U.S. Città di Palermo
Unione Sportiva Città di Palermo referred to as Palermo, is an Italian football club based in Palermo, playing in Serie B. Formed in 1900 as Anglo Palermitan Athletic and Football Club, the club had various names before assuming its current form in 1987, is the top-ranked football club from the island of Sicily. During its history, Palermo has played in all the professional ranks of Italy, took part in several Serie A seasons during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s finishing as Coppa Italia runners-up twice during that period. Following its return to Serie A in 2004, the club became one of the most prominent in Italy, providing four players to the Italian team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, it gained a UEFA Cup place for three consecutive seasons, narrowly missing UEFA Champions League qualification in 2007 and 2010, losing its third Coppa Italia final in 2011. The official team colours are black; the colours give rise to the team's nickname rosanero. US Città di Palermo plays its home games at Stadio Renzo Barbera, which has had a capacity of 36,349 people since 2007.
It was built in 1932, was renovated in the late 1980s. The club was founded in November 1900, it is the oldest football team in Sicily, the second in South Italy after Lazio, founded in January 1900. There is some debate about the exact date; some authorities think it may have been as early as 1898 due to the existence of papers addressed to Joseph Whitaker, English consul in Palermo and believed to be first club president, about a Palermitan football team founded in the month of April of that year. There is a probable misinterpretation of some sources: in April 1897, the future founders of Palemo Calcio founded the association Sport Club; the most common and stated foundation date is 1 November 1900, as the Anglo Palermitan Athletic and Football Club. The club is thought to have been founded by Ignazio Majo Pagano, a young Palermitan colleague of Whitaker who had discovered football while at college in London in the UK, where the modern game of football originated; the initial staff comprised three Englishmen and nine natives of Palermo, with Whitaker as honorary chairman, Edward De Garston as inaugural president and with red and blue as the original team colours.
The first recorded football match, played by the team on 30 December 1900, ended in a 5–0 defeat to an unidentified amateur English team. The first official match, played on 18 April 1901 against Messina Football Club, ended in a 3–2 win to the Palermitan side. In 1907, the club changed its name to Palermo Foot-Ball Club, the team colours were changed to the current pink and black. From 1908 until the final event in 1914, Palermo was featured in the Lipton Challenge Cup, organised by Scottish businessman Sir Thomas Lipton; the competition saw. After a gap during World War I, the club was refounded in 1919 as Unione Sportiva Palermo, by a committee of young university students and sportsmen. During the early 1920s, the club competed in the Campionato Lega Sud, a football league in Southern Italy, reaching the semi-finals in 1924 before being knocked out by Audace Taranto, Alba Roma and Internaples; the club was dissolved in 1927 due to financial problems, but was reformed one year following a merger with Vigor Palermo under the name Palermo FootBall Club.
Admitted to Prima Divisione, the equivalent of today's Serie C1, the team was promoted into Serie B in 1930 and reached Serie A in 1932. From its debut season in Italy's top division, Palermo relocated to a new home, the Stadio Littorio in the Favorita neighbourhood, today known as Stadio Renzo Barbera; the club played Serie A until 1936, when they were relegated to Serie B and first played Catania in the Sicilian derby. In 1936, Palermo was forced by the fascist regime to change its strip to yellow and red, after the official colours of the local municipality. Meanwhile, economic difficulties arose, in 1940 they were expelled by the Italian Football Federation because of financial problems. A merger with Unione Sportiva Juventina Palermo brought the foundation of Unione Sportiva Palermo-Juventina, which joined Serie C in 1941 and Serie B in 1942; the club could not finish the 1942–43 season due to the arrival of WWII. At the same time the pink-and-black colors were chosen because Sicily became a "war zone".
After the conflict, the club changed its name to US Palermo. After World War II, the team returned to Serie A by winning the Serie B championship of 1947–48; the new Palermo squad featured players such as Czechoslovakian legend Čestmír Vycpálek who signed from Juventus alongside Conti, Carmelo Di Bella and Pavesi. Palermo played Serie A until they were relegated in 1954. Massive changes in the board, as well as the manager's job and the squad, proved successful and the club returned to Serie A in 1956. Palermo became a "yo-yo club", bouncing down between the top two Italian leagues. Several stars played for Palermo during this period, such as Argentine striker Santiago Vernazza, goalkeepers Roberto Anzolin and Carlo Mattrel, Giuseppe Furino and Franco Causio. Palermo marked its best campaign in 1961–62 season, finishing in eighth place in Serie A. In 1963, they were relegated to Serie B, where they played for five seasons. Palermo played again in Serie A between 1968 and 1970. In 1970, Renzo Barbera took over the club as the new chairman.
FIFA Confederations Cup
The FIFA Confederations Cup was an international association football tournament for men's national teams, held every four years by FIFA. It was contested by the holders of each of the six continental championships, along with the current FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation, to bring the number of teams up to eight. Between 2005 and 2017, the tournament was held in the nation that would host the next World Cup, acting as a test event for the larger tournament; the last champions were Germany, who won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup by defeating Chile 1–0 in the final to win their first title. In March 2019, FIFA confirmed that the tournament would no longer be active owing to an expansion of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2021; the tournament was organized by and held in Saudi Arabia and called the King Fahd Cup, contested in 1992 and 1995 by the Saudi national side and some continental champions. In 1997, FIFA took over the organization of the tournament, named it the FIFA Confederations Cup and staged the competition every two years.
After 2005, it was held every four years, in the year prior to each World Cup in the host country of the forthcoming World Cup. Considered a dress-rehearsal for the World Cup it precedes, it used around half of the stadiums intended for use at the following year's competition and gave the host nation, which qualified for that tournament automatically, experience at a high level of competition during two years of otherwise friendlies. At the same time, participation was made optional for European champions; the host nation, the World Cup holders, the six continental champions qualifed for the competition. In those cases where a team meets more than one of the qualification criteria, another team was invited to participate the runner-up in a competition that the extra-qualified team won. On four occasions teams have chosen not to participate in the tournament. Germany did so twice, in 1997 and in 2003 when Germany were awarded a place as the 2002 World Cup runners-up, replaced by the third-placed team Turkey.
World champions France declined a place in the 1999 Confederations Cup, replaced by Brazil, the 1998 World Cup runners-up. Italy, UEFA Euro 2000 runners up, declined their place in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup. An earlier tournament that invited former World Cup winners, the Mundialito, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the first World Cup; the Artemio Franchi Trophy, contested in 1985 and 1993 between the winners of the Copa América and UEFA European Football Championship, was another example of an earlier contest between football confederations. Both of these are considered by some to be a form of an unofficial precursor to the Confederations Cup, although FIFA recognised only the 1992 tournaments onwards to be Confederations Cup winners; the 2021 tournament was to be held in Qatar, the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as announced on 2 December 2010 after the country was awarded the hosting rights of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, concerns arose surrounding Qatar's high temperatures during the summer period.
On 25 February 2015, this resulted in FIFA announcing that it would move the 2021 Confederations Cup to another country of the Asian Football Confederation, so it could still be held during the traditional window of June/July 2021, without interrupting domestic leagues. As compensation, another FIFA tournament the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup, could be held in Qatar in November/December 2021, as the test event for the 2022 World Cup. In October 2017, FIFA divulged plans to abolish the Confederations Cup by 2021 and replace it with a quadrennial, twenty-four team FIFA Club World Cup and move the latter tournament from December to June. On 15 March 2019, FIFA announced that the Confederations Cup would be abolished, with the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup taking place instead; the eight qualified teams are drawn into two round-robin groups: two teams from the same confederation cannot be drawn in a group, except if there are three teams from the same confederation. Every team plays all other teams in their group once, for a total three matches.
The top two teams of each group advance to the semi-finals, with the winners of each group playing the runners-up of the other group. The rankings of teams in each group are determined as follows: If two or more teams are equal on the basis of the above three criteria, their rankings are determined as follows: The winners of the semi-finals advanced to the final, while the losers played in the third-place game. For the knockout stage if the score was drawn at the end of regular time, extra time was played and followed, if necessary, by a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner; the first two editions were in fact the defunct King Fahd Cup. FIFA recognized them retroactively as Confederations Cup editions. *: Hosts FIFA Confederations Cup on FIFA.com
Juventus Football Club, colloquially known as Juve, is an Italian professional football club based in Turin, Piedmont. Founded in 1897 by a group of Torinese students, the club has worn a black and white striped home kit since 1903 and has played home matches in different grounds around its city, the latest being the 41,507-capacity Allianz Stadium. Nicknamed Vecchia Signora, the club has won 34 official league titles, 13 Coppa Italia titles and eight Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder for all these competitions; the side leads the historical Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio ranking whilst on the international stage occupies the 4th position in Europe and the eight in the world for most confederation titles won with eleven trophies, having led the UEFA ranking during seven seasons since its inception in 1979, the most for an Italian team and joint second overall. Founded with the name of Sport-Club Juventus as an athletics club, it is the second oldest of its kind still active in the country after Genoa's football section and has competed uninterruptedly in the top flight league since its debut in 1900 after changing its name to Foot-Ball Club Juventus, with the exception of the 2006–07 season, being managed by the industrial Agnelli family continuously since 1923.
The relationship between the club and that dynasty is the oldest and longest in national sports, making Juventus the first professional sporting club in the country, having established itself as a major force in the national stage since the 1930s and at confederation level since the mid-1970s and becoming one of the first ten wealthiest in world football in terms of value and profit since the mid-1990s, being stocked in Borsa italiana since 2001. Under the management of Giovanni Trapattoni, the club won 13 trophies in the ten years before 1986, including six league titles and five international titles, became the first to win all three competitions organised by the Union of European Football Associations: the European Champions' Cup, Cup Winners' Cup and UEFA Cup. With successive triumphs in the 1984 European Super Cup and 1985 Intercontinental Cup, it become the first and thus far only in the world to complete a clean sweep of all confederation trophies. In December 2000, Juventus was ranked seventh in the FIFA's historic ranking of the best clubs in the world and nine years was ranked second best club in Europe during the 20th Century based on a statistical study series by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, the highest for an Italian club in both.
The club's fan base is one of the largest worldwide. Unlike most European sporting supporters' groups, which are concentrated around their own club's city of origin, it is widespread throughout the whole country and the Italian diaspora, making Juventus a symbol of anticampanilismo and italianità; the club has provided the most players to the Italy national team—mostly in official competitions—who formed the group that led the Azzurri squad to international success, most in the 1934, 1982 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. Juventus were founded as Sport-Club Juventus in late 1897 by pupils from the Massimo D'Azeglio Lyceum school in Turin, but were renamed as Foot-Ball Club Juventus two years later; the club joined the Italian Football Championship during 1900. In 1904, the businessman Ajmone-Marsan revived the finances of the football club Juventus, making it possible to transfer the training field from piazza d'armi to the more appropriate Velodrome Umberto I. During this period, the team wore a black kit.
Juventus first won the league championship in 1905 while playing at their Velodrome Umberto I ground. By this time the club colours had changed to black and white stripes, inspired by English side Notts County. There was a split at the club in 1906, after some of the staff considered moving Juve out of Turin. President Alfred Dick was unhappy with this and left with some prominent players to found FBC Torino which in turn spawned the Derby della Mole. Juventus spent much of this period rebuilding after the split, surviving the First World War. FIAT owner Edoardo Agnelli built a new stadium; this helped the club to its second scudetto in the 1925–26 season, after beating Alba Roma with an aggregate score of 12–1. The club established itself as a major force in Italian football since the 1930s, becoming the country's first professional club and the first with a decentralised fan base, which led it to win a record of five consecutive Italian championships and form the core of the Italy national team during the Vittorio Pozzo's era, including the 1934 world champion squad, with star players such as Raimundo Orsi, Luigi Bertolini, Giovanni Ferrari and Luis Monti, among others.
Juventus moved to the Stadio Comunale, but for the rest of the 1930s and the majority of the 1940s they were unable to recapture championship dominance. After the Second
Galatasaray S.K. (football)
Galatasaray Spor Kulübü, is a Turkish football club based on the European side of the city of Istanbul. It is the association football branch of the larger Galatasaray Sports Club, itself a part of the Galatasaray Community Cooperation Committee which includes the prestigious Lycée de Galatasaray, where the football club was founded in October 1905 consisting of student members. Galatasaray is the most successful Turkish football club. Galatasaray is one of three teams to have participated in all seasons of the Süper Lig since 1959, following the dissolution of the Istanbul Football League. Internationally, Galatasaray has won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000, becoming the first and only Turkish team to win a major UEFA competition. In the 1999–2000 season, the club achieved the rare feat of completing a quadruple by winning the Süper Lig, the Turkish Cup, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in a single season. Galatasaray is the only Turkish club to have been ranked first on the IFFHS World Rankings.
Since 2011, the club's stadium is the 52,332-capacity Türk Telekom Stadium in Istanbul. The club had played at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, as well as a succession of other grounds in Istanbul, which included groundshares with Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe at the Taksim Stadium and İnönü Stadium; the club has a long-standing rivalry with other major Istanbul teams, namely with Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe. The derby between Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe is dubbed the Kıtalar Arası Derbi due to the location of their headquarters and stadiums on the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul; as a result of the team's 20th championship for the 2014–15 Süper Lig season, their logo hereafter contains four stars representing their 20 championships for the league. Galatasaray SK was founded in October 1905 by Ali Sami Yen and other students of Galatasaray High School as a football club. Ali Sami Yen became Galatasaray SK's first president and was given the club's membership number "1"; the team's first match was against Cadi-Keuy FC and Galatasaray won this match with a score of 2–0.
There were discussions about the club's name, in which some suggested Gloria and others Audace, but it was decided that its name would be Galatasaray. The name Galatasaray itself comes from that of Galatasaray High School, which in turn takes its name from Galata Sarayı Enderûn-u Hümâyûn, the name of the original school founded on the site in 1481, which in turn took its name from the nearby medieval Genoese citadel of Galata in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. Galatasaray means "Galata palace". According to researcher Cem Atabeyoğlu, Galatasaray took its name from one of its first matches. In that match, Galatasaray won 2–0 over a local Greek club and the spectators called them "Galata Sarayı efendileri", after this incident, they adopted that name and started to call their club "Galata Sarayı". In 1905, during the era of the Ottoman Empire, there were no laws for associations so the club could not be registered but, after the 1912 Law of Association, the club registered legally. Among with the founder Ali Sami Yen, the co-founders were the ones who were keen to do this sport, such as Asım Tevfik Sonumut, Reşat Şirvani, Cevdet Kalpakçıoğlu, Abidin Daver and Kamil.
Since there weren't any other Turkish teams, Galatasaray joined the Istanbul League, consisting of English and Greek teams in the season of 1905–1906. With their first championship title they won in 1908–1909, they heralded the beginning of Turkish football history. While football in Turkey began to develop, Galatasaray won ten more Istanbul League titles, six Sunday League titles and three Friday League titles until 1952. Upon the initiation of professional football in 1952, the first professional but non-national league of Turkey, Istanbul Professional League, was played between 1952 and 1959. Galatasaray won three of these seven titles. Türkiye Profesyonel 1. Ligi formed in 1959; this is the top-flight professional league in Turkish nationwide football, the most popular sporting competition in the country. Galatasaray won 21 league titles since then; the Turkish Football Federation began organizing the Turkish Cup in the 1962–63 season for Turkish clubs to qualify for the UEFA competitions. This is the only national cup competition in Turkey.
Galatasaray won 16 trophies since then. The greatest record that the club holds is winning national championships in 15 different sport branches in the 1986–87 season. Galatasaray's most successful era came in late 1990s, when the club become the first and only Turkish football club to win a major UEFA competition, they were aided in this by one of Turkey's best generation of homegrown footballers who went on to finish third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, after having played in the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 2000. Besides the talented players, visiting teams disliked traveling into Ali Sami Yen Stadium dubbed "Hell" by Galatasaray supporters due to the intimidating atmosphere provided by the fans including chants and riots in the crowds. There are many successful footballers who have played fo
Carlo Ancelotti OSI is an Italian former professional footballer and current football manager of Napoli. Ancelotti is one of only three managers to have won the UEFA Champions League three times, one of only two to have managed teams in four finals, he has won the FIFA Club World Cup twice, managing Real Madrid. Ancelotti is one of seven people to have won the European Cup or Champions League as both a player and a manager, he is regarded as one of the best and most successful managers of all time. Nicknamed Carletto, Ancelotti played as a midfielder and began his career with Italian club Parma, helping the club to Serie B promotion in 1979, he moved to Roma the following season, where he won a Serie A title and four Coppa Italia titles, played for the late 1980s Milan team, with which he won two league titles and two European Cups, among other titles. At international level he played for the Italian national team on 26 occasions, scoring once, appeared in two FIFA World Cups, finishing in third-place in the 1990 edition of the tournament, as well as UEFA Euro 1988, where he helped his nation to reach the semi-finals.
As a manager, he has worked for Reggiana, Juventus, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, has won domestic titles in Italy, England and Germany. Ancelotti began his career in 1974 with Parma, he made his professional debut in Serie C during the 1976–77 season, at the age of 18. Under manager Cesare Maldini, he was deployed behind the forwards, or as a second striker, due to his eye for goal. Ancelotti excelled in this role and helped Parma to a second place in the Serie C1 girone A during the 1978–79 season, which qualified the team for the Serie B play-offs. In the decisive match in Vicenza, against Triestina, with the score tied at 1–1, he scored two goals, which gave Parma a 3–1 victory and sealed their place in Serie B the following season. After attracting strong interest from Inter Milan, in mid-1979, Ancelotti transferred to Roma, made his Serie A debut in a 0–0 draw against Milan on 16 September. Under manager Nils Liedholm, he was deployed as a winger or central midfielder and became one of the club's most important players in a team which featured the likes of Brazilian star midfielder Falcão and Italian footballers Roberto Pruzzo, Bruno Conti and Pietro Vierchowod winning consecutive Coppa Italia titles in his first two seasons with the club.
During his eight seasons at the club, he won the Coppa Italia a total of four times. After struggling with knee injuries, managing second- and third-place league finishes in 1981 and 1982, Ancelotti helped lead the team to win a historic Italian championship in 1983, the club's second league title in their history; the following season, he helped Roma to win another Coppa Italia title and reach the European Cup final in 1984, although missed the final through injury as Roma were defeated by Liverpool on penalties at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. He was named the team's captain in 1985 under new club manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, served as a mentor to the young midfielder Giuseppe Giannini, as Roma won the Coppa Italia, but once again narrowly missed out on the league title during the 1985–86 Serie A season, finishing in second place behind Juventus. From 1987 until 1992, Ancelotti played for Milan, was a key part of the successful squad that won the Serie A title in 1988, consecutive European Cups in 1989 and 1990, two European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and a Supercoppa Italiana under manager Arrigo Sacchi.
During this time, Milan played with one of their finest teams assembled in that decade under the financial backing of club president Silvio Berlusconi, with Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Mauro Tassotti and Alessandro Costacurta as defenders. One of Ancelotti's most memorable moments with Milan was when he received a pass from Ruud Gullit, dribbled around two Real Madrid players and netted a powerful long-range shot during the Rossoneri's 5–0 thrashing of Real Madrid in the 1989 European Cup semi-finals, he went on to play all 90 minutes in Milan's 4–0 dismantling of Steaua București in the final. The following season, Ancelotti suffered an injury to his left knee in the quarter-finals of the European Cup against KV Mechelen which forced him to miss the semi-finals, although he was able to return in time to help Milan defend their title against Benfica in the final, held in Vienna. Following Sacchi's departure, he won a second Serie A title under replacement manager Fabio Capello during the 1991–92 Serie A season, as Milan won the title undefeated, but persistent knee injuries and competition from youngster Demetrio Albertini limited his playing time, forced him into premature retirement at the end of the season, at the age of 33.
He played the final match of his career with the club in a 4–0 home win over Hellas Verona on 17 May 1992, in which he came off the bench in the final 20 minutes of the game and scored two goals, was given an ovation by the fans. Under manager Enzo Bearzot, Ancelotti made his Italy national team debut and scored his first and only goal on 6 January 1981 in a one-off tournament against the Netherlands, which ended in a 1–1 draw, he was likely to be capped for the 1982 World Cup campaign, but a dramatic knee injury forced him away for several months, as Italy went on to win the tournament without him. He was a part of Italy's World Cup squad in the 1986 World Cup, where he did not make a single appearance, however, as both he and Paolo Rossi struggled during the team's fitness tests, due to the altitude of t
Hellas Verona F.C.
Hellas Verona Football Club referred to as Hellas Verona or Verona, is an Italian football club based in Verona, that plays in Serie B. The team won the Serie A Championship in 1984–85. Founded in 1903 by a group of high school students, the club was named Hellas, at the request of a professor of classics. At a time in which football was played only in the larger cities of the northwest of Italy, most of Verona was indifferent to the growing sport. However, when in 1906 two city teams chose the city's Roman amphitheatre as a venue to showcase the game, crowd enthusiasm and media interest began to rise. During these first few years, Hellas was one of three or four area teams playing at a municipal level while fighting against city rivals Bentegodi to become the city's premier football outfit. By the 1907–08 season, Hellas was playing against regional teams and an intense rivalry with Vicenza that lasts to this day was born. From 1898 to 1926, Italian football was organised into regional groups.
In this period, Hellas was one of the founding teams of the early league and among its top final contenders. In 1911, the city helped Hellas replace the gritty football fields with a proper venue; this allowed the team to take part in its first regional tournament, which until 1926, was the qualifying stage for the national title. In 1919, following a return to activity after a four-year suspension of all football competition in Italy during World War I, the team merged with city rival Verona and changed its name to Hellas Verona. Between 1926 and 1929, the elite "Campionato Nazionale" assimilated the top sides from the various regional groups and Hellas Verona joined the privileged teams, yet struggled to remain competitive. Serie A, as it is structured today, began in 1929, when the Campionato Nazionale turned into a professional league. Still an amateur team, Hellas merged with two city rivals and Scaligera, to form AC Verona. Hoping to build a first class contender for future years the new team debuted in Serie B in 1929.
It would take the gialloblu 28 years to achieve their goal. After first being promoted to Serie A for one season in 1957–58, in 1959, the team merged with another city rival and commemorated its beginnings by changing its name to Hellas Verona AC. Coached by Nils Liedholm, the team returned to Serie A in 1968 and remained in the elite league without interruption until 1990. Along the way, it scored a famous 5 -- 3 win in the 1972 -- 73 season; the fact that the result came late during the last matchday of the season makes the sudden and unexpected end to the rossoneri's title ambitions all the more memorable. In 1973–74, Hellas finished the season in fourth-last, just narrowly avoiding relegation, but were nonetheless sent down to Serie B during the summer months as a result of a scandal involving team president Saverio Garonzi. After a year in Serie B, Hellas returned to Serie A. In the 1975–76 season, the team had a successful run in the Coppa Italia, eliminating rated teams such as Torino and Internazionale from the tournament.
However, in their first final in the competition, Hellas were trounced 4–0 by Napoli. Under the leadership of coach Osvaldo Bagnoli, in 1982–83 the team secured a fourth-place in Serie A and led the Serie A standings for a few weeks; the same season Hellas again reached the Coppa Italia final. After a 2–0 home victory, Hellas travelled to Turin to play Juventus but were defeated 3–0 after extra time. Further disappointment followed in the 1983–84 season when the team again reached the Coppa Italia final, only to lose the Cup in the final minutes of the return match against defending Serie A champions Roma The team made its first European appearance in the 1983-84 UEFA Cup and were knocked out in the second round of the tournament by Sturm Graz. Hellas were eliminated from the 1985–86 European Cup in the second round by defending champions and fellow Serie A side Juventus after a contested game, the result of a scandalous arbitrage by the French Wurtz, having beaten PAOK of Greece in the first round.
In 1988, the team had their best international result when they reached the UEFA Cup quarterfinals with four victories and three draws. The decisive defeat came from German side Werder Bremen. Although the 1984–85 season squad was made up of a mix of emerging players and mature stars, at the beginning of the season no one would have regarded the team as having the necessary ingredients to make it to the end; the additions of Hans-Peter Briegel in midfield and of Danish striker Preben Elkjær to an attack that featured the wing play of Pietro Fanna, the creative abilities of Antonio Di Gennaro and the scoring touch of Giuseppe Galderisi were to prove crucial. To mention a few of the memorable milestones on the road to the scudetto: a decisive win against Juventus, with a goal scored by Elkjær after having lost a boot in a tackle just outside the box, set the stage early in the championship. Hellas finished the year with a 15–13–2 record and 43 points, four points ahead of Torino F. C. with Internazionale and Sampdoria rounding out the top four spots.
This unusual final table of the Serie A has led to many speculations. The 19
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations 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 of the strongest UEFA national associations. Introduced in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more known as the European Cup, it was a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each national championship; the competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries. It has since been expanded, while most of Europe's national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to five teams. Clubs that finish next-in-line in their national league, having not qualified for the Champions League, are eligible for the second-tier UEFA Europa League competition.
In its present format, the Champions League begins in late June with four knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 6 surviving teams enter the group stage; the 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May; the winner of the Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The competition has been won by 22 clubs. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament's history, having won it 13 times, including its first five seasons. Real Madrid are the reigning champions. Spanish clubs have the highest number of victories, followed by Italy. England has the largest number of winning teams, with five clubs having won the title; the first pan-European tournament was the Challenge Cup, a competition between clubs in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Mitropa Cup, a competition modelled after the Challenge Cup, was created in 1927, an idea of Austrian Hugo Meisl, played between Central European clubs.
In 1930, the Coupe des Nations, the first attempt to create a cup for national champion clubs of Europe, was played and organised by Swiss club Servette. Held in Geneva, it brought together ten champions from across the continent; the tournament was won by Újpest of Hungary. Latin European nations came together to form the Latin Cup in 1949. After receiving reports from his journalists over the successful Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones of 1948, Gabriel Hanot, editor of L'Équipe, began proposing the creation of a continent-wide tournament. After Stan Cullis declared Wolverhampton Wanderers "Champions of the World" following a successful run of friendlies in the 1950s, in particular a 3–2 friendly victory against Budapest Honvéd, Hanot managed to convince UEFA to put into practice such a tournament, it was conceived in Paris in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs' Cup. The first edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955–56 season. Sixteen teams participated: Milan, AGF Aarhus, Djurgården, Gwardia Warszawa, Partizan, PSV Eindhoven, Rapid Wien, Real Madrid, Rot-Weiss Essen, Saarbrücken, Sporting CP, Stade de Reims, Vörös Lobogó.
The first European Cup match took place on 4 September 1955, ended in a 3–3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. The first goal in European Cup history was scored by João Baptista Martins of Sporting CP; the inaugural final took place at the Parc des Princes between Stade de Real Madrid. The Spanish squad came back from behind to win 4–3 thanks to goals from Alfredo Di Stéfano and Marquitos, as well as two goals from Héctor Rial. Real Madrid defended the trophy next season in their home stadium, the Santiago Bernabéu, against Fiorentina. After a scoreless first half, Real Madrid scored twice in six minutes to defeat the Italians. In 1958, Milan failed to capitalise after going ahead on the scoreline twice, only for Real Madrid to equalise; the final held in Heysel Stadium went to extra time where Francisco Gento scored the game-winning goal to allow Real Madrid to retain the title for the third consecutive season. In a rematch of the first final, Real Madrid faced Stade Reims at the Neckarstadion for the 1958–59 season final winning 2–0.
West German side Eintracht Frankfurt became the first non-Latin team to reach the European Cup final. The 1959–60 season finale still holds the record for the most goals scored, with Real Madrid beating Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in Hampden Park, courtesy of four goals by Ferenc Puskás and a hat-trick by Alfredo Di Stéfano; this was a record that still stands today. Real Madrid's reign ended in the 1960–61 season when bitter rivals Barcelona dethroned them in the first round. Barcelona themselves, would be defeated in the final by Portuguese side Benfica 3–2 at Wankdorf Stadium. Reinforced by Eusébio, Benfica defeated Real Madrid 5–3 at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam and kept the title for a second, consecutive season. Benfica wanted to repeat Real Madrid's successful run of the 1950s after reaching the showpiece event of the 1962–63 European Cup, but a brace from Brazilian-Italian José Altafini at the Wembley Stadi