History UsefulNotes / EuroFooty

30th Apr '16 1:21:43 AM KYCubbie
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* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. In fact, as of February 2016, the "Red Devils" are the #1 team in the FIFA World Rankings after having topped their Euro 2016 qualifying group. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Gent (Dutch-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.

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* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. In fact, as of February in early 2016, the "Red Devils" are the briefly reached #1 team in the FIFA World Rankings after having topped their Euro 2016 qualifying group.(now #2 as of May 2016). Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Gent (Dutch-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.
10th Apr '16 4:21:00 PM DarkPhoenix94
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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Sevilla have the most wins, with 4[[note]]All within the last decade.[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool are behind them with 3 each. The current champions are Sevilla.

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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League and those who finished in third place in the group stages of the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Sevilla have the most wins, with 4[[note]]All within the last decade.decade, and three in the last three years.[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool are behind them with 3 each. The current champions are Sevilla.
Sevilla. As of 2015/16, the winner gets a Champions League place if they don't otherwise qualify.



* the '''UEFA Women's Championship''': A quadrennial championship for national teams first held in 1984. So far it has been won eight times by (West) Germany, twice by Norway, and once by Sweden. Germany have won the last six titles.
* the '''UEFA Women's Champions League''': The women's equivalent to the (men's) Champions League. Began as the UEFA Women's Cup in the 200102 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 200910. Originally, the competition was solely for the winners of each country's top women's competition; since the reorganization as the Champions League, the runners-up of the top eight nations in women's football have also competed. Like the men's Champions League, the women's version runs from August to May, and the women's final is held in the same city as the men's final (but in a smaller stadium). Frankfurt, the current champions, have 4 wins, with Lyon, Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg winning twice each.

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* the The '''UEFA Women's Championship''': A quadrennial championship for national teams first held in 1984. So far it has been won eight times by (West) Germany, twice by Norway, and once by Sweden. Germany have won the last six titles.
* the The '''UEFA Women's Champions League''': The women's equivalent to the (men's) Champions League. Began as the UEFA Women's Cup in the 200102 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 200910. Originally, the competition was solely for the winners of each country's top women's competition; since the reorganization as the Champions League, the runners-up of the top eight nations in women's football have also competed. Like the men's Champions League, the women's version runs from August to May, and the women's final is held in the same city as the men's final (but in a smaller stadium). Frankfurt, the current champions, have 4 wins, with Lyon, Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg winning twice each.



* '''Group Phase''': Groups of 4 teams play double round robin. A win counts 3 points, a draw 1.

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* '''Group Phase''': Groups of 4 teams play double round robin. A win counts 3 points, a draw 1. In case of a tie, goal difference and head to head records are taken into account.



* '''Final''': One game which is held on a predetermined location. This is to maintain a neutral atmosphere for the two teams. Seating is guaranteed equally for the fans of the two competing clubs in case that the club owning the stadium reaches the final.

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* '''Final''': One game which is held on at a predetermined location. This is to maintain a neutral atmosphere for the two teams. Seating is guaranteed equally for the fans of the two competing clubs in case that the club owning the stadium reaches the final.



The two giants of Spanish club football are Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the rivalry between whom is intensified by politics: Barcelona is capital of Catalonia, a proudly different region of Spain with its own language and customs, both of which were repressed during the Franco years. Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime... Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''ten'' European Cup/Champions' League wins, five of them in a row in the late 1950s. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country, 1974 and 2014 European runner-up) and Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues).

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The two giants of Spanish club football are Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the rivalry between whom is intensified by politics: politics and what can only be called a centuries old historical vendetta: Barcelona is capital of Catalonia, a proudly different region of Spain with its own language and customs, both of which were repressed during the Franco years.years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point. Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime... Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''ten'' European Cup/Champions' League wins, five of them in a row in the late 1950s. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country, 1974 and 2014 European runner-up) and Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues).



'''England''', also nicknamed ''The Lions'' play in all whites (though traditionally with navy shorts) and have won the FIFAWorldCup once, as hosts, in 1966 in their famous alternate red kit, reached the semi finals in Italy in 1990, and have also reached the semis of the European Championship in 1968 and 1996 (the latter at home).

English club football also has some of the strongest teams on the continent, namely Arsenal and Chelsea (both from London), Manchester United (the first English team to win a European title, in 1968, and having won a record 20 league championships) and Liverpool (who formerly held the record for most titles at 18 and have won the European championship 5 times). Other successful teams include Nottingham Forest (European champions twice, in 1978 and 1979, and currently at the second national championship level), Aston Villa (from Birmingham, won the 1982 European Cup) and Leeds United (runners-up of the 1975 European Cup, currently in the second tier of English football). At a direct counterpoint to the national team's lack of success - and, more usually, [[EpicFail abject failure]] - the domestic league is considered by most to be the best ([[MoneyDearBoy and richest]]) league in the world. It is frequently speculated that these two things are connected.

Speaking of the national team, they are infamous for being perennial underachievers failing to translate success in qualifying and friendlies into tournament success, while trumpeting how good they are. For this reason, the other big teams tend to see them as MilesGloriosus and they usually crash out on penalties in and around the quarter-finals, finally ignominiously exiting the 2014 World Cup [[EpicFail at the bottom of their group]]. Bogey teams include Germany and to a lesser extent, Portugal thanks to the 2000 and 2004 Euros and the 2006 World Cup. Now, not even the tabloids bother tipping them for success at tournaments any more. Instead, the hope is that the inevitable failure won't be ''too'' humiliating. Nevertheless, England consistently produces excellent players and are usually to be found in the top 10 teams in the world, having sufficient firepower to compete with the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain, France and Italy. [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Just don't ask them to do it at a tournament]].

In the women's game, Arsenal (a separate club affiliated with the men's club) have one Women's Champions League title and the women's national team, known as [[DistaffCounterpart ''The Lionesses'']] beat Germany to win the Bronze medal at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

'''The Netherlands''' play in orange shirt and socks and white shorts and are one of the best countries never to have won the FIFAWorldCup - they made it to the final in 1974, 1978, and 2010, losing to the hosts in '74 and '78 (West Germany and Argentina respectively) and to Spain in 2010. In fact only have the 1988 European Championship to show for decades of high-quality football. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with Belgium.

The Dutch league is dominated by three sides - Ajax of Amsterdam (pronounced eye-yaks, not ay-jacks), PSV of Eindhoven and Feyenoord of Rotterdam. Ajax in particular have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe on occasion, particularly in the early 1970s when they won three European Cups on the trot. However, Feyenoord was the last Dutch side that won an European trophy: the UEFA-cup in 2002.

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'''England''', also nicknamed ''The Lions'' Lions'', play in all whites (though traditionally with navy shorts) and have won the FIFAWorldCup once, as hosts, in 1966 in their famous alternate red kit, kit (which they consequently tend to wear on special occasions), reached the semi finals in Italy in 1990, and have also reached the semis of the European Championship in 1968 and 1996 (the latter at home).

English club football also has some of the strongest teams on the continent, namely Arsenal and Chelsea (both from London), Manchester United (the first English team to win a European title, in 1968, and having won a record 20 league championships) and Liverpool (who formerly held the record for most titles at 18 and have won the European championship 5 times, as well as the Europa League - formerly the UEFA Cup - another 3 times). Other successful teams include Nottingham Forest (European champions twice, in 1978 and 1979, and currently at the second national championship level), Aston Villa (from Birmingham, won the 1982 European Cup) and Leeds United (runners-up of the 1975 European Cup, Cup and semi-finalists of the 2000-2001 Champions League, currently in the second tier of English football). At a direct counterpoint to the national team's lack of success - and, more usually, [[EpicFail abject failure]] - the domestic league is considered by most to be the best ([[MoneyDearBoy and richest]]) league in the world.world (though Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga are challenging that crown). It is frequently speculated that these two things are connected.

Speaking of the national team, they are infamous for being perennial underachievers failing to translate success in qualifying and friendlies into tournament success, while trumpeting how good they are. For this reason, the other big teams tend to see them as MilesGloriosus and they usually crash out on penalties in and around the quarter-finals, finally ignominiously exiting the 2014 World Cup [[EpicFail at the bottom of their group]]. Bogey teams include Germany and to a lesser extent, Portugal thanks to the 2000 and 2004 Euros and the 2006 World Cup. Now, not even the tabloids bother tipping them for success at tournaments any more. Instead, the hope is that the inevitable failure won't be ''too'' humiliating. Nevertheless, England consistently produces excellent players and are usually to be found in the top 10 teams in the world, having sufficient firepower to compete with the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Italy. [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Just don't ask them to do it at a tournament]].

tournament]]. As of 2016, the attitude is one of cautious optimism thanks to a crop of highly talented young players who defy the English norm of a) not playing as a team, b) collapsing like wet paper after going behind, which executed a faultless qualifying campaign (they won all ten of their matches, conceding only three goals) to become the first team to qualify after the hosts France and beating both France and Germany, the current World Champions, in friendlies. In the former case, it was just after the Bataclan Attacks, so French minds were elsewhere. In the latter case, England came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in Berlin and did so in style.

In the women's game, Arsenal (a separate club affiliated with the men's club) have one Women's Champions League title and the women's national team, known as [[DistaffCounterpart ''The Lionesses'']] beat Germany to win the Bronze medal at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

Cup, after missing out on a place in the final when one of the defenders was forced to intercept a dangerous cross and knocked it into her own net. If nothing else, this proved that they are very definitely [[ButtMonkey an England team.]] However, their [[{{Determinator}} determination]], willingness to play their hearts out and obvious desire to win won them a lot of fans, if only because the contrast with the chronically underachieving men's team, which has frequently and justly been accused of laziness and apathy.

'''The Netherlands''' play in orange shirt and socks and white shorts and are one of the best countries never to have won the FIFAWorldCup - they made it to the final in 1974, 1978, and 2010, losing to the hosts in '74 and '78 (West Germany and Argentina respectively) and to Spain in 2010. In fact fact, they only have the 1988 European Championship to show for decades of high-quality football. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with Belgium.

The Dutch league is dominated by three sides - Ajax of Amsterdam (pronounced eye-yaks, not ay-jacks), PSV of Eindhoven and Feyenoord of Rotterdam. Ajax in particular have also been one of the strongest teams in Europe on occasion, particularly in the early 1970s when they won three European Cups on the trot.trot, and are renowned for producing extraordinarily good players, including the late, great Johan Cruyff, the crux of the all-conquering Total Football Dutch side of the 70's and inventor of the Cruyff turn, a deceptively difficult piece of skill which, when properly executed, leaves defenders on their arses. However, Feyenoord was the last Dutch side that won an European trophy: the UEFA-cup in 2002.



'''Germany''' play in white shirt (sometimes with highlights in the flag's black/red/gold colors) and socks and black shorts, and the current national team is regarded as the continuation of the old West German team which won three [[FIFAWorldCup World Cups]] (in 1954, 1974 and 1990). In 2014 they won their fourth overall World Cup title and their first as a unified nation. If Italy is the most successful World cup team in terms of victories, Germany beats them statistically by a longshot, thanks to their [[GermanicEfficiency consistency]]: out of their 18 appearances, they reached the final 8 times, and were semifinalists 6 other times. Germany have a reputation for being a tough team to beat, even when they're having an off-day, and are a particular bogey team for England. It is perhaps for this reason that it was an English footballer (specifically, Gary Lineker), who remarked that "Football is a simple game. Twenty two men chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end, the Germans win." Have a strong rivalry with the Dutch based [[strike:partly on WorldWarTwo history and partly]] on the German win over the Dutch in 1974. Their own bogey team is Italy, with Germany never having won a competitive match against the Italian side.

German club football is dominated by Bayern Munich, though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as Borussia Dortmund, UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV, [=VfB=] Stuttgart, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg. West Germany had no national league until 1963, a legacy of German soccer being organized in regional federations that went back to Imperial Germany. Bayern Munich won three European Cups in the mid-1970s, one in 2001, and the Champions League in 2013, and Dortmund and Hamburg have each won the top European title once, but other than that German clubs have been relatively lacklustre in that competition (the best performances by any other teams were runner-ups by Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1977 against Liverpool, Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 against Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund in 2013 against Bayern). Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern München, and FC Schalke 04 have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup. 1. FC Magdeburg is the only club of the former GDR league to have won a European competition, the Cup Winners' Cup in 1974, the annus mirabilis of East German football.

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'''Germany''' play in white shirt shirts (sometimes with highlights in the flag's black/red/gold colors) and socks and black shorts, and the current national team is regarded as the continuation of the old West German team which won three [[FIFAWorldCup World Cups]] (in 1954, 1974 and 1990). In 2014 they won their fourth overall World Cup title and their first as a unified nation. If Italy is the most successful World cup team in terms of victories, Germany beats them statistically by a longshot, thanks to their [[GermanicEfficiency consistency]]: out of their 18 appearances, they reached the final 8 times, and were semifinalists 6 other times. Germany have a reputation for being a tough team to beat, even when they're having an off-day, and are a particular bogey team for England. It is perhaps for this reason that it was an English footballer (specifically, Gary Lineker), who remarked that "Football is a simple game. Twenty two men chase a ball for ninety minutes and at the end, the Germans win." Have a strong rivalry with the Dutch based [[strike:partly on WorldWarTwo history and partly]] on the German win over the Dutch in 1974. Their own bogey team is Italy, with Germany never having won a competitive match against the Italian side.

German club football is dominated by [[TheAce Bayern Munich, Munich]], though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as [[EnsembleDarkhorse Borussia Dortmund, Dortmund]], UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV, [=VfB=] Stuttgart, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg. West Germany had no national league until 1963, a legacy of German soccer being organized in regional federations that went back to Imperial Germany. Bayern Munich won three European Cups in the mid-1970s, one in 2001, and the Champions League in 2013, and Dortmund and Hamburg have each won the top European title once, but other than that German clubs have been relatively lacklustre in that competition (the best performances by any other teams were runner-ups by Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1977 against Liverpool, Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 against Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund in 2013 against Bayern). Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern München, and FC Schalke 04 have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup. 1. FC Magdeburg is the only club of the former GDR league to have won a European competition, the Cup Winners' Cup in 1974, the annus mirabilis of East German football.



* '''Scotland''': navy shirt and socks and white shorts. Despite their tradition (played the first international match ever, a 0-0 draw with England in 1872), they are always unlucky in international competitions (they never went past stage one of each World Cup final they were in). Main clubs: Celtic (European Cup champions in 1967 and runners-up in 1970) and Rangers (53 league victories against 45 from their rivals), both from Glasgow - and with a very well-documented rivalry, on and off the pitch (Celtic's supporters are Catholic, and Rangers fans are Protestants, echoing religious-based struggles like the one in which the Irelands are involved). With the Rangers' insolvency in 2011, followed by a rebranding that placed them in the fourth tier of the Scottish league (followed by two consecutive promotions), Celtic became (temporarily at least) the sole dominant team of the Highlands.
* '''Serbia''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. While relatively new to the game, they are the direct successors of the Yugoslav legacy, which includes the 1960 Olympic gold, two second places at the European Championship (1960 and 1968) and the 1991 European Cup won by FK Red Star ([[BilingualBonus or Crvena Zvezda, if you're a native Serbian speaker]]). Aside from the aforementioned Red Star, its other main club is Partizan, from Belgrade like RS, and which lost the 1966 European Cup to Real Madrid.

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* '''Scotland''': navy shirt and socks and white shorts. Despite their tradition (played the first international match ever, a 0-0 draw with England in 1872), they are always unlucky in international competitions (they never went past stage one of each World Cup final they were in). Main clubs: Celtic (European Cup champions in 1967 and runners-up in 1970) and Rangers (53 league victories against 45 from their rivals), both from Glasgow - and with a very well-documented rivalry, on and off the pitch (Celtic's supporters are Catholic, and Rangers fans are Protestants, echoing religious-based struggles like the one in which the two Irelands are involved). With the Rangers' insolvency in 2011, followed by a rebranding that placed them in the fourth tier of the Scottish league (followed by two consecutive promotions), promotions and, as of 2015/16, a third back to the Scottish Premiership), Celtic became (temporarily at least) the sole dominant team of the Highlands.
* '''Serbia''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. While relatively new to the game, they are the direct successors of the Yugoslav legacy, which includes the 1960 Olympic gold, two second places at the European Championship (1960 and 1968) and the 1991 European Cup won by FK Red Star Belgrade ([[BilingualBonus or Crvena Zvezda, if you're a native Serbian speaker]]). Aside from the aforementioned Red Star, its other main club is Partizan, from Belgrade like RS, and which lost the 1966 European Cup to Real Madrid.



* '''Wales''': red shirt with green stripes on the shoulder, red shorts and socks. Historically something of a joke and possibly the weakest of the so-called 'Home Nations', partly because the near religious reverence that the Welsh have historically held for rugby. Despite this, Wales has produced a number of great players, such as legendary Liverpool striker Ian Rush, Everton goalkeeper Ian Southall and Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs. They were ranked 117th in 2011, they have progressively risen improved, only stalling because of the tragic suicide of their relatively young manager, Gary Speed. The emergence of fearsomely talented players such as Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and to a lesser extent, Joe Allen combined with Wales' strong team ethos has led to a meteoric rise up the rankings, breaking into the top 10 in July 2015 for the first time in their history thanks to being unbeaten Euro 2016 qualifying, including a win over the highly rated and then World #2 team, Belgium. While Wales has its own league, the two best teams, Swansea and Cardiff, play in the English leagues, Swansea establishing themselves in the Premier League as an upper mid table side and winning the League Cup in 2013. Cardiff, by contrast, were promoted, then relegated the following year.

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* '''Wales''': red shirt with green stripes on the shoulder, red shorts and socks. Historically something of a joke and possibly the weakest of the so-called 'Home Nations', partly because the near religious reverence that the Welsh have historically held for rugby. Despite this, Wales has produced a number of great players, such as legendary Liverpool striker and all time top scorer Ian Rush, Everton goalkeeper Ian Southall and Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs. They were ranked 117th in 2011, they have progressively risen improved, only stalling because of the tragic suicide of their relatively young manager, Gary Speed. The emergence of fearsomely talented players such as Real Madrid winger (and most expensive player in history) Gareth Bale, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey and to a lesser extent, Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen combined with Wales' strong team ethos has led to a meteoric rise up the rankings, breaking into the top 10 in July 2015 for the first time in their history thanks to being unbeaten Euro 2016 qualifying, including a win over the highly rated and then World #2 team, Belgium. While Wales has its own league, the two best teams, Swansea and Cardiff, play in the English leagues, Swansea establishing themselves in the Premier League as an upper mid table side and winning the League Cup in 2013. Cardiff, by contrast, were promoted, then relegated the following year.
24th Feb '16 9:47:46 PM KYCubbie
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* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Gent (Dutch-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.

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* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. In fact, as of February 2016, the "Red Devils" are the #1 team in the FIFA World Rankings after having topped their Euro 2016 qualifying group. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Gent (Dutch-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.
12th Nov '15 4:09:34 AM Zottoman
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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Sevilla have the most wins, with 4[[note]]All within the last decade.[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool are behind them 3 each. The current champions are Sevilla.

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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Sevilla have the most wins, with 4[[note]]All within the last decade.[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool are behind them with 3 each. The current champions are Sevilla.
12th Nov '15 4:08:55 AM Zottoman
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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool have the most wins, three each. The current champions are Sevilla.

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* The '''UEFA Europa League''': a secondary competition for those European clubs not quite good enough for the Champions League; it was formerly called the UEFA Cup. Sevilla have the most wins, with 4[[note]]All within the last decade.[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale and Liverpool have the most wins, three are behind them 3 each. The current champions are Sevilla.
31st Aug '15 10:41:42 PM KYCubbie
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The top-ranked leagues are the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, the French Ligue 1, Portuguese Liga, Russian Premier League, Ukrainian Premier League, Dutch Eredivisie, Romanian Liga I and the Turkish Süper Lig.

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The top-ranked leagues leagues, as of the 201516 season, are (in order) Spain's La Liga, Germany's Bundesliga, the English Premier League, the Spanish La Liga, the German Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Portugal's Primeira Liga, the French Ligue 1, Portuguese Liga, the Russian Premier League, the Ukrainian Premier League, the Belgian Pro League, the Dutch Eredivisie, Romanian Liga I and the Turkish Süper Lig.



The German women's national team won the World Cup twice, in 2003 and 2007, and the European championship eight times (including the last six in a row). The country has also been highly successful at the women's club level, winning the Women's Champions League eight times (three times by Frankfurt, twice each by Turbine Potsdam and Wolfsburg, and once by Duisburg).

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The German women's national team won the World Cup twice, in 2003 and 2007, and the European championship eight times (including the last six in a row). The country has also been highly successful at the women's club level, winning the Women's Champions League eight nine times (three (four times by Frankfurt, twice each by Turbine Potsdam and Wolfsburg, and once by Duisburg).



* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Standard Liège (French-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.
* '''Bulgaria''': white shirt and socks and green shorts. While not much of a contender, they managed to assemble a spectacular team which reached the 1994 World Cup semifinals, spearheaded by Hristo Stoichkov, one of the best Eastern European footballers of all time. Main clubs: CSKA Sofia (31 league victories, and revealed Stoichkov) and Levski Sofia (CSKA's main rivals, with five league trophies behind them).

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* '''Belgium''' play in red shirt, black shorts and yellow socks and, despite never really challenging for honours, have usually produced a much better team than you might expect of a small nation deeply divided along linguistic grounds. Co-hosted the 2000 European Championship with the Netherlands. Belgian club football is dominated by Anderlecht of Brussels and Club Brugge of Bruges, though the current champions are Standard Liège (French-speaking).Gent (Dutch-speaking). Club Brugge did make it to the European Cup final in 1978, the furthest a Belgian team has gone in that competition.
* '''Bulgaria''': white shirt and socks and green shorts. While not much of a contender, they managed to assemble a spectacular team which reached the 1994 World Cup semifinals, spearheaded by Hristo Stoichkov, one of the best Eastern European footballers of all time. Main clubs: CSKA Sofia (31 league victories, and revealed Stoichkov) and Stoichkov), Levski Sofia (CSKA's main rivals, with five league trophies behind them).them), and Ludogorets Razgrad (winners of the last four titles).



* '''Hungary''': red shirt, white shorts and green socks. Now they pose not much of a threat, but back in the 1950s the "Mighty Magyars" were a fearful force to be reckoned with, having in their ranks legends like Ferenc Puskas and Sandor Kocsis. Everything came crashing down with the loss at the 1954 World Cup final and the suppression of the 1956 rebellion, and now their legacy consists of three Olympic gold medals (1952, 1964 and 1968) and another World Cup second place (in 1938). Main clubs: Ferencvaros (28 national league victories, and just recovering from a second-flight spell) and Kispest Honved (whose 1950s team was practically synonymous with the Magical Magyars).
* '''Ireland''': green shirt and socks and white shorts. Perhaps the ''least'' football mad nation in Europe, at least when it comes to local clubs, with attendance figures for League of Ireland matches being far below those for Gaelic Football and Hurling (though it must be said the British clubs have a lot of fans and when the national team is playing interest increases dramatically.) While its clubs are not continental-level contenders, the national team has achieved some degree of success, qualifying to three World Cups and overcoming first stage in all three.

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* '''Hungary''': red shirt, white shorts and green socks. Now they pose not much of a threat, but back in the 1950s the "Mighty Magyars" were a fearful force to be reckoned with, having in their ranks legends like Ferenc Puskas Puskás and Sandor Kocsis. Everything came crashing down with the loss at the 1954 World Cup final and the suppression of the 1956 rebellion, and now their legacy consists of three Olympic gold medals (1952, 1964 and 1968) and another World Cup second place (in 1938). Main clubs: Ferencvaros Ferencváros (28 national league victories, and just recovering from a second-flight spell) and Kispest Honved Honvéd (whose 1950s team was practically synonymous with the Magical Magyars).
* '''Ireland''': green shirt and socks and white shorts. Perhaps the ''least'' football mad nation in Europe, at least when it comes to local clubs, with attendance figures for League of Ireland matches being far below those for Gaelic Football and Hurling (though it must be said the British clubs have a lot of fans and when the national team is playing interest increases dramatically.) While its clubs are not continental-level contenders, the national team has achieved some degree of success, qualifying to for three World Cups and overcoming advancing from the first stage in all three.



* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisla Krakow (with seven national titles in the last twelve seasons), Legia Warszawa and Lech Poznań (last won the league in 2010, but still the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances). Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.
* '''Romania''': plays in all yellows. Like Bulgaria, they left quite a mark in world football in the 1990s, thanks to their ace Gheorghe Hagi. Main teams: Steaua Bucharest (1986 European winners, and runners-up in 1989 - in both occasions helmed by Hagi too - and greatest national winners with 23 leagues) and CFR Cluj (an uprising team which won [[TwoOutOfThreeAintBad two of the three latest league championships]]).
* '''Russia''': white shirt and shorts and blue socks. Like the Czechs, their prime in football was under the Soviet red flag, with which they won the first European Championship in 1960, plus two Olympic gold medals (1956 and 1988). Main clubs: Spartak Moscow (nine league titles), Dynamo Moscow (for which Lev Yashin, arguably the greatest goalkeeper in the game, played his entire career), Zenit St. Petersburg (who won the 2008 UEFA Cup after upsetting Bayern Munich in the semifinals), Rubin Kazan, and CSKA Moskva.

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* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisla Krakow (with seven national titles in the last twelve seasons), Legia Warszawa and Lech Poznań (last won the league (the most recent champions in 2010, but still 2015, and the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances). Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.
* '''Romania''': plays in all yellows. Like Bulgaria, they left quite a mark in world football in the 1990s, thanks to their ace Gheorghe Hagi. Main teams: Steaua Bucharest (1986 European winners, and runners-up in 1989 - in both occasions helmed by Hagi too - and greatest national winners with 23 leagues) 26 titles, including the last three in a row) and CFR Cluj (an uprising team which won [[TwoOutOfThreeAintBad two of the its three latest league championships]]).
titles in even-numbered years from 2008 to 2012).
* '''Russia''': white shirt and shorts and blue socks. Like the Czechs, their prime in football was under the Soviet red flag, with which they won the first European Championship in 1960, plus two Olympic gold medals (1956 and 1988). Main clubs: Spartak Moscow (nine league titles), Dynamo Moscow (for which Lev Yashin, arguably the greatest goalkeeper in the game, played his entire career), Zenit St. Petersburg (who won the 2008 UEFA Cup after upsetting Bayern Munich in the semifinals), Rubin Kazan, and CSKA Moskva.Moscow.



* '''Switzerland''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Hosted the 1954 World Cup and Euro 2008, the latter along with Austria. Have a tradition of playing defensive, earning them the World Cup record of time without conceding a goal (559 minutes between 2006 and 2010). Main clubs: FC Basel (who won five of the latest ten national league trophies), FC Zürich (who won three of the latest five) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories).

to:

* '''Switzerland''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Hosted the 1954 World Cup and Euro 2008, the latter along with Austria. Have a tradition of playing defensive, earning them the World Cup record of time without conceding a goal (559 minutes between 2006 and 2010). Main clubs: FC Basel (who won five (current champions, and winners of nine of the latest ten national league trophies), 12 titles since the current Super League was established in 200304), FC Zürich (who won three (the winner of the latest five) other three titles in the Super League era) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories).
31st Aug '15 10:27:17 PM KYCubbie
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* The '''UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague''': a competition for the top European clubs; which is neither a league, nor is it (since 1997) for national champions only. The tournament runs from August to May. Real Madrid have 10 wins; AC Milan 7; Liverpool and Bayern Munich 5 each; FC Barcelona and Ajax 4 each. The current champions are FC Barcelona.

to:

* The '''UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague''': a competition for the top European clubs; which is neither a league, nor is it (since 1997) for national champions only. The tournament runs from August to May. Real Madrid have 10 wins; AC Milan 7; FC Barcelona (aka "Barça"), Liverpool and Bayern Munich 5 each; FC Barcelona and Ajax 4 each. 4. The current champions are FC Barcelona.Barça.
31st Aug '15 10:26:16 PM KYCubbie
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* The '''UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague''': a competition for the top European clubs; which is neither a league, nor is it (since 1997) for national champions only. The tournament runs from August to May. Real Madrid have 10 wins; AC Milan 7; Liverpool and Bayern Munich 5 each; FC Barcelona and Ajax 4 each. The current champions are Real Madrid.

to:

* The '''UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague''': a competition for the top European clubs; which is neither a league, nor is it (since 1997) for national champions only. The tournament runs from August to May. Real Madrid have 10 wins; AC Milan 7; Liverpool and Bayern Munich 5 each; FC Barcelona and Ajax 4 each. The current champions are Real Madrid.FC Barcelona.



* the '''UEFA Women's Champions League''': The women's equivalent to the (men's) Champions League. Began as the UEFA Women's Cup in the 200102 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 200910. Originally, the competition was solely for the winners of each country's top women's competition; since the reorganization as the Champions League, the runners-up of the top eight nations in women's football have also competed. Like the men's Champions League, the women's version runs from August to May, and the women's final is held in the same city as the men's final (but in a smaller stadium). Frankfurt have 3 wins, with Lyon, Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg winning twice each. Wolfsburg have won the last two titles.

to:

* the '''UEFA Women's Champions League''': The women's equivalent to the (men's) Champions League. Began as the UEFA Women's Cup in the 200102 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 200910. Originally, the competition was solely for the winners of each country's top women's competition; since the reorganization as the Champions League, the runners-up of the top eight nations in women's football have also competed. Like the men's Champions League, the women's version runs from August to May, and the women's final is held in the same city as the men's final (but in a smaller stadium). Frankfurt Frankfurt, the current champions, have 3 4 wins, with Lyon, Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg winning twice each. Wolfsburg have won the last two titles.
each.
27th Aug '15 8:53:46 AM Zottoman
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* '''Switzerland''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Hosted the 1954 World Cup and Euro 2008, the latter along with Austria. Have a tradition of playing defensive, earning them the World Cup record of time without conceding a goal (559 minutes between 2006 and 2010). Main clubs: FC Basel (who won five of the latest ten national league trophies), FC Zürich (who won three of the latest five) and Grasshopper (also from Zurich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories).

to:

* '''Switzerland''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Hosted the 1954 World Cup and Euro 2008, the latter along with Austria. Have a tradition of playing defensive, earning them the World Cup record of time without conceding a goal (559 minutes between 2006 and 2010). Main clubs: FC Basel (who won five of the latest ten national league trophies), FC Zürich (who won three of the latest five) and Grasshopper (also from Zurich, Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories).
27th Aug '15 8:52:10 AM Zottoman
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* '''Turkey''': white shirt with a red horizontal band and white shorts and socks. Showed the world what they are capable of by clinching the 2002 World Cup third place, but have since faded dramatically. Its main teams are all from Istanbul: Galatasaray (who beat Arsenal to the 2000 UEFA Cup win), Fenerbahce and Besiktas. That Bursaspor won the 2010 national championship was a major upset made them only the second non-Istanbul club to do so; the other was six-times champion Trabzonspor.

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* '''Turkey''': white shirt with a red horizontal band and white shorts and socks. Showed the world what they are capable of by clinching the 2002 World Cup third place, but have since faded dramatically. Its main teams are all from Istanbul: Galatasaray (who beat Arsenal to the 2000 UEFA Cup win), Fenerbahce Fenerbahçe and Besiktas.Beşiktaş. That Bursaspor won the 2010 national championship was a major upset made them only the second non-Istanbul club to do so; the other was six-times champion Trabzonspor.
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