teams on the list who could be coming to Northern Ireland.

In the European Cup, Crusaders are unseeded in the First Round. If they make it through to the Second Round, possible ties against Steaua Bucharest, Celtic, Dinamo Zagreb, Partizan Belgrade, Malmo or Videton await.

Now, if they were to get to the Third Round, the only new entrant they could face would be Red Bull Salzburg, due to the competition being split into Champions and Non-Champions at this stage.

In the UEFA Cup, Linfield are seeded, but can still face a member of the 102 Club in the shape of Hungarian duo of Ferencvaros and MTK Budapest.

Remember Randers, Linfield’s UEFA Cup opponents in 2009-2010? They’re in this season’s competition but are seeded and can’t face Linfield, which might be a disappointment or a relief for the Todd family, with Randers manager Colin Todd being denied the chance to face his son Andy, Assistant Manager at Linfield.

They’re not on the list anyway, but a possible father v son clash was a nice curiousity. I have witnessed twins on opposing sides before.

My hope for Linfield is UCD (easy to get to, should win) or Colleague Europa (worst ranked team in the competition)

A tie against UCD would mean I would only have one more football stadium in Dublin to visit before getting the full set. That’s another list for another time.

If Todd Senior might be heading to The Oval or Mourneview Park this summer, what clubs that are on the list might be heading there?

The standout one is West Ham United, getting a Fair Play place. Also on the list are Slovan Bratislava, Red Star Belgrade, Dinamo Tblisi and Aberdeen.

If any of the three get to the Second Round, a possible tie against IFK Gothernborg awaits.

Round Three has some plum ties if Linfield, or any other Irish League team, can get past the Second Round hurdle they have fallen at in the last few years. Ties against sides such as Borussia Dortmund, Athletic Bilbao, AZ Alkmaar, Standard Liege, Bordeaux, Sampdoria and Saint Etienne would definitely generate a lot of interest for Irish League teams.

At some point before Christmas, i’m planning to head to one of Manchester United’s group games, the competition to be determined, so hopefully that will give me an opportunity to add another club to the list.

Today, several media outlets are reporting that Cardiff might be hosting the 2017 European Cup Final. Having been to Cardiff for last year’s European Super Cup Final, that would be absolutely fantastic.

It’s a city i’ve loved visiting, and this would give me a good excuse to go back, just to sample the atmosphere.

A European Cup Final in Cardiff could harm Belfast’s chances of hosting that summer’s European Super Cup Final on the basis that UEFA might be reluctant to have two finals in the UK in the same year, assuming the much rumoured IFA bid is for 2017.

So, want to see how many teams you here. The full list is below. The teams i’ve seen are in bold, with the year first seen in brackets.

1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
1. FC Magdeburg
1860 Munich
Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax (2012)

Anderlecht
Arsenal (2003)
AS Monaco
Aston Villa (1993)
Athletic Bilbao
Atlético Madrid (2011)
Austria Wien
AZ Alkmar
Barcelona (2011)
Bastia
Bayer Leverkusen
Bayern Munich
Benfica (2000)
Birmingham City (2010)

Bordeaux
Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Braga (2011)
Carl Zeiss Jena
Casino Salzburg
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)

Club Brugge
CSKA Moscow
Deportivo Alavés
Dinamo Tbilisi
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Dundee United (2013)
Dynamo Kyiv
Dynamo Moscow
Eintracht Frankfurt
Espanyol (2015)
Everton (2014)

Ferencváros
Feyenoord (1999)
Fiorentina
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Fulham (2001)
Galatasaray
Górnik Zabrze
Hamburg
IFK Göteborg
Internazionale
Ipswich Town
Juventus
Köln
KV Mechelen
Lazio
Leeds United (1999)
Liverpool (1994)

Malmö FF
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)

Mechelen
Middlesbrough (1995)
AC Milan
MTK Hungária
Napoli
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)

Panathinaikos
Paris Saint-Germain
Parma
Partizan
Porto (2011)
PSV Eindhoven
Rangers (2002)
Rapid Wien
Real Madrid (2003)
Real Mallorca
Real Zaragoza
Red Star Belgrade
Roma (2007)
Royal Antwerp
Saint-Étienne
Sampdoria
Schalke 04
Sevilla (2015)
Shakhtar Donetsk
Slovan Bratislava
Sporting CP
Stade de Reims
Standard Liège
Steaua București
Torino
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
Twente
Újpest
Valencia (2015)
VfB Stuttgart
Videoton
Werder Bremen
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

Zenit Saint Petersburg

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UEFA 101 CLUB – UPDATE

It’s been a year, and the opening rounds of European competition are drawn tomorrow, with Irish League teams joining the action, so it’s a good time to update my pursuit to complete a rather pointless list.

You may have noticed the new title – further research has indicated that 101 clubs, not 100 have played in a European Final. It’s not my fault, I was basing it on the When Saturday Comes article that inspired it, which at the time of writing said 99 clubs had reached a European Final, with the next one being the 100th.

Turns out, there had already been 100 clubs. Since you ask, the honour belongs to Fulham.

So, what is the UEFA 101 Club? Well, 101 clubs have played in the final of one of European football’s three competitions (European Cup, European Cup Winners Cup, UEFA Cup) and there are people who try to see every team play live in person.

I’m doing it just for fun, but if I win the lottery, I might start taking it a bit more seriously.

Living in Northern Ireland, you’d think it would be hard trying to see some of these clubs, but tomorrow’s draw could see some clubs who’ve had greater European nights visiting Northern Ireland. It did last year.

In the European Cup, Cliftonville could have a rematch with Celtic. No use to me, as i’ve already ticked Celtic off my list.

Other possible opponents for Cliftonville include : Steau Bucharest, Dinamo Zagreb (already ticked off my list), Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

Frustratingly, Red Star Belgrade won’t be in the competition due to being thrown out due to Financial Fair Play. I would have loved to have seen them in the flesh, even though they’re now a shadow of their 1991 team, the mystique remains.

If they get drawn against Steau Bucharest, I might be tempted to go.

If Cliftonville get through, they could potentially face Red Bull Salzburg, Malmo or Dinamo Tblisi.

In the UEFA Cup, Linfield being seeded means they won’t be facing any members of the club, but there are opportunities for Crusaders and Glenavon.

By the way, i’m hoping the draw sends Linfield to Broughton (or Airbus UK, if you prefer)

Crusaders or Glenavon could face IFK Gothenborg, Aberdeen or Ferencvaros.

If any of the Irish League teams progress to the next round, there are no member clubs joining at that stage. Plenty of big clubs in the 3rd Round though.

This time last year, I was on 29 clubs, but I am on 31 clubs now, having added Dundee United and Everton to my list. I’ve applied for a ticket to the European Super Cup Final in Cardiff. If I get a ticket, that’ll be Sevilla ticked off the list. I’ve already got Real Madrid.

My list in full :

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
Dundee United (2013)
Everton (2014)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

THE UEFA 100 CLUB – UPDATED

You may remember a blog on here in September 2010 about something that was then known as “The UEFA 99 Club” based on an article in When Saturday Comes.

Basically, it was one man’s crusade to watch every team who had played in either the European Cup, European Cup Winner’s Cup and UEFA Cup, in the flesh.

Since the article was written SC Braga reached the UEFA Cup Final, so it is now known as The UEFA 100 Club. Obviously, when a club reaches a European Final for the first time, it will become the 101 Club, 102 Club, and so forth.

Living in Northern Ireland, you may think it will be hard to see teams, but if this season’s European draws were kinder, I could have added some. Cliftonville were drawn with Celtic, but i’ve already seen Celtic. Other potential opponents for Cliftonville were Dinamo Tblisi, Dinamo Zagreb (already seen …… twice), Steaua Bucharest, Partizan Belgrade and Slovan Bratislava.

For Linfield, Glentoran and Crusaders, potential UEFA Cup opponents included Malmo and Videoton. If Glentoran had beaten KR last night, they would have played Standard Liege. I might have been tempted along to add them to my list, cheering on Standard Liege, of course.

Linfield’s potential 2nd Round opponents included IFK Gothenborg and Red Star Belgrade.

Regular readers will know that I travel to Edinburgh every August. While i’m there, Hibs play Dundee United, so I can tick them off, a milestone one at that, as it would take me to 30.

In February, i’m thinking of heading to London for a weekend. While i’m there, Everton play Tottenham at White Hart Lane, so I might try and get a ticket for that one. Amazingly, in 20 years of travelling to Old Trafford 2-3 times a year, i’ve never seen Everton.

So, currently, i’m on 29, hopefully at least 31 by the end of the season. Here’s my full list.

Team (Year first seen)

Aberdeen (2011)
Ajax Amsterdam (2012)
Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona (2011)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dinamo Zagreb (2008)
FC Porto (2011)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
SC Braga (2011)
Tottenham Hotspur (2010)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)

THE FIFA SIX CLUB AND THE UEFA NINE CLUB

Previously on this blog, I have posted about the UEFA 100 Club, where people try to attend a match of every club who has reached a European final (29 and counting is my score, since you ask), the trip home from Holland got me thinking of an international version, and I came up with two – The FIFA Six Club and the UEFA Nine Club.

The FIFA Six Club is seeing an international team from all Six FIFA confederations (AFC, CAF, CONCACAF, CONMEBOL, OFC and UEFA) play live.

All of my international football watching has been consigned to Northern Ireland matches (though that could change in a few months time, more of that, later) and thus, will have already ticked UEFA off my list.

Sometimes, exotic foreign teams turn up at Windsor for friendlies, and two of them, Canada and Morroco, have been non European, meaning I can tick off CAF and CONCACAF from my list.

This leaves me needing OFC, AFC and CONMEBOL. As this list will include only full internationals, that means I can’t include seeing Brazil’s Under 19 side play Northern Ireland in the 2003 Milk Cup.

In August, I shall hope to be in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Festival (not yet booked), and the week I am hoping to be there, Scotland play Australia in a friendly at Easter Road.

When I am in Edinburgh for the festival, I like to take in a match if there is one on, but this would also mean that I can tick off OFC from this list, meaning I need to see an Oceana and a South American team to complete this list.

But, FIFA’s continents are different from world documents. Australia play football in Asia, but is part of the continent of Australia while Israel (who I saw play Northern Ireland in 2009) play in Europe.

So, if we count world continents, I have Africa (Morocco) North America (Canada) Asia (Israel) Europe (Northern Ireland plus various others) and then I could tick off Australia (Australia) in August meaning South America the only one to get.

Come on IFA, pull the finger out for the next friendly date.

And what of the UEFA Nine Club? I hear you ask.

Well, nine countries have won the European Championship, which is impressive from fourteen tournaments, especially when you consider the World Cup only has eight from nineteen.

Eastern European politics of the late 1980s and early 1990s make this a controversial topic, with former winners Soviet Union (1960) and Czechoslovakia (1976) no longer in existence.

According to Wikipedia, Russia have inherited Soviet Union’s statistical history. So, if I go to see Northern Ireland v Russia in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers, technically, I can tick them off the list?

Having been to Northern Ireland v Czech Republic in 2008, can I claim to do the same for Czechoslovakia?

Other European Champions I have seen live include : Spain (1964, 2008) Italy (1968) Germany (1972, 1980 as West Germany 1996) France (1984, 2000) and Holland (1988)

The only two I don’t have are Denmark (1992) and Greece (2004)

Denmark and Greece have both been to Windsor Park in recent(ish) years too. I couldn’t be arsed when Greece visited in 2003 and couldn’t get a ticket for Denmark in 2007.

So, that’s six out of nine European Champions, hopefully seven when Russia visit Windsor Park in 2013.

For the record, if Poland, Portugal or England win the European Championship for the first time this summer, I can automatically add them to the list.

For what it’s worth, I calculated how many games i’d been to, and I have 33 ‘caps’, the same as Sammy Clingan (I checked on Wikipedia)

For the record, the foreign side I have seen play the most?

Joint between Norway and Serbia on 3, though that includes one game as Serbia and Montenegro, with Austria, Canada, Spain, Wales and Scotland not far behind with 2.

One day, there will be a pointless football list that I will be able to tick off in it’s entirity.

THE UEFA 100 CLUB …… UPDATED

You may remember this blog post from September last year about an article in When Saturday Comes pointing out that 99 different clubs have reached a European final, and one man’s attempts to go and watch every single team.

During the blog post, I commented that I had seen 22 of these teams play live, but since, I have added Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur.

Last week, Portugese side Braga were the club that achieve the magic milestone, beating Benfica to reach the UEFA Cup Final against 2003 winners FC Porto, who have also won the European Cup twice.

I will be in Dublin during the week of the game, and hope to get a ticket. With respect, it might be easier with Braga in it, as they don’t have the vast fanbase that Benfica have.

Plus, i’ve also seen Benfica play live, so it is nice that the final will be two teams i’ve never seen live (albiet, i’m still to get a ticket)

Hopefully, in just over a week’s time, i’ll be able to say i’ve seen 27 of the clubs that have reached a European final, though pity there’s another 73 to go, though it’s not an actual life goal to see all 100.

THE UEFA 99 CLUB

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)

Arsenal (2003)
AS Roma (2007)
Aston Villa (1993)
Benfica (2000)
Brimingham City (2010)
Celtic (2009)
Chelsea (1997)
Dynamo Zagreb (2008)
Feyenoord (1999)
Fulham (2001)
Leeds United (1993)
Liverpool (1994)
Manchester City (2000)
Manchester United (1993)
Marseille (1992)
Middlesbrough (1995)
Newcastle United (1993)
Nottingham Forest (1996)
Rangers (2002)
Real Madrid (2003)
West Ham United (1997)
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2010)