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Brits in the European Cup

By on 4 June 2015

The UEFA Champions League Final between Barcelona and Juventus takes place this weekend so Soccer Attic has put together some records by club and by nation below for the European Cup since it’s inaugural competition in 1955-56.

We’ve also added action and pics from some great British club moments in the European Cup.

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Brits in the European Cup Winners Cup

By on 22 May 2015

Last week we got a bit nostalgic about the old Home International Championship but concluded that the game had probably changed too much to ever bring it back.

This got us to thinking about the, now also defunct, European Cup Winners Cup and whether there would still be a place for a straight knockout competition for the domestic cup winners across Europe. Given the criticism of the now bloated Europa Cup, and its suggested contribution to poor domestic form, it seems quite appealing.

In the 1970s, despite the fact that the UEFA Cup was contested by teams who had generally been more consistent over the course of a season, and should therefore have been a tougher competition, the Cup Winners Cup was generally looked on as having a higher status.

Should it be brought back? Well, if you look at England as an example, in the last 16 years since the tournament was stopped, only three times would the actual winners have competed in the tournament – Chelsea 2000-01, Portsmouth 2008-09 and Wigan 2013-14- due to the expanded Champions League format. When you look at it in that context, the competition would seem significantly reduced in status and therefore seems to be forever confined to history.

But it’s an interesting history nonetheless and, in particular, for English fans to see from the table here that we won it more than any other nation. So we’ve posted some pics and action here of British sides in the competition since Spurs became the first to win it in 1963.

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Miss the Home Internationals?

By on 14 May 2015

It was the oldest international football tournament which ran a whole century from 1884 to 1984 and involved England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Its significance was such that the Home Internationals twice determined World Cup qualification and, once, European Nations Cup qualification.

With the growth of international football from the 1930s and the introduction and expansion of both FIFA’s World Cup and then 30 years later, UEFA’s European Nations’ Cup, its importance waned significantly. However, its demise was also the result of falling interest and attendances (except for the England/Scotland fixture) the rise of hooliganism and the troubles in Northern Ireland. It was also felt that, for England and Scotland at least, the tournament offered little in terms of team development and, being played in its final format of three games at the end of a hard season, it offered very little to player development.

With the increasing importance of financial considerations and now the hugely expanded demands placed on players in qualifying for tournaments, it is impossible to see how they could ever resurrect the tournament to anything like its former glory. We may miss it, but we wouldn’t want to bring it back. Would we? Do you miss the Home Internationals? Use the Contact button above to say “Yes” or “No” and any other comment.

Below are some interesting snippets about the Championship. Pics are from Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly.

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We Are The Champions! 1975

By on 8 May 2015

The 2014-2015 English champions for the top four divisions have all been decided. Soccer Attic thought we’d look back 40 years to 1975 when it was Derby County, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers and Mansfield Town who topped their respective leagues.

Every season Shoot Magazine celebrated the crowning of each division’s champions with a special review of each team’s season and we’ve published them here from No 298, 17th May 1975 together with pics of the captains of each side. Click on the page to zoom in and read what they had to say.

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England v Italy – a Rich History

By on 26 March 2015

England take on Italy in a friendly in Turin on Tuesday night – a fixture that has a rich history. For England supporters, the head-to-head stats do not make particularly happy reading. Italy are undoubtedly one of the super-powers of world football having won four World Cups (1934, 1938, 1982, 2006), been runners-up twice (1970, 1994), won the Euros once (1968) and finished runners-up also twice (2000, 2012). It is a sobering fact that England have only beaten Italy in one truly competitive game at Wembley in 1977 in the World Cup qualifier.

On a more positive note, it did take Italy 40 years to record a victory in the fixture, all be it the two sides had only met eight times previously. Here we have presented a table showing the head-to-head records and some action and pictures relating to some of the memorable games between the two.

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Ireland’s Nearly Match – 1965

By on 17 March 2015

The late ’80s and ’90s were undoubtedly the purple patch for Irish football but it is often forgotten that Ireland (or Eire as they were generally known back then) came close to qualifying for the 1966 World Cup. It came down to Ireland playing Spain on neutral ground in a qualifying play-off for a place in the finals in England. It was reported that the game could have been played in London where Ireland would have had huge support but the FAI agreed to let it be played in Paris in return for Spain’s share of the gate receipts. The players (much like Roy Keane many years later) felt let down by the FAI’s decided lack of ambition.

More here plus action from 1949 when Ireland also became the first foreign team to beat England on home soil.

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When Cardiff City beat Real Madrid

By on 10 March 2015

Today, March 10th, marks the anniversary of Cardiff City’s most historic victory when they defeated Real Madrid at Ninian Park in the 1971 European Cup Winners Cup quarter final. Brian Clark achieved super-hero status among the Bluebird faithful when he headed home the winner in front of a crowd of over 50,000.

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Icons of the ’50s

By on 13 February 2015

We had a great response on Facebook to our 1950s classic pics posting, so we thought we would share a few more here. We are currently undertaking a project to see if we can get these images to a wider audience via a number of channels. If you are interested, or have suggestions/ideas, please contact us via the website contact form.

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