Exploring The History Of Newcastle In The Champions League

Published by Chris Jenkins
21st Aug 2023

Following the success of The Magpies’ 2022/23 Premier League campaign, Newcastle United obtained a place in the Champions League for the fourth time in their history. With this in mind, we will be exploring Newcastle United’s Champions League history and assessing what Newcastle fans can expect from Eddie Howe’s squad during this current campaign.


Champions League Stats So Far:

Relating to statistics in the UEFA Champions League for Newcastle United, Magpies legend, Alan Shearer leads the goal-scoring stats with 7 goals compared to both Beresford and Asprilla who each have 4 goals.

As for most appearances, club legend Shay Given has the most appearances for Newcastle with 20 appearances. During his time with The Magpies, these are the only seasons in which Newcastle have qualified for European Football. He also won Newcastle United Player of the Year during the 2005-06 season under Graeme Souness.


1997-98 Champions League:

Newcastle’s first season playing in the Champions League followed their impressive 1996/97 Premier League season, in which they finished second. This was especially impressive as this was the time when only the teams that finished first and second qualified for Champions League games. Additionally, those who won the Premier League would have qualified straight to the group stages. In contrast, a second-place finish saw them needing to be eligible through a second qualifying round game.

The second qualifying round for The Magpies saw them face Croatia Zagreb across two legs. The first leg was a home fixture for Newcastle at St. James Park, which finished in Newcastle’s favour. John Beresford scored the opener for the white and black side in the 22nd minute, resulting in the only goal of the half.

Nerves quickly escalated across the stadium in the second half as Croatia Zagreb equalised thanks to Igor Cvitanovic in the 52nd minute. However, Beresford was able to get a brace as he sent Newcastle ahead once again - relieving the stress going into the away fixture. However, the second leg would be a lot more difficult than fans would have liked.

The Stadion Maksimir was electric with atmosphere, with the first goal going in Newcastle’s favour as Asprilla converted a penalty right before halftime. Going into the second half, Zagreb found themselves 3-1 down, but this did not deflate the side, as they were able to lessen the deficit to 3-2 thanks to a 58th-minute goal by Simic. Best yet, Cvitanovic equalised in the 90th minute - sending the game to extra time. Alas, Ketsbaia sent Kenny Dalglish’s Newcastle through to the group stages of the Champions League.

Newcastle entered a fairly difficult group (C), with the likes of Dynamo Kyiv, PSV, and Barcelona among their group. With this in mind, it was a valiant effort from Dalglish’s side. The Magpies managed to obtain 2 wins, 1 draw, and 3 losses - finishing their inaugural Champions League campaign in third place. Surprisingly, they were still able to finish a spot above Barcelona with Faustino Asprilla scoring against the Spanish giants.


2002-03 Champions League:

The 2002-03 Champions League campaign for Newcastle followed a similar nature to their 1997 season. Although they needed to beat Zeljeznicar in a third-qualifying round fixture. Across both legs, Newcastle was able to achieve a comfortable 5-0 deficit - securing their place in the group stages.

Newcastle found themselves in Group E of the first group stage alongside other teams such as Juventus, Dynamo Kyiv, Feyenoord. Newcastle was able to progress to the second round group stage after Craig Bellamy shone against Feyenoord, although they fell short of entering the knockout stages as both AC Milan and Barcelona progressed (AC Milan ultimately winning the tournament against Juventus on penalties).

Despite the lacklustre exit from the competition, the result of the 2002-03 Premier League season (with the Magpies finishing 3rd) meant they had another shot at Champions League glory. Unfortunately, the white and black side couldn’t progress further than the Third Qualifying Round as they lost to Partizan Belgrade on penalties, 4-3, and struggled against teams such as Inter Milan and Barcelona.

This leads us to the current Champions League (at the time of writing), the 2022-23 campaign.


Premier League 2022/23 Season:

Following the amazing season that just followed, with Manchester City winning the league for three consecutive seasons along with a treble, - Geordies rejoiced as, under Eddie Howe and new investment, they have been able to acquire a Champions League spot after a 10-year wait.

With Eddie Howe and a wealth of amazing talents such as Almiron, Kieran Trippier, and Callum Wilson, as well as a rejuvenated Joelinton - this has been one of the most exciting times to be a Newcastle United supporter in a long time.

Newcastle finished the season comfortably in fourth place, with Liverpool suffering from a disappointing season, resulting in a Europa League finish. The attacking prowess and defensive awareness of Howe’s Newcastle side were nothing short of spectacular, resulting in a respectable goal difference of +35.

Time will tell how Newcastle will progress throughout this current Champions League season, although one thing is certain - St. James Park will serve as an unforgettable atmosphere as the iconic anthem bellows around the stadium.


Newcastle United Champions League Tickets:

Anticipation for Newcastle United Champions League tickets is extremely high, especially given that it is the first time in 10 years that the Magpies have qualified for Champions League football. With this in mind, at Football Ticket Pad, we have a host of options available to you. Whether you are looking to take a loved one to a game, or want to experience the electric atmosphere yourself - be sure to hurry, as these are sure to sell out quickly.

At Football Ticket Pad, we are a guaranteed football ticket provider, ensuring your only worry come full-time is the scoreline - how it should be!