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Forgotten Tournament: Winners’ Cup

The Winners’ Cup proved to be a fun competition to watch back in its days. Prior to its decline, Europe’s winners pooled in their best teams in respective leagues and that led to big battles that thrilled the globe. Europe’s best clubs have shown why it was very important to be relevant.

While it was already dissolved back in 1999, hopeful players can relive the days and get some vibes from the same tournaments back then. It was a great thing to look back to with all those big matches.

The club competition was always contested by the most recent winners of each European domestic cup and it was one of the many tournaments organised by the UEFA. It was considered as one of the most prestigious cups in Europe. A lot of fans loved it as it always featured the best of the best.

England’s best EPL teams were very competitive at the start of the Winners’ Cup run. However, some top clubs like Watford and Liverpool weren’t able to win a single Finals round. These teams would still branch out to other ventures outside of the sports world and into slot games, for instance. You can even play Watford FC slot game and experience the world of soccer in a whole new light.

The early friendly games were called world championships and were the first to make the use of the league system tournaments. The idea was to bring in the best of each domestic league winner into one whole tournament which would see them contend in a knockout setting while delivering intense matches.

In 39 years, it has always been a straight knockout tournament with two legs like other UEFA games. 32 teams are always battling for dominance and it was clearly a fine example of how the football industry was always ahead of its time with the innovations. That seemed to be the answer in the rising popularity of football back in the day before it was abolished.

Barcelona has proven to be the best team in the tournament’s 39-year run. They have won four titles in the Winners’ Cup and finished as runners-up twice back in 1969 and 1991. The next teams to challenge Barcelona’s reign in the game are Anderlecht, Milan, Chelsea, and Dynamo Kyiv all with two titles on their hands.

A total of 13 teams have failed to win the title in their entry to the tournament. It has been an intense draw of matches, and teams have always fought to the best of their limits. That proved to be a great thing to watch.

England still proved to be a strong contender in every football tournament. They have tallied eight titles in the Winners’ Cup with different clubs. Spain and Italy placed second with seven titles each in total.

Only Austria, Hungary and Poland are the only countries without a title in the tournament. Those three countries had a total of six runners-up in the game, with Austria having three of those.

The trophy was never assigned to any club, but there are various versions of the trophy in history. Since the first was awarded to Fiorentina, the appearance has changed after that. There were special designs per team, but then the UEFA design remained as the base for each of those.

The birth of the Champions League eventually weakened the Cup Winners’ Cup. There was also a petition to extend the number of teams in the tournament to 64, but then UEFA’s ruling pushed through and it never happened. The second-placed teams were not allowed to join.

By the late 1990s, the Winners’ Cup was just seen as a second-rate competition with only one or two big teams available to enter each year. The interest of both major clubs and the public went down and that led to the abolishment of the tournament.


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