A European Cup or European Cup is a sporting competition held at European level by club teams , in some sports also national teams or even in individual sports . The European Cups are usually held by the respective European sports association . The athletic qualification of the participating teams takes place on a national level, and in some cases also in continental qualification competitions.
The term “European Cup”, which is also common in Germany, is derived from the English European cup or the French Coupe d'Europe . The World Cup is a sporting competition held on a global level . The counterpart for national teams is the European Championship .
Football was the first sport in which a European Cup competition was held. Today, European club competitions take place in almost all team sports . There are also European Cup competitions in some individual sports. For example in athletics .
In the public perception of Europe and the world, the UEFA Champions League has by far the highest level of awareness and popularity due to the popularity of football . In the 2004/05 season she had an average attendance of 39,645. The stadiums were sold out early and the TV stations had high audience ratings. This also had a positive effect on the income of those involved; UEFA , the participating teams and the broadcasting TV stations earn a lot from the competition.
The EHF Champions League ( handball ), the ULEB Euroleague ( basketball ) and the Heineken Cup ( rugby ) are far behind these billion-dollar deals, but still with good income for all parties and a high level of audience interest . The 2006 finals of the Euroleague with 16,805 and the Heineken Cup with 74,534 spectators were both sold out events. The average annual attendance in the basketball competition with 5,941 and in the rugby union competition with 12,211 was in a passable range. The handball Champions League games are even marketed outside of Europe.
The other other competitions, however, only attract more attention in the respective participating cities. These can be divided into two basic types of events, on the one hand the mode with a decision on a weekend in one place like the CEB European Cup , on the other hand the mode with a competition stretched over an entire season like the EFAF European Football League , which is a more commercial one Alignment is based.
In the future, not only do most associations want to stick to the more commercial variant, but also the last remaining associations in the team sports sector, such as baseball , see the future of their competitions in the “Champions League” format.
The organizer of the European Cup competitions in American football is IFAF Europe . The most important title at European level is the Eurobowl which was the final of the European Football League until 2013 . The Eurobowl has been played as part of the Big6 since 2014 .
The highest European competition is the Big6 European Football League , or Big6 for short. The Big6 was originally intended for the best six European teams. Most recently, only four teams took part in 2018 . Since the introduction of the Big6, only German teams have won the Eurobowl. Most recently, the New York Lions Braunschweig succeeded in doing this four times in a row. In the all-time best list, the Lions lead the Vienna Vikings from Austria with six titles .
The game is usually played between March and July. The competition was held for the first time in 1986. The first winner was the Finnish team Taft Vantaa .
European Football League
The second highest competition with six participants last time is the European Football League , EFL for short. The Potsdam Royals took part for Germany and won the competition. Until 2013, the EFL was the highest European competition. The record winners were the Vienna Vikings with five titles. Since 2014, German teams have won four out of five possible titles, including two from the Kiel Baltic Hurricanes . Austria has not participated in the EFL and Big6 since 2017.
The previous competitions were the EFAF Cup , which was held between 2002 and 2013. With the Euro-Cup (1996–99) and the Federations-Cup (1997–98) there were two other predecessors of this competition. The first winner of the EFAF Cup was the Austrian team Graz Giants , who are also record winners and have won three titles.
CEB European Champions Cup
This cup is played in best-of-three mode between the two winners of the CEB European Cup . Until 2012, both teams placed second were also eligible to play and the trophy was played as a Final Four tournament .
CEB European Cup
The highest European competition is the CEB European Cup , or simply EC for short. Since 2008 the trophy has been played in two pools (tournaments) of 6 teams each. The two winners qualify for the European Champions Cup. The game is usually played in mid-June. The competition ends in a final. The competition was first held in 1963 when Picadero won the Jockey Club from the Spanish league. The record winner is an Italian team, they won their nine titles under the names Germal Parma , Parmalat Parma , World Vision Parma , Cariparma Angels and CUS Cariparma .
CEB Cup Winners' Cup
The second highest European competition with eight participants last time is the CEB Cup Winners' Cup . Among them is the German runner-up in the pre-season baseball league , the last time the Regensburg legionaries were qualified. Austrian or Swiss teams did not qualify. The game is usually played in the middle of June. The competition ends in a final. The competition was held for the first time in 1990. The first winner was Neptunus Rotterdam from the Dutch Honkbal Hoofdklasse , they are also record winners of the competition (5 titles).
The third highest European competition with eight participants last time is the CEB Cup . Among them is a German team, in 2007 the Heidenheim Heideköpfe qualified in the Bundesliga baseball with their performances in the 2006 season . Austrian or Swiss clubs did not qualify. The game is usually played in the middle of June. The competition ends with a final. The competition was held for the first time in 1993. The first winner was the Italian club Nettuno BC , they are also record winners with a total of three wins.
The European Cup basketball competitions are organized by the Union of European Leagues of Basketball (ULEB) and the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Europe (FIBA Europe). There are currently three competitions:
The highest European competition with currently 24 participants is the ULEB Euroleague , also known as EL for short. Among them is the German champions from the previous season with the Brose Baskets from Bamberg . The national champions from Switzerland and Austria are not eligible to participate. The game is played between the end of October and the beginning of May of the next year and ends with a Final Four tournament . With four triumphs, the Panathinaikos Athens team are record holders.
The predecessor of the ULEB Euroleague was the European Cup , which was first held by the FIBA in 1957/1958. The first winner was ASK Riga from the Latvian SSR of the Soviet Union , most of the titles won by the Spanish team from Real Madrid with eight . When the ULEB launched the ULEB Euroleague in the 2000/01 season , the FIBA European Cup was held in parallel under the new name of the Suproleague . However, since this was of less sporting importance than the ULEB's counter-competition and to prevent a future split in European club basketball, both associations agreed to stop this tournament after just one season.
The second highest European competition is the ULEB Eurocup , which was held for the first time in the 2002/03 season. The starting field now comprises 54 teams. Among them are five German teams from the basketball Bundesliga : main round winners ALBA Berlin , the BBL playoff semi-finalists Artland Dragons , Cologne 99ers and EnBW Ludwigsburg and, with a wild card, the Deutsche Bank Skyliners . The field of participants also includes the respective champions from Austria and Switzerland ( Allianz Swans Gmunden and Benetton Friborg ). The game will be played between the end of October and the middle of April of the next year. The competition ends with a final. The winner is qualified for the next season of the ULEB Euroleague. The Spanish club Pamesa Valencia was able to win this competition first in 2003.
The predecessor of the ULEB Eurocup was the European Cup Winners' Cup , which was first held by the FIBA in 1966/1967. The first winner was the Italian club Ignis Varese , the record winner is Real Madrid, as well as the Italian team from Pallacanestro Cantù (formerly Birra Forst , Gabetti , Squibb ) with four titles each. After several name changes ( European Cup , Eurocup , Saporta Cup ), the competition was finally discontinued after the 2002 season.
The third highest European competition is the EuroChallenge , which is organized by FIBA and was held for the first time in the 2002/03 season. The game will be played between the beginning of November and the middle of April of the next year. The competition ends with a Final Four tournament. The first winner was the Russian team UNICS Kazan .
The predecessor of the EuroCup was the Korać-Cup , which was first held by the FIBA in 1971/1972. The first winner was the Croatian team Lokomotiva Zagreb . The record winner is the Italian team Pallacanestro Cantù (formerly Birra Forst , Shampoo Clear ) with a total of four titles. Like the European Cup Winners' Cup , the Korać Cup was also discontinued after the 2002 season.
FIBA EuroCup Challenge
The fourth highest European competition was the FIBA EuroCup Challenge , which was held during the seasons from 2002/03 to 2006/2007. The first winner was Aris Saloniki from Greece . This tournament was particularly popular in Central and Eastern European countries, where basketball is very important, but for which there were not enough starting places available in the ULEB competitions . After the decision to expand the field of participants for the ULEB Cup to 54 teams in the summer of 2007 , the FIBA EuroCup Challenge was discontinued.
The host of the European Cup competitions in ice hockey is the International Ice Hockey Federation IIHF, as there are no continental associations. Two official European Cup competitions are currently being held:
Champions Hockey League
The Champions Hockey League , or CHL for short, is the highest competition for European club teams. It has been carried out by the Champions Hockey League (CHL) AG based in Zug since 2014, in which the IIHF, six leagues and 26 clubs are involved. Three to five teams from each of the leagues involved (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic) qualify for the competition. In addition to the champions, these are definitely the two best teams in the respective main round. There are also seven national champions from other countries and the winner of the Continental Cup. The first three seasons were won by Swedish teams ( Luleå HF and Frölunda HC twice ). The 2018 winner was the Finnish representative JYP Jyväskylä .
IIHF Continental Cup
The IIHF Continental Cup , or CC for short, was originally introduced in 1997 as the second highest competition alongside the then European Hockey League . Every European association can register a club for CC, except for the six leagues participating in the CHL. The IIHF Continental Cup consists of several rounds with four-way tournaments, the winners of which qualify for the next round. The teams are seeded for the rounds according to the strength of their country. The competition begins at the end of September and ends at the beginning of January with the final tournament, the so-called “Super Final”, for which the first two of the semi-final tournaments qualify.
The previous competition was the IIHF Federation Cup played in 1994 and 1995 . The first winner of the Continental Cup was the Czech team TJ VSŽ Košice . The record winner is the Belarusian club HK Junost Minsk with three titles.
The European Cup was first played in 1965/66 ; The first European Cup winner was the Czechoslovak representative ZKL Brno . The European Cup was replaced in 1996 by the European Hockey League . After a break between 2001 and 2005, the title was played in the IIHF European Champions Cup , where the champions of the six best nations in Europe faced each other in a tournament in January. With a total of 20 titles, the CSKA Moscow team is the record holder. In the 2008/09 season, the short-lived Champions Hockey League (CHL) was held, which was won by the ZSC Lions from Zurich . After an investor jumped out, the CHL was suspended. Unofficially, the European Trophy took over the role of the highest European cup competition. Only invited teams took part in this competition, which resulted from the Nordic Trophy and the Red Bulls Salute .
In women's ice hockey , the IIHF European Women Champions Cup was held between 2004 and 2015 . The national champions of the national women's leagues took part in this competition, also known as the "European Cup of National Champions in Women's Ice Hockey". The competition was played in several tournaments, with the tournament winners advancing to the next round. The final tournament called "EWCC Super Final" was held in December each year. Record winners are the Swedish club AIK Solna and the Russian representative Tornado Moskowskaja Oblast with four titles each.
The highest European competition for club teams is that of the EFA Champions Cup (formerly the European Cup for men and women ). It has been held in the field season since 1963 for men's teams and 1993 for women's teams.
The second highest European competition for club teams is the European Cup (formerly IFA Cup). It has been held on the field for men's teams since 1991.
UEFA Women's Champions League
The only European competition for women is the UEFA Women's Champions League . The national champions of the individual national associations as well as the runners-up from the eight best leagues take part in the competition. Since there are no leagues in Ireland and Wales, for example , these associations send their cup winners into the race. The game will be played between August and April of the next year. The final played in one game. The first time the competition was held in 2001/2002 as the UEFA Women's Cup , after the 2008/09 season it was given its current name. The first winner was 1. FFC Frankfurt .
UEFA Champions League
The highest European competition with currently 32 participants is the UEFA Champions League (UCL for short), which was held for the first time in 1955/1956 under the name European Champions Clubs' Cup or European Cup of National Champions. This competition has been held under its current name since the 1992/93 season. Real Madrid was the first team to win the European football crown in 1956; With thirteen titles, the Spaniards are also record winners.
The UCL is held between mid-September and the end of May or the beginning of June of the following year. The winner will be determined in a single final game. The winner played up to and including 2004 against the winner of the South American Copa Libertadores for the World Cup . Since its abolition, he has been eligible to compete in the FIFA Club World Cup .
The criteria for participation as well as the game mode have changed several times over the years. Before the 1997/98 season, only the national champions of all European football associations and the defending champions were allowed to start. A qualifying round had to be introduced for the first time in the 1992/93 season, as the number of member associations in UEFA had increased significantly due to political events. From the 1999/2000 season, quota starting places for the final round will be allocated to the national associations after the UEFA five-year ranking. Since then, stronger associations have been allowed to send other teams in addition to their national champions, while the national champions of smaller associations have to play for the remaining starting places in the qualifying rounds.
- Winner 2016: Real Madrid
- 2017 winner: Real Madrid
- Winner 2018: Real Madrid
- Winner 2019: Liverpool FC
UEFA Europa League
The second highest European competition is the UEFA Europa League . This competition was the first time in the 1971-72 season, then known as the UEFA Cup on German and UEFA Cup named performed. The first winner was the English team Tottenham Hotspur , the record winner is Sevilla FC with five titles.
The Europa League will be played between September and May of the next year. Up to and including the 1996/97 season, the winner was determined in two finals (first and second leg), then in a single final on a neutral place.
After the European Cup Winners' Cup was abolished in 1999, the national cup winners were given the right to start the UEFA Cup. With the renaming of the UEFA Cup after the 2008/09 season and the abolition of the UI Cup at the same time , all but the associations that were most prominent in the UEFA five-year ranking received an additional starting place in the Europa League qualification.
- Winner 2016: Sevilla FC
- 2017 winner: Manchester United
- Winner 2018: Atlético Madrid
- Winner 2019: Chelsea FC
UEFA Super Cup
The Supercup competition in European club football is the UEFA Super Cup , which has been officially held since 1973. Originally it was determined between the winner of the national championship and the winner of the cup winner competition. Since the abolition of the latter in 1999, the Champions League winner has been competing against the Europa League winner. The first winner of the then unofficial Supercup was in 1972 Ajax Amsterdam . The AC Milan and FC Barcelona won the title yet most, a total of five times.
Up to and including 1997, the winner was usually determined by playing back and forth in the stadiums of the two participating clubs. Since 1998, the Supercup has been played in a single match, usually towards the end of August, on a neutral pitch. From 1998 to 2012 the Stade Louis II in Monaco was a permanent venue, since then the venue has changed annually. Most of the time, the game is played in a smaller country, where "big football" is rarely a guest.
Although the UEFA Supercup is a European-level competition, it does not count as a European Cup.
- Winner 2016: Real Madrid
- 2017 winner: Real Madrid
- Winner 2018: Atlético Madrid
- Winner 2019: Liverpool FC
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
The second highest European competition at the time was the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup - referred to in Germany as the European Cup Winners' Cup , in Switzerland and Austria also known as the Cup Winners' Cup . It was held for the first time in 1960/61, but stopped after the 1998/99 season. The first winner was Fiorentina , most of the victories celebrated with four titles of the FC Barcelona .
In addition to the defending champion, the cup winners of all UEFA member associations were eligible to participate. If they were already qualified for the national championship competition, the defeated cup finalist moved up. Cup winners and finalists have been eligible to play in the UEFA Cup since the 1999/2000 season.
The representatives of Germany, Austria and Switzerland at the last event in 1998/99 were MSV Duisburg , SV Ried and Lausanne-Sports . Duisburg and Lausanne were eliminated in the first, Ried in the second.
- Last winner in 1999: Lazio Rome
UEFA Intertoto Cup
The fourth European competition was the UEFA Intertoto Cup , usually referred to as the UI Cup for short . It was first played in 1967, but only since 1995 by UEFA. Before, the competition was simply called the Intertoto Cup . The first winners in 1967 were Feyenoord Rotterdam , OSC Lille , Lierse SK , Hannover 96 , Zagłębie Sosnowiec , Polonia Bytom , IFK Göteborg , Ruch Chorzów , VSS Košice , KB Copenhagen and Fortuna Düsseldorf .
The UI-Cup was held in the run-up to the UEFA Cup; its winners were eligible to start in its qualification. The game mode has been changed several times over the years. Since 2006, the game has only been played in the knockout system . From 2006, the team that came furthest out of all eleven UI Cup final winners in the UEFA Cup was also considered the winner. The UI-Cup was held for the last time in summer 2008. VfB Stuttgart started as the German representative, SK Sturm Graz for Austria and Grasshoppers Zurich for Switzerland . All three clubs reached the UEFA Cup qualification.
- Last winner in 2008: Sporting Braga
EHF Champions League
The highest European competition with currently 39 participants is the EHF Champions League , often also abbreviated CL. Among them are the first four of the preseason of the handball Bundesliga , these are the German champions HSV Hamburg , the THW Kiel , the Füchse Berlin and the Rhein-Neckar Löwen . In addition, the Austrian master handball club Fivers Margareten from the Handball League Austria qualified . Master Kadetten Schaffhausen from the Swiss NLA is there. The game will be played between the beginning of September and the end of May of the next year. The competition ends with a final, which is decided in the Final Four mode. The competition was held for the first time in 1956/57 . The first winner was a selection team from Prague . Record winner is FC Barcelona with eight titles. The teams leaving the qualification are relegated to the EHF Cup. The winner qualifies for the EHF Champions Trophy and if the Super Globe of the IHF will be held, so far only irregular sweeps, the winner is eligible again.
EHF European League
The second highest competition should be the EHF European League from the 2020/21 season . The competition replaces the EHF Europe Cup . The league is played with 24 teams, 12 of which are seeded by the EHF, while the rest come from a qualification with a previously unknown number of participants. A group stage is followed by the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, third place play-off and the final.
Between 2012 and 2020, the second highest competition with 49 participants last time was the EHF Cup . The competition was launched in the 2012/13 season and replaced the EHF Cup Winners' Cup and the former EHF Cup . The game is played between the beginning of September and the beginning of May. The competition ended with a final, which is decided in the Final Four mode between the remaining four teams. In 2020, the EHF European League was introduced as the second highest division .
EHF Cup Winners' Cup
The former second highest competition with a total of 35 participants in the last season 2011/12 is the EHF Cup Winners 'Cup , in German also the European Cup Winners' Cup . Qualification at the national level usually took place via the cup competition. The game was played between the beginning of September and the beginning of May. The competition ended with a final, which was decided by a round trip. The competition was held for the first time in 1975/76 . The first winner was the Spanish team BM Granollers . The record winner is FC Barcelona from Spain with five titles. The winner was qualified for the EHF Champions Trophy.
EHF Cup (until 2012)
The former third-highest competition with a total of 49 participants in the last season 2011/12 is the EHF Cup , in German also EHF Cup , including teams that failed to qualify for the EHF Champions League. Eligibility to participate went to the best teams in the handball Bundesliga that did not take part in any higher competition. Germany recently had two starting positions due to the victory of FRISCH AUF! Göppingen in the preseason. The game was played between the beginning of September and the beginning of May. The competition ended with a final, which was decided in a return game. The competition was held for the first time in 1981/82 . The first winner was the German team VfL Gummersbach . Record winners are THW Kiel and SC Magdeburg with three titles. The winner was qualified for the EHF Champions Trophy.
EHF Champions Trophy
The Super Cup in European handball was the EHF Champions Trophy , in which the winners of the Champions League, EHF Cup Winners' Cup and EHF Cup took part in addition to an organizer of high quality. The game was mostly played at the end of November. The competition started with two semi-finals and was decided in a final, there was also a game for third place. The first time the competition was held in 1978 under the name IHF Goldcup . The competition did not take place between 1984 and 1995. From 1996 to 2006 it was called the EHF European Club Championship for ten years , in 2007 and 2008 it was held as the EHF Champions Trophy and has not been held at all since 2008. The first winner was the German team VfL Gummersbach . The record winner is FC Barcelona from Spain with five titles.
EHF Challenge Cup
The third highest competition with 36 participants until 2020 was the EHF Challenge Cup . There are no longer any German teams among the participants, as this competition today is primarily intended for weaker member associations of the EHF. The game is played between the beginning of September and the beginning of May. The competition ends with a final that is decided in a two-way leg. The first time the competition was held in 1993/1994 under the name EHF City Cup . The first winner was the German team TUSEM Essen .
Euro Hockey League (men)
The Euro Hockey League , EHL for short, is a field competition for men with currently 24 participants. Among them are three German teams from the Hockey Bundesliga . The EuroHockey Club Champions Cup winner and DM semi-finalist Crefelder HTC , the German champions Der Club an der Alster and the DM second Uhlenhorster HC have qualified. The country hockey champions Lucerne SC qualified from Switzerland . The Austrian champion AHTC Vienna is also there. The game is played between the end of October and mid-May. The competition ends in a final on May 11, 2008. The first time officially the competition was held in 1974, still under a different name. The current EHL replaced the previous EuroHockey Club Champions Cup competition. The first winner was the German team SC 1880 Frankfurt . The record winner is also a German team, HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim with nine titles.
There are other competitions below the EHL:
- EuroHockey Club Trophy
- EuroHockey Club Challenge I to IV
EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (women)
- In the Euro Hockey Club Champions Cup , shortly ECCC, start eight teams, a maximum of two per nation. This competition was held for the first time in 1974 under a different name. This includes other competitions:
- EuroHockey Club Trophy
- EuroHockey Club Challenge I to III
In the hall, three competitions each are held for men and women, depending on performance;
- EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (women, hall) , EuroHockey Club Champions Cup (men, hall)
- EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy
- EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge
In the field of athletics, the European Athletics Cup has been held since 1965 . In 2009 a complete redesign was made and the European Athletics Team Championship was created. For the athletic throwing disciplines there is the winter throwing European cup .
European Cup in ski mountaineering
In the sport of ski mountaineering, the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competitions (ISMC) has been hosting the European Ski Mountaineering Cup since 1992 .
In floorball there is a EuroFloorball Cup, which takes place annually (between 2000 and 2008 the event was held every six months) and is organized by the International Floorball Federation (IFF). The cup has one qualification round each, which is held in 3 groups at three qualifying tournaments and 6 teams then play in the actual European Cup. The cup will also be held at one location in around 5 days.
European Rugby Champions Cup
The highest European competition with currently 20 participants is the European Rugby Champions Cup (ERCC). The winner is qualified for the next European Rugby Champions Cup.
European Rugby Challenge Cup
The second highest European competition with currently 20 participants is the European Challenge Cup . The winner is qualified for the next European Rugby Champions Cup.
European Rugby Continental Shield
The third European competition is called European Rugby Continental Shield. Here the German master plays along. The game is played between the end of October and mid-May. The two finalists are qualified for the next European Rugby Challenge Cup.
The CEV Cup is the second highest European Cup competition in volleyball. Up to and including the 2006/07 season, the competition was held under the name Top Teams Cup and the name CEV-Pokal applied to the current Challenge Cup.
The Challenge Cup is the third highest and therefore the lowest ranking European Cup competition in volleyball. Up to and including the 2006/07 season, the competition was held under the name CEV-Pokal .
European Cups are held in almost all individual Olympic winter sports, such as biathlon , alpine skiing and ski jumping . Together with the Asian Cup and other Continental Cups, these are the second highest class after the World Cup . The exception until 2011 was the Ladies Continental Cup in ski jumping, as there was no World Cup for women until then.