Have Tottenham Ever Won Anything in Europe?

Tottenham limped out of the Champions League with a dour 0-0 home draw against AC Milan on 8th March 2023. Given they went down 1-0 in the first leg, Spurs were left to wonder what might have been as they exited the competition at the Round of 16 stage. This leads us to the question, have Tottenham Hotspur ever been crowned the champions of Europe? And, moreover, have Spurs ever won anything in Europe?

Have Spurs Ever Won The Champions League?

When we ask whether Spurs have won the Champions League (which was first contested in the 1992/93 season), we are including the tournament’s forerunner, the European Cup. But whichever way you slice it, the answer is the same: Tottenham have never been crowned European champions.

The closest Spurs have got to Champions League (or European Cup) glory was in the 2018/19 season when they made it to the final. Unfortunately for them, Spurs lost 2-0 on the night to fellow Premier League side Liverpool. The clash was played at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid in front of 67,000 fans, and Liverpool’s goals were scored by Mohamed Salah (from the penalty spot) and substitute Divock Origi.

Have Spurs Ever Won Any European Tournaments?

Although Tottenham have never gone all the way in Europe’s premier tournament, they have at least done the business in other competitions on the continents. In fact, Spurs first tasted European success five years before Manchester United’s historic European Cup triumph of 1968, and indeed four years before Celtic became the first British club to become European champions. Way back in the 1962/63 season, Tottenham became the first British football club to win a (UEFA-organised) European tournament when they won the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

During that tournament, Spurs were banging in the goals and kicked things off with a fantastic 8-4 aggregate win over Scottish side Rangers. They then battered Slovan Bratislava 6-2 on aggregate in the quarters before another big win (this time 5-2 on aggregate) over OFK Beograd. That set up the final against Atletico Madrid and on 15th May 1963, Spurs gave the Spaniards a footballing lesson as they ran out 5-1 victors. Jimmy Greaves and Terry Dyson each scored two goals, with John White adding the other.

Have Spurs Ever Won the Europa League?

Okay, so Spurs got in early by bagging the Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1960s, but how have they got on in the Europa League (and its predecessor, the UEFA Cup)? It turns out this was another first for Spurs: they were the first team to win the UEFA Cup as they were victorious in the inaugural tournament in the 1971/72 season.

They met fellow English side Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final, which in those days was played over two legs at each of the competing clubs’ grounds. Spurs won the first leg 2-1 at Molineux, Martin Chivers scoring both goals for the away side. They then drew the second leg 1-1 at White Hart Lane to win the trophy. They beat a certain AC Milan in the semis too!

Spurs played in the final again in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup, but they lost to Dutch side Feyenoord in the big game. But they got themselves back on top in Europe (well, of the second-best tournament in Europe at least) a decade later when they beat Anderlecht of Belgium in the UEFA Cup final.

It was still a two-legged final back in the 1983/84 season, and after both legs ended in 1-1 draws, the match went to extra time and then penalties, where Spurs held their nerve best and won 4-3. At the time of writing, this is the last European silverware Tottenham have won.

How Have Spurs Performed in Europe

Season Tournament Stage of Elimination
1961/62 European Cup Semi-final
1962/63 Cup Winners’ Cup Won
1963/64 Cup Winners’ Cup Second Round
1967/68 Cup Winners’ Cup Second Round
1971/72 UEFA Cup Won
1972/73 UEFA Cup Semi-final
1973/74 UEFA Cup Losing Finalists
1981/82 Cup Winners’ Cup Semi-final
1982/83 Cup Winners’ Cup Second Round
1983/84 UEFA Cup Won
1991/92 Cup Winners’ Cup Quarter-final
1999/2000 UEFA Cup Second Round
2006/07 UEFA Cup Quarter-final
2007/08 UEFA Cup Round of 16
2008/09 UEFA Cup Round of 32
2010/11 Champions League Quarter-final
2011/12 Europa League Group Stage
2012/13 Europa League Quarter-final
2013/14 Europa League Round of 16
2014/15 Europa League Round of 32
2015/16 Europa League Round of 16
2016/17 Champions League Group Stage
2016/17 Europa League* Round of 32
2017/18 Champions League Round of 16
2018/19 Champions League Losing Finalists
2019/20 Champions League Round of 16
2020/21 Europa League Round of 16
2021/22 Europa Conference League Group Stage
222/23 Champions League Round of 16

*In the 2016/17 season, Tottenham parachuted into the Europa League after getting eliminated from the Champions League

Tottenham In Europe: Conclusions

On the face of things, up until 1984, Spurs certainly held their own on the European stage. The first British side to win a major European competition, the first to win the UEFA Cup, making it to the semis of the European Cup in 1961/62… most clubs in the land would be more than happy with that.

But then things started to get tougher for Spurs on the continent. No doubt their cause wasn’t helped by English sides being banned from European competition from 1985 to 1991, but even after that, the north London side have very much failed to deliver in the European tournaments.

Of course, we should never say never, and there is always a chance Tottenham could return to European glory. But Spurs fans are going to have to wait another season at least after their side’s disappointing exit from the Champions League. Indeed, given the nature of their loss and form at the time of writing, they face a major battle even to play in the 2023/24 CL!

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