Timeline of association football

Last updated

This page indexes the individual year in association football pages. Each year is annotated with one or more significant events as a reference point.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.



The Cambridge Rules are created in 1848. Official referees appear for the first time in a football match, at a match held in Cheltenham in 1849, two in field and one in tribune.

In association football, the referee is the person responsible for enforcing the Laws of the Game during the course of a match. He or she is the final decision-making authority on all facts connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play the referee is assisted by two assistant referees, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as the ball leaving play or infringements of the Laws of the Game occurring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee has authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referee with administrative tasks, and, at the very highest levels, additional assistant referees and/or video assistant referees.

Cheltenham Place in England

Cheltenham is a regency spa town and borough on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. Cheltenham has been a health and holiday spa town resort since the discovery of mineral springs in 1716 and has a number of internationally renowned and historic schools.

Sheffield F.C., the first football club in the world, is founded in 1857. That same year the Sheffield Rules are also created.

Sheffield F.C. Association football club

Sheffield Football Club is an English football club from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, although now based in Dronfield, Derbyshire. They play in the Northern Premier League Division One East, at tier 8 of the English football league system. Founded in 1857, the club is officially recognised as the oldest existing club now playing football in the world. Sheffield F.C. initially played games under the Sheffield Rules and did not officially adopt the FA rules until 1878.

Sheffield Rules Association Football rules formed for Sheffield F.C.

The Sheffield Rules was a code of football devised and played in the English city of Sheffield between 1858 and 1877. The rules were initially created and revised by Sheffield Football Club, with responsibility for the laws passing to the Sheffield Football Association upon its creation in 1867. The rules spread beyond the city boundaries to other clubs and associations in the north and midlands of England, making them one of the most popular forms of football during the 1860s and 70s.

British railway builders introduce football to Argentina. The Football Association is founded in 1863 (the first football association in the world), and it ratifies the original 14 rules of the game. In 1860 the first non-British team in Europe, Lausanne Football and Cricket Club of Switzerland, is formed. In 1862 Notts County F.C. is founded. In 1865 Buenos Aires FC was formed by British residents. The first ever football tournament, the Youdan Cup, is played by twelve Sheffield clubs in 1867; the Cromwell Cup, the second oldest football tournament in the world, takes place in 1868 with Sheffield Rules. Goal kicks are introduced in 1869 and Scottish club Kilmarnock F.C founded.

The Football Association governing body of association football in England

The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of association football in England, the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

The Lausanne Football and Cricket Club was a Swiss association football and cricket club.

Notts County F.C. association football club

Notts County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Nottingham, England. They currently participate in the League Two, but will participate in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system, for the 2019–20 season following their recent relegation. They are nicknamed the "Magpies" due to the black and white colour of their home strip, which inspired Italian club Juventus to also adopt the colours for their kit in 1903. After playing at different home grounds during their first fifty years, including Trent Bridge, the club moved to Meadow Lane in 1910 and have remained there since. Between 2014 and 2017, there was also a professional Notts County ladies team, which was replaced by Notts County Women in May 2018. County hold a rivalry with Nottingham Forest, as well as with other nearby clubs such as Mansfield Town.


First "goalkeepers", and passage from "dribbling game" to "passing game" is seen in club matches in Sheffield and London. The first international match arranged by the Football Association between England and Scotland on 5 March 1870 finishes in a 0–0 draw at the Kennington Oval in London. Combination Game developed by Royal Engineers AFC.

England national football team Mens association football team representing England

The England men's national football team represents England in senior men's international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England.

Scotland national football team Mens association football team representing Scotland

The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games. The majority of Scotland's home matches are played at the national stadium, Hampden Park.

The Combination Game was a style of association football based around teamwork and cooperation. It would gradually favour the passing of the ball between players over individual dribbling skills which had been a notable feature of early Association games. It developed from "scientific" football and is considered to be the predecessor of the modern passing game of football. It originated in Britain and its origins are associated with early clubs: Sheffield FC, The Royal Engineers AFC, Queen's Park FC and Cambridge University AFC. Each of these claimants is supported by retrospective accounts from men who were notable in the early history of football. They are considered below in the order of earliest contemporary evidence of "scientific" football playing styles.

Charles William Alcock creates the Football Association Challenge Cup, the oldest cup tournament alive.

FA Cup knockout competition in English association football

The FA Cup, also known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.

Scotland and England draw 0–0 in the first FIFA-recognized international football match, played at the West of Scotland Cricket Club. Wanderers beat Royal Engineers in the first FA Cup final. Kick corner and ball fixture is introduced by The Football Association. The first Welsh football club, Wrexham A.F.C., is founded. Football introduced in France by English sailors, and Le Havre is founded. Rangers F.C. is founded in Scotland.

The Scottish Football Association is founded. The offside law is changed so that an offside position is determined when the ball is played by a teammate, rather than when it is received. The corner kick is defined. 1874 in football The FA authorizes referees to send players off for certain offences, and makes a rule requiring teams to change ends at halftime. The first shin pads are introduced. Aston Villa F.C. is founded.

The crossbar is introduced, replacing tape as the means of marking the top of the goal. Oxford University tour Germany and a number of German universities take up the game (one of first countries to play under FA rules outside of Britain). Blackburn Rovers F.C. is founded.

Carlton Cricket Club (Canada) form football section and subsequently tours Britain.

The length of a match is set at 90 minutes. Wolverhampton Wanderers were founded.

Referees begin to use whistles. West Bromwich Albion, Manchester United (as Newton Heath L&YR F.C.) and Everton (as St. Domingo's FC.) are founded. [1] The first football match to be staged under electric floodlighting takes place at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, between two local representative teams.

Kjøbenhavns Boldklub introduces itself as the first sports club in continental Europe. Sunderland A.F.C. is founded.


Irish Football Association founded. Clubs charge for admission. Players paid lost wages and expenses (players still part-time). Manchester City are founded as St. Marks.

Queens Park Rangers FC, Tottenham Hotspur F.C., and Burnley F.C. are founded. The first club in Uruguay formed by an English professor at Montevideo University; another club later formed by British railway engineers. Two-handed throw-in introduced.

Coventry City FC is founded.

Played for the first time the British Home Championship, the oldest tournament for national teams: the Scotland national team emerges as winner. Derby County are founded along with Leicester City who are founded as Leicester Fosse.

The Football Association legalises professionalism. The first non-European international was contested on 28 November 1885, at Newark, New Jersey, between the United States and Canada, the Canadians winning 1–0. Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36–0 in the Scottish Cup, a record which stands to this day.

The FAs of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland form the International Football Association Board.The Football Association introduces a 'cross tape' between goalposts as a precedent to the 'crossbar'. The referee and the captain player for each team are introduced. Arsenal F.C. is founded.

The first football team in South America is founded, Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata, Argentina. British introduce football to Russia. Hamburger SV is founded. Hibernian F.C. wins the Football World Championship against Preston North End, 2–1 in Edinburgh.

The Football League, the world's first national football league competition, is founded in England by Aston Villa director William McGregor. Celtic F.C. is founded. Renton F.C. wins the Football World Championship against West Bromwich Albion, 4–1 in Glasgow.

The Royal Dutch Football Association and the Danish Football Association are founded. The Danish association is the first non-British European football association. The Football Alliance is formed as a rival to The Football League. The first football association not admitted to FIFA is formed: the Cornwall County Football Association. Rosario Central, and Mohun Bagan A.C., the oldest football club in India, is founded.


The IFA Premiership (Irish League) is formed (NIFL Premiership). The Scottish Football League is formed. Goal nets used for the first time.

The penalty kick is introduced. Liverpool engineer John Alexander Brodie invents the football net [2] [3] Assistant referees are first introduced as linesmen. The first Oceanian football association is formed: the New Zealand Soccer Association. The first ever championship outside of Britain takes place in Argentina: AAF Championship. C.A. Peñarol is founded.

The Football League introduces a second division. Liverpool F.C. and Newcastle United F.C. are founded. The first Asian football association is formed: the Football Association of Singapore. Argentina is the first country outside of Britain to have a national championship.

Argentine Football Association is founded, the first South American football association. Genoa Cricket and Football Club, the first Italian club football team, and F.C. Porto are founded.

Referee in complete control of game.

Floriana FC of Malta is founded.

The Federación de Fútbol de Chile, the Belgian Football Association and the Gibraltar Football Association are founded. Clube de Regatas do Flamengo is founded. Sunderland A.F.C. wins the Football World Championship against Hearts of Midlothian F.C., 5–3 in Edinburgh.

Italy's first national championship is organised by the Italian Federation of Gymnastics. Football played at the first Summer Olympics in Athens as exhibition game. The match length is set to 90 minutes.

The Football League introduces automatic promotion and relegation between its two divisions. Juventus F.C. is founded as Sport Club Juventus.

The Italian Football Federation is formed. CR Vasco da Gama, Standard Liège, Athletic Bilbao, the first club in Spain and Portsmouth FC are founded.

FC Barcelona, Club Nacional de Football and A.C. Milan are founded. The number of a football team is defined to be 11 players.


Asociación Uruguaya de Fútbol and German Football Association were founded. FC Bayern Munich, AFC Ajax, RCD Espanyol, Borussia Mönchengladbach and S.S. Lazio (as Società Podistica Lazio) are founded. The first club dedicated to football still active in Brazil, Sport Club Rio Grande is founded.

Czechoslovak Football Association and Hungarian Football Federation are founded. The first international match between South American national teams is played between Uruguay and Argentina, and ends 2–3. The match between Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and Hearts of Midlothian F.C. for the Football World Championship finishes 0–0, in London. Hibernian win Scottish Cup on 23 April. Club Atlético River Plate, C.F. Pachuca is founded.

26 people die and over 500 are injured when a section of the terracing collapses after a Scotland-England British Home Championship match at Ibrox Park. Five Spanish clubs compete for the first Copa del Rey . The first Brazilian football league, Campeonato Paulista , is won by São Paulo Athletic Club. The first North American football association (geographically South American but affiliated to CONCACAF) is formed: the Guyana Football Federation. The penalty area is defined. Real Madrid, Olimpia Asunción and Fluminense Football Club are founded. Hearts of Midlothian F.C. won the Football World Championship against Tottenham Hotspur F.C., 3–1 in Edinburgh.

The first international match between non-British European national teams: HungaryBohemia 2–1. Beşiktaş J.K., Grêmio Foot-Ball Porto Alegrense, Racing Club de Avellaneda and Atlético Madrid are founded.

FIFA is founded in Paris on 21 May. The first football association geographically in North America is formed: the Fédération Haïtienne de Football. Swedish Football Association is founded. S.L. Benfica, Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas and Argentinos Juniors are founded. Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) formed.

The Muratti Vase, the oldest tournament for FAs not admitted to FIFA, played for the first time, won by Guernsey. Galatasaray, Chelsea F.C., Club Atlético Boca Juniors, Estudiantes de La Plata, Club Atlético Independiente and Sport Club do Recife are founded.

England joins FIFA. Sporting Clube de Portugal is founded.

Fenerbahçe S.K., Al-Ahly and Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C. are founded.

For the first time, officially, a football tournament is played at the Summer Olympics in London, won by Great Britain. FC Internazionale, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Clube Atlético Mineiro, Feyenoord and Panathinaikos F.C. are founded. Organized in Italy the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, the first international football tournament for clubs, but not officially.

R.S.C. Anderlecht, Sport Club Internacional and Borussia Dortmund are founded.The first official national football tournament was organized in 1909 by the recently founded Romanian Football Federation, then called the Association of Athletic Societies in Romania. Played for the first time in Italy the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, considered the first official international football tournament for clubs.


Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield and Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, are founded. The Copa Centenario Revolución de Mayo 1910, played in and won by Argentina, is the first South American competition with more than two national teams, and is considered unofficially the first Copa América.

FK Austria Vienna, El Zamalek and Anorthosis Famagusta are founded.

Goalkeepers banned from handling the ball outside their own penalty area. Santos FC is founded.

Opposing players forced to stand at least ten yards away from a free kick. Royal Spanish Football Federation and United States Soccer Federation are founded.

The oldest surviving club trophy soccer competition in the Americas, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, is founded in the United States as National Challenge Cup and the Brooklyn Field Club (1898–1924) are crowned champions. Glentoran from Belfast wins first ever European competition, the Vienna Cup. Brazilian Football Confederation is founded. Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras and Levski Sofia are founded.

CONMEBOL is founded, and Uruguay wins the first Copa América, held in Argentina. Club América is founded.

Congolese Association Football Federation, the first African football association, French Football Federation and Polish Football Association are founded. Leeds United, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense, Valencia CF, Dacia Unirea Braila, Espérance Sportive de Tunis are founded.


For the first time an African national team plays an international match, which is also the first intercontinental national team match between Italy and Egypt, which ends 2–1, at the Summer Olympics in Belgium.

Egyptian Football Association is founded. Cruzeiro Esporte Clube is founded. The IFA Premiership (Irish League) is now the national league of Northern Ireland, following partition.

Bolton Wanderers defeat West Ham United in the first English FA Cup final played at Wembley Stadium, remembered as the White Horse Final. Rapid București is founded.

Players allowed to score directly from a corner kick. For the first time a South American national team and a European national team play each other: Uruguay-Yugoslavia 7–0, at the Summer Olympics in France. Uruguay wins the Gold Medal. For the first time an Oceanian national team plays an international match: Australia-Canada 3–2. Chinese Football Association is founded. Following their Italian league victory in 1923–24, Genoa C.F.C. becomes the first team ever to add a scudetto patch to their shirt.

The offside rule is changed: a player is now onside if a minimum of two (instead of three) opposing players are between him and the goal line. Étoile Sportive du Sahel, Colo-Colo and Olympiacos F.C. are founded.

Huddersfield Town become the first team to win the Football League in three consecutive seasons. ACF Fiorentina and APOEL FC are founded.

AC Sparta Prague wins the inaugural Mitropa Cup, the first international major European cup for clubs, the predecessor to the Champions League. Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación is founded. FC Dynamo Kyiv and Cruz Azul are founded. First League match broadcast on radio.

La Liga is formed. Uruguay wins the Gold Medal for the second time in a row.

Lega Calcio Serie A is formed. Goalkeepers have to stand still on their lines for penalty kicks.


Thirteen teams enter the first World Cup, held in Uruguay. The hosts beat Argentina 4–2 in the final. Contested between the top national teams of continental Europe, Dr. Gerö Cup' first edition is won by Italy. São Paulo and LDU Quito are founded.

Football is excluded from the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles due to the low popularity of the sport in the United States at the time. Bologna becomes the first Italian club to win a major international competition following their Mitropa Cup conquest.

Hosts Italy become the second World Cup winners and the first European team to do so, beating Czechoslovakia 2–1 in the final. For the first time a qualification stage occurs and an Asian national team plays an international match: Egypt-Palestine 7–1. Egypt becomes the first African team to compete.

Deportivo Saprissa is founded.
Juventus becomes the first team in Italian football history to win 5 national titles in a row.

Italy wins gold at the Olympics in Berlin and joins Uruguay to become Olympic and World champion.

The largest football crowd was recorded, 149,415 people turned up at Hampden Park, Glasgow, to see Scotland play England [4]

In the 1938 World Cup held in France, Italy beats Hungary 4–2 in the final and becomes the first team to successfully defend the title and the first to win on foreign soil. Vittorio Pozzo becomes the first coach and only at present to guide his team to two World Cup victories. Polish Ernest Willimowski becomes the first player to score four goals in a World Cup game during Poland's 6–5 loss against Brazil. Following the Anschluss with Germany, Austria withdraws and some Austrian players joins the German squad. Argentina and Uruguay boycott the tournament as it is held in Europe for the second successive time. First live TV transmission of FA Cup Final.

Shirt numbering is made compulsory.


CCCF Championship Is organized for the first time by CCCF, won and hosted by Costa Rica.

Red Star Belgrade is founded.

The Burnden Park Disaster kills 33 Bolton Wanderers fans. The PFC is formed. JS Kabylie is founded.

NAFC Championship is organized for the first time by North American Football Confederation in Cuba, and won by Mexico. Atlético Nacional and FC Steaua București are founded.

CSKA Sofia and Dinamo Bucureşti are founded.

FC Barcelona win the inaugural Latin Cup, one of the forerunners of the European Cup. The Superga air disaster kills 31 people, including 18 Grande Torino players, the backbone of the Italian national team. Raja Casablanca is founded.


Uruguay win the 1950 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, when they beat the hosts 2–1 in the final group match of the tournament, also known as the Maracanazo , the highest attendance at any sporting match at 200,000. [5] Earlier in the same tournament, one of the biggest upsets in football history occurs, when the United States shock England 1–0.

Use of white ball permitted. Copa Rio, the first world tournament for clubs, is played for the first time in Brazil, and won by Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras.

Hungary's revolutionary tactics help the Golden Team to win the football at the 1952 Summer Olympics. The Panamerican Championship is played for the first time in Chile, won by Brazil.

England lose a home match for the first time, 6–3 to Hungary.

UEFA is founded in Basel, Switzerland, Asian Football Confederation is formed. West Germany win the 1954 FIFA World Cup held in Switzerland (it was the first World Cup with a sponsor), coming back from 0–2 to win the final game 3–2 against Hungary, a match known as The Miracle of Bern. Club Universidad Nacional is founded.

First European Cup starts. The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, considered the precursor of the UEFA Cup, is played for the first time and won by Barcelona.

Real Madrid beat Stade de Reims-Champagne 4–3 in the first European Cup final. First RAI TV's transmission of football match Serie A happens in Italy in a match between Fiorentina and Napoli. The first Asian Cup is played in Hong Kong, won by Korea Republic. Saudi Arabia Football Federation is founded. Floodlighting used for first time at League match (Portsmouth). The Ballon d'Or is assigned for the first time to Stanley Matthews.

CAF is founded; only three teams enter the first African Cup of Nations in Sudan, won by Egypt. Al-Hilal is founded.

Pelé and Garrincha star as Brazil win their first World Cup in Sweden, beating the hosts 5–2 in the final. 23 people, including eight Manchester United players, are killed in the Munich air disaster. Just Fontaine becomes the first and to this day only player to score 13 goals in a single World Cup. Juventus becomes the first team in history to adopt a golden star above their crest to represent their tenth Serie A title, a national record then. [6]

The first season of the Brazilian National Championship takes place and is won by Esporte Clube Bahia. Once Caldas is founded.


The first European Championship is played in France, won by USSR. The Copa Libertadores is played for the first time and won by C.A. Peñarol, and the Intercontinental Cup is played for the first time, won by Real Madrid. First European Cup Winners' Cup.

CONCACAF is founded with the fusion of CCCF and NAFC. Benfica become the second team to win the European Cup, beating FC Barcelona 3–2 in the final. ACF Fiorentina wins the first edition of UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and becomes the first Italian team to win an UEFA competition. Football Federation Australia is founded.

Brazil retain the 1962 World Cup, beating Czechoslovakia 3–1 in the final. The CONCACAF Champions League is organized for the first time, and won by Club Deportivo Guadalajara. FIFA reaches 100 members.

The West German national league Bundesliga is formed. Lev Yashin becomes the first goalkeeper to win European Footballer of the Year. The first CONCACAF Championship is played in El Salvador, won by Costa Rica. Tottenham Hotspur become the first British club to win a European football competition, European Cup Winner's Cup beating Atletico Madrid 5–1 in the final.

Internazionale wins the European Cup for the first time joining city rivals AC Milan as European champions. Milano becomes the first city and only at present to have won the Champions League with two different clubs. CAF Champions League organized for the first time and won by Oryx Douala.

FC Twente is founded.

England win the 1966 World Cup as hosts, beating West Germany 4–2 in the final as Geoff Hurst becomes the first player to score a hat-trick in the final. The OFC is founded.

Celtic become the first British club to win the European Cup, beating Internazionale 2–1 in the final. Flórián Albert became the first Hungarian player who win the European Golden Boot. The AFC Champions League is played for the first time, won by Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C..

Manchester United win the European Cup ten years after the Munich air disaster killed eight of their players. Eusébio wins the inaugural Golden Boot award as the continent's top club scorer.

2000 die when El Salvador and Honduras declare war on each other following a World Cup qualifying match.


Brazil becomes the first national side to win a third World Cup in Mexico, the first ever held outside Europe and South America, beating Italy 4–1 in the final as their captain Pelé becomes the first player to win three World Cup medals. Earlier in the tournament, The Game of the Century occurs, Italy beats Germany 4–3 in the semifinal after five goals scored in extra time. Yellow and red cards for sendings off and admonitions appear.

66 die in the second Ibrox disaster. First UEFA Cup. The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is abolished. The first women international match is played: France 4 Netherlands 0.

Tottenham Hotspur wins the first UEFA Cup. AFC Ajax wins the first edition of the UEFA Super Cup.

Ajax win the European Cup for the third consecutive season. The first OFC Nations Cup is organized and won by New Zealand.

Hosts West Germany win the 1974 World Cup, beating the Netherlands 2–1 in the final.

The AFC Women's Asian Cup is organized for the first time in Hong Kong, won by New Zealand.

Bayern Munich win the European Cup for the third consecutive season. Iran national team win its third consecutive Asian Cup, a record.

Juventus become the first Italian and South European club to win the UEFA Cup. The first FIFA U-20 World Cup is organized in Tunisia, and won by USSR.

Hosts Argentina win the 1978 World Cup, beating the Netherlands 3–1 in the final; Johann Cruyff refuses to play in the tournament.

Nottingham Forest lift their first European Cup in Munich, defeating Malmö 1–0 in the final.


West Germany defeats Belgium 2–1 in the final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to take the European Football Championship.

The Football League begins awarding three points for a win instead of two. In Uruguay, to celebrate the 50 years of the World Cup, the 1980 Mundialito is organized, won by the hosts.

Aberdeen beat Real Madrid to win their first European Trophy, the European Cup Winners' Cup soon followed by defeating Hamburg to win the European Super Cup. The OFC Women's Championship is played for the first time in New Caledonia, won by New Zealand.

Michel Platini leads Juventus to the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, beating F.C. Porto in the final and the hosts France to the European Football Championship, beating Spain in the final. France also wins the gold medal in the 1984 Olympic Games, beating Brazil in the final at the Rose Bowl. The UEFA Women's Championship is organized for the first time, won by Sweden.

The Heysel Stadium disaster takes place in Brussels at the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus, leading to English clubs being banned from European club competition for five years. Juventus becomes the first club in the history of European football to have won all three major UEFA competitions after defeating Liverpool 1–0 in the European Cup final, and thus far, the only in association football history, to have won all possible confederation competitions [7] [8] [9] after defeating Argentinos Juniors 6–4 (2–2 a.e.t.) in the Intercontinental Cup final at Tokyo's National Stadium. [10] The Bradford City stadium fire occurs at Valley Parade, taking the lives of 56 people and injuring another 200 during Bradford City's fixture with Lincoln City. For the first time, an African squad wins a FIFA tournament, the World Championship Under 16, as Nigeria surprisingly defeat favourites West Germany 2–0 in China. The Artemio Franchi Trophy is organized for the first time, won and hosted by France. Michel Platini wins for the third consecutive time the Ballon d'Or, a record then.

The 1986 World Cup finals are played for the second time in Mexico, with Argentina defeating West Germany 3–2 for their second title at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City; the tournament sees the dominance of Argentinian player Diego Maradona, scoring the infamous Hand of God goal, before his "Goal of the Century" solo dribble second goal, both in the quarterfinal against England. Alex Ferguson, the most decorated manager in English Football history, is appointed to be manager of Manchester United.

F.C. Porto wins the European Cup for the first time after defeating Bayern Munich 2–1 in the final. In the second World Championship FIFA Under 16, the Soviet Union defeats Nigeria on penalties. The OFC Champions League is played for the first time and won by Adelaide City.

The Netherlands, led by captain Ruud Gullit and top goal scorer Marco van Basten, defeat the Soviet Union 2–0 to win the Euro 1988 championship. Competing in Serie B, Atalanta reaches the Cup Winners' Cup semifinal, the best ever performance by a non-first division club in a major UEFA competition to this day. Start of the FIFA Fair Play campaign.

The Hillsborough disaster occurs in Sheffield, England, before the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, resulting in the loss of 96 lives. A football tournament is played for the first time at the Island Games, by FAs not admitted to FIFA, hosted and won by Faroe Islands. Saudi Arabia win the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the first time an Asian team wins a FIFA World Cup.


For the first time three clubs from the same country, Italy's Juventus, Sampdoria and A.C. Milan wins all four UEFA club competitions in the same season, a feat no more possible since the Cup Winner's Cup no longer exists. West Germany wins the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Rome, Italy, defeating defending champion Argentina 1–0 in the final. In their first appearance in the tournament, Republic of Ireland reaches the quarter-finals without winning a single game, the furthest a team has ever advanced without winning. "Waterloo Day" for Austrian football in Euro 92 qualifying at Landskrona, Sweden, where the Faroe Islands defeat Austria 1–0 in the former's first ever international match.

In the inaugural Women's World Cup held in China, the USA win 2–1 over Norway (for the first time a Northern American team win a World Cup). After being banned for six years, English clubs are again allowed to participate in competitions sponsored by UEFA. Diego Maradona is banned for 15 months in Italy's Serie A after testing positive for cocaine in a drug test. The CAF Women's Championship is played for the first time won by Nigeria. The CONCACAF Women's Gold Cup is played for the first time in Haiti, won by USA. The Sudamericano Femenino, CONMEBOL's main women's tournament, is played for the first time, hosted and won by Brazil. The FIFA World Player of the Year is assigned for the first time.

The back-pass rule is applied, whereby a goalkeeper is no longer permitted to pick up or catch a ball played directly by a fellow team member's foot. In the final of Euro 92, Denmark surprisingly win 2–0 over Germany. Stadium Furiani disaster takes place in Bastia, Corsica. FA Premier League created as the top flight in English Football. The first FIFA Confederations Cup is organized in Saudi Arabia, and won by Argentina. Capello's Milan wins Serie A unbeaten.

Olympique de Marseille becomes the first French club to win the European Cup, newly renamed as the UEFA Champions League, defeating AC Milan 1–0 at the Olympiastadion in Munich. Marseille also win Ligue 1, but are stripped of the title due to a corruption scandal. 18 members of the Zambia national team die in a plane crash. Manchester United win the first FA Premier League title. Brian Clough retires from his coaching role in Nottingham Forest after 18 years as coach.

The 1994 World Cup held in the United States was the first to be decided on penalties, with Brazil edging out Italy in the final at the Rose Bowl to claim their fourth title. Russia's Oleg Salenko becomes the first player and only to this day to score five goals in a single World Cup game in his country's 6–1 win over Cameroon. In the same match, 42-year-old Roger Milla of Cameroon, becomes the oldest player ever to score in a World Cup match.

The second FIFA Confederations Cup is organized in Saudi Arabia, and won by Denmark. The Bosman ruling allows all footballers playing in the European Union and not under contract to freely change clubs, and also abolishes foreign player quotas with respect to EU nationals. Norway win the second FIFA Women's World Cup. Suwon Samsung Bluewings is founded.

Bayern Munich becomes the third club in the history of European football to have won all three major UEFA competitions after winning the UEFA Cup. In the Euro 96 final, Germany defeat the Czech Republic 2–1 with a golden goal from Oliver Bierhoff; Nigeria become the first African team to win the Olympic Tournament. A football women's tournament is played for the first time at the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, won by the United States.

Helenio Herrera, legendary trainer of Inter in the 1960s, dies.

In the 1998 FIFA World Cup final, France win 3–0 over Brazil at Stade de France to claim their first World Cup. Palestinian Football Federation is admitted to FIFA. The first openly gay footballer, Justin Fashanu commits suicide.

The USA, the hosting nation, defeat China in a penalty shootout to win the Women's World Cup in front of the largest crowd ever to witness a women's sporting event. Organized in Italy by UEFA the first continental tournament for regions: the UEFA Regions' Cup, won by Veneto. Mexico win the Confederations Cup: for the first time a male national team form Northern America win a FIFA tournament. The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup is abolished.


France wins their second European Championship title after beating Italy 2–1, with a golden goal in extra time. First FIFA Club World Cup, won by Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. FIFA Player of the Century, a one-off award created by FIFA to decide the greatest football player of the 20th century, is awarded to Pelé and Diego Maradona, shared: both men are officially considered winners of the award.

Real Madrid sign playmaker Zinedine Zidane of Juventus in a world record transfer fee of 72 million euros. Colombia wins the 40th edition of Copa América, as hosts. Australia beats American Samoa 31–0 in 2002 World Cup qualification, the world record in an international match.

Brazil sets up a record fifth title in World Cup competition, the first ever to be played in Asia (also the first outside Europe and the Americas), defeating Germany 2–0 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup final. The first FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship is held in Canada, with the USA defeating the hosts in the final 1–0 on a golden goal in extra time.

Founded the NF-Board, the first international organization for FAs not admitted to FIFA. Paolo Maldini makes history by captaining AC Milan to a champions league victory, a feat his father Cesare did with the same club exactly 40 years before. Latvia is the first football team from the Baltic states to make an appearance in a major football competition, UEFA Euro 2004.

Greece produce one of the shocks in football history and become surprise winners of the Euro 2004 football tournament, defeating hosts Portugal 1–0 in the final. Waitakere United is founded. Arsenal wins the 2003-04 FA Premier League unbeaten, the second time an English club goes undefeated for an entire season.

The Champions League final in Istanbul sees Liverpool come back from a 0–3 half-time score to defeat A.C. Milan 3–2 in a penalty shootout, following a 3–3 draw. Also, a match-fixing scandal rocks German football, though it does not directly affect the Bundesliga. The Australian A-League is launched in replacement of the NSL to improve the quality of the game in the country.

The 2006 World Cup is held in Germany and won by Italy on a penalty kick shootout over France, and Zinedine Zidane plays his last professional game in the final captaining France only to be sent off in extra time. A major match-fixing scandal erupts in Italy, with five Serie A teams implicated. Egypt record victory for the fifth time in the African Cup of Nations.

Brazil wins the 42nd edition of Copa América, held in Venezuela. Iraq produce one of international football's greatest fairytale victories as the fractured, war-torn nation were crowned champions of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup. FIFA Women's World Cup is held in China and won by Germany. On 9 November Étoile Sportive du Sahel became the first African squad to have won all official club competitions recognized by CAF, [11] after defeating Al-Ahly 3–1 in the CAF Champions League final in Susa.

Spain win their second European Championship title after beating Germany 1–0. Italy and A.C. Milan becomes the first national and club side to wear on their jerseys the FIFA badge of World champions. [12] [13] CONCACAF Champions Cup is replaced by the CONCACAF Champions League, modelled after the UEFA Champions League expand his participant teams from 8 to 24. The FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup is played for the first time in New Zealand, won by Korea DPR. The Women's Viva World Cup, the first World Cup for women's national teams not affiliated to FIFA, is played for the first time, hosted and won by Sapmi.

The FIFA Confederations Cup is won by Brazil and is held in South Africa (for the first time a FIFA tournament for senior national teams is held in Africa). Spain achieves two world records: most consecutive wins (15) and most matches without a loss (35, with Brazil). Barcelona achieves a sextuple: La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.


See also

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