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Football Language: European Cup

European CupWhat is the meaning of the phrase ‘European Cup’ in football?

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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European Cup

The Champions League is probably the most popular club tournament in the world but this competition emerged from the European Cup which started way back in 1955 and ran until 1992 when it became the Champions League. Unlike the Champions League, the European Cup was a knock-out competition for the previous year’s winners of each league in Europe – there were no group matches at all. Each match was played over two legs: home and away and the away goals rule was used in cases of a drawn game, while there was no such thing as seeding so teams could be drawn against any other side. Celtic became the first British side to win the European cup (in 1967), indeed, they were the first team from the north of Europe to win the trophy after the first 12 years had been dominated by Real Madrid, Benfica and the two Milan sides. The European Cup.

  • Example: The first winners of the European Cup were Real Madrid when they defeated Stade de Reims in Paris in 1956.
  • Example: Ajax won the European Cup three years in succession: 1971-1973.

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