Scottish football clubs in international competitions

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Scottish football clubs have participated in European association football competitions since 1955, when Hibernian entered the inaugural European Cup.

Scottish sides have won four UEFA competitions between them, with Celtic becoming the first side from the British Isles to win a European trophy by winning the 1966–67 European Cup. Rangers (in 1972) and Aberdeen (in 1983) both won the Cup Winners' Cup before its abolition, with Aberdeen going on to become the only Scottish side to win the UEFA Super Cup in the same year as their Cup Winners' Cup triumph.

No Scottish club has reached a European final since the 2008 UEFA Cup Final, when Rangers lost 2–0 to Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg.

A number of non-top flight sides have represented Scotland in European competition, including Gretna and Queen of the South. The most recent side from outside the top level of Scottish football to play in European football was Hibernian in the 2016–17 Europa League.

Qualification[edit]

The 2018–19 criteria for Scottish clubs to qualify for European competition are:[1]

Competition Who qualifies Notes
UEFA Champions League first qualifying round 1st in Scottish Premiership
UEFA Europa League first qualifying round Scottish Cup winners, 2nd and 3rd in Scottish Premiership

UEFA Coefficient[edit]

Year Position Coefficient[2]
2000 Increase 15th Increase 20.500
2001 Decrease 16th Increase 22.625
2002 Increase 12th Increase 26.125
2003 Increase 9th Increase 30.375
2004 Decrease 11th Increase 32.125
2005 Increase 10th Decrease 31.750
2006 Decrease 11th Decrease 30.375
2007 Increase 10th Increase 30.500
2008 Steady 10th Increase 33.375
2009 Decrease 13th Decrease 27.875
2010 Decrease 16th Decrease 25.791
2011 Increase 15th Decrease 25.141
2012 Decrease 18th Decrease 21.141
2013 Decrease 24th Decrease 15.191
2014 Increase 23rd Increase 16.566
2015 Steady 23rd Increase 17.725
2016 Decrease 25th Decrease 17.300
2017 Increase 23rd Increase 18.925
2018 Decrease 26th Decrease 18.625

Finals[edit]

Scottish clubs have competed in all three major European finals – twice in the European Cup, three times in the UEFA Cup and four times in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.[3]

European Cup[edit]

Year Club Opponent Result
1966–67 Scotland Celtic Italy Inter Milan 2–1 (N)[4]
1969–70 Scotland Celtic Netherlands Feyenoord 1–2 (N; aet)[5]

UEFA Cup[edit]

Year Club Opponent 1st 2nd Agg
1986–87 Scotland Dundee United Sweden IFK Göteborg 0–1 (A) 1–1 (H) 1–2[6]
2002–03 Scotland Celtic Portugal Porto 2–3 (N; aet)[7]
2007–08 Scotland Rangers Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg 0–2 (N)[8]

Cup Winners' Cup[edit]

Year Club Opponent 1st 2nd Agg
1960–61 Scotland Rangers Italy Fiorentina 0–2 (H) 1–2 (A) 1–4[9]
1966–67 Scotland Rangers West Germany Bayern Munich 0–1 (N; aet)[10]
1971–72 Scotland Rangers Soviet Union Dynamo Moscow 3–2 (N)[11]
1982–83 Scotland Aberdeen Spain Real Madrid 2–1 (N; aet)[12]

Finals at Hampden[edit]

Six European club finals not involving native clubs have taken place in Scotland; all were held at Hampden Park, and all were won by either a Spanish or a German club.[13] The first, the 1960 European Cup Final, drew the highest ever attendance (127,621) to a UEFA competition final and is also the highest scoring, with Real Madrid running up a 7–3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.[14]

Scottish teams were eliminated at the semi-final stage in 1960 (Rangers) and 1966 (Celtic), and on both occasions the Scottish club involved went on to reach the final of a different European competition the following year. Hampden's two finals in the 2000s were also each followed by a Scottish team reaching a European final the next season after even longer waits: a hiatus of 26 years between Scotland hosting such events ended with the 2002 Champions League Final, before Celtic played in the 2003 UEFA Cup Final 33 years after their previous showpiece appearance,[15] while the 2007 UEFA Cup final in Glasgow immediately preceded Rangers' appearance in the same tournament in 2008, having waited 36 years since their last final.[16]

European finals held in Scotland
Competition Winners Score Runners-up Attendance
1959–60 European Cup Spain Real Madrid 7–3 West Germany Eintracht Frankfurt 127,621
1961–62 European Cup Winners' Cup Spain Atlético Madrid 1–1[a] Italy Fiorentina 29,066
1965–66 European Cup Winners' Cup West Germany Borussia Dortmund 2–1[b] England Liverpool 41,657
1975–76 European Cup West Germany Bayern Munich 1–0 France Saint-Étienne 54,864
2001–02 UEFA Champions League Spain Real Madrid 2–1 Germany Bayer Leverkusen 50,499
2006–07 UEFA Cup Spain Sevilla 2–2[c] Spain Espanyol 47,602
  1. ^ AET, Atlético Madrid won 3–0 in a replay at Neckarstadion, Stuttgart
  2. ^ AET, score was 1–1 after 90 minutes.
  3. ^ AET, score was 1–1 after 90 minutes, Sevilla won 3–1 on penalties

Full European record[edit]

European Cup/Champions League[edit]

European Cup era
Clubs '56 '57 '58 '59 '60 '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 '72 '73 '74 '75 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 Total
Celtic W R1 QF RU QF SF R2 SF R1 R2 QF R1 R2 R2 R2 15
Rangers R1 R1 SF QF QR QF R2 R1 QF QF R1 R2 R1 13
Aberdeen R1 R1 QF 3
Heart of Midlothian PR PR 2
Dundee SF 1
Dundee United SF 1
Hibernian SF 1
Kilmarnock R1 1
Champions League era
Clubs '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 Total
Celtic Q2 GS Q3 GS GS Q2 R16 R16 GS PO Q3 R16 GS PO PO GS GS Q3 18
Rangers GS R1 QR GS GS Q2 GS GS Q3 GS Q3 R16 GS Q2 GS GS Q3 17
Heart of Midlothian Q3 1
Motherwell Q3 1
  •      Club was transferred into the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League.
  •      Club progressed into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

UEFA Cup/Europa League[edit]

UEFA Cup era
Club '72 '73 '74 '75 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 '09 Total
Aberdeen R2 R1 R2 R1 R1 R1 R3 R2 R1 R1 R1 QR R2 QR R1 R3 16
Dundee United R2 R1 R1 R2 R2 QF QF R3 R3 RU R2 R2 R2 R1 Q2 Q2 16
Celtic R1 R3 R1 R2 R2 R2 R2 R1 R2 R2 R2 R3 RU QF 14
Rangers R2 R2 R1 R3 R2 R1 R3 R3 R3 R4 R1 GS R4 RU 14
Heart of Midlothian R1 R1 QF R2 R2 R1 R1 R2 GS R1 10
Hibernian R2 R2 R1 R2 R2 R2 R1 R1 R1 9
Dundee R3 R1 R1 R1 4
Kilmarnock Q2 R1 R1 3
Motherwell R1 PR R1 3
St Mirren R2 R1 R2 3
Dunfermline Q2 Q2 2
St Johnstone R3 R1 2
Gretna Q2 1
Livingston R1 1
Partick Thistle R1 1
Queen of the South Q2 1
Raith Rovers R2 1
Europa League era
Club '10 '11 '12 '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 Total
Celtic GS PO GS R32 GS R32 R32 7
Aberdeen Q3 Q3 Q3 Q3 Q2 5
Motherwell Q3 PO PO Q3 Q2 5
St Johnstone Q2 Q3 Q3 Q1 Q1 5
Heart of Midlothian PO PO PO Q2 4
Hibernian Q3 Q2 Q2 Q3 4
Rangers R16 PO Q1 GS 4
Dundee United PO Q2 Q3 3
Falkirk Q2 1
Inverness Caledonian Thistle Q2 1

Super Cup[edit]

Only two Scottish clubs have competed in the UEFA Super Cup since its creation, with Rangers and Aberdeen both competing as winners of the Cup Winners' Cup.

Year Club Opponent 1st 2nd Agg.
1972 Scotland Rangers Netherlands Ajax 1–3 (H) 2–3 (A) 3–6[a]
1983 Scotland Aberdeen West Germany Hamburg 0–0 (A) 2–0 (H) 2–0
  1. ^ The 1972 final is not recognised by UEFA as an official title[17]

Cup Winners' Cup[edit]

A single Scottish club was entered into the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup throughout its history – usually the winners of the Scottish Cup. In years in which the Scottish Cup holders had already qualified for the European Cup or Champions League, the other finalist would be entered in their place. For the 1983–84 edition, two Scottish sides were entered – Rangers as Scottish Cup runners-up and Aberdeen as the holders of the competition (and the Scottish Cup). The Cup Winners' Cup was merged with the UEFA Cup in 1999.

Club '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 '72 '73 '74 '75 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 '85 '86 '87 '88 '89 '90 '91 '92 '93 '94 '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 Total
Rangers RU R1 RU R2 W R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 10
Aberdeen R2 R1 R2 W SF R1 R2 R2 8
Celtic SF SF QF R1 R2 R1 R1 R2 8
Dundee United R2 R2 R1 3
Heart of Midlothian R2 QR R1 3
Dunfermline Athletic QF SF 2
Airdrieonians R1 1
Dundee R2 1
Hibernian QF 1
Kilmarnock R1 1
Motherwell R1 1
St Mirren R2 1

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[edit]

The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, set up to promote international trade fairs, was played between 1955 and 1971, although no Scottish teams entered until the 1960–61 edition which was the first to be completed over a single season. The competition was initially only open to teams from cities that hosted trade fairs and where these teams finished in their national league had no relevance, therefore the number of entrants varied each year, and at times was restricted to one per city (Clyde were denied entry following the 1966–67 season when they finished in 3rd place in the Scottish League, as Rangers finished above them and were given the single Fairs Cup place for Glasgow; the Bully Wee never played in Europe).[18] After 1968, it was sometimes referred to as the Runners-up Cup, with teams now qualifying based on league position. In 1971, it came under the auspices of UEFA and was replaced by the UEFA Cup.[19] UEFA does not consider clubs' records in the Fairs Cup to be part of their European record;[19][20] however, FIFA does view the competition as a major honour.

No Scottish team reached the final of the Fairs Cup, although four different clubs reached the semi-finals, including Kilmarnock in 1966–67, the same season as Celtic and Rangers both reached the finals of the other continental tournaments and Scotland defeated England at Wembley.[21][22] It was Leeds United who ended Kilmarnock's dream, and in the following 1967–68 edition, the Yorkshire club eliminated three Scottish teams in successive rounds on their way to winning the cup – Hibernian in Round Three (2–1 on aggregate), Rangers in the quarter-final (2–0) and Dundee in the semi-final (2–1).[18] The next year, Rangers made the semi-final but again were eliminated by an English opponent who went on to lift the trophy, this time Newcastle United.[23]

Club '58 '60 '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 Total
Hibernian SF R2 QF R1 R3 R3 R3 7
Kilmarnock R2 SF R3 R1 4
Dunfermline Athletic R2 R3 R2 R3 4
Rangers QF SF R1 3
Dundee United R3 R1 R2 3
Heart of Midlothian R2 R1 R3 3
Celtic R1 R2 2
Dundee SF 1
Partick Thistle R2 1
Aberdeen R2 1
Morton R1 1

UEFA Intertoto Cup[edit]

Between 1995 and 2008, UEFA ran the Intertoto Cup, a summer competition for sides that had not qualified for the other European competitions with the sides progressing the furthest qualifying for the UEFA Cup (it had operated independently since the 1960s, but no clubs from Scotland – among other nations – took part in that era). Scottish clubs were only involved five times, with Hibernian being the closest side to qualify for the UEFA Cup through this tournament, losing on away goals in the 2006 edition. The competition was abolished in 2008, with sides who would have entered the competition entering the UEFA Europa League instead.

Club '95 '96 '97 '98 '99 '00 '01 '02 '03 '04 '05 '06 '07 '08 Total
Hibernian R2 R3 R2 3
Dundee R1 1
Partick Thistle GS 1

Overall club record[edit]

As of 13 December 2018[24]
Club Pld W D L GF GA GD W% Pts P/G
Aberdeen 135 54 37 44 197 154 +43 040.00 199 1.47
Airdrieonians 2 0 0 2 1 3 −2 000.00 0 0.00
Celtic 362 164 68 130 546 416 +130 045.30 560 1.55
Dundee 34 16 3 15 63 50 +13 047.06 51 1.50
Dundee United 110 46 30 34 168 116 +52 041.82 168 1.53
Dunfermline 46 23 7 16 87 51 +36 050.00 76 1.65
Falkirk 2 1 0 1 1 2 −1 050.00 3 1.50
Greenock Morton 2 0 0 2 3 9 −6 000.00 0 0.00
Gretna 2 0 1 1 3 7 −4 000.00 1 0.50
Heart of Midlothian 80 30 18 32 105 112 −7 037.50 108 1.35
Hibernian 96 42 19 35 162 146 +16 043.75 145 1.51
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 0 1 1 0 1 −1 000.00 1 0.50
Kilmarnock 40 14 9 17 50 59 −9 035.00 51 1.27
Livingston 4 1 2 1 7 9 −2 025.00 5 1.25
Motherwell 30 9 2 19 36 42 −6 030.00 29 0.97
Partick Thistle 10 4 1 5 16 17 −1 040.00 13 1.30
Queen of the South 2 0 0 2 2 4 −2 000.00 0 0.00
Raith Rovers 6 2 1 3 10 8 +2 033.33 7 1.17
Rangers 326 134 84 108 479 393 +86 041.10 486 1.47
St Johnstone 24 7 7 10 25 30 −5 029.17 28 1.17
St Mirren 14 3 5 6 10 14 −4 021.43 14 1.00
Total 1,329 550 295 484 1,971 1,643 +328 041.38 1,945 1.46

Intercontinental Cup[edit]

Before being supplanted by the FIFA Club World Cup, the now defunct Intercontinental Cup served as an de facto annual world club championship contested by the European and South American club champions. The only Scottish side to have competed in the competition was Celtic in 1967, following their European Cup win.[25]

Year Club Opponent 1st 2nd PO
1967 Scotland Celtic Argentina Racing Club 1–0 (H) 1–2 (A) 0–1 (N)

Scottish Challenge Cup[edit]

The 2016–17 Scottish Challenge Cup saw the addition of four non-Scottish league sides for the first time. The competition, usually involving sides from the national divisions below the top flight, introduced top two teams from the Welsh Premier League and Northern Ireland's NIFL Premiership entered the competition in the fourth round.[26] Welsh champions The New Saints progressed furthest of the four, being defeated in the semi-finals by St Mirren. The 2017–18 competition saw two League of Ireland sides compete along with two from Wales and Northern Ireland.[27] This time the guest teams entered in the second round, with TNS and Crusaders both reaching the semi-finals. The 2018–19 edition was expanded again, this time to include two teams from the English fifth tier National League along with the teams from the other Celtic nations.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Access List 2018/19". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  2. ^ Bert Kassies. "UEFA European Cup Coefficients Database". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  3. ^ "Scottish Teams in Europe - Finals". londonhearts.com. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Celtic win European Cup 1967". BBC Sport. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  5. ^ "1970-05-06: Celtic 1-2 Feyenoord, European CupThis is a featured page". thecelticwiki.com. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  6. ^ Dave Low (16 October 2014). "Dundee Utd reach the UEFA Cup Final 1987". BBC. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Porto end Celtic's Uefa dream". BBC Sport. 21 May 2003. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  8. ^ Clive Lindsay (14 May 2008). "Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  9. ^ Keir Murray (22 April 2008). "When Rangers met Fiorentina in '61". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  10. ^ Keir Murray (30 May 2007). "When Euro glory evaded Rangers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Rangers triumph in Europe 1972". BBC Sport. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  12. ^ Steven Brocklehurst (9 May 2013). "Fergie's greatest triumph? - How Aberdeen conquered European football". BBC News. Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Hampden's Euro roll-call". BBC Sport. BBC. 14 May 2007. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  14. ^ "114 Years of the Hampden Roar". Scottish Football Museum. 31 October 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  15. ^ "O'Neill inspired by Lions". BBC Sport. BBC. 20 May 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Echoes of 1972". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Club competition winners do battle". Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  18. ^ a b "European Nights: Dundee 1 1 Leeds United (report and contemporary newspaper scans)". Leeds United F.C. History. 1 May 1968. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  19. ^ a b "UEFA Cup: All-time finals". UEFA. 30 June 2005. Archived from the original on 31 August 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2010.
  20. ^ "UEFA Europa League: History: New format provides fresh impetus". UEFA. Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  21. ^ "1967 & all that". The Herald. 25 May 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  22. ^ Richard Foster (29 February 2016). "Never mind England in 1966, here's Scotland conquering Europe in 1967". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  23. ^ "Newcastle United v Glasgow Rangers: The battle of St James' Park in 1969". ChronicleLive. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  24. ^ "Scottish Teams in Europe". londonhearts.com. 6 August 2009. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  25. ^ "Celtic to play Racing Club on 50th anniversary of shame games". Evening Times. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  26. ^ "Northern Irish and Welsh sides to join top flight U20s in Challenge Cup". STV News. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  27. ^ "Irn-Bru Cup expanded for 2017/18". Scottish Professional Football League. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Sutton United & Boreham Wood to enter Irn Bru Scottish Challenge Cup". BBC Sport. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.