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14.05.2009 13:30

King of the Cups in Europe

Manel Tomàs

Wednesday night’s victory against Athletic Club handed Barça the 25th Spanish Cup in the Club’s history. That’s more successes in domestic Cup competitions than any other European club, ahead of Benfica (24), Ajax (17) and Bayern (14).

Barça was already King of the Cups here but now the Club has also pulled ahead of Benfica in the ranking of success in domestic Cup competitions. Until Wednesday evening Barça was tied with the Portuguese giants on 24 Cup wins.

The best across Europe

goles_Luca_Toni_dan_Copa.jpgA brief survey of the most successful Cup teams in European football throws up some legendary names. Ajax (17 KNVB Cup), Bayern Munich (14 DFB Pokal), Manchester United (11 FA Cup), Olympique Marseille (10 Coupe de France) and Juventus and Roma (each with 9 Coppa Italia).

The FA Cup the original

The English FA Cup, founded in 1872, is the oldest football tournament in the world. The first final in the old Wembley stadium was in 1923 when 200,000 fans crammed into a stadium designed to hold only 127,000 spectators.

Strange but true

_M3_9580.JPGTwo Austrian teams, Rapid Vienna and First Vienna won Germany’s DFB Pokal in 1938 and 1943 when Austria formed part of the Third Reich. In 1944 the German military administration in France decreed that the Coupe de France should be played by 16 regional teams taken from the armed forces.

In 1970, Ajax was named champion of the KNVB Cup after being eliminated in the R16 by AZ 67. However, there were then only seven teams left in the competition so a draw was held between the beaten teams from R16 to classify the lucky winner for the quarterfinals. Ajax won the draw and then went on to win the Cup.
King of the Cups in Europe
King Henry
Thierry Henry now has more Cup winner’s medals than any other Barça player. He won three medals with Arsenal (2001/02, 2002/03 and 2004/05) and has now won his first with Barça.

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