Nowadays, we think of Real Madrid exclusively as a Champions League club but there is a possibility that they could be destined for the Europa League if they don’t overcome Borussia Mönchengladbach in their final group game tonight.
Real have in fact won the Uefa Cup, as it was then known, on two occasions – back-to-back in 1984-85 and 1985-86. In the second of those seasons, they beat Mönchengladbach on the way, needing a big turnaround in the second leg.
Then, as now, it was adidas v Puma – though both clubs have had different makers in between. In Germany on November 27, Mönchengladbach won 5-1 in the first leg to seemingly put the tie beyond doubt.
Their home strip featured nice green and black trim, albeit with the crest oddly placed, below the sponsor, while Real’s away featured a series of purples – by accident rather than design, we’d wager. Note also how their crest didn’t have a white background.
Two weeks later, Real’s outfit looked a lot more cohesive and they pulled off an incredible 4-0 win to send the blue-clad Mönchengladbach out of the competition.
Thereafter, Real beat Neuchâtel Xamax, Internazionale and 1.FC Köln to retain the trophy.
With all due respect to the Europa League, they will hope that they do not win the trophy for a third time next May.