Follow TV Tropes

Following

History UsefulNotes / EuroFooty

Go To



English club football, however, has some of the strongest teams on the continent: 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, have won the European Championship/Champions League 6 times, most recently in 2019, as well as the Europa League/UEFA Cup another 3 times). The less storied but currently successful Manchester City are also being considered a serious threat, despite having so far failed to make a serious impression in Europe, and frequent pretenders Tottenham Hotspur are getting into the mix, having, on prior occasion, gone toe to toe with some of the continent's best teams and done respectably - most recently, emerging at the top of the traditional 'Group of Death' in the Champions League, including them, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund, thrashing Madrid 3-1 at Wembley in the process (Real hadn't been beaten in the group stages in five years). They even reached the 2019 Champions League final, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool, who themselves had lost the previous year's final and felt they had a point to prove.


to:

English club football, however, has some of the strongest teams on the continent: 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, 18 - and now have 19 - have won the European Championship/Champions League 6 times, most recently in 2019, as well as the Europa League/UEFA Cup another 3 times). The less storied but currently successful Manchester City are also being considered a serious threat, despite having so far failed to make a serious impression in Europe, and frequent pretenders Tottenham Hotspur are getting into the mix, having, on prior occasion, gone toe to toe with some of the continent's best teams and done respectably - most recently, emerging at the top of the traditional 'Group of Death' in the Champions League, including them, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund, thrashing Madrid 3-1 at Wembley in the process (Real hadn't been beaten in the group stages in five years). They even reached the 2019 Champions League final, but lost 2-0 to Liverpool, who themselves had lost the previous year's final and felt they had a point to prove.




The reigning league champions are Liverpool, who waltzed to the 2019–20 title, clinching the crown with a league record 7 matches to spare and barely missing out on Manchester City's record point total from the season before. Speaking of which, City was pushed by Liverpool at every step in ''that'' season, with the two leap-frogging each other after every match; the title came down to the final matchday and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind. This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.


At a direct counterpoint to the national team's somewhat puzzling lack of success - and, until the 2018 World Cup, [[EpicFail abject failure]] - the domestic league is considered by most to be the best ([[MoneyDearBoy and richest]]) league in the world (though Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga are challenging that crown). Following a fallow few years in Europe, 'best' is usually amended to 'most competitive', with up to ''six'' teams, the so-called 'Big Six', seriously vying for the title, and in the process, the top 4 places, earning qualification to the Champions League. It is frequently speculated that these two things are connected. However, following 2018/19, where Manchester City and Liverpool engaged in a battle for the title that came down to a single point on the final day, while their nearest rivals were a further 25 points behind, it's been argued that 'the Big Six' are now becoming 'the Big Two and those Not Quite As Big Four'.

to:

The reigning league champions are Liverpool, who waltzed to the 2019–20 title, clinching the crown with a league record 7 matches to spare and barely getting 99 points, missing out on Manchester City's record point total from 17-18 by only 1 point - and that despite finishing the season before.in cruise control). Speaking of which, City was pushed by Liverpool at every step in ''that'' season, with the two leap-frogging each other after every match; the title came down to the final matchday and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind. This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.


At a direct counterpoint to the national team's somewhat puzzling lack of success - and, until the 2018 World Cup, [[EpicFail abject failure]] - the domestic league is considered by most to be the best ([[MoneyDearBoy and richest]]) league in the world (though Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga are challenging that crown). Following a fallow few years in Europe, 'best' is usually amended to 'most competitive', with up to ''six'' teams, the so-called 'Big Six', seriously vying for the title, and in the process, the top 4 places, earning qualification to the Champions League. It is frequently speculated that these two things are connected. However, following 2018/19, where Manchester City and Liverpool engaged in a battle for the title that came down to a single point on the final day, while their nearest rivals were a further 25 points behind, it's been argued that 'the Big Six' are now becoming 'the Big Two and those the Not Quite As Big Four'.



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 going into the 2018 World Cup was that the inevitable failure won't be ''too'' humiliating and that reaching the Quarter-Finals, once a mark of failure, would now be considered a respectable achievement. A new look England squad (admittedly one perhaps helped by having the good fortune to land in the relatively easy side of the draw) promptly cruised to the semi-finals, breaking the infamous 'penalty curse' on the way.


to:

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 going into the 2018 World Cup was that the inevitable failure won't be ''too'' humiliating and that reaching the Quarter-Finals, once a mark of failure, would now be considered a respectable achievement. A new look England squad (admittedly one perhaps helped by having the good fortune to land in the relatively easy side of the draw) promptly cruised to the semi-finals, breaking the infamous 'penalty curse' on the way.

way in a bad-tempered match against Colombia.



* Starting in 2021–22, a third level, the '''UEFA Europa Conference League''', will be introduced. This competition is intended specifically to give teams from lower-ranking federations a better chance to compete for a trophy, although all UEFA federations will be eligible to enter at least one side. The UECL champion will automatically enter the following season's Europa League group stage.

to:

* Starting in 2021–22, a third level, the '''UEFA Europa Conference League''', will be introduced. This competition is intended specifically to give teams from lower-ranking federations associations a better chance to compete for a trophy, although all UEFA federations will be eligible to enter at least one side. The UECL champion will automatically enter the following season's Europa League group stage.
stage. That said, the new competition [[https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-uefa/story/3951212/uefa-europa-conference-league-all-you-need-to-know has received a lukewarm reaction]] from several of the associations it was ostensibly designed to benefit; under the new format, all associations below the top 15 in the UEFA rankings will be completely locked out of the Europa League (unless they drop into it from Champions League qualifying). Three teams that advanced from EL qualifying to the group stage in 2019–20[[note]]specifically Malmö, Partizan Belgrade, and Rangers[[/note]] are from countries that will not be able to send any teams to the EL in 2021–22.


For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March, with some round of 16 ties completed but others having only completed their first legs. It resumed after nearly 5 months with the remaining second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches were played as one-off matches.

to:

For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was Both the CL and EL were halted in mid-March, with mid-March; some of the CL round of 16 ties completed had been completed, but others having only completed their first legs. It none of the corresponding ties in the EL were complete, and two in the EL had yet to start. Both competitions resumed after nearly 5 months with the in August. The CL played its remaining second legs. legs, as did the EL; however, the two EL ties that had yet to start were converted to one-off fixtures, and also moved to Germany (where the rest of that tournament would be played). UEFA then moved the CL final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving and the 2021 final) and EL final from Gdańsk to Cologne (both cities that lost 2020 finals got them for 2021). For the CL, UEFA created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. tournament; the EL was moved to Germany, with matches played under "bubble"-style conditions around the country. All remaining knockout matches in both competitions were played as one-off matches.


* Starting in 2021–22, a third level, the '''UEFA Europa Conference League''', will be introduced. This competition is intended specifically to give teams from lower-ranking federations a better chance to compete for a trophy, although all UEFA federations will be eligible to enter at least one side.

to:

* Starting in 2021–22, a third level, the '''UEFA Europa Conference League''', will be introduced. This competition is intended specifically to give teams from lower-ranking federations a better chance to compete for a trophy, although all UEFA federations will be eligible to enter at least one side.
side. The UECL champion will automatically enter the following season's Europa League group stage.


55 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League.[[note]]Liechtenstein does not have enough teams to organize a fully domestic league; its seven sides all play in the Swiss league system and are ineligible to enter European competitions by that route. Liechtenstein currently sends its cup winner to the Europa League; cup winners from the 2020–21 season forward will instead go to the Conference League.[[/note]] The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter (at least for now). The establishment of the Conference League will bleed off many teams that formerly entered the Europa League; no association will be able to enter more sides in European competition than its (current) ranking would have allowed prior to the 2021–22 season.[[labelnote:*]]I.e., the 4 top-ranked associations will only be able to send 6 teams to European competition in both 2020–21 and 2021–22, although a country may gain or lose total European spots depending on where it ranks in the relevant seasons.[[/labelnote]]

to:

55 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League.[[note]]Liechtenstein does not have enough teams to organize a fully domestic league; its seven sides all play in the Swiss league system and are ineligible to enter European competitions by that route. Liechtenstein currently sends its cup winner to the Europa League; cup winners from the 2020–21 season forward will instead go to the Conference League.[[/note]] The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter (at least (though this will only partially be the case for now). the future Conference League).

The establishment of the Conference League will bleed off many teams that formerly entered the Europa League; no association will be able to enter more sides in European competition than its (current) ranking would have allowed prior to the 2021–22 season.[[labelnote:*]]I.e., the 4 top-ranked associations will only be able to send 6 teams to European competition in both 2020–21 and 2021–22, although a country may gain or lose total European spots depending on where it ranks in the relevant seasons.[[/labelnote]]
[[/labelnote]] The top five leagues in UEFA rankings will only get to send one team to the Conference League, while those ranked 6–15 and 51–55 get two and leagues ranked 16–50 get three.


53 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League.[[note]]Liechtenstein does not have enough teams to organize a fully domestic league; its seven sides all play in the Swiss league system and are ineligible to enter European competitions through that route. Liechtenstein currently sends its cup winner to the Europa League; cup winners from the 2020–21 season forward will instead go to the Conference League.[[/note]] The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter. Both competitions are divided into three phases:

to:

53 55 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League.[[note]]Liechtenstein does not have enough teams to organize a fully domestic league; its seven sides all play in the Swiss league system and are ineligible to enter European competitions through by that route. Liechtenstein currently sends its cup winner to the Europa League; cup winners from the 2020–21 season forward will instead go to the Conference League.[[/note]] The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter. enter (at least for now). The establishment of the Conference League will bleed off many teams that formerly entered the Europa League; no association will be able to enter more sides in European competition than its (current) ranking would have allowed prior to the 2021–22 season.[[labelnote:*]]I.e., the 4 top-ranked associations will only be able to send 6 teams to European competition in both 2020–21 and 2021–22, although a country may gain or lose total European spots depending on where it ranks in the relevant seasons.[[/labelnote]]

Both competitions current competitions, as well as the upcoming Conference League, are divided into three phases:



*** Starting in 2021–22, the group stage will be reduced to 32 teams in 8 groups. The lineup will consist of 10 Champions League playoff losers, 10 Europa League playoff winners, and 11 teams (12 in 2021–22) from higher-ranking federations that qualify through league play or domestic cups. From the 2022–23 tournament forward, the reigning Conference League champion enters here.

to:

*** Starting in 2021–22, the EL group stage will be reduced to 32 teams in 8 groups. The lineup will consist of 10 Champions League playoff losers, 10 Europa League playoff winners, and 11 teams (12 in 2021–22) from higher-ranking federations that qualify through league play or domestic cups. From the 2022–23 tournament forward, the reigning Conference League champion enters here.



** Starting in 2021–22, the third-placed teams of the CL groups enter a new "preliminary knockout round", where they face the second-place teams from the EL group stage. The winners of this round join the 8 EL group winners in that competition's knockout phase proper.
** The Conference League will also have a preliminary knockout round, featuring the 8 group runners-up and the 8 third-place teams from the Europa League group stage. The winners here join the 8 UECL group winners for the knockout round proper.

to:

** Starting in 2021–22, the third-placed teams of the CL groups enter a new "preliminary knockout round", where they face the second-place second-placed teams from the EL group stage. The winners of this round join the 8 EL group winners in that competition's knockout phase proper.
** The Conference League will also have a preliminary knockout round, featuring the 8 group runners-up and the 8 third-place teams from the Europa League group stage. The winners here join the 8 UECL group winners for the knockout round phase proper.


*** Starting in 2021–22, the group stage will be reduced to 32 teams in 8 groups. The lineup will consist of 10 Champions League playoff losers, 10 Europa League playoff winners, and 11 teams (12 in 2021–22) from higher-ranking that qualify through league play or domestic cups. From the 2022–23 tournament forward, the reigning Conference League champion enters here.

to:

*** Starting in 2021–22, the group stage will be reduced to 32 teams in 8 groups. The lineup will consist of 10 Champions League playoff losers, 10 Europa League playoff winners, and 11 teams (12 in 2021–22) from higher-ranking federations that qualify through league play or domestic cups. From the 2022–23 tournament forward, the reigning Conference League champion enters here.



to:

* Starting in 2021–22, a third level, the '''UEFA Europa Conference League''', will be introduced. This competition is intended specifically to give teams from lower-ranking federations a better chance to compete for a trophy, although all UEFA federations will be eligible to enter at least one side.



53 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League. The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter. Both competitions are divided into three phases:
* '''Qualification''': Three qualification rounds, then a playoff round. Each round is home/away with the aggregate score of the two legs deciding who qualifies. In case of a tie, the away goals rule is implemented. If it is still a tie, it will proceed to the standard extra time game and penalty shootout.
* '''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.

to:

53 domestic leagues send teams to the (men's) Champions League and Europa League. [[note]]Liechtenstein does not have enough teams to organize a fully domestic league; its seven sides all play in the Swiss league system and are ineligible to enter European competitions through that route. Liechtenstein currently sends its cup winner to the Europa League; cup winners from the 2020–21 season forward will instead go to the Conference League.[[/note]] The better a league is, the more teams qualify and the later in the competition they enter. Both competitions are divided into three phases:
* '''Qualification''': Three qualification rounds, then a playoff round. Each round is home/away with the aggregate score of the two legs deciding who qualifies. In case of a tie, the away goals rule is implemented. If it is still a tie, it will proceed to the standard extra time game and penalty shootout.shootout.
** From 2021–22 forward, the Europa League will be reduced to one qualification round and one playoff round, since most of the teams that now compete in EL qualifying will instead be in the new Conference League. The UECL will have three qualification rounds plus a playoff round.

* '''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 head-to-head records are taken into account.



* '''Knockout Phase''': Each round is home/away again, with the aggregate (total) goals scored as the basis for elimination. In the first round group winners are drawn against runners-up.
** The 8 third-placed teams of the Champions League groups are added to the Europa League, with the better ones counted as winners, the others as runners-up. After this, the competitions are fully separate.

to:

*** Starting in 2021–22, the group stage will be reduced to 32 teams in 8 groups. The lineup will consist of 10 Champions League playoff losers, 10 Europa League playoff winners, and 11 teams (12 in 2021–22) from higher-ranking that qualify through league play or domestic cups. From the 2022–23 tournament forward, the reigning Conference League champion enters here.
** Conference League (from 2021–22): 8 groups, 32 teams: 10 Europa League playoff losers, 22 Conference League playoff winners.
* '''Knockout Phase''': Each round is home/away again, with the aggregate (total) goals scored as the basis for elimination. In the first round (through 2020–21), group winners are drawn against runners-up.
** The Through 2020–21, the 8 third-placed teams of the Champions League groups are added to the Europa League, with the better ones counted as winners, the others as runners-up. After this, the competitions are fully separate.separate.
** Starting in 2021–22, the third-placed teams of the CL groups enter a new "preliminary knockout round", where they face the second-place teams from the EL group stage. The winners of this round join the 8 EL group winners in that competition's knockout phase proper.
** The Conference League will also have a preliminary knockout round, featuring the 8 group runners-up and the 8 third-place teams from the Europa League group stage. The winners here join the 8 UECL group winners for the knockout round proper.


Added DiffLines:

There is currently no equivalent to the Europa League, much less the Conference League, in the women's game.


Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point alleged to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic in Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).

to:

Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point alleged to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic in Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are alongside Bayern Munich the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).


There are equivalent competitions in women's football, including

to:

There are equivalent competitions in women's football, including
including:



* 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 2001–02 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 2009–10. 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. The 2019 final was the first whose host city was awarded separately from that of the men's Champions League. Four-time reigning champions Lyon have 6 wins, Frankfurt have 4, and Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg each have 2.

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 2001–02 season, and renamed as the Women's Champions League starting in 2009–10. 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. The 2019 final was the first whose host city was awarded separately from that of the men's Champions League. Four-time Five-time reigning champions Lyon have 6 7 wins, Frankfurt have 4, and Turbine Potsdam, Umeå, and Wolfsburg each have 2.



Lyon's women's section has won the Women's Champions League six times, including the last four (2016–2019). Because of this, they are considered by many as the outright most dominant force of women's club football in Europe.

to:

Lyon's women's section has won the Women's Champions League six seven times, including the last four (2016–2019). five (2016–2020). Because of this, they are considered by many pretty much everyone as the outright most dominant force of women's club football in Europe.



Other formerly successful teams include Nottingham Forest (European Champions twice, in 1978 and 1979), Aston Villa (from Birmingham, won the 1982 European Cup) and Leeds United (runners-up of the 1975 European Cup and semi-finalists of the 2000-2001 Champions League). All three currently play in the second tier of English football and don't look like threatening a return of the glory days - though Leeds and Aston do look like pushing for promotion, at least.


The reigning league champions are Liverpool, who waltzed to the 2019–20 title, clinching the crown with a league record 7 matches to spare and barely missing out on Manchester City's record point total from the season before. Speaking of which, City was pushed by Liverpool at every step in that season, with the two leap-frogging each other after every match; the title came down to the final matchday and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind. This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.


to:

Other formerly successful teams include Nottingham Forest (European Champions twice, in 1978 and 1979), Aston Villa (from Birmingham, won the 1982 European Cup) and Leeds United (runners-up of the 1975 European Cup and semi-finalists of the 2000-2001 2000–01 Champions League). All three Forest currently play in the second tier of English football football; Villa most recently returned to the Premiership in 2019 and don't Leeds in 2020. None look like to be threatening a to return of the to their glory days - though Leeds and Aston do look like pushing for promotion, at least.


days.


The reigning league champions are Liverpool, who waltzed to the 2019–20 title, clinching the crown with a league record 7 matches to spare and barely missing out on Manchester City's record point total from the season before. Speaking of which, City was pushed by Liverpool at every step in that ''that'' season, with the two leap-frogging each other after every match; the title came down to the final matchday and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind. This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.



For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March after the first leg of the round of 16 and resumed after nearly 5 months with the second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches were played as one-off matches.

to:

For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March after the first leg of the mid-March, with some round of 16 and ties completed but others having only completed their first legs. It resumed after nearly 5 months with the remaining second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches were played as one-off matches.



The 2019–20 Women's CL was also disrupted by COVID-19, though the women had completed their round of 16 when things were halted. The tournament will resume in its own "bubble" in Spain with the quarterfinals, hosted by the Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián.[[note]]Basque names: Bilbo and Donostia[[/note]] Also paralleling the men's version, all remaining ties will be one-off matches, with San Sebastián hosting the final.

to:

The 2019–20 Women's CL was also disrupted by COVID-19, though the women had completed their round of 16 when things were halted. The tournament will resume resumed in its own "bubble" in Spain with the quarterfinals, hosted by the Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián.[[note]]Basque names: Bilbo and Donostia[[/note]] Also paralleling the men's version, all remaining ties will be were one-off matches, with San Sebastián hosting the final.



Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point accused to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic on Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).

to:

Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point accused alleged to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic on in Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).



The Bundesliga, sometimes known as Buli for short, has become well-known for its "fans first" policy, most famously the "50+1 rule", which dictates that club members hold the majority of voting rights, protecting clubs from outside investors.[[labelnote:Exceptions]]Two prominent clubs—Bayer Leverkusen and [=VfL=] Wolfsburg—are exempt from this rule due to a GrandfatherClause. Both began as sports clubs for the employees of major corporations, respectively Bayer AG and Volkswagen. Another exception to the rule allows an individual investor or investment group that has substantially supported a club for 20 uninterrupted years to receive majority voting rights - for example, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß played for the club from 1970 to 1979, and after retiring from professional play he undertook a position as general manager for the club. This exception also allowed software mogul Dietmar Hopp to obtain control of 1899 Hoffenheim in 2015 (granted, he had played for that club in his youth), and allowed a group led by Hannover 96's president to take over that club in 2017. The most controversial exception by far is RB Leipzig, born in 2009 after Red Bull bought out and rebranded local fifth division side SSV Markanstadt. The price for a club membership is unusually high (around 800 euros for a yearly membership compared to Bayern's 60 for example), and the club's upper echelons can reject applications without notice or reason, effectively bypassing the 50+1 rule through LoopholeAbuse.[[/labelnote]] Thanks to this fan-oriented approach, the Bundesliga enjoys the highest average attendance out of all football leagues in the world, and the second-highest average attendance in world sports leagues, only behind the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]]. German club football is dominated by [[TheAce Bayern Munich]], though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as [[EnsembleDarkhorse Borussia Dortmund]], UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV (until they got relegated for the first time in 2018), [=VfB=] Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Eintracht Frankfurt, 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, and three Champions Leagues in 2001, 2013, and 2020, and Dortmund (1997) and Hamburg (1983) 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, Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, and Schalke have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup (both of which were predecessors to the Europa League). 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, which was also the only time they qualified for the World Cup (coincidentally held in their Western neighbors, whom they actually ''defeated'' in the first group stage). In recent history, the relatively new (and controversial) club RB Leipzig[[note]]RB stands for Rasenballsport (literally translates to "Grass-ball-sport"), but also stands for Red Bull. As in the famous Austrian energy drink company that also owns Red Bull Salzburg in their native Austria, New York Red Bulls in [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer the United States]], and Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.[[/note]] has seen an incredibly quick ascent to German football stardom, reaching the Bundesliga for the 2016-17 season and placing second there, just ''8 years'' from their formation. FC St. Pauli, from Hamburg, is also a major EnsembleDarkhorse: despite being far less successful on the pitch than their cross-town rivals, they've become very well-known in footy fandom for their fanbase's punk ethos and general openness to everyone.


to:

The Bundesliga, sometimes known as Buli for short, has become well-known for its "fans first" policy, most famously the "50+1 rule", which dictates that club members hold the majority of voting rights, protecting clubs from outside investors.[[labelnote:Exceptions]]Two prominent clubs—Bayer Leverkusen and [=VfL=] Wolfsburg—are exempt from this rule due to a GrandfatherClause. Both began as sports clubs for the employees of major corporations, respectively Bayer AG and Volkswagen. Another exception to the rule allows an individual investor or investment group that has substantially supported a club for 20 uninterrupted years to receive majority voting rights - for example, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß played for the club from 1970 to 1979, and after retiring from professional play he undertook a position as general manager for the club. This exception also allowed software mogul Dietmar Hopp to obtain control of 1899 Hoffenheim in 2015 (granted, he had played for that club in his youth), and allowed a group led by Hannover 96's president to take over that club in 2017. The most controversial exception by far is RB Leipzig, born in 2009 after Red Bull bought out and rebranded local fifth division side SSV Markanstadt. The price for a club membership is unusually high (around 800 euros for a yearly membership compared to Bayern's 60 for example), and the club's upper echelons can reject applications without notice or reason, effectively bypassing the 50+1 rule through LoopholeAbuse.[[/labelnote]] Thanks to this fan-oriented approach, the Bundesliga enjoys the highest average attendance out of all football leagues in the world, and the second-highest average attendance in world sports leagues, only behind the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]]. German club football is dominated by [[TheAce Bayern Munich]], though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as [[EnsembleDarkhorse Borussia Dortmund]], UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV (until they got relegated for the first time in 2018), [=VfB=] Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Eintracht Frankfurt, 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, and three Champions Leagues in 2001, 2013, and 2020, and Dortmund (1997) and Hamburg (1983) 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, Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, and Schalke have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup (both of which were predecessors to the Europa League). 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, which was also the only time they qualified for the World Cup (coincidentally held in their Western neighbors, whom they actually ''defeated'' in the first group stage). In recent history, the relatively new (and controversial) club RB Leipzig[[note]]RB stands for Rasenballsport (literally translates to "Grass-ball-sport"), but also stands for Red Bull. As in the famous Austrian energy drink company that also owns Red Bull Salzburg in their native Austria, New York Red Bulls in [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer the United States]], and Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.[[/note]] has seen an incredibly quick ascent to German football stardom, reaching the Bundesliga for the 2016-17 season and placing second there, just ''8 years'' from their formation. Not to mention reaching the Champions League semifinals three years after that. FC St. Pauli, from Hamburg, is also a major EnsembleDarkhorse: despite being far less successful on the pitch than their cross-town rivals, they've become very well-known in footy fandom for their fanbase's punk ethos and general openness to everyone.




* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Kazimierz Deyna, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), reigning champions Legia Warszawa (also with 14 overall titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). Another notable side is Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title in 2018–19 after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.

to:

* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Kazimierz Deyna, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), reigning champions Legia Warszawa (also with 14 overall league titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). Another notable side is Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title in 2018–19 after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.



* '''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). However, scored 5 goals to beat Belgium from 2-0 down, and surpass them in head to head standings when they were level on points in their level 1 nations league group, and therefore made the final 4, along with England, Netherlands and Portugal. Main clubs: FC Basel (winners of 11 of the 15 titles since the current Super League was established in 2003–04), FC Zürich (with three of the remaining five titles in the Super League era) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories, but have sadly been relegated in 2019 following many tribulations on and off the pitch). The current and three-time reigning champions, however, are Young Boys from the capital of Bern, who have also reached a European Cup semifinal in 1959.

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). However, scored 5 goals to beat Belgium from 2-0 down, and surpass them in head to head standings when they were level on points in their level 1 nations league group, and therefore made the final 4, along with England, Netherlands and Portugal. Main clubs: FC Basel (winners of 11 of the 15 17 titles since the current Super League was established in 2003–04), FC Zürich (with three of the remaining five six titles in the Super League era) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories, but have sadly been relegated in 2019 following many tribulations on and off the pitch). The current and three-time reigning champions, however, are Young Boys from the capital of Bern, who have also reached a European Cup semifinal in 1959.


* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), reigning champions Legia Warszawa (also with 14 overall titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). Another notable side is Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title in 2018–19 after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.

to:

* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Kazimierz Deyna, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), reigning champions Legia Warszawa (also with 14 overall titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). Another notable side is Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title in 2018–19 after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Ukraine.


* 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 13 wins; AC Milan 7; Liverpool 6; FC Barcelona (aka "Barça") and Bayern Munich 5 each; and Ajax 4. The current champions (2019) are Liverpool, who won an all-English final over Tottenham Hotspur. They succeed Real, who had won the last three titles, making them the only team so far to successfully defend the title in the Champions League era.
* 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 5[[note]]All since 2005, and three in consecutive years (2014–2016).[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale, Liverpool and Atlético Madrid are behind them with 3 each. As of 2015/16, the winner gets a Champions League place if they don't otherwise qualify. The reigning champions are Chelsea, who won an all-London final against Arsenal.

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 13 wins; AC Milan 7; Bayern Munich and Liverpool 6; 6 each; FC Barcelona (aka "Barça") and Bayern Munich 5 each; 5; and Ajax 4. The current champions (2019) (2020) are Liverpool, Bayern, who won an all-English final over Tottenham Hotspur. They succeed Real, who had won the last three titles, making them the only team so far to successfully defend the title defeated Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League era.
final.
* 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. Reigning champions Sevilla have the most wins, with 5[[note]]All 6[[note]]All since 2005, and three in consecutive years (2014–2016).[[/note]], whilst Juventus, Internazionale, Liverpool and Atlético Madrid are behind them with 3 each. As of 2015/16, the winner gets a Champions League place if they don't otherwise qualify. The reigning champions are Chelsea, who won an all-London final against Arsenal.
qualify.



For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March after the first leg of the round of 16 and resumed after nearly 5 months with the second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches are being played as one-off matches.

to:

For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March after the first leg of the round of 16 and resumed after nearly 5 months with the second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches are being were played as one-off matches.



Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point accused to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic on Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).

to:

Spain's La Liga has historically been among the most successful and richest in the world, in large part thanks to their two giants, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, [[ArchEnemy the rivalry between whom is intensified by 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 [[UsefulNotes/FranciscoFranco Franco]] years. Consequently, the team became a centre of Catalan culture and a rallying point - from which came the club's famous motto ''Mes que un club'', "more than a club". Real ("Royal") Madrid, on the other hand, were at one point accused to be Franco's "pet" team and ambassadors for the regime, even though Real fans tend to turn down these claims; [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment this is still a hot topic on Spanish football and mere mentions of it can and will cause a]] FlameWar. Both teams have won many European honours, though Real Madrid have the edge with a record ''thirteen'' European Cup/Champions League wins, including the first five editions of the event (1956–1960) as well as three straight in the last half of the 2010s. Barcelona, on the other hand, are the only European club to have achieved two continental trebles[[note]]That is, winning both main domestic league and cup competitions, and a major continental competition in a single season[[/note]] in its history, the first in 2009, and the second in 2015. Other teams include Atlético de Madrid (third force of the country; 1974, 2014, and 2016 European runner-up, as well as 2010, 2012, and 2018 Europa League winner), Valencia CF (runner-up of the 2000 and 2001 Champions Leagues), Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015 2015, 2016, and 2016 2020 Europa League winner), and Athletic Bilbao (arguably the biggest team out of the Basque Country, and one of the only three to never be relegated from La Liga[[note]]the other ones being the aforementioned big two[[/note]]1977 and 2012 Europa League runner-up).



French club football has a wide range of strong teams, with a large number of clubs having historically won domestic honours - though Olympique Lyonnais, often known just as Lyon, monopolised the title from 2001/02 to 2007/08, with FC Girondins de Bordeaux breaking the streak in the following season. More recently, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) had a lesser monopoly on the title, winning four in a row (2012/13–2015/16), further helped by massive financial backing by Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi (it should also be noted that, compared to the other teams, PSG is something of a rookie in Ligue 1, having been founded in 1970; still, they have consistently shown themselves to be competitive, mainly in the 1980s, 1990s and late 2010s); AS UsefulNotes/{{Monaco}} broke this streak in 2017, but PSG took back its throne in 2017/18 with five matches to spare, and repeated the following season, also with five matches to spare. PSG was leading the table in 2019/20 when the [[UsefulNotes/CoronavirusDisease2019Pandemic COVID-19 pandemic]] halted and ultimately ended the season, and was awarded the title. However, French clubs have rarely challenged seriously internationally, with Olympique de Marseille's 1993 Champions League win the only occasion on which a French club has won the top European honour, a victory that came even under [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment rather controversial circumstances that won't be explained here]]. On the other hand, PSG have won the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup and are hoping to bring the Champions League to the Hexagone once again: however, since their Qatari takeover, they have failed to go beyond the quarter-finals. Other well-known clubs include Saint-Étienne (Lyon's regional rival, the country's most successful team with 10 victories, and runners-up of the 1976 European Cup), Lille OSC (three-time Ligue 1 champions - in 1946, 1954 and 2011), OGC Nice, AS Nancy-Lorraine, FC Nantes (winners of 8 league titles and also well-known for their youth academy), Montpellier HSC (which won their first - and currently only - Ligue 1 title in 2012 against all odds) and the aforementioned Monaco (which came closest to repeating Marseille's feat, losing the 2004 Champions League final to FC Porto). Also, there is Stade de Reims, who supplied many players for the French team of the 1950s and was twice runner-up of the European Cup, in 1956 and 1959, losing both to Real Madrid, and have been promoted back to Ligue 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.


to:

French club football has a wide range of strong teams, with a large number of clubs having historically won domestic honours - though Olympique Lyonnais, often known just as Lyon, monopolised the title from 2001/02 to 2007/08, with FC Girondins de Bordeaux breaking the streak in the following season. More recently, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) had a lesser monopoly on the title, winning four in a row (2012/13–2015/16), further helped by massive financial backing by Qatari owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi (it should also be noted that, compared to the other teams, PSG is something of a rookie in Ligue 1, having been founded in 1970; still, they have consistently shown themselves to be competitive, mainly in the 1980s, 1990s and late 2010s); AS UsefulNotes/{{Monaco}} broke this streak in 2017, but PSG took back its throne in 2017/18 with five matches to spare, and repeated the following season, also with five matches to spare. PSG was leading the table in 2019/20 when the [[UsefulNotes/CoronavirusDisease2019Pandemic [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19 pandemic]] halted and ultimately ended the season, and was awarded the title. However, French clubs have rarely challenged seriously internationally, with Olympique de Marseille's 1993 Champions League win the only occasion on which a French club has won the top European honour, a victory that came even under [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment rather controversial circumstances that won't be explained here]]. On the other hand, PSG have won the 1996 Cup Winners' Cup and are hoping to bring the Champions League to the Hexagone once again: however, since their never advanced past the quarter-finals under their Qatari takeover, ownership until 2020, when they have failed to go beyond narrowly lost in the quarter-finals.final to Bayern Munich. Other well-known clubs include Saint-Étienne (Lyon's regional rival, the country's most successful team with 10 victories, and runners-up of the 1976 European Cup), Lille OSC (three-time Ligue 1 champions - in 1946, 1954 and 2011), OGC Nice, AS Nancy-Lorraine, FC Nantes (winners of 8 league titles and also well-known for their youth academy), Montpellier HSC (which won their first - and currently only - Ligue 1 title in 2012 against all odds) and the aforementioned Monaco (which came closest to repeating Marseille's feat, losing the 2004 Champions League final to FC Porto). Also, there is Stade de Reims, who supplied many players for the French team of the 1950s and was twice runner-up of the European Cup, in 1956 and 1959, losing both to Real Madrid, and have been promoted back to Ligue 1 at the end of the 2017-18 season.




The reigning league champions are Manchester City, which won the 2018–19 title after a brutal dogfight with Liverpool, the two leap-frogging each other after every match, one which ultimately went down to the final matchday, and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind). This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.


to:

The reigning league champions are Liverpool, who waltzed to the 2019–20 title, clinching the crown with a league record 7 matches to spare and barely missing out on Manchester City, which won City's record point total from the 2018–19 title after a brutal dogfight season before. Speaking of which, City was pushed by Liverpool at every step in that season, with Liverpool, the two leap-frogging each other after every match, one which ultimately went match; the title came down to the final matchday, matchday and was decided by a single point (City had 98, Liverpool had 97. The nearest competitors were a further 25 points behind).behind. This followed City's record-setting[[note]]Most points earned, wins, away wins, goals, consecutive league wins, goal difference, and winning points margin in the Premier League era (1992–present).[[/note]] romp to the 2017–18 crown, clinched with a month to spare. The 2015–16 season saw perhaps the biggest surprise in football history when Leicester City, tipped for relegation and listed at 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title prior to the season... beat those odds.




As of 2017-18, this fallow period seems to have passed: all the English teams won their groups except Chelsea, who were second to Roma on head-to-head results, with notable results such as Spurs thumping Real Madrid (who hadn't lost in the group stage in 5 years) 3-1, and Liverpool matching a Champions League record by putting 7 past group ButtMonkey Maribor (Slovenia) away from home - not bad considering that Maribor had a few months previously held Chelsea to a draw. And Liverpool made it to the final, but lost to 3-1 Real Madrid in somewhat suspicious circumstances [[note]] Many Liverpool fans and a number of neutrals ascribe it to the skulduggery of Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who pulled what was later identified as a judo throw (and a banned one at that) on Liverpool's star man, Mohamed Salah, and then 'accidentally' concussed Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, who consequently made two horrible errors that led directly to Madrid goals.[[/note]] 2019, however, is another story, as England managed the until then unheard-of feat of both the Champions and Europa League finals being contested by teams all from the same country (Liverpool vs. Spurs on Champions, Chelsea vs. Arsenal on Europa), with Liverpool and Chelsea emerging victorious.


to:

As of 2017-18, this fallow period seems to have passed: all the English teams won their groups except Chelsea, who were second to Roma on head-to-head results, with notable results such as Spurs thumping Real Madrid (who hadn't lost in the group stage in 5 years) 3-1, and Liverpool matching a Champions League record by putting 7 past group ButtMonkey Maribor (Slovenia) away from home - not bad considering that Maribor had a few months previously held Chelsea to a draw. And Liverpool made it to the final, but lost to 3-1 Real Madrid in somewhat suspicious circumstances [[note]] Many Liverpool fans and a number of neutrals ascribe it to the skulduggery of Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who pulled what was later identified as a judo throw (and a banned one at that) on Liverpool's star man, Mohamed Salah, and then 'accidentally' concussed Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, who consequently made two horrible errors that led directly to Madrid goals.[[/note]] 2019, however, is was another story, as England managed the until then unheard-of feat of both the Champions and Europa League finals being contested by teams all from the same country (Liverpool vs. Spurs on Champions, Chelsea vs. Arsenal on Europa), with Liverpool and Chelsea emerging victorious.




Despite the many travails of the national team, England consistently produces excellent players, most notably the so-called 'Golden Generation' of Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole and David Seaman that reigned from 1998 to 2010 (though Gerrard captained England to 2014 and Rooney remained available for selection), and are usually to be found in the top 10 teams in the world. The likes of wing forward Raheem Sterling, full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, and striker and current captain Harry 'Hurricane' Kane, among others, have proved that the production line of England talent isn't stopping any time soon - a point punctuated by the astonishing successes of the youth teams, with the U-17s and U-20s winning their respective World Cups in 2017, the first English teams of any age group to do so since 1966. [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Just don't ask the senior team to do it at a tournament]]. Because they can't. Or won't. No one's entirely sure which, or indeed why. [[WeAreStrugglingTogether However, most, including ex-players, cite an inability by players from top teams to lay aside club rivalries and play as a team, meaning that what happens is that instead of a team, you have 11 highly talented individuals running around the pitch and doing their own thing.]]


to:

Despite the many travails of the national team, England consistently produces excellent players, most notably the so-called 'Golden Generation' of Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole and David Seaman that reigned from 1998 to 2010 (though Gerrard captained England to 2014 and Rooney remained available for selection), and are usually to be found in the top 10 teams in the world. The likes of wing forward Raheem Sterling, full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, and striker and current captain Harry 'Hurricane' Kane, among others, have proved that the production line of England talent isn't stopping any time soon - a point punctuated by the astonishing successes of the youth teams, with the U-17s and U-20s winning their respective World Cups in 2017, the first English teams of any age group to do so since 1966. [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Just don't ask the senior team to do it at a tournament]]. Because they can't. Or won't. No one's entirely sure which, or indeed why. [[WeAreStrugglingTogether [[WeAREStrugglingTogether However, most, including ex-players, cite an inability by players from top teams to lay aside club rivalries and play as a team, meaning that what happens is that instead of a team, you have 11 highly talented individuals running around the pitch and doing their own thing.]]




Despite being one of the most successful European sides, [[UnderdogsNeverLose Italy are famous for winning when they're not considered favourites by the bookmakers]], and have also become known for their highly tactical and defensive style of play - in fact, they only conceded two goals in their winning 2006 campaign, and one of them was an own goal. In the 1982 World Cup for instance, their victory came as something of a shock. After an underwhelming group stage, they defeated both Brazil and Argentina (with Brazil in particular being the favourite by bookmakers to win the tournament) in the knock-out stages, then beat West Germany in the final. Again in the 1994 World Cup, after only advancing from the group stage as one of the best third placed teams, they reached the final and only lost, on the penalties, against Brazil (thanks to the infamous missed penalty by Roberto Baggio, [[TheLeader the biggest star in the team]]). The last example was in the 2006 World Cup; after a huge match-fixing scandal in Italian football which saw most of the big teams forcibly relegated to the lower divisions and/or being stripped of any titles won that year (namely Juventus - which paved the way for Internazionale to regain domination of Italian football, having not been national champions for 16 years at that point - though Juve have reclaimed their crown in 2012 and are now eight-time reigning champions, with only Napoli and - to a slightly lesser extent - Roma mounting up a serious challenge to their dominance), the national team was able to avoid any distraction and go forward to win the World Cup making a huge comeback.


In recent years, despite reaching the European Championship Final in 2012 (where they were {{curbstomp|Battle}}ed 4-0 by the all-conquering Spain), the Italian team is in something of a transition period, with the best players retiring and the new leaders not being good enough to make a team that can compete with the best. In fact, the team has failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after a shocking 1-0 defeat against Sweden that they couldn't make up for.


Italian sides have also been very strong in Europe, and there are several different teams that have won major honours at home and internationally - as a matter of fact, with 50 titles in total, Italy is the second most successful country in world football when it comes to total trophies won behind Argentina: [[RedOni AC Milan]] and [[BlueOni Internazionale]] (both from Milan) won respectively seven and three European Cups - both managed to win two back-to-back European Cups - 1989 and 1990 for AC Milan, 1964 and 1965 for Inter - and the latter became the first and currently only Italian team to complete the continental treble in 2010. [[TheAce Juventus]] of Turin is Italy's dominant team, with 35 titles and counting[[note]]Their fans insist they won 37 titles, [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment but that's a rabbit hole we won't jump into.]][[/note]]. Other famous teams are [[ArchEnemy AS Roma and Lazio]] from the capital - the former reached the 1984 European Cup Final, and the latter won the final edition of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1999, [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Fiorentina]] of Florence - Baggio's first major club, and one-time runners-up in both the European Cup and the UEFA Cup, Genoa CFC and Sampdoria of Genoa - the former is one of the oldest football clubs in the world and were the uncontested dominators of Serie A's early years, and the latter has reached the 1992 European Cup Final, [[EnsembleDarkhorse Napoli]] of, well, Naples - who are most famous for being the club Diego Maradona has played for at the height of his career, and have also won the UEFA Cup once with him in 1989 beating teams like Juventus and Bayern Munich on the way, and Parma, winners of two UEFA Cups in 1995 and 1999, and have achieved back-to-back-to-back promotions from Serie D - Italy's equivalent to England's League Two - all the way to Serie A from 2016 to 2018. In recent years, the reputation of the Serie A for quality has taken a nose dive, being eclipsed by the resurgent Bundesliga, but this may be changing, due to Juventus reaching the 2015 and 2017 Champions League finals - both lost respectively against Barcelona and Real Madrid, and also Roma reaching the Champions League semifinals in 2018 after an upsetting 3-0 comeback victory against Barcelona in the quarter-finals's second leg following a 4-1 thrashing by the Azulgrana in the first leg. They almost managed to do the same against Liverpool, but ultimately were eliminated 7-6 on aggregate.

to:

Despite being one of the most successful European sides, [[UnderdogsNeverLose Italy are famous for winning when they're not considered favourites by the bookmakers]], and have also become known for their highly tactical and defensive style of play - in fact, they only conceded two goals in their winning 2006 campaign, and one of them was an own goal. In the 1982 World Cup for instance, their victory came as something of a shock. After an underwhelming group stage, they defeated both Brazil and Argentina (with Brazil in particular being the favourite by bookmakers to win the tournament) in the knock-out stages, then beat West Germany in the final. Again in the 1994 World Cup, after only advancing from the group stage as one of the best third placed teams, they reached the final and only lost, on the penalties, against Brazil (thanks to the infamous missed penalty by Roberto Baggio, [[TheLeader the biggest star in the team]]). The last example was in the 2006 World Cup; after a huge match-fixing scandal in Italian football which saw most of the big teams forcibly relegated to the lower divisions and/or being stripped of any titles won that year (namely Juventus - which paved the way for Internazionale to regain domination of Italian football, having not been national champions for 16 years at that point - though Juve have reclaimed their crown in 2012 and are now eight-time nine-time reigning champions, with only Napoli and - to a slightly lesser extent - Roma mounting up a serious challenge to their dominance), the national team was able to avoid any distraction and go forward to win the World Cup making a huge comeback.


In recent years, despite reaching the European Championship Final in 2012 (where they were {{curbstomp|Battle}}ed 4-0 by the all-conquering Spain), the Italian team is in something of a transition period, with the best players retiring and the new leaders not being good enough to make a team that can compete with the best. In fact, the team has failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after a shocking 1-0 defeat against Sweden that they couldn't make up for.


Italian sides have also been very strong in Europe, and there are several different teams that have won major honours at home and internationally - as a matter of fact, with 50 titles in total, Italy is the second most successful country in world football when it comes to total trophies won behind Argentina: [[RedOni AC Milan]] and [[BlueOni Internazionale]] (both from Milan) won respectively seven and three European Cups - both managed to win two back-to-back European Cups - 1989 and 1990 for AC Milan, 1964 and 1965 for Inter - and the latter became the first and currently only Italian team to complete the continental treble in 2010. [[TheAce Juventus]] of Turin is Italy's dominant team, with 35 36 titles and counting[[note]]Their counting.[[note]]Their fans insist they won 37 38 titles, [[Administrivia/RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment but that's a rabbit hole we won't jump into.]][[/note]]. ]][[/note]] Other famous teams are [[ArchEnemy AS Roma and Lazio]] from the capital - the former reached the 1984 European Cup Final, and the latter won the final edition of the Cup Winners' Cup in 1999, [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Fiorentina]] of Florence - Baggio's first major club, and one-time runners-up in both the European Cup and the UEFA Cup, Genoa CFC and Sampdoria of Genoa - the former is one of the oldest football clubs in the world and were the uncontested dominators of Serie A's early years, and the latter has reached the 1992 European Cup Final, [[EnsembleDarkhorse Napoli]] of, well, Naples - who are most famous for being the club Diego Maradona has played for at the height of his career, and have also won the UEFA Cup once with him in 1989 beating teams like Juventus and Bayern Munich on the way, and Parma, winners of two UEFA Cups in 1995 and 1999, and have achieved back-to-back-to-back promotions from Serie D - Italy's equivalent to England's League Two - all the way to Serie A from 2016 to 2018. In recent years, the reputation of the Serie A for quality has taken a nose dive, being eclipsed by the resurgent Bundesliga, but this may be changing, due to Juventus reaching the 2015 and 2017 Champions League finals - both lost respectively against Barcelona and Real Madrid, and also Roma reaching the Champions League semifinals in 2018 after an upsetting 3-0 comeback victory against Barcelona in the quarter-finals's second leg following a 4-1 thrashing by the Azulgrana in the first leg. They almost managed to do the same against Liverpool, but ultimately were eliminated 7-6 on aggregate.



The Bundesliga, sometimes known as Buli for short, has become well-known for its "fans first" policy, most famously the "50+1 rule", which dictates that club members hold the majority of voting rights, protecting clubs from outside investors.[[labelnote:Exceptions]]Two prominent clubs—Bayer Leverkusen and [=VfL=] Wolfsburg—are exempt from this rule due to a GrandfatherClause. Both began as sports clubs for the employees of major corporations, respectively Bayer AG and Volkswagen. Another exception to the rule allows an individual investor or investment group that has substantially supported a club for 20 uninterrupted years to receive majority voting rights - for example, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß played for the club from 1970 to 1979, and after retiring from professional play he undertook a position as general manager for the club. This exception also allowed software mogul Dietmar Hopp to obtain control of 1899 Hoffenheim in 2015 (granted, he had played for that club in his youth), and allowed a group led by Hannover 96's president to take over that club in 2017. The most controversial exception by far is RB Leipzig, born in 2009 after Red Bull bought out and rebranded local fifth division side SSV Markanstadt. The price for a club membership is unusually high (around 800 euros for a yearly membership compared to Bayern's 60 for example), and the club's upper echelons can reject applications without notice or reason, effectively bypassing the 50+1 rule through LoopholeAbuse.[[/labelnote]] Thanks to this fan-oriented approach, the Bundesliga enjoys the highest average attendance out of all football leagues in the world, and the second-highest average attendance in world sports leagues, only behind the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]]. German club football is dominated by [[TheAce Bayern Munich]], though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as [[EnsembleDarkhorse Borussia Dortmund]], UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV (until they got relegated for the first time in 2018), [=VfB=] Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Eintracht Frankfurt, 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, and two Champions Leagues in 2001 and 2013, and Dortmund (1997) and Hamburg (1983) 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, Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, and Schalke have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup (both of which were predecessors to the Europa League). 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, which was also the only time they qualified for the World Cup (coincidentally held in their Western neighbors, whom they actually ''defeated'' in the first group stage). In recent history, the relatively new (and controversial) club RB Leipzig[[note]]RB stands for Rasenballsport (literally translates to "Grass-ball-sport"), but also stands for Red Bull. As in the famous Austrian energy drink company that also owns Red Bull Salzburg in their native Austria, New York Red Bulls in [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer the United States]], and Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.[[/note]] has seen an incredibly quick ascent to German football stardom, reaching the Bundesliga for the 2016-17 season and placing second there, just ''8 years'' from their formation. FC St. Pauli, from Hamburg, is also a major EnsembleDarkhorse: despite being far less successful on the pitch than their cross-town rivals, they've become very well-known in footy fandom for their fanbase's punk ethos and general openness to everyone.


to:

The Bundesliga, sometimes known as Buli for short, has become well-known for its "fans first" policy, most famously the "50+1 rule", which dictates that club members hold the majority of voting rights, protecting clubs from outside investors.[[labelnote:Exceptions]]Two prominent clubs—Bayer Leverkusen and [=VfL=] Wolfsburg—are exempt from this rule due to a GrandfatherClause. Both began as sports clubs for the employees of major corporations, respectively Bayer AG and Volkswagen. Another exception to the rule allows an individual investor or investment group that has substantially supported a club for 20 uninterrupted years to receive majority voting rights - for example, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeneß played for the club from 1970 to 1979, and after retiring from professional play he undertook a position as general manager for the club. This exception also allowed software mogul Dietmar Hopp to obtain control of 1899 Hoffenheim in 2015 (granted, he had played for that club in his youth), and allowed a group led by Hannover 96's president to take over that club in 2017. The most controversial exception by far is RB Leipzig, born in 2009 after Red Bull bought out and rebranded local fifth division side SSV Markanstadt. The price for a club membership is unusually high (around 800 euros for a yearly membership compared to Bayern's 60 for example), and the club's upper echelons can reject applications without notice or reason, effectively bypassing the 50+1 rule through LoopholeAbuse.[[/labelnote]] Thanks to this fan-oriented approach, the Bundesliga enjoys the highest average attendance out of all football leagues in the world, and the second-highest average attendance in world sports leagues, only behind the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]]. German club football is dominated by [[TheAce Bayern Munich]], though there are plenty of other strong teams out there such as [[EnsembleDarkhorse Borussia Dortmund]], UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}er SV (until they got relegated for the first time in 2018), [=VfB=] Stuttgart, Borussia Mönchengladbach, [[AlwaysSecondBest Bayer Leverkusen]], [[EveryYearTheyFizzleOut Schalke 04]] (from Gelsenkirchen, near the Dutch border), Eintracht Frankfurt, 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, and two three Champions Leagues in 2001 and 2001, 2013, and 2020, and Dortmund (1997) and Hamburg (1983) 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, Hamburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich, and Schalke have won the now-defunct European Cup-Winners' Cup and/or the UEFA Cup (both of which were predecessors to the Europa League). 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, which was also the only time they qualified for the World Cup (coincidentally held in their Western neighbors, whom they actually ''defeated'' in the first group stage). In recent history, the relatively new (and controversial) club RB Leipzig[[note]]RB stands for Rasenballsport (literally translates to "Grass-ball-sport"), but also stands for Red Bull. As in the famous Austrian energy drink company that also owns Red Bull Salzburg in their native Austria, New York Red Bulls in [[UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer the United States]], and Red Bull Bragantino in Brazil.[[/note]] has seen an incredibly quick ascent to German football stardom, reaching the Bundesliga for the 2016-17 season and placing second there, just ''8 years'' from their formation. FC St. Pauli, from Hamburg, is also a major EnsembleDarkhorse: despite being far less successful on the pitch than their cross-town rivals, they've become very well-known in footy fandom for their fanbase's punk ethos and general openness to everyone.




* '''Austria''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Was known as the ''Wunderteam'' (Wonder Team) in the 1930s, before Nazi annexation crippled the team from its foundations. However, they still managed to leave a big mark on European footy with their star manager, Ernst Happel, who won two European Cups in 1970 (with Feyenoord) and 1983 (with Hamburg). Along with Switzerland, was one of the joint hosts of the 2008 European Championship. Main clubs: Rapid Wien (from Vienna, most nationally successful team, with 32 league trophies, and the club that launched Happel's career as a player), Austria Wien (trailing behind their rivals Rapid, with 23 wins), Sturm Graz (a recent national powerhouse, with 3 titles - the most recent in 2011) and [[TropeCoTropeOfTheWeek Red Bull]] Salzburg (fka Austria Salzburg before a controversial takeover and rebrand in 2005, winners of 10 of the last 13 titles, with a current streak of six). However, the Red Bulls always seemed to find ways to lose their Champions League qualifiers in bizarre manners - including conceding two goals at home on Fergie time in the playoffs second leg against Red Star Belgrade in 2018, until they finally reached the group stages for the 2019-20 season through coefficients.

to:

* '''Austria''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Was known as the ''Wunderteam'' (Wonder Team) in the 1930s, before Nazi annexation crippled the team from its foundations. However, they still managed to leave a big mark on European footy with their star manager, Ernst Happel, who won two European Cups in 1970 (with Feyenoord) and 1983 (with Hamburg). Along with Switzerland, was one of the joint hosts of the 2008 European Championship. Main clubs: Rapid Wien (from Vienna, most nationally successful team, with 32 league trophies, and the club that launched Happel's career as a player), Austria Wien (trailing behind their rivals Rapid, with 23 wins), Sturm Graz (a recent national powerhouse, with 3 titles - the most recent in 2011) and [[TropeCoTropeOfTheWeek Red Bull]] Salzburg (fka Austria Salzburg before a controversial takeover and rebrand in 2005, winners of 10 11 of the last 13 14 titles, with a current streak of six).seven). However, the Red Bulls always seemed to find ways to lose their Champions League qualifiers in bizarre manners - including conceding two goals at home on Fergie time in the playoffs second leg against Red Star Belgrade in 2018, until they finally reached the group stages for the 2019-20 season through coefficients.



* '''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), Levski Sofia (CSKA's main rivals, with five league trophies behind them), and Ludogorets Razgrad (which won the title in their first top-flight season of 2011/12... and have won every title since). Nowadays, they have had little success, save for beating Netherlands and quarter finallists elect Sweden in an otherwise poor 2018 world cup campaign (where they didnt win any away games, even against Luxembourg) and are nowadays infamous for fascist groups infiltrating into games, such as two heavy home defeats to England in dire Euro 2012 and 2020 qualifying campaigns, in spite of the nation's pride in its protection of Jewish communities during [=WW2=]. After the latter incedent, the president made the FA head and manager resign - Bulgaria were also winless at that point, though made the Nations league playoffs, due to its decent performance against Norway, Slovenia and Cyprus, and most teams in the top 2 levels qualifying in the standard manner.

to:

* '''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), Levski Sofia (CSKA's main rivals, with five league trophies behind them), and Ludogorets Razgrad (which won the title in their first top-flight season of 2011/12... and have won every title since). Nowadays, they have had little success, save for beating Netherlands and quarter finallists finalists elect Sweden in an otherwise poor 2018 world cup campaign (where they didnt didn't win any away games, even against Luxembourg) and are nowadays infamous for fascist groups infiltrating into games, such as two heavy home defeats to England in dire Euro 2012 and 2020 qualifying campaigns, in spite of the nation's pride in its protection of Jewish communities during [=WW2=]. After the latter incedent, the president made the FA head and manager resign - Bulgaria were also winless at that point, though made the Nations league playoffs, due to its decent performance against Norway, Slovenia and Cyprus, and most teams in the top 2 levels qualifying in the standard manner.



* '''Croatia''': white-and-red checkered shirt, white shorts and blue socks. Arguably the most successful of the national teams created after the breakup of Yugoslavia, if the third place in 1998 and the second place in 2018 are any indication. Main teams: Dinamo Zagreb (with 18 Croatian league wins) and Hajduk Split (which carried the tradition of one of the main teams in Yugoslavia over to Croatia).

to:

* '''Croatia''': white-and-red checkered shirt, white shorts and blue socks. Arguably the most successful of the national teams created after the breakup of Yugoslavia, if the third place in 1998 and the second place in 2018 are any indication. Main teams: Dinamo Zagreb (with 18 21 Croatian league wins) and Hajduk Split (which carried the tradition of one of the main teams in Yugoslavia over to Croatia).



* '''Denmark''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Won the Euro '92 after replacing the war-torn Yugoslavia in the nick of time. Main clubs: FC Copenhagen, the reigning champions (greatest champions of the modern Danish league, with 13 victories[[note]]the two clubs that merged to form the current FC Copenhagen had 22 titles between them[[/note]]), Brøndby (which won 10 national championships, and in which Michael Laudrup & Peter Schmeichel first gained prominence), and FC Midtjylland. The women's national team notably ended Germany's 20-plus-year reign over the Women's Euro, taking them down in the 2017 quarterfinals before losing to the homestanding Netherlands in the final.
* '''Greece''': all-white uniform with blue highlights. Shocked the world by winning the 2004 European Championship over hosts and then-favorites Portugal. But still, they are on an average level at best, and can sometimes be highly inconsistent (a horrific Euro 2016 qualifiers campaign in between a World Cup campaign and one in which they reached the play offs, and a poor Nations League campaign where Greece both beat, AND lost to, ALL 3 of their opponents (Finland, Hungary and Estonia, the latter's sole win in the group). Main teams: Olympiacos (from Piraeus, the dominant team in Greek football, with 44 league trophies) and Panathinaikos (from Athens, which reached the 1971 European Cup final, losing it to Johan Cruyff's Ajax, and which makes with Olympiacos one of the biggest club rivalries in the sport), AEK Athens (12 titles), and PAOK Thessaloniki (current league champions with 3 titles, the latest conquered with an undefeated league season).
* '''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 Puskás and Sandor Kocsis. Everything came crashing down with the loss at the 1954 World Cup final and the suppression of the 1956 rebellion (which led many of their star players to seek refuge in other pastures, notably the aforementioned Puskás and Kocsis who went to Spain and became legends in Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, respectively), and now their legacy consists of three Olympic gold medals (1952, 1964 and 1968) and another World Cup second place (in 1938). Main clubs: Ferencváros (the reigning champions with 30 national league victories), Kispest Honvéd (whose 1950s team was practically synonymous with the Magical Magyars) and Fehérvár FC (runners-up of the 1985 UEFA Cup, and winner of 3 titles).
* '''Iceland''': all blues with red accents on the shirt. As one of the smallest football nations, the team didn't really do much until they made their first major tournament appearance at Euro 2016 after upsetting the Netherlands. They proceeded to stun people by drawing against Portugal and Hungary before defeating Austria to advance to the knockout round where they upset England. Just to put this in perspective, England was composed of top-class professional players and a manager who was paid millions. Iceland, by contrast, had several formerly semi-pro players (most played for moderate sides in major overseas leagues, but, whilst the keeper played in a Nordic top flight, he was a part-time music video director) and their manager was a part-time dentist. Even though they were defeated by hosts France right after, they earned the respect and love of football fans everywhere for their performance. And they followed that up by qualifying directly for the 2018 World Cup, becoming the smallest nation (by population) ever to reach the World Cup final tournament.[[note]]As of this writing (October 2019), Iceland has a bit over 330,000 people. For our British friends, that's slightly smaller than Leicester, or the London Borough of Enfield. Americans, think [[UsefulNotes/OtherCitiesInTexas Corpus Christi]], the city proper of UsefulNotes/StLouis, or the main urban area of Honolulu. For Canadians, a bit smaller than London, Ontario. Aussies? Smaller than Canberra. Kiwis? Smaller than Christchurch. Also comparable to the populations of UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}} and Nice.[[/note]] They struggled in nations league and euro 2020 qualifying, but are involved in the playoffs to join Sweden, Denmark and Finland in the tournament. Main clubs: KR Reykjavik (the oldest and most successful club with 27 titles, including the most recent one in 2019), Valur Reykjavik (KR's crosstown rivals, and the second most successful club with 22 titles), and IA (from Akranes, just north of Reykjavik, has won 18 titles, the most recent in 2001).
* '''Ireland''': green shirt and socks and white shorts. Not counting UsefulNotes/{{basketball}}-obsessed UsefulNotes/{{Lithuania}}, 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 for three World Cups and advancing from the first stage in all three. The team became one of the top teams in Europe after Jack Charlton became its manager, and started bringing in English players with second or third generation Irish backgrounds. The squad is centred around players playing their footy England (often for moderate PL sides) and Scotland, though some played in their home country's league at youth level (such as Roy Keane, Iain Harte, Seamus Coleman and Kevin Doyle at Cobh, Home Farm, Siligo, and Cork), and two sides from that league have played in the Europa League group stage with Dundalk having nearly made the Champions league at one point. Fun fact: The team's fans were so well-behaved at the Euro '16 tournament that the Mayor of Paris awarded them the Grand Vermeil, Paris' most prestigious honour. Main clubs: Dundalk and Shelbourne (joint most successful clubs, with 6 titles), Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers (from Dublin), and the most recent champions, Cork City.

to:

* '''Denmark''': red shirt and socks and white shorts. Won the Euro '92 after replacing the war-torn Yugoslavia in the nick of time. Main clubs: FC Copenhagen, the reigning champions Copenhagen (greatest champions of the modern Danish league, with 13 victories[[note]]the two clubs that merged to form the current FC Copenhagen had 22 titles between them[[/note]]), Brøndby (which won 10 national championships, and in which Michael Laudrup & Peter Schmeichel first gained prominence), and reigning champions FC Midtjylland. The women's national team notably ended Germany's 20-plus-year reign over the Women's Euro, taking them down in the 2017 quarterfinals before losing to the homestanding Netherlands in the final.
* '''Greece''': all-white uniform with blue highlights. Shocked the world by winning the 2004 European Championship over hosts and then-favorites Portugal. But still, they are on an average level at best, and can sometimes be highly inconsistent (a horrific Euro 2016 qualifiers campaign in between a World Cup campaign and one in which they reached the play offs, and a poor Nations League campaign where Greece both beat, AND lost to, ALL 3 of their opponents (Finland, Hungary and Estonia, the latter's sole win in the group). Main teams: Olympiacos (from Piraeus, the dominant team in Greek football, football and reigning champions, with 44 45 league trophies) and Panathinaikos (from Athens, which reached the 1971 European Cup final, losing it to Johan Cruyff's Ajax, and which makes with Olympiacos one of the biggest club rivalries in the sport), AEK Athens (12 titles), and PAOK Thessaloniki (current league champions with 3 (3 titles, the latest in 2018–19 conquered with an undefeated league season).
* '''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 Puskás and Sandor Kocsis. Everything came crashing down with the loss at the 1954 World Cup final and the suppression of the 1956 rebellion (which led many of their star players to seek refuge in other pastures, notably the aforementioned Puskás and Kocsis who went to Spain and became legends in Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, respectively), and now their legacy consists of three Olympic gold medals (1952, 1964 and 1968) and another World Cup second place (in 1938). Main clubs: Ferencváros (the reigning champions with 30 31 national league victories), Kispest Honvéd (whose 1950s team was practically synonymous with the Magical Magyars) and Fehérvár FC (runners-up of the 1985 UEFA Cup, and winner of 3 titles).
* '''Iceland''': all blues with red accents on the shirt. As one of the smallest football nations, the team didn't really do much until they made their first major tournament appearance at Euro 2016 after upsetting the Netherlands. They proceeded to stun people by drawing against Portugal and Hungary before defeating Austria to advance to the knockout round where they upset England. Just to put this in perspective, England was composed of top-class professional players and a manager who was paid millions. Iceland, by contrast, had several formerly semi-pro players (most played for moderate sides in major overseas leagues, but, whilst the keeper played in a Nordic top flight, he was a part-time music video director) and their manager was a part-time dentist. Even though they were defeated by hosts France right after, they earned the respect and love of football fans everywhere for their performance. And they followed that up by qualifying directly for the 2018 World Cup, becoming the smallest nation (by population) ever to reach the World Cup final tournament.[[note]]As of this writing (October 2019), Iceland has a bit over 330,000 people. For our British friends, that's slightly smaller than Leicester, or the London Borough of Enfield. Americans, think [[UsefulNotes/OtherCitiesInTexas Corpus Christi]], the city proper of UsefulNotes/StLouis, or the main urban area of Honolulu. For Canadians, a bit smaller than London, Ontario. Aussies? Smaller than Canberra. Kiwis? Smaller than Christchurch. Also comparable to the populations of UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}} and Nice.[[/note]] They struggled in nations league Nations League and euro Euro 2020 qualifying, but are involved in the playoffs to join Sweden, Denmark and Finland in the tournament. Main clubs: KR Reykjavik Reykjavík (the oldest and most successful club with 27 titles, including the most recent one in 2019), Valur Reykjavik Reykjavík (KR's crosstown rivals, and the second most successful club with 22 titles), and IA (from Akranes, just north of Reykjavik, Reykjavík, has won 18 titles, the most recent in 2001).
* '''Ireland''': green shirt and socks and white shorts. Not counting UsefulNotes/{{basketball}}-obsessed UsefulNotes/{{Lithuania}}, 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 for three World Cups and advancing from the first stage in all three. The team became one of the top teams in Europe after Jack Charlton became its manager, and started bringing in English players with second or third generation Irish backgrounds. The squad is centred around players playing their footy England (often for moderate PL sides) and Scotland, though some played in their home country's league at youth level (such as Roy Keane, Iain Harte, Seamus Coleman and Kevin Doyle at Cobh, Home Farm, Siligo, Sligo, and Cork), and two sides from that league have played in the Europa League group stage with Dundalk having nearly made the Champions league at one point. Fun fact: The team's fans were so well-behaved at the Euro '16 tournament that the Mayor of Paris awarded them the Grand Vermeil, Paris' most prestigious honour. Main clubs: Dundalk and Shelbourne (joint most successful clubs, with 6 titles), Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers (from Dublin), and the most recent champions, Cork City.



* '''Norway''': red shirt, white shorts and navy socks. Not so hot in men's football, but their women's national team became World Champions in 1995 and also won two European Championships. Surprisingly enough, they are the only national team in the world that Brazil has never defeated - the Norwegians' tally against them consists of 2 victories and 2 draws. Only made 3 world cups (2 in the 1990's) and one Euros, but won its level 3 Nations League group in the event's first iteration, making their 2020 qualifying pairing with Sweden (who won their group a level above) potentially massive (both meetings were draws). Its main club is Trondheim side Rosenborg, who won the league 25 times - 13 of them in a row (1992 to 2004), with other notable clubs including Vålerenga from the capital Oslo, SK Brann from the city of Bergen, Viking FK from Stavanger, Molde FK, and Lillestrøm SK.
* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), Legia Warszawa (13 overall titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). The reigning champions, however, are Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. 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, now known as FCSB due to a bizarre legal dispute in 2014 (1986 European winners, and runners-up in 1989 - on both occasions helmed by Hagi too - and greatest national winners with 26 titles), Dinamo Bucharest (Steaua's crosstown rivals and second most successful club in Romania, with 18 titles), Universitatea Craiova (4 titles), CFR Cluj (an uprising team which has five titles in the 21st century, including the most recent two in 2018 and 2019), and Viitorul Constanța (formed in 2009, owned and managed by Hagi himself, won their first top-flight title in 2017).

to:

* '''Norway''': red shirt, white shorts and navy socks. Not so hot in men's football, but their women's national team became World Champions in 1995 and also won two European Championships. Surprisingly enough, they are the only national team in the world that Brazil has never defeated - the Norwegians' tally against them consists of 2 victories and 2 draws. Only made 3 world cups (2 in the 1990's) and one Euros, but won its level 3 Nations League group in the event's first iteration, making their 2020 qualifying pairing with Sweden (who won their group a level above) potentially massive (both meetings were draws). Its main club is Trondheim side Rosenborg, who won the league 25 times - 13 of them in a row (1992 to 2004), with other notable clubs including Vålerenga from the capital Oslo, SK Brann from the city of Bergen, Viking FK from Stavanger, reigning champions Molde FK, and Lillestrøm SK.
* '''Poland''': white shirt and socks and red shorts. A surprisingly capable nation, bringing to the world talents like Michał Żewłakow, Zbigniew Boniek, Włodzimierz Lubański, and more recently, Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczycowski, Miroslav Klose (ethnic Pole), Lukas Podolski (ethnic Pole), Arkadiusz Milik, and Krzysztof Piatek. Gold medallist in 1972, and third place in the 1974 and 1982 World Cups. Main clubs: Wisła Kraków (with seven national titles in the last 14 seasons), regional rivals Górnik Zabrze and Ruch Chorzów (joint record for total league titles - 14, and the former were runners-up of the 1971 Cup Winners' Cup), reigning champions Legia Warszawa (13 (also with 14 overall titles) and Lech Poznań (the only Polish club in the top 100 of the UEFA rankings thanks to some impressive European performances, and the club that revealed Lewandowski). The reigning champions, however, are Another notable side is Piast Gliwice, who conquered their first home title in 2018–19 after narrowly escaping relegation the season before. 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, now known as FCSB due to a bizarre legal dispute in 2014 (1986 European winners, and runners-up in 1989 - on both occasions helmed by Hagi too - and greatest national winners with 26 titles), Dinamo Bucharest (Steaua's crosstown rivals and second most successful club in Romania, with 18 titles), Universitatea Craiova (4 titles), CFR Cluj (an uprising team which has five six titles in the 21st century, including the most recent two three in 2018 and 2019), 2018–2020), Universitatea Craiova (4 titles), and Viitorul Constanța (formed in 2009, owned and managed by Hagi himself, won their first top-flight title in 2017).



* '''San Marino''': blue shirt, shorts and socks. Permanent ButtMonkey of all nations, San Marino are rooted to the bottom of the world and European rankings and are notable for only winning one senior fixture in their history, defeating Liechtenstein in a friendly in 2004. Their most famous player is Andy Selva, who is their all-time top goal scorer, with eight goals. They were the only nation to not score a goal in the inaugural Nations League, despite the relatively Like-minded nature of opponents in the event's format, which saw them lose to Belarus, Luxembourg and Moldova, whereas all other level 4 teams earned at least 2 points.
* '''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 or Euro final they were in, even in the late 70s and early 80s where the team was made up of talented players like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness), though they had more luck in the first ever Nation's League, getting the sole 3-team group in Level 3 and holding off Albania and Israel, the latter in a winner takes all, 5-goal finale. This gave them a fallback after an abject quaifying group, which began with a 3-0 loss in Kazakhstan, and saw Scotland mathematically ruled out with 3 games still to play. Main clubs: Celtic (European Cup champions in 1967 and runners-up in 1970) and Rangers (54 league victories against 49 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 - in fact, experienced BBC journalists in Northern Ireland during the Troubles noticed that the timing of riots generally had a lot to do with football fixtures). 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 and, as of 2015/16, a third back to the Scottish Premiership), Celtic became (temporarily at least) the sole dominant team of the Highlands.

to:

* '''San Marino''': blue shirt, shorts and socks. Permanent ButtMonkey of all nations, San Marino are rooted to the bottom of the world and European rankings and are notable for only winning one senior fixture in their history, defeating Liechtenstein in a friendly in 2004. Their most famous player is Andy Selva, who is their all-time top goal scorer, with eight goals. They were the only nation to not score a goal in the inaugural Nations League, despite the relatively Like-minded like-minded nature of opponents in the event's format, which saw them lose to Belarus, Luxembourg and Moldova, whereas all other level 4 teams earned at least 2 points.
* '''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 or Euro final they were in, even in the late 70s and early 80s where the team was made up of talented players like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness), though they had more luck in the first ever Nation's League, getting the sole 3-team group in Level 3 and holding off Albania and Israel, the latter in a winner takes all, 5-goal finale. This gave them a fallback after an abject quaifying group, which began with a 3-0 loss in Kazakhstan, and saw Scotland mathematically ruled out with 3 games still to play. Main clubs: Celtic (European Cup champions in 1967 and runners-up in 1970) and Rangers (54 league victories against 49 51 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 - in fact, experienced BBC journalists in Northern Ireland during the Troubles noticed that the timing of riots generally had a lot to do with football fixtures). 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 and, as of 2015/16, a third back to the Scottish Premiership), Celtic became (temporarily at least) the sole dominant team of the Highlands.



* '''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). However, scored 5 goals to beat Belgium from 2-0 down, and surpass them in head to head standings when they were level on points in their level 1 nations league group, and therefore made the final 4, along with England, Netherlands and Portugal. Main clubs: FC Basel (winners of 11 of the 15 titles since the current Super League was established in 2003–04), FC Zürich (with three of the remaining five titles in the Super League era) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories, but have sadly been relegated in 2019 following many tribulations on and off the pitch). The current champions, however, are Young Boys from the capital of Bern, who have also reached a European Cup semifinal in 1959.
* '''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 intermittently - their world cup qualifying campaigns have been dire, but they made the semi finals again in Euro 2008 after some stirring comebacks, outdid Netherlands to get to Euro 2016, and have upstaged world champions France in Euro 2020 qualification. Its main teams are all from Istanbul: Galatasaray (who beat Arsenal to the 2000 UEFA Cup win), Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. That Bursaspor won the 2010 national championship in a major upset made them only the second non-Istanbul club to do so; the other was six-times champion Trabzonspor.
* '''Ukraine''': yellow shirt and socks and blue shorts. The most famous club is FC Dynamo Kyiv, which won the Soviet championship and the post-USSR Ukrainian one 13 times each, as well as the European Cup-Winners' Cup twice. In 1975, headed by European footballer of the year Oleg Blokhin, Dynamo also won the Supercup. Dynamo's greatest rival is Shakhtar Donetsk, the reigning champions with one Soviet championship and 12 post-Soviet Ukrainian titles, plus the 2009 UEFA Cup. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Poland. They only qualified for one World Cup, in 2006, but captained by their greatest post-USSR star, Andriy Shevchenko, they acquitted themselves very well, making it to the top 8 and only being stopped by then-future champions Italy in the quarter-finals. Promoted to level 1 in the inaugural Nations League campaign, along with Bosnia, Sweden and Denmark, and became one of the first teams to qualify automatically for Euro 2020, eclipsing Portugal.

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). However, scored 5 goals to beat Belgium from 2-0 down, and surpass them in head to head standings when they were level on points in their level 1 nations league group, and therefore made the final 4, along with England, Netherlands and Portugal. Main clubs: FC Basel (winners of 11 of the 15 titles since the current Super League was established in 2003–04), FC Zürich (with three of the remaining five titles in the Super League era) and Grasshopper (also from Zürich, the most nationally successful team with 27 league victories, but have sadly been relegated in 2019 following many tribulations on and off the pitch). The current and three-time reigning champions, however, are Young Boys from the capital of Bern, who have also reached a European Cup semifinal in 1959.
* '''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 intermittently - their world cup qualifying campaigns have been dire, but they made the semi finals again in Euro 2008 after some stirring comebacks, outdid Netherlands to get to Euro 2016, and have upstaged world champions France in Euro 2020 qualification. Its main teams are all from Istanbul: Galatasaray (who beat Arsenal to the 2000 UEFA Cup win), Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. The reigning champions are yet another Istanbul side, Başakşehir, who claimed their first title in 2020. That Bursaspor won the 2010 national championship in a major upset made them only the second non-Istanbul club to do so; the other was six-times champion Trabzonspor.
Trabzonspor.
* '''Ukraine''': yellow shirt and socks and blue shorts. The most famous club is FC Dynamo Kyiv, which won the Soviet championship and the post-USSR Ukrainian one 13 times each, as well as the European Cup-Winners' Cup twice. In 1975, headed by European footballer of the year Oleg Blokhin, Dynamo also won the Supercup. Dynamo's greatest rival is Shakhtar Donetsk, the reigning champions with one Soviet championship and 12 13 post-Soviet Ukrainian titles, plus the 2009 UEFA Cup. Co-hosted the European Championships in 2012 with Poland. They only qualified for one World Cup, in 2006, but captained by their greatest post-USSR star, Andriy Shevchenko, they acquitted themselves very well, making it to the top 8 and only being stopped by then-future champions Italy in the quarter-finals. Promoted to level 1 in the inaugural Nations League campaign, along with Bosnia, Sweden and Denmark, and became one of the first teams to qualify automatically for Euro 2020, eclipsing Portugal.

Added DiffLines:

For the 2019–20 edition only, the knockout stage used a different format due to [[UsefulNotes/COVID19Pandemic COVID-19]]. The competition was halted in mid-March after the first leg of the round of 16 and resumed after nearly 5 months with the second legs. UEFA then moved the final from Istanbul to Lisbon (with Istanbul receiving the 2021 final) and created a "bubble" in Lisbon to house the remainder of the tournament. All remaining knockout matches are being played as one-off matches.


Added DiffLines:

The 2019–20 Women's CL was also disrupted by COVID-19, though the women had completed their round of 16 when things were halted. The tournament will resume in its own "bubble" in Spain with the quarterfinals, hosted by the Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián.[[note]]Basque names: Bilbo and Donostia[[/note]] Also paralleling the men's version, all remaining ties will be one-off matches, with San Sebastián hosting the final.


* '''Czech Republic''': red shirt, white shorts and blue socks. Saw its better days while under the Czechoslovakia flag (by which they were runners-up in the 1934 and 1962 World Cups, and won the 1976 European Championship and the 1980 Olympic gold medal), but on their own right are not a bad team, as the second place in Euro '96 can attest. Have made every European Championship as of 2016 when independent but only one World Cup, in 2006. Main teams: Sparta Praha (most victorious in the country, with 12 leagues under their belts) and reigning champions Slavia Praha, both from Prague, and Viktoria Plzeň (five titles in the 2010s).

to:

* '''Czech Republic''': red shirt, white shorts and blue socks. Saw its better days while under the Czechoslovakia flag (by which they were runners-up in the 1934 and 1962 World Cups, and won the 1976 European Championship and the 1980 Olympic gold medal), but on their own right are not a bad team, as the second place in Euro '96 can attest. Have made every European Championship as of 2016 when independent but only one World Cup, in 2006. Main teams: Sparta Praha (most victorious in the country, with 12 leagues under their belts) and reigning champions Slavia Praha, both from Prague, Prague - the latter of whom is the club Josef Bican, the most prolific striker in the history of the game, has played for much of his career, and Viktoria Plzeň (five titles in the 2010s).

Showing 15 edit(s) of 296

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report