Competition format

Wednesday 13 July 2005
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FC Barcelona won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup a record four timesFC Barcelona won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup a record four times (©Getty Images)

The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was UEFA's third most important club competition until it was abolished after the 1999 final. The inaugural Cup Winners' Cup competition was held in the 1960/61 season.

Eligibility
UEFA member associations were entitled to enter their senior domestic cup winners, or, in certain circumstances, the domestic cup runners-up, if for example the cup winners were also domestic champions. The competition was held on a knockout basis. The 1960/61 and 1961/62 finals were staged over two legs, but the final was changed to a single-match format on a definitive basis from the 1962/63 campaign (although replay matches were needed to determine the winners in 1963/64 and 1970/71).

Ranking list
The last time the competition took place in 1998/99, it comprised six rounds. In matches up to the semi-finals, the clubs played each other home and away, with the team scoring the greater aggregate of goals qualifying for the next round. In the event of a draw, the team which scored more goals away qualified. If this proved inconclusive, extra-time then, if necessary, penalty kicks were used to determine the winners.

Golden goal
The final was decided by a single match. If the scores were level at the end of normal time, the 'golden goal' came into operation with the period of extra-time played again not exceeding two periods of 15 minutes. If extra-time proved inconclusive, the winning team was decided by penalty kicks.

Barcelona success
S.S. Lazio were the last winners of the Cup Winners’ Cup, defeating Real Mallorca 2-1 in front of 33,000 at Villa Park in Birmingham in 1999. Another Italian side, AC Fiorentina were the competition’s first winners in 1961, but it was Spanish side FC Barcelona who the most successful, winning the competition four times in 1979, 1982, 1989 and 1997.

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