The Champions League. The World Cup. The Leasing.com Trophy. All great competitions we all know we couldn’t live without. Football competitions give us purpose to support our teams, to form rivalries, to let each other know who truly is best.
The tournaments our beloved teams play in these days have become staples of our calendars. We know when the league fixtures, the up fixtures, the continental fixtures and even the international breaks are all going to be, what time they’ll kick off and what channel will be extorting money out of us to see them lose 7-1 at home to one of the two actually good teams in the league.
But for this little series, we’re going to harken back to a time your mothers, fathers, uncles, and even grandfathers probably remember fondly. For football was not always as we knew it. There wasn’t always a convoluted series of European competitions. There wasn’t always the European Championships. Some tournaments were held as one-offs and never heard from again, and some of them were quite the deal back in the day.
So the purpose of this exercise is to ponder what these defunct tournaments would look like today, if football wasn’t the global powerhouse of finance it is today, if the map of Europe had never changed from 1960 onwards, if things were just more… simple. Below you can find a selection of tournaments that, believe it or not, did actually once exist, and read on as I decide what these competitions would look like in the present day, and who has an actual shot at winning them. Happy reading, folks.