UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: Wikis

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UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Cup Winners Cup.png
Founded 1960
Region Europe (UEFA)
Number of teams 32 (First Round)
49 (Total)[1]
Most successful club Spain FC Barcelona
(4 time champions, 2 times runner-up)
Website UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup is one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by UEFA. The first competition was held in the 1960–61 season, and the last in 1998–99. The competition was then abolished to make way for a further expansion to the UEFA Champions League, with domestic cup winners now gaining entry into the UEFA Europa League.

Prior to its abolition, the Cup Winners' Cup was regarded as the second[citation needed] most prestigious European club competition out of the three major tournaments, behind the UEFA Champions League/European Cup and ahead of the UEFA Cup, although many commentators felt the Cup Winners' Cup was the easiest of the three competitions to win. However, no club successfully defended the Cup Winners' Cup, with such major names in European football as Aberdeen FC, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, Arsenal, AC Milan, Ajax, Anderlecht, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Fiorentina, Sporting CP, Atlético Madrid failing to defend the trophy. Nonetheless, the idea of the Cup Winners' Cup "jinx" against the defending side came to prominence particularly due to the unlikely manner of Arsenal's defeat in the 1995 final and the defeat of Paris Saint-Germain in 1997.[2]

From 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament would go on to play the winner of the European Cup (later the UEFA Champions League) in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the Cup Winners' Cup, the Super Cup place previously reserved for the CWC winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup.

From its inception until 1994, the competition was known as the European Cup Winners' Cup - from the 1994–95 season onwards, UEFA officially named the tournament the 'UEFA Cup Winners' Cup'. The competition is also sometimes referred to as European Cup 2, EC2 or simply C2, usually in football statistics books and websites, although this shorthand was also used on some match tickets and in programmes. Despite the abolition of the Cup Winners' Cup, the modern UEFA Cup is still referred to in shorthand as EC3, in order to avoid confusion with the CWC.

Contents

Format

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup trophy

Throughout its 39-year history, the Cup Winners' Cup was always a straight knock-out tournament with two-legged home and away ties up until the single match final staged at a neutral venue, the only exception to this being the two-legged final in the competition's first year. The format was identical to the original European Champions' Cup with 32 teams contesting four knock-out rounds prior to the showpiece final, with the tournament usually running from September to May each year. In later years, a regular August preliminary round was added to reduce the number of entrants to 32 following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s.

Entry was restricted to one club from each UEFA member association, the only exception being to allow the current Cup Winners' Cup holders to enter alongside their nation's new domestic cup winners in order to allow them a chance to defend their CWC title (although no club ever managed to do this). However, if this team also qualified for the European Champions' Cup then they would default on their place in the Cup Winners' Cup and no other team would replace them.

On occasions when a club completed a domestic league and cup 'double' that club would enter the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and their place in the Cup Winners' Cup would be taken by the domestic cup runners-up. In 1998/99, the competition's final year, SC Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the CWC despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous season's Dutch Cup. This was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV qualifying for the recently expanded Champions League. Heerenveen won a third-place playoff and became the only club to enter the Cup Winners' Cup without having contested their own domestic cup final the previous year.

The winners of the League Cup competitions held in some countries were never allowed to enter the Cup Winners' Cup. Instead, the winners of these competitions were sometimes allowed to enter the UEFA Cup.

History

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Inauguration

Mirroring the circumstances behind the creation of the European Cup five years earlier, the idea for a pan-European cup competition contested by all of Europe's domestic cup winners came from prominent European sports journalists. The European Cup had proven to be a great success and the Fairs Cup had also proven popular - as a result, other ideas for new European football tournaments were being aired. One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the Champions' Cup, but with national cup winners rather than champions taking part, which could run alongside that competition.

The inaugural Cup Winners' Cup was held in the 1960-61 season and was basically a semi-official pilot tournament. However the initial reaction to the competition's creation was unenthusiastic on the part of many of Europe's top clubs - many European associations did not have domestic cup competitions at the time and in those countries that did, the cup competition was generally held in low esteem and often not taken seriously by the bigger clubs. It was essentially only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany and Spain that the domestic cup was considered especially prestigious. Many were sceptical about the viability of a European tournament for cup winners and many of the bigger clubs eligible to contest the first CWC turned down the chance to enter, such as Atlético de Madrid of Spain and AS Monaco of France.

Ultimately the inaugural CWC was contested by just 10 clubs (with Fiorentina of Italy winning the two-legged final against the Scottish team Rangers F.C.) but the games were generally well attended and the response from the public and the media to the new tournament was positive and enthusiastic. For the tournament's second season in 1961-62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners' Cup which by then had firmly established itself as Europe's second most prestigious club competition.

Prestige

The Cup Winners' Cup was a key component of the European football calendar throughout the 1970s and 1980s. The cup was regarded by UEFA as its second most important club competition, even though the tournament was felt to be weaker than both the European Cup and the UEFA Cup in terms of the overall quality of the teams taking part. The tournament gained a reputation for showcasing attacking, entertaining football and also for the remarkable number of spectacular long range goals in many of the finals.

Notable sides to have won the Cup Winners' Cup and some notable finals include:

  • The Tottenham Hotspur side of Danny Blanchflower, which became the first British side to win a European trophy when they won the CWC in 1963, two years after becoming the first side in modern times to complete the English league and cup double. Spurs hammered reigning CWC holders Atlético Madrid in the final 5-1, a scoreline which remains the joint largest margin of victory in a one-match European final.
  • West Ham United in 1965, who won the CWC at Wembley Stadium with Bobby Moore captaining a side that also included Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters just one season before all three went on to star in England's World Cup winning side of 1966. They defeated 1860 Munich in the final. As a result of their CWC success, Bobby Moore became the only captain to climb the Wembley steps to be presented with three different trophies in three successive seasons (English FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup with West Ham in 1964 and 1965 respectively, then the World Cup with England in 1966).
  • AC Milan in 1968, who went on to follow up this success with victory in the European Champions' Cup the following year, making them only one of two clubs to achieve the feat of winning the Cup Winners' Cup and European Cup in consecutive seasons.
  • Rangers in 1972. This victory was significant due to being the first time in the history of the competition that the winners were banned from defending their title, due to the behaviour of their fans during a pitch invasion.
  • The controversial 1973 final where Milan beat Leeds United 1-0. Milan's victory was blemished by the refereeing of Christos Michas, who made several dubious decisions in favour of the Italian side, and who eventually sent off Norman Hunter for Leeds. The crowd at the final was so incensed by the combination of Michas' one-sided refereeing and the Italians' game-killing, defensive tactics, that they threw missiles at the Milan players when they attempted their lap of honour.[3] Instead, for the first and last time in the history of the trophy, the losing side took a lap of honor around the field, with the Leeds players receiving applause from the local sets of fans. Michas was later banned by UEFA from refereeing international club matches for match-fixing, though the result stood.[4]
  • Anderlecht, who won the CWC in 1976, then lost the final the following year before returning in 1978 to claim the trophy for the second time in three years.
  • Dinamo Tbilisi in 1981, who won the CWC with a spectacular side that defeated West Ham United away before beating Carl Zeiss Jena in the competitions most poorly attended final (7,000 in Dusseldorf). This win was the high point of that Georgian side and is still the club's greatest achievement.
  • 1982 saw F.C. Barcelona defeating Standard Liège at the Camp Nou to win their second UEFA Cup Winners Cup and thus the catalan side became the first team[6] to win the title in its own stadium.
  • Alex Ferguson's young Aberdeen side defeated Spanish giants Real Madrid in 1983, after a notable victory over Bayern Munich in the quarter-final. Having conquered the domestic game in Scotland, Aberdeen went on to become the only Scottish team to win two European trophies by defeating the European Cup holders Hamburger SV to win the UEFA Super Cup, a record which still stands today.
  • Michel Platini's Juventus won the trophy in 1984 and then become the second team after AC Milan to follow victory in the Cup Winners' Cup with a successful European Cup campaign.
  • The Everton side of 1985 which claimed the Cup Winners' Cup and the English league title in the same season. After an impressive victory over Bayern Munich in the semi-final, Everton beat Rapid Wien in the final before narrowly missing out on a unique treble three days later after losing to Manchester United in the FA Cup final. Despite being regarded as amongst the favorites to win the European Champions' Cup the following season, Everton were barred from entering that tournament following the Heysel stadium disaster and the subsequent five-year ban on all English clubs entering UEFA competitions.
  • In 1988, KV Mechelen of Belgium became one of only a handful of clubs to win a European trophy in their first ever European campaign. Their CWC triumph was the highlight of a brief period in the limelight for the Belgian club, who drifted back into relative obscurity only a few years later.
  • Cruyff's star-studded FC Barcelona side which won the CWC in 1989. Cruyff became the first of only two managers to win the CWC with two different clubs, having completed the feat in the space of just three seasons.
  • Manchester United won the competition in 1991, becoming the first English team to win a European trophy since the Heysel disaster had forced English clubs into a five-year ban from European competition. United beat Johan Cruyff's Barça just a year before the Dutch legend would lead the Catalan giants to their first European Champions' Cup and in the process United manager Alex Ferguson became one of only two managers - the other being Cruyff himself - to win the CWC with two different clubs.
  • 1995 saw one of the most memorable CWC finals with Real Zaragoza defeating Arsenal 2-1 with one of the most extraordinary goals ever seen in a European final, a long-range strike by Nayim from 40 yards in the last minute of extra-time.

No club managed to retain the Cup Winners' Cup (the so-called "CWC jinx"), although FC Barcelona won it on four occasions (1979, 82, 89, 97) and finished runners up twice (1969, 91). Aberdeen won the tournament in 1983, however only managed to reach the semi-final the year after, in 1984. Anderlecht won it twice (1976, 78), and finished runners up twice (1977, 90) and Ajax failed to defend their title in 1988, losing out to K.V. Mechelen; in addition, three finals over four years between 1993 and 1997 saw the holder reach the final only to lose (Parma 1993 and 1994, Arsenal 1994 and 1995, Paris Saint-Germain 1996 - 1997).

Decline

After the establishment of the UEFA Champions League (formerly called the European Champion Clubs' Cup) in the early 1990s, the standing and prestige of the Cup Winners' Cup began to decline. With the expansion of the Champions League in 1997 to allow more than one team from the highest ranked member associations to enter, the CWC began to look noticeably inferior. At the time of the Champions League expansion, UEFA also considered expanding the CWC from 32 teams to 64 by allowing a second team to enter from many countries, although by what qualification criteria the second entrants would be determined were never settled upon - ultimately UEFA did not make any of these changes to the CWC. Many of the bigger teams who would previously have entered the CWC were now gaining entry to the Champions League instead by finishing second in their domestic league - such as CWC holders FC Barcelona in 1997/98 and Bayern Munich and PSV in 1998/99 - and this greatly weakened the CWC.

By the late 1990s, the CWC had come to be seen as a second-rate competition with only one or two big name teams available to enter each year and the interest in the tournament from both major clubs and the public dropped. Finally, with the further expansion of the UEFA Champions League to include as many as three or four teams from the top footballing nations, the decision was taken to abolish the competition after the end of the 1998/99 tournament, which was won by Lazio. The trophy was permanently awarded to FC Barcelona as they were the most successful club in the competition, despite protests from Lazio that, as legitimate last winners, claimed the title to be definitively handed on their hands. Since then, domestic cup winners who do not otherwise qualify for the Champions League are given a place in the UEFA Europa League.

Cup Winners' Cup finals

Season Winner Score Runner-up Venue
1960–61

Details

Scotland Rangers 0 – 2 Italy Fiorentina Ibrox Stadium,
Glasgow
Italy Fiorentina 2 – 1 Scotland Rangers Stadio Comunale,
Florence
This was the only final played in two legs, home and away
Fiorentina won 4-1 on aggregate
 
1961–62

Details

Spain Atlético Madrid 1 – 1
aet
Italy Fiorentina Hampden Park,
Glasgow
Atlético Madrid won the final replay, 3 – 0 at Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion, Stuttgart
1962–63

Details

England Tottenham Hotspur 5 – 1 Spain Atlético Madrid De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1963–64

Details

Portugal Sporting CP 3 – 3
aet
Hungary MTK Budapest Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
Sporting Lisbon won the final replay, 1 – 0 at Bosuil Stadium, Antwerp
1964–65

Details

England West Ham United 2 – 0 West Germany 1860 Munich Wembley Stadium,
London
1965–66

Details

West Germany Borussia Dortmund 2 – 1
aet
England Liverpool Hampden Park,
Glasgow
1966–67

Details

West Germany Bayern Munich 1 – 0
aet
Scotland Rangers Frankenstadion,
Nuremberg
1967–68

Details

Italy Milan 2 – 0 West Germany Hamburg De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1968–69

Details

Czechoslovakia Slovan Bratislava 3 – 2 Spain Barcelona St. Jakob Stadium,
Basel
1969–70

Details

England Manchester City 2 – 1 Poland Górnik Zabrze Prater Stadium,
Vienna
1970–71

Details

England Chelsea 1 – 1
aet
Spain Real Madrid Karaiskakis Stadium,
Piraeus
Chelsea won the final replay, 2 – 1 at Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus
1971–72

Details

Scotland Rangers 3 – 2 Soviet Union Dynamo Moscow Camp Nou,
Barcelona
1972–73

Details

Italy Milan 1 – 0 England Leeds United Kaftanzoglio Stadium,
Salonika
1973–74

Details

East Germany Magdeburg 2 – 0 Italy Milan De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1974–75

Details

Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv 3 – 0 Hungary Ferencváros St. Jakob Stadium,
Basel
1975–76

Details

Belgium Anderlecht 4 – 2 England West Ham United Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
1976–77

Details

West Germany Hamburg 2 – 0 Belgium Anderlecht Olympic Stadium,
Amsterdam
1977–78

Details

Belgium Anderlecht 4 – 0 Austria Austria Wien Parc des Princes,
Paris
1978–79

Details

Spain Barcelona 4 – 3
aet
West Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf St. Jakob Stadium,
Basel
1979–80

Details

Spain Valencia 0 – 0
aet
England Arsenal Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
5 – 4 on penalty shootout;
1980–81

Details

Soviet Union Dinamo Tbilisi 2 – 1 East Germany Carl Zeiss Jena Rheinstadion,
Düsseldorf
1981–82

Details

Spain Barcelona 2 – 1 Belgium Standard Liège Camp Nou,
Barcelona
1982–83

Details

Scotland Aberdeen 2 – 1
aet
Spain Real Madrid Nya Ullevi,
Gothenburg
1983–84

Details

Italy Juventus 2 – 1 Portugal Porto St. Jakob Stadium,
Basel
1984–85

Details

England Everton 3 – 1 Austria Rapid Vienna De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1985–86

Details

Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv 3 – 0 Spain Atlético Madrid Stade de Gerland,
Lyon
1986–87

Details

Netherlands Ajax 1 – 0 East Germany Lokomotive Leipzig Spiros Louis Stadium,
Athens
1987–88

Details

Belgium KV Mechelen 1 – 0 Netherlands Ajax Stade de la Meinau,
Strasbourg
1988–89

Details

Spain Barcelona 2 – 0 Italy Sampdoria Wankdorf Stadium,
Berne
1989–90

Details

Italy Sampdoria 2 – 0
aet
Belgium Anderlecht Nya Ullevi,
Gothenburg
1990–91

Details

England Manchester United 2 – 1 Spain Barcelona De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1991–92

Details

West Germany Werder Bremen 2 – 0 France AS Monaco Estádio da Luz,
Lisbon
1992–93

Details

Italy Parma 3 – 1 Belgium Royal Antwerp Wembley Stadium,
London
1993–94

Details

England Arsenal 1 – 0 Italy Parma Parken Stadium,
Copenhagen
1994–95

Details

Spain Real Zaragoza 2 – 1
aet
England Arsenal Parc des Princes,
Paris
1995–96

Details

France Paris Saint-Germain 1 – 0 Austria Rapid Vienna King Baudouin Stadium,
Brussels
1996–97

Details

Spain Barcelona 1 – 0 France Paris Saint-Germain De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1997–98

Details

England Chelsea 1 – 0 Germany Stuttgart Råsunda Stadium,
Stockholm
1998–99

Details

Italy Lazio 2 – 1 Spain Mallorca Villa Park,
Birmingham

Records and statistics

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ As 1998–99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
  2. ^ 1996/97: Ronaldo spot on for Barça
  3. ^ Uefa asked to probe Leeds United's 1973 Cup Winners' Cup defeat to AC Milan Daily Telegraph, 15 Apr 2009, retrieved on 28 May 2009
  4. ^ UEFA asked to probe United's final defeat Yorkshire Evening Post, 3 April 2009, retrieved on 28 May 2009
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]

External links


Simple English

The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was an association football club competition which took place every year between winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The first competition was held in the 1960–61 season, and the last in 1998–99. The competition was then abolished to make way for a further expansion to the UEFA Champions League, with domestic cup winners now gaining entry into the UEFA Cup.


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