The 1989–90 DDR-Oberliga was the 41st season of the DDR-Oberliga, the first tier of league football in East Germany. It was the last season of the league under the name of DDR-Oberliga as it played as the NOFV-Oberliga in the following season. East Germany saw great political change during the 1989–90 season with the opening of borders in October 1989, free elections in March 1990 and the eventual German reunification in the year; the league was contested by fourteen teams. Dynamo Dresden won the club's last out of eight East German championships. Torsten Gütschow of Dynamo Dresden was the league's top scorer with 18 goals, while Ulf Kirsten of Dynamo Dresden, took out the seasons East German Footballer of the year award. On the strength of the 1989–90 title Dynamo Dresden qualified for the 1990–91 European Cup where the club was knocked out by Red Star Belgrade in the quarter finals. Second-placed FC Karl-Marx-Stadt qualified for the 1990–91 UEFA Cup where it was knocked out by Borussia Dortmund in the first round while third-placed 1.
FC Magdeburg lost to Girondins de Bordeaux in the second round. With Dynamo Dresden having won the double the losing cup finalist, Dynamo Schwerin, playing in the tier two DDR-Liga, took part in the 1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup where it was knocked out in the first round by FK Austria Wien. During the season Berliner FC Dynamo was renamed to FC Berlin, BSG Wismut Aue was renamed to FC Wismut Aue and BSG Stahl Eisenhüttenstadt became Eisenhüttenstädter FC Stahl while further name changes followed in the off-season; as another sign of the changes in East Germany players were, for the first time, allowed to transfer to western clubs during the 1989–90 seasons. Andreas Thom was the first, leaving BFC Dynamo for Bayer 04 Leverkusen in February 1990, followed by others which, while financially lucrative, left DDR-Oberliga clubs like Dynamo weakened; the 1989–90 season saw two newly promoted clubs, Eisenhüttenstädter FC Stahl and BSG Fortschritt Bischofswerda. The seasons top scorers: Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules.
Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality. "Das war unser Fußball im Osten". Fußball-Woche. Berlin: Axel-Springer-Verlag. 1991. Das Deutsche Fussball Archiv Historic German league tables
Football Club Internazionale Milano referred to as Internazionale or Inter and colloquially known as Inter Milan outside Italy, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy. Inter is the only Italian club to have never been relegated from the top flight. Inter has won 30 domestic trophies on par with its local rivals A. C. Milan, including 18 league titles, 7 Coppa Italia and 5 Supercoppa Italiana. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five successive league titles, equalling the all-time record at that time, they have won the Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and another in 2010. Their latest win completed an unprecedented Italian seasonal treble, with Inter winning the Coppa Italia and the Scudetto the same year; the club has won three UEFA Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA Club World Cup. Inter's home games are played at the San Siro stadium known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Shared with rival A. C. Milan, the stadium is the largest in Italian football with a capacity of 80,018.
The local team A. C. Milan are considered among their biggest rivals, matches between the two teams, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are one of the most followed derbies in football; as of 2010, Inter is the second-most supported team in Italy, the sixth most-supported team in Europe. The club is one of the most valuable in Italian and world football, it was a founding member of the now-defunct G-14 group of Europe's leading football clubs. The club was founded on 9 March 1908 as Football Club Internazionale, following the schism with the Milan Cricket and Football Club; the name of the club derives from the wish of its founding members to accept foreign players as well as Italians. The club won its first championship in 1910 and its second in 1920; the captain and coach of the first championship winning team was Virgilio Fossati, killed in battle while serving in the Italian army during World War I. In 1922, Inter remained in the top league after winning two play-offs. Six years during the Fascist era, the club was forced to merge with the Unione Sportiva Milanese and was renamed Società Sportiva Ambrosiana.
The team wore white jerseys during this time with a red cross emblazoned on it. The jersey's design was inspired by the coat of arms of the city of Milan. In 1929, club chairman Oreste Simonotti changed the club's name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana, however supporters continued to call the team Inter, in 1931 new chairman Pozzani caved in to shareholder pressure and changed the name to Associazione Sportiva Ambrosiana-Inter, their first Coppa Italia was won in 1938–39, led by the iconic Giuseppe Meazza, after whom the San Siro stadium is named. A fifth championship followed despite Meazza incurring an injury. After the end of World War II the club regained its original name, winning its sixth championship in 1953 and its seventh in 1954. In 1960, manager Helenio Herrera joined Inter from Barcelona, bringing with him his midfield general Luis Suárez, who won the European Footballer of the Year in the same year for his role in Barcelona's La Liga/Fairs Cup double, he would transform Inter into one of the greatest teams in Europe.
He modified a 5–3–2 tactic known as the "Verrou" which created greater flexibility for counterattacks. The catenaccio system was invented by Karl Rappan. Rappan's original system was implemented with four fixed defenders, playing a strict man-to-man marking system, plus a playmaker in the middle of the field who plays the ball together with two midfield wings. Herrera would modify it by adding a fifth defender, the sweeper or libero behind the two centre backs; the sweeper or libero who acted as the free man would deal with any attackers who went through the two centre backs. Inter finished third in the Serie A in his first season, second the next year and first in his third season. Followed a back-to-back European Cup victory in 1964 and 1965, earning him the title "il Mago"; the core of Herrera's team were the attacking fullbacks Tarcisio Burgnich and Giacinto Facchetti, Armando Picchi the sweeper, Suárez the playmaker, Jair the winger, Mario Corso the left midfielder, Sandro Mazzola, who played on the inside-right.
In 1964, Inter reached the European Cup Final by beating Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final and Partizan in the quarter-final. In the final, they met a team that had reached seven out of the nine finals to date. Mazzola scored two goals in a 3–1 victory, the team won the Intercontinental Cup against Independiente. A year Inter repeated the feat by beating two-time winner Benfica in the final held at home, from a Jair goal, again beat Independiente in the Intercontinental Cup. In 1967, with Jair gone and Suárez injured, Inter lost the European Cup Final 2–1 to Celtic. During that year the club changed its name to Football Club Internazionale Milano. Following the golden era of the 1960s, Inter managed to win their eleventh league title in 1971 and their twelfth in 1980. Inter were defeated for the second time in five years in the final of the European Cup, going down 0–2 to Johan Cruyff's Ajax in 1972. During the 1970s and the 1980s, Inter added two to its Coppa Italia tally, in 1977–78 and 1981–82.
Led by the German duo of Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthäus, Argentine Ramón Díaz, Inter captured the 1989 Serie A championship. Inter were unable to defend their title despite adding fellow German Jürgen Klinsmann to the squad and winning their first Supercoppa Italiana at the start of the season; the 1990s was a period of disappointment. While their great rivals Milan and Juventus were achieving success both domestically and in Europe, Inter
In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap. An early illustration of the first international football match between Scotland and England in 1872 shows the Scottish players wearing cowls, the English wearing a variety of school caps; the practice was first approved on 10 May 1886 for association football after a proposal made by N. Lane Jackson, founder of the Corinthians: That all players taking part for England in future international matches be presented with a white silk cap with red rose embroidered on the front; these to be termed International Caps. The act of awarding a cap is applied to other sports.
Although in some sports physical caps may not now always be given the term "cap" for an international or other appearance has been retained as an indicator of the number of occasions on which a sportsperson has represented a team in a particular sport. Thus, a "cap" is awarded for each game played and so a player who has played x games, for the team, is said to have been capped x times or have won x caps; the practice of awarding a physical cap varies from sport to sport. It may be awarded prior to a player's debut or for national teams, a commemorative cap may be awarded after a player reaches the 100th cap; as an example, the England men's association football teams still awards physical caps. Players are awarded one cap for every match they play — unless they play in a World Cup or European Championship finals tournament, they are given a single cap for the competition — with the names of all their opponents stitched into the fabric of the cap itself. For example, when David Beckham made his one hundredth appearance for England, because a number of his appearances had been at World Cup and European Championship final tournaments for which he received only one cap, he received only his 85th physical cap.
The world record holder for the highest number of international caps as of 5 November 2010 is retired American player Kristine Lilly, who has 354 caps. In men's association football, the record belongs to former player Ahmed Hassan of Egypt; the first footballer to win 100 international caps was Billy Wright of England's Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wright went on to appear 105 times for England, 90 of them. FIFA rules state that any club that refuses to release a player for national team duty is barred from using the player for two matches, a rule, intended to discourage clubs from pretending that the player is injured. However, it is a player's choice to refuse to retire from his or her national team; some current leading holders of association football caps are: 184 – Ahmed Hassan, Egypt 178 – Hossam Hassan, Egypt 178 – Mohamed Al-Deayea, Saudi Arabia 177 – Claudio Suárez, Mexico 178 in Mexican records 169 – Gianluigi Buffon, Italy 168 – Iván Hurtado, Ecuador 167 – Iker Casillas, Spain 166 – Vitālijs Astafjevs, Latvia 164 – Cobi Jones, United States 163 - Sergio Ramos, Spain 163 – Mohammed Al-Khilaiwi, Saudi Arabia 161 – Adnan Al-Talyani, United Arab Emirates 158 – Bader Al-Mutawa, Kuwait 157 – Landon Donovan, United States 354 – Kristine Lilly, United States World record holder 311 – Christie Rampone, United States 275 – Mia Hamm, United States 272 – Julie Foudy, United States 259 - Christine Sinclair, Canada 256 – Abby Wambach, United States 239 – Joy Fawcett, United States 231 – Heather O'Reilly, United States 214 – Birgit Prinz, Germany 214 – Therese Sjögran, SwedenBold denotes players active in international football.
In cricket, there are two types of caps. Firstly, there is the international type; some countries award a domestic type known as a "county cap". The latter system is most applied in English county cricket. Most counties do not automatically award caps to players on their first appearance. Indeed, one can play at the highest domestic level for several years, have a quite significant career in first-class cricket, without winning a cap; the world record for the number of caps in Test cricket is held by Sachin Tendulkar of India, who has, over the course of a 22-year career, collected 200. Tendulkar holds the record for One Day Internationals, with 463 caps. In rugby union, 35 players have reached 100 international caps as of 5 June 2012. Players from England, Scotland and Ireland are eligible for selection to the British and Irish Lions touring squad. Lions matches are classed as full international tests, caps are awarded; the Pacific Islanders team, composed of players from Fiji, Tonga and Cook Islands have a similar arrangement, although no players involved have so far reached 100 caps.
Players still active at Test level are in bold type. Richie McCaw, New Zealand — 148 Brian O'Driscoll, Ireland — 141 George Gregan, Australia — 139 Gethin Jenkins, Wales, 131 — Ronan O'Gara, Ireland — 130 Keven Mealamu, New Zealand — 125 Victor
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic. Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team; the official name and code "Germany FR" was shortened to "Germany" following the reunification in 1990. Germany is one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won four World Cups, three European Championships, one Confederations Cup, they have been runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup, a further four third-place finishes at World Cups. East Germany won Olympic Gold in 1976.
Germany is the only nation to have won both the FIFA Women's World Cup. At the end of the 2014 World Cup, Germany earned the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history, with a record 2205 points. Germany is the only European nation that has won a FIFA World Cup in the Americas; the manager of the national team is Joachim Löw. Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a national team, there were five unofficial international matches between German and English selection teams, which all ended as large defeats for the German teams. Eight years after the establishment of the German Football Association, the first official match of the Germany national football team was played on 5 April 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, with the Swiss winning 5–3. Gottfried Fuchs scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm on 1 July, becoming the top scorer of the tournament, he was Jewish, the German Football Association erased all references to him from their records between 1933 and 1945.
As of 2016, he was still the top German scorer for one match. The first match after World War I in 1920, the first match after World War II in 1950 when Germany was still banned from most international competitions, the first match in 1990 with former East German players were all against Switzerland as well. Germany's first championship title was won in Switzerland in 1954. At that time the players were selected by the DFB; the first manager of the Germany national team was Otto Nerz, a school teacher from Mannheim, who served in the role from 1926 to 1936. The German FA could not afford travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After a poor showing at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sepp Herberger became coach. In 1937 he put together a squad, soon nicknamed the Breslau Elf in recognition of their 8–0 win over Denmark in the German city of Breslau, Lower Silesia.
After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country's national team – one of Europe's best sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having qualified for the 1938 World Cup. Nazi politicians ordered five or six ex-Austrian players, from the clubs Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, First Vienna FC, to join the all-German team on short notice in a staged show of unity for political reasons. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, this "united" German team managed only a 1–1 draw against Switzerland and lost the replay 2–4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France; that early exit stands as Germany's worst World Cup result, one of just two occasions the team failed to progress the group stage. During World War II, the team played over 30 international games between September 1939 and November 1942. National team games were suspended, as most players had to join the armed forces. Many of the national team players were gathered together under coach Herberger as Rote Jäger through the efforts of a sympathetic air force officer trying to protect the footballers from the most dangerous wartime service.
After World War II, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until 1950. The DFB was not a full member of FIFA, none of the three new German states — West Germany, East Germany, Saarland — entered the 1950 World Cup qualifiers; the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to as West Germany, continued the DFB. With recognition by FIFA and UEFA, the DFB continued the record of the pre-war team. Switzerland was once again the first team that played West Germany in 1950. West Germany qualified for the 1954 World Cup; the Saarland, under French control between 1947 and 1956, did not join French organisations, was barred from participating in pan-German ones. It sent their own team to the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic was founded. In 1952 the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR was established and the East Germany national football team took to the field, they were the only team to beat the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning West Germans in the onl
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V. known as VfB Stuttgart, is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club is best known for its football team, part of Germany's first division Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart has won the national championship five times, most in 2006–07; the football team plays its home games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in the Neckarpark, located near the Cannstatter Wasen where the city's fall beer festival takes place. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, the second highest division allowed for a reserve team; the club's junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record ten times and the Under 17 Bundesliga six times. A membership-based club with over 64,000 members, VfB is the largest sports club in Baden-Württemberg and the fifth-largest in Germany, it has departments for fistball, hockey and field, table-tennis and football referees, all of which compete only at the amateur level. The club maintains a social department, the VfB-Garde.
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed through a 2 April 1912 merger of predecessor sides Stuttgarter FV and Kronen-Club Cannstatt following a meeting in the Concordia hotel in Cannstatt. Each of these clubs was made up of school pupils with middle class roots who learned new sports such as rugby union and football from English expatriates such as William Cail who introduced rugby in 1865. Stuttgarter Fußballverein was founded at the Zum Becher hotel in Stuttgart on 9 September 1893. FV were a rugby club, playing games at Stöckach-Eisbahn before moving to Cannstatter Wasen in 1894; the rugby club established a football section in 1908. The team drew players from local schools, under the direction of teacher Carl Kaufmann, achieved its first success. Rugby was soon replaced by football within the club, as spectators found the game too complicated to follow. In 1909, FV joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband. In their second season FV won a district final against future merger partner Kronen-Klub Cannstatt before being defeated by FV Zuffenhausen in the county championship that would have seen the side promoted.
They advanced to the senior Südkreis-Liga in 1912. Cannstatter Fußballklub was formed as a rugby club in 1890 and quickly established a football team; this club was dissolved after just a few years of play and the former membership re-organized themselves as FC Krone Cannstatt in 1897 to compete as a football-only side. The new team joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband as a second division club and won promotion in 1904. Krone possessed their own ground. Following the 1912 merger of these two clubs, the combined side played at first in the Kreisliga Württemberg and in the Bezirksliga Württemberg-Baden, earning a number of top three finishes and claiming a title there in 1927; the club made several appearances in the final rounds of the SFV in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1933, VfB moved to the site of its current ground. German football was re-organized that same year under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight divisions called Gauligen. Stuttgart played in the Gauliga Württemberg and enjoyed considerable success there, winning division titles in 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1943 before the Gauliga system collapsed part way through the 1944–45 season due to World War II.
The club had an intense rivalry with Stuttgarter Kickers throughout this period. VfB's Gauliga titles earned the team entry to the national playoff rounds, with their best result coming in 1935 when they advanced to the final where they lost 4–6 to defending champions Schalke 04, the dominant side of the era. After a third-place result at the national level in 1937, Stuttgart was not able to advance out of the preliminary rounds in subsequent appearances. After the war, VfB continued to play first division football in the Oberliga Süd, capturing titles in 1946, 1952, 1954, they made regular appearances in the German championship rounds, emerging as national champions in 1950 and 1952, finishing as runner-up in 1953, winning two DFB-Pokal titles in 1954 and 1958. The team which won four titles in eight years was led by Robert Schlienz who had lost his left arm in a car crash. Despite these successes, no player from the Stuttgart roster had a place on the team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
Due to disappointing results in international competition including the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cup, in response to the growth of professionalism in the sport, the German Football Association replaced the regional top flight competitions with a single nationwide professional league in 1963. Stuttgart's solid play through the 1950s earned them a place among the 16 clubs that would make up the original Bundesliga; as an amateur organisation, due to proverbial Swabian austerity, the club hesitated to spend money, some players continued to work in an everyday job. Throughout the balance of the decade and until the mid-1970s, the club would earn mid-table results. One of the few stars of the time was Gilbert Gress from Strasbourg. In 1973, the team qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time and advanced to the semi-finals of the 1974 tournament where they were eliminated by eventual winners Feyenoord. VfB Stuttgart was in crisis in the mid-1970s, having missed new trends in football such as club sponso
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