Cup Winners' Cup

The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (also referred to as the European Cup Winners' Cup), the tournament between the domestic cup winners, existed from 1960 to 1999. The structure was a knock-out tournament in which the matches were decided by two-legged ties except the final that was played as one game on neutral ground (the final was actually decided by two matches once, in the first 1960-1961 edition). After the UEFA Champions League was established in successful terms and started to include more teams, the status of the Cup Winners' Cup was steadily declining. Therefore, the decision was taken to bring the Cup to an end after the 1998-1999 season and instead merge it with the UEFA Cup in the sense that domestic Cup winners would be included in that tournament.

Winners and runners-up

All the winners and runners-up trough the years of the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup.

Season Winner Runner-up
1998-1999 Lazio Mallorca
1997-1998 Chelsea Stuttgart
1996-1997 Barcelona PSG
1995-1996 PSG Rapid Wien
1994-1995 Real Zaragoza Arsenal
1993-1994 Arsenal Parma
1992-1993 Parma Royal Antwerp
1991-1992 Werder Bremen Monaco
1990-1991 Manchester United Barcelona
1989-1990 Sampdoria Anderlecht
1998-1989 Barcelona Sampdoria
1987-1988 Mechelen Ajax
1986-1987 Ajax Lokomotive Leipzig
1985-1986 Dynamo Kyiv Atlético Madrid
1984-1985 Everton Rapid Wien
1983-1984 Juventus Porto
1982-1983 Aberdeen Real Madrid
1981-1982 Barcelona Standard Liège
1980-1981 Dinamo Tbilisi Carl Zeiss Jena
1979-1980 Valencia Arsenal
1978-1979 Barcelona Fortuna Düsseldorf
1977-1978 Anderlecht Austria Wien
1976-1977 Hamburg Anderlecht
1975-1976 Anderlecht West Ham
1974-1975 Dynamo Kyiv Ferencváros
1973-1974 Magdeburg Milan
1972-1973 Milan Leeds United
1971-1972 Rangers Dynamo Moscow
1970-1971 Chelsea Real Madrid
1969-1970 Manchester City Górnik Zabrze
1968-1969 Slovan Bratislava Barcelona
1967-1968 Milan Hamburg
1966-1967 Bayern Munich Rangers
1965-1966 Borussia Dortmund Liverpool
1964-1965 West Ham 1860 Munich
1963-1964 Sporting MTK Hungária
1962-1963 Tottenham Atlético Madrid
1961-1962 Atlético Madrid Fiorentina
1960-1961 Fiorentina Rangers


The establishment of the Cup Winner's Cup was a result of the growing interest among fans and the success of European Cup that started in 1955. The tournament was originally organized by the Mitropa Cup committee until UEFA took over in 1963.

At the time the first tournament was held in the 1960-1961 season it included only ten teams. The interest among the clubs was at this time not very big, but the competition would, however, start growing both in regards of teams and prestige. By the late 1960s all UEFA members were represented by a team.

Gianni Rivera
AC Milan, the 1968 winners.

In the 1990s, the Cup Winners' Cup would lose more and more status due to the increasing popularity of the Champions League. As Champions League expanded several times by including more teams from the European leagues, the teams qualified for the Cup Winners' Cup were no longer among the top clubs. Because of the decreased status, UEFA decided to end the competition after the 1998-1999 tournament. Lazio would become the last cup champions.



The club that won the tournament the most times were FC Barcelona with four trophies (1979, 1982, 1989, 1997). Besides that Barcelona were also runners-up twice (1969, 1991).

Table 2. Clubs and Cup Winners' Cup titles
Club Titles
Barcelona 4
Anderlecht 2
Milan 2
Chelsea 2
Dynamo Kyiv 2
Bologna 2

Beside the listings in table 2, 27 other clubs have won the Cup once. It should also be noted that English clubs were not allowed to participate in UEFA tournaments during between 1985-1986 and 1990-1991 seasons. Despite that, English teams performed best in the tournament if titles is counted, eight in total.

Rob Rensenbrink is the player that scored the most goals overall in the Cup, 25 in 36 appearances with two teams (Club Brugge and Anderlecht). Other famous players among the top goalscorers in Cup Winner's Cup are Gerd Müller (20 goals), Gianluca Vialli (20 goals), Kurt Hamrin (16 goals), Hristo Stoichkov (15 goals).The club that won the tournament the most times were FC Barcelona with four trophies (1979, 1982, 1989, 1997). Besides that Barcelona were also runners-up twice (1969, 1991).

Table 3. Clubs with most participations
Club Participations
Cardiff City 14
Barcelona 13
Levski Sofia* 11
Steaua Bucuresti 11
Floriana 10
Rangers 10
Rapid Wien 10
Union Luxembourg 10

* Levski Sofia was playing under different name during this period: Sport Club Levski (1914-1969), Levski-Spartak (1969–1985), Vitosha Sofia (1985–1989).

The most participating team, Cardiff City, is from Wales and did qualify by winning the Welsh Cup (they reached the second round as best). Less known nationalities of the clubs in the list (see table 3) are Cyprus (APOEL) Malta (Floriana).


UEFA Cup Winners' Cup timeline

1960 The competition is established.
1968 The competition was for the first time represented with teams from all UEFA members.
1978 Anderlecht become the first club to win the tournament twice (1976 and 1978).
1972 Rangers become the first club to reach the final trice (1961, 1967 and 1972).
1999 The competition is abolished and merged into UEFA Cup.

Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO)