The Sports Archives – History Of The UEFA Champions League!


Europa Cup 1961 Barcelona – Hamburg

The Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League, also known as the Champions League, is a competition encompassing the European continent.  It is one of the most prestigious and spectated tournaments in the world with monumental bragging rights to the club who ultimately wins the championship.

The present-day Champions League established it roots from the European Cup which originated in 1955 and started with sixteen clubs from various European countries such as Italy, Poland, Scotland, France, West Germany and Sweden.  The first ever match took place on September 4, 1955 between Sporting CP from Portugal and Partizan from Yugoslavia.  The game ended in a 3-3 draw.

Spain’s Real Madrid began its dynasty of the European Cup early on having won five consecutive titles.  Bitter rival Barcelona finally dethroned them in the 1960-61 season only to succumb to Portugal’s Benfica, 3-2 in the final.  The Cup lived on the Iberian Peninsula until the 1962-63 season when Italy’s Internazionale (Inter Milan) lifted it up for the city of Milan, Italy.  Real Madrid would add five more cup victories making it the most successful club in the history of the competition to-date.  In fact, Spanish clubs have accumulated 14 Cup victories while English and Italian clubs are behind with 12 apiece.

In 1992, the UEFA Champions League competition replaced the European Cup and added a group stage to the tournament, replacing the sudden death knockout-style format of a country’s top team.  Now, 4 teams from Europe’s top leagues are sent to the competition.  The number goes up to five for the 2015-2016 season and onwards.

The competition's logo is displayed in the centre of the pitch before every Champions League match.

The competition’s logo is displayed in the centre of the pitch before every Champions League match.

In its present day format, the UEFA Champions League begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams will enter the group stage and join 22 other teams which have qualified in advance. The 32 teams in total are drawn into eight groups of four teams each. The groups then play each other in a double round robin system.  The eight winners of each groups and second place runners-up of each group proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in May.  The winner of the UEFA Champions League then qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup which is a battle between the UEFA Champions League finalist and UEFA Europa League finalist.  The team also qualifies for the supreme FIFA World Cup tournament.

Since 1955, the Champions League competition has been won by 22 different clubs.  12 clubs have won it more than once and 8 clubs have won it more than twice.  Lionel Messi of Argentina playing for Barcelona is currently the top goal scorer with 75 goals in 92 games.  Close behind him is Portugal’s Cristiano Rinaldo with 74 goals in 114 games and Spain’s Raul Gonzalez with 71 goals in 144 games.  Xavi Hernandez also of Spain and playing for Barcelona holds the honor of most appearances with 152.

The 2014-15 UEFA Champions League final match will be played on June 6, 2015 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany.  You can get into the action by going to the William Hill website and wagering on your favorite club.  Don’t miss out on one of the most exciting tournaments in the world!

Photo Credits:

Europa cup 1961 Barcelona – Hamburg 5” by Pot, Harry / AnefoNationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 – negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang, bestanddeelnummer 912-4395. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 nl via Wikimedia Commons.

Beginning Arsenal Sevilla” by Kieran Lynam from Dublin, IrelandFlickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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The Sports Archives – Tottenham Hotspur Club History

The Tottenham Hotspur Football Club also know as Tottenham Hotspur F.C. is a football club that plays out of Tottenham, London England in England’s finest Premier League.  The Spurs logo is a cockerel standing on a football and the Latin motto for the club is Audere est Facere or “To Dare Is to Do”.

The Sports Archives would like to provide some history about the club as illustrated in the following infographic brought to you by Aford Awards, the Trophy and Engraving Specialists.

Here are some quick excerpts:

1882 – The Hotspur FC is established by a group of boys from the Hotspur cricket club and a local grammar school.

1885 – The First competitive match in the London Association Cup had the Spurs defeating St. Albans 5-2.

1896 – The Spurs following is growing and the club is elected to the Southern League Division One.

1900 - Spurs are Champions of the Southern League.

1909 – Spurs are promoted to First Division of the Football League which was formed in 1888.

1920-1950 – Back and forth placements between Division One and Division Two of the Football League.

1951 – Football League Champions

1963 – Jimmy Greaves is Spurs’ highest League scorer with 37 goals in one season.

1967 – FA Cup winners for the fifth time.

1974 – First English club to have played in three major European finals.

1983 – First football club to float shares on the London Stock Exchange.

1987 – Clive Allen sets new Spurs record with 49 goals in single season.

1988 – Spurs sign Paul Stewart from Manchester City for 1.5 million pounds.

1999 – Winners of the League Cup for the third time.

2000 – Spurs sign Sergei Rebrov from Dynamo Kiev for a record 11 million pounds.

2007 –  Second consecutive year fifth place finish in the Premier League; signed Darren Bent from Charlton Athletic for 16.5 million pounds.

2011 – Reach quarter-finals of the Champions League on first attempt.

2013 – Best-ever Premier League tally of 72 points.

As you have read, the Tottenham Hotspur have a long following in the archives of English Football history.  Please view the infographic below for an even more detailed synopsis of the history of the Tottenham Hotspur!

Tottenham Hotspur Club History

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The Sports Archives – Trading Standards Called In Over Manchester United Tickets!

Manchester United Crest

When it comes to football, many people love the sense of tradition more than they love the modern game. There are a number of people who claim to have fallen out of love with the modern game but even in the era of multi-million deals and TV contracts that run so long they can be confused for telephone numbers there are ways that people still feel connected to the game. The start of a new year provides the platform for the FA Cup to shine and many people are still in love with “the romance of the cup”.

One of the most appealing elements of the FA Cup is the opportunity for small teams to welcome a big team to their home ground. There is something extremely pleasing at seeing the modern-day footballer struggling at a traditional style ground with the most basic of conditions. The hope of a big team losing to a small team is always great fun for most football fans but just the juxtaposition of the two teams and situations is always worth watching.

Big demand for tickets when Manchester United are in town

Cambridge United have been drawn against Manchester United, following on from Yeovil Town, who were handed a home tie against the leading team from the English Premier League. There is always going to be a huge level of demand for these games. United are well-known for having a strong travelling support and Cambridge United fans, and plenty of people in the local community clamour for tickets. There is no way that the supply of tickets can meet the demand for tickets for this style of match and it seems as though Cambridge United experienced a few problems in the run up to the match.

This can be seen with the fact that the club has made an official complaint about a website that has been offering fake tickets for this match. Trading Standards have been informed that there is a website offering fake tickets for the game that is scheduled to take place on the 23rd of January.

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The Sports Archives – Top 6 Most Scenic White Water Rafting Locations!

Whitewater rafting is a sport like no other. Riding the fast flowing waters of rivers around the world, one can enjoy gorgeous wildlife and natural environments while getting an incredible exercise. But there are certain places that seem to stand above the rest in terms of beautiful surroundings. Here are the top 6 most scenic white water rafting locations:

White Water Rafting












1. The Colorado River, Arizona

This popular river flows through the famous Grand Canyon. This multiple day trip takes you through over 225 miles of gorgeous water and stunning views of the North American desert. Lasting anywhere from a week to 17 days, you can travel in luxury while enjoying professionally prepared cuisine and numerous hikes when taking a break from the water.

2. Alsek River, Canada

Arctic glaciers grace your vision on this breathtaking ride through North American terrain in the vast landscape of northern Alaska. In addition to water that is bleach white, you can spot bears, wild fish, and pick scrumptious wild berries during your trip.

3. Salmon River, Idaho

With a wide variety of time commitment, you can opt from a short trip of 1 or 2 days all the way to a one-week adventure in this diverse river. Going through many of the United States’ most scenic destinations, the Salmon river is perfect for amateur, intermediate and professional rafters alike.

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The Sports Archives – Brief history of the 6 Nations!


The Six Nations is the biggest annual tournament for rugby fans of the nations that take part. Six countries – Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, Italy and France – battle it out to be crowned champion when it is held in the early months of each year.

In 2015, the first match will take place on February 6 and it will end on March 21. Here is a brief history of the tournament along with details about this year’s event.

Development of the Tournament

The Six Nations grew out of an earlier tournament called the Home Nations Championship, which was founded in 1883. Four teams took part in this: Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland.

Nearly two decades later in 1910, it became the Five Nations Championship when France joined in, and this continued right up to 1999, albeit with a short break from 1931 until after World War II.

In 1999, Italy joined the party, and the Six Nations was born.

Ups and Downs of the Teams

The most successful teams over the lifetime of the tournament are Wales and England, which have both won 26 titles.

The least successful team is Italy, which has never won, but it only joined the tournament in 1999. Scotland has won many titles, but it has not won the Six Nations yet.

What makes the tournament really interesting is that there are mini tournaments within the larger event. For example, the home nations have their own mini tournament whereby if one team beats all three other teams, they win the Triple Crown.

France has been the most successful team since the start of the Six Nations. It has won five times, including three Grand Slams. Wales has also won three Grand Slams.

Overall, England has the most Grand Slams since the Home Nations Championship began, winning a total of 12. Wales has won 11, and all the other teams apart from Italy have won at least one Grand Slam.

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The Sports Archives – Will Country Clubs Be Around In 50 Years?

Riviera country club golf courseThe term “country club” can elicit mixed emotions depending on who you are talking to. They are often seen as a privilege of the affluent and closed off to those who don’t meet a certain level of class.

Essentially that is the goal of the country club. They are private clubs with closed memberships often associated with recreational sports, typically golf. The country club usually provides some form of hospitality to its members such as a restaurant or bar. Country clubs usually have a lavishly designed clubhouse that is geared towards the refined tastes of its members.

With all of this exclusivity, can country clubs survive another 50 years? The shrinking middle-class means there are fewer people aspiring to become members and more people despising the notion of an elite club.

To answer the question, we should take a look at the history of country clubs. They were originally founded by upper-class elites between 1880 and 1930. At that time, this meant that the founding members were wealthy caucasian men at a time where racial segregation was the status quo in the United States. After a peak of country clubs hit prior to the Great Depression, when the number of country clubs plummeted as funding went away.

Historically, country clubs have refused to admit racial and religious minorities. While today most of these discriminatory policies are prohibited, there are some that are still legal because of specific circumstances.

So, back the question. Will country clubs be around in 50 years? The short answer is yes.

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The Sports Archives – Champions League Round Of 16 Knockout Phase

It’s that time of the year again when 16 football (soccer) clubs across Europe come together to battle for bragging rights for top club on the European continent.  This year will be just as exciting as previous years with top contender Real Madrid looking to be the first club to win successive tournaments.

The first legs of the Champions League Round of 16 knockout phase begins on February 17, 2015 with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) up against Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk versus Bayern Munich.  The teams will battle each other until the final two standing compete on June 6, 2015 at Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany.

Here are some facts about this year’s Champions League:

  • In order to participate, clubs must comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.
  • This is the first year where a club from Gibraltar, the Lincoln Red Imps, has competed.
  • Ukrainian and Russian clubs will not be drawn against each other due to political conflict as mandated by the UEFA emergency panel.
  • Israeli teams were prohibited hosting any UEFA matches due to the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014.
  • All yellow card bookings expire at completion of the quarter-final round.
  • Vanishing Spray used in the 2014 World Cup for marking 10 yard distances on free kicks will be used in the Champions League.

Presented below for your visual enjoyment is an infographic from, which includes additional facts about the teams in the round of 16!

Champions League 2015 infographic

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