Unforgettable European Games

In 1981-1982 Universitatea Craiova played in European Champions Cup, the old name of Champions League of today. After two double games against Olimpyakos Pireu and BK Copenhagen, Craiova had as a guest the great German football team which was Bayern Munich a team in which were players like Breitner, Rummenigge an so on.It was a dramatical game with a stadium of 45.000 places full of Universitatea Craiova’s fans. Our team lost this game with 1-2 but this was just a preview for the next year. The year of the most important European performances for this great Romanian fooball team.

In 1982-1983 Universitatea Craiova played in UEFA Cup. The first game was against AC Fiorentina. A team of the well known World Champion Antobelli. Universitatea was the winner (3-1 and 0-1) and in the second tour we encountered Shamrock Rovers. 2-0 and 3-0 were the results and for the 3rd tour the well known France team was meant to came in Craiova.

Girondins de Bordeaux lost this double game against this legendary Romanian team (0-1 and 2-0). In the 4th tour 1FC Kaiserslautern came in Craiova. After 2-3 in Germany we did a 1-0 in the minute 82 and Universitatea Craiova was preparing for UEFA Cup semifinals. Stefanescu and Breitner

Benfica Lisboa was the team who put an end to this beautiful dream. We managed a full of hope 0-0 in Portugal. But in Romania we missed only 45 minutes for the great final. Ilie Balaci scored in the 15th minute of the game by a great execution from a free kick. In the second time of the game Benfica succeeded a draw and this team went in the final. This performance was never done by a future team from Craiova.

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FC Barcelona – The Rivalry With Real Madrid

As long as there have been sport teams, there have been rivalries. Whether it’s the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox or the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns, the two rival teams inevitably end up meeting again and again, forming an ongoing heated rivalry that delights fans of the sport. One such rivalry is between Spanish football teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona (also known as Barça by its fans) and Real Madrid are two of the earliest Spanish football teams, both forming in the 1890s. From the start, the two teams were seen as representatives of two rival regions of Spain, the ancient kingdoms of Castile and Catalonia. Both teams were part of La Liga, a Spanish football league and a rivalry that went far beyond football quickly took root.

It was during and after the Spanish Civil War that the rivalry took on more political overtones. Dictator Francisco Franco banned all peripheral languages, such as Catalan, the language of Barcelona. Catalonia had long been associated with more progressive fashions and political ideas, such as democracy-which was the diametric opposite of Franco’s dictatorial regime. FC Barcelona suffered as a result of being a part of the Catalonian culture. Real Madrid, on the other hand, was seen by many Spaniards (and Catalonians in particular) as the «establishment» club. Though Franco seemed to favor Real Madrid, members of both teams suffered under his regime.

The fierce rivalry continued into the 1950s when both clubs sought to sign Alfredo Di Stefano to play for them. Real Madrid eventually won out and Alfredo Di Stefano went on to lead them to many wins. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid went head-to-head twice at the European Cup in the 1960s, with Real Madrid winning one and FC Barcelona winning the other. The two teams clashed once again over a player in 2000 when Luis Figo left FC Barcelona and signed with Real Madrid. FC Barcelona and Real Madrid competed against each other again in the UEFA Champions League semi-final in 2002, with Real Madrid getting the win. The Spanish media dubbed the match «The Match of the Century».

In the mid-2000s, the rivalry ascended to further heights when it acquired its own name, El Clasico. The term El Clasico was traditionally assigned to any South American football rivalry, but the growth of football in the Americas coupled with these two great teams’ rivalry led to the coining of the term as applied to FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. This was mostly a marketing scheme communicated via GolTV, an all-football satellite channel, but the term has been embraced by fans worldwide.

El Clasico shows no signs of slowing. To this very day, the two teams inevitably seek each other out on the field to find out who is the best team in Spain. Sometimes FC Barcelona wins and sometimes Real Madrid wins, but ultimately football fans worldwide are the ones who win whenever these two giants meet on the field.

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