Aberdeen F.C. in European football
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|First entry||1967–68 European Cup Winners' Cup|
|Last entry||2014–15 UEFA Europa League|
|Cup Winners' Cup|
Aberdeen is a Scottish professional football club based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Aberdeen's first participation in European competition was in the 1967–68 season, when they competed in the European Cup Winners' Cup.
Willie Miller holds the record for European appearances for Aberdeen, making 61 appearances between 1973 and 1989. The club's top scorer in Europe is Mark McGhee, with 14 goals. Aberdeen's record win in Europe is 10–0, which came in their first-ever European match against KR Reykjavik of Iceland in 1967.
Aberdeen played their first official match in competitive European football in September 1967 in a European Cup Winners' Cup first round game against KR Reykjavik of Iceland. They qualified for the competition after reaching the Scottish Cup Final in 1967. Celtic had won the League and European Cup, and so they qualified for the European Cup. The match ended in a 10–0 victory for Aberdeen. The return leg saw Aberdeen win 4–1, making the score 14–1 on aggregate. In the second round, Aberdeen were knocked out by Belgian club Standard Liege, losing 0–3 in Liège, but winning the second leg 2–0 at Pittodrie.
In 1968, in the Fairs Cup, Aberdeen defeated Bulgarian club Slavia Sofia in the first round. In the second round, a capacity crowd saw Aberdeen beat Spanish club Real Zaragoza 2–1, however Aberdeen were defeated 0–3 in Spain, and were knocked out 2–4 on aggregate.
In 1971, Aberdeen were drawn against Spanish club Celta Vigo in the first round of the UEFA Cup. A 3–0 aggregate victory meant Aberdeen were through to the second round, where they were drawn against Italian club Juventus. Aberdeen lost the first leg in Turin 0–2 and drew the second leg 1–1, Joe Harper scored Aberdeen's goal.
The 1972–73 UEFA Cup saw Aberdeen drawn with Borussia Mönchengladbach of West Germany. Aberdeen went down 2–3 at Pittodrie, and lost the second leg 3–6, going out of the competition with a 5–9 aggregate score.
The following year, after knocking out Finn Harps of Ireland, Aberdeen were drawn against English opposition for the first time in European competition. Aberdeen drew 1–1 at home to Tottenham Hotspur, but were beaten 1–4 at White Hart Lane in the second leg.
Aberdeen failed to qualify for European football between 1974 and 1977.
Aberdeen's first European tie for four years came against Belgian club RWD Molenbeek of Brussels in 1977. A 0–0 draw away in the Belgian capital set the Dons up for the return leg at Pittodrie, however Drew Jarvie's goal could not prevent Aberdeen losing 2–1, knocking them out of Europe. This was manager Billy McNeill's only European tie as Aberdeen manager.
Despite losing the 1978 Scottish Cup final to Rangers, Aberdeen qualified for the 1978–79 European Cup Winners' Cup because Rangers had won the Premier Division, and they qualified for the European Cup. Under new manager Alex Ferguson, Aberdeen knocked out Marek Dimitrov of Bulgaria in the first round. Ferguson's team lost to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the second round, losing the first leg 0–3 in West Germany but winning 2–0 in Aberdeen.
In the 1979–80 season, Aberdeen once again failed to progress past the first round of the UEFA Cup, losing 1–2 on aggregate to West German club Eintracht Frankfurt.
After winning the Premier Division in 1980, Aberdeen made their debut in the European Cup in the 1980–81 season. Aberdeen were drawn against Austria Memphis in the opening round of the European Cup. The first leg at Pittodrie was won by Aberdeen, Mark McGhee scored the only goal of the game in a 1–0 win. The second leg in Vienna ended in a 0–0 draw. Aberdeen advanced to the second round, where the draw had paired them with English champions Liverpool. After winning 1–0 in Aberdeen, Liverpool won the second leg 4–0 at Anfield to complete a 5–0 victory.
The following season in the UEFA Cup of 1981–82, Aberdeen knocked out defending champions, English club Ipswich Town, in the opening round, then beat Romanians FC Arges Pitesti in the second round, before going on to lose in the third round to future European champions SV Hamburg. This was the first time that Aberdeen had reached the third round of a European competition.
In 1982–83, Aberdeen had qualified for the European Cup Winners' Cup by winning the Scottish Cup in 1982. Aberdeen were entered in the preliminary round against FC Sion of Switzerland. The first leg at Pittodrie ended in a 7–0 victory for Aberdeen over the Swiss side. This was Aberdeen's second biggest margin of victory in European competition, and in the second leg Aberdeen won 4–1 in Switzerland to complete an 11–1 aggregate win. This set up a tie in the first round against Dinamo Tirana from Albania. The first leg was close, with John Hewitt scoring the only goal of the game, and what turned out to be the only goal of the tie, as Aberdeen's first trip to Albania ended in a 0–0 draw. That was enough to see Aberdeen through to the next round, with a 1–0 aggregate victory. In the second round, Polish club Lech Poznan were drawn to play Aberdeen. In the first leg in Scotland, Aberdeen won 2–0. In the return leg in Poland, Aberdeen ground out a 1–0 victory. The aggregate score-line was 3–0 and this had earned Aberdeen a passage to the quarter-finals of Europe for the very first time in the club's history.
The draw for the quarter finals paired Aberdeen with West Germany's Bayern Munich. In the first leg, the game finished 0–0, with Aberdeen putting in a good defensive display. In the second leg at Pittodrie, Bayern Munich twice took the lead, but Aberdeen won the game 3–2, in a game described as "Pittodrie's greatest night".
In the semi-final, Aberdeen had been drawn against Belgian club Waterschei. Aberdeen won 5–1 at home in the first leg. In the second leg in Belgium, Aberdeen lost for the first time in the competition that season, the Belgians won 1–0.
The final saw Aberdeen face the Spanish club Real Madrid. Before the final the club released a song recorded by the players, 'European Song', to coincide with the appearance in the final. The game took place in a rain-soaked Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg. Aberdeen took the lead early in the game through Eric Black. Seven minutes later, a back pass by Alex McLeish left the opposition forward one-on-one with goalkeeper Jim Leighton. He took the ball past Leighton who brought him down for a penalty. The penalty was converted and Real Madrid had equalised, it was 1–1 at half time. The teams could not be separated after 90 minutes, it had ended 1–1, and the game was forced into extra time. Aberdeen took the lead when Mark McGhee's cross met the head of substitute John Hewitt, who headed the ball into the goal. Real Madrid could not recover and at full-time, Aberdeen had won 2–1.
This was followed up with victory in the European Super Cup in December 1983, when SV Hamburg, the reigning European Cup champions were beaten 2–0 over two legs thanks to goals by Neil Simpson and Mark McGhee at Pittodrie.
As of 2011, Aberdeen are the last club from Scotland to have won a European trophy and the only club from Scotland to have won two European trophies.
Aberdeen's defence of the Cup Winners' Cup in the 1983–84 season began against Akranes in the first round. A 2–1 win away from home was followed by a 1–1 draw at home. Aberdeen knocked out Belgian club Beveren in the second round, then Ujpest Dozsa in the third round to set up a semi-final against F.C. Porto. Two 0–1 defeats ended Aberdeen's chance of retaining the cup.
In the 1984–85 European Champions Cup, Aberdeen lost in the first round to East German champions Dynamo Berlin on penalties after a 3–3 aggregate draw. In the following year's European Cup, Aberdeen knocked out Akranes and Servette in the first two rounds.
The quarter final draw paired Aberdeen with IFK Göteborg, the Swedish champions. A 2–2 draw at home was followed by a 0–0 draw in Gothenburg, meaning that Aberdeen were knocked out on the away goals rule.
Ian Porterfield succeeded Alex Ferguson in November 1986. His first and only European campaign began in September 1987 against Irish club Bohemians. A 0–0 draw in Dublin was followed by a 1–0 win at Pittodrie; Jim Bett scored the winning goal. In the second round, Aberdeen were knocked out on the away goals rule by Dutch club Feyenoord.
In 1988, new co-managers Jocky Scott and Alex Smith led Aberdeen into the UEFA Cup. They were drawn with East Germany club Dynamo Dresden, but lost the tie 0–2 on aggregate. The following year, Aberdeen lost again at the first round stage of the UEFA Cup, this time against Austrian club Rapid Vienna on the away goals rule.
After winning the Scottish Cup in 1990, Aberdeen qualified for the 1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup. After defeating Cypriot cup winners Nea Salamina 5–0 on aggregate, Aberdeen lost in the second round to Legia Warsaw of Poland 0–1 on aggregate. In 1991, Alex Smith's Aberdeen were beaten home and away by Danish club BK 1903 in the first round of the UEFA Cup. Smith was sacked in 1992 and replaced by former captain Willie Miller.
Willie Miller's first European campaign as Aberdeen manager came in the club's last-ever campaign in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1993. A 7–0 aggregate victory over Icelandic club Valur was followed by a 3–5 defeat over two legs by Italian club Torino, despite Aberdeen taking the lead in both ties.
In the following season, Latvian club Skonto Riga knocked Aberdeen out of the UEFA Cup on the away goals rule after a 0–0 draw in Riga was followed by a 1–1 draw in Aberdeen. Miller was dismissed as manager later in that season. Roy Aitken was appointed to replace him.
After winning the Scottish League Cup in 1995–96, Aberdeen qualified for the UEFA Cup. Following a 4–1 win in Lithuania against Zalgiris Vilnius, Aberdeen set a new record for the heaviest home European defeat in the second leg at Pittodrie by losing 1–3. It was still enough to go through 5–4 on aggregate. A 6–4 aggregate win over Barry Town of Wales in the next round was followed by a 2–0 defeat over two legs by Brondby in round two, who were then managed by future Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl.
Aberdeen's first European tie in four years came in the qualifying round of the UEFA Cup in 2000 under the management of Ebbe Skovdahl. Aberdeen were drawn against Irish side, Bohemians. In the first tie at Pittodrie, Aberdeen took a 1–0 lead thanks to a goal from Robbie Winters. Bohemians then equalised and later took the lead with a last minute winner. The return leg saw Aberdeen take the lead, when David Morrison nicked the ball off of Robbie Winters, only to see the ball roll past his keeper and into the empty net. The single goal wasn't enough, as Aberdeen went out on the away goals rule again and became the first Scottish team to be knocked out by an Irish team.
Skovdahl's next European campaign came in 2002. A single Darren Mackie goal was enough to see Aberdeen eliminate Moldovan club Nistru Otaci in the qualifying round. Aberdeen were then drawn against Hertha Berlin of Germany in the first round. The tie itself remained goalless, until in the last minute of the second leg, Michael Preetz scored what proved to be the winning goal. Aberdeen were once again knocked out of Europe at an early stage.
Aberdeen failed to qualify for Europe between 2003 and 2006.
Jimmy Calderwood took over from Steve Paterson in 2004; he had to wait three years, however, before he tasted European action at Aberdeen. His first game came against the Ukrainian opposition of Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The first leg at Pittodrie finished in a 0–0 draw. In the second leg, Aberdeen took the lead midway through the second half when Darren Mackie headed home a Richard Foster cross. Dnipro later equalised through Andriy Vorobei, but Mackie's goal was enough to see Aberdeen through to the group stages. This was the first time Aberdeen had won a European tie on the away goals rule.
Aberdeen were drawn in Group B. The first match at Panathinaikos of Greece ended in a 3–0 defeat. The next home game was against Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. Aberdeen took the lead when Zander Diamond headed in a Barry Nicholson corner. The Russians later equalised when Branislav Ivanovic headed in a corner on the stroke of half time. The game finished 1–1. Aberdeen's next game was against Spanish club Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón. Aberdeen lost 0–2.
Aberdeen's final group game was against FC Copenhagen, requiring a win to see them progress through to the next round. A 4–0 win over the Danish champions came courtesy of two goals from Jamie Smith, an own goal from Mikael Antonsson, and a goal from Ricky Foster.
Aberdeen were drawn against German club Bayern Munich in the first knockout round. Aberdeen opened the scoring in the first leg at Pittodrie when on-loan midfielder Josh Walker curled a shot from outside the box and beat goalkeeper Michael Rensing. Bayern equalised a few minutes later, when Miroslav Klose raced on to a flick on by Luca Toni and scored. Aberdeen then re-took the lead when another on-loan midfielder, Sone Aluko, flicked the ball over the defender Lúcio and hit a volleyed shot which beat goalkeeper Michael Rensing again. Bayern Munich equalised when Alan Maybury was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box. Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield saved the resulting penalty; however, the ball rebounded back to Hamit Altıntop, who scored. The game finished 2–2. The second leg finished in a 1–5 defeat for Aberdeen.
Aberdeen qualified for the newly re-branded UEFA Europa League after finishing fourth in the 2008–09 season. Under new manager Mark McGhee, Aberdeen were drawn against Czech Republic team SK Sigma Olomouc in the first round. The tie ended in a record 1–8 aggregate defeat for Aberdeen, a 1–5 defeat at home was followed by a 0–3 defeat in the Czech Republic.
Aberdeen failed to qualify for Europe between 2010 and 2014. After finishing third in the 2013–14 Scottish Premiership, they qualified for the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. In July 2014, they comfortably won 8-0 on aggregate in the first qualifying round against FK Daugava Riga. In the second qualifying round, after a 0-0 draw, they won 2-1 away from home and on aggregate to edge past FC Groningen. They lost to Spanish club Real Sociedad in the third qualifying round by an aggregate score of 5-2, losing both legs and exiting the competition that season.
- PR: Preliminary round
- QR: Qualifying round
- 1R: First round
- 2R: Second round
- 3R: Third round
- 1Q: First qualifying round
- 2Q: Second qualifying round
- 3Q: Third qualifying round
- QF: Quarter-finals
- SF: Semi-finals
|Cup Winners' Cup||39||22||5||12||79||39||+40|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||4||2||1||1||4||4||0|
|UEFA Europa League||8||3||1||4||13||14||-1|
|Name||Nationality||UEFA Cup/Europa League||Cup Winners' Cup||European Cup||Super Cup||TOTAL|
|European Cup Winners' Cup||1||1982–83|
|UEFA Super Cup||1||1983|
- "Aberdeen 10–0 KR Reykjavik". AFC Heritage. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "KR Reykjavik 1–4 Aberdeen". AFC Heritage. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Webster, Jack (2002). The First 100 Years of The Dons. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 220. ISBN 0-340-82344-5.
- "Milestones & Records". Aberdeen FC. Retrieved 20 December 2010.
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- "The Road to Gothenburg". Aberdeen FC. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
- Stirling, Kevin (2002). Aberdeen: A Centenary History 1903–2003. Desert Island Books. p. 355. ISBN 1-874287-49-X.
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- "Irish sighs for Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 24 August 2000. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Dons edge through in Moldova". BBC Sport. 29 August 2002. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
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- "Aberdeen 0–0 Dnipro". BBC Sport. 20 September 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Dnipro 1–1 Aberdeen (agg 1–1)". BBC Sport. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Panathinaikos 3–0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 25 October 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Aberdeen 1–1 Lokomotiv Moscow". BBC Sport. 8 November 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Atletico Madrid 2–0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 29 November 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Aberdeen 4–0 FC Copenhagen". BBC Sport. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- "Aberdeen 2–2 Bayern Munich". BBC Sport. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Bayern Munich 5–1 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Aberdeen 1–5 Sigma Olomouc". BBC Sport. 30 July 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- "Sigma Olomouc 3–0 Aberdeen". BBC Sport. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2011.