When did Newcastle last play in the Champions League? Magpies end 20-year exile from elite European football

Newcastle are enjoying an excellent season and will play in the Champions League next year.

The Magpies secured a return to elite European football with a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park against Leicester.


Newcastle have only lost five games in the league and have deservedly secured a top-four spot

Newcastle fans will have elite European football back on Tyneside next year


Newcastle fans will have elite European football back on Tyneside next year

Eddie Howe‘s side are on a brilliant journey and have produced some thrilling football while they have the second-best defensive record in the league behind title-winners Manchester City.

Plus, they have ensured Simon Jordan is a £1,000 lighter after he lost his bet with Jim White!

Newcastle needed just one point from their final two games and they have done enough, and the fans are ready for trips around Europe.

When did Newcastle last play in Europe?

Newcastle were once European regulars during the late 1990s and early 2000s, but that all changed once Mike Ashley became the club’s owner.

Under the British business tycoon, the Magpies were relegated twice and achieved European football once during his 14 years on Tyneside.

That tenure ended in October 2021, when Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben brothers purchased the club.

Now under new ownership, the Magpies dream of making it to Europe for the first time in ten years.

The 2011/12 season under Alan Pardew was the peak of the Ashley era as a team consisting of Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa finished fifth.

Newcastle made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in 2013

Newcastle made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League in 2013

The following season, Newcastle competed in the Europa League.

Domestically, it was a poor campaign for the Magpies as they struggled to a 16th-place finish, but their trips across Europe proved to be a great escape.

The Toon were drawn in Group D after beating Atromitos in a qualifier and faced Bordeaux, Maritimo and Club Brugge, and progressed in second place.

The Magpies then kept four consecutive clean sheets to seal 1-0 aggergate wins over Metalist Kharkiv and big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala.

The Anzhi team contained Willian and Samuel Eto’o, but they were no match for Papiss Cisse and co.

Newcastle’s magical European run came to an end at the hands of Benfica in the quarter-finals, who won 4-2 on aggregate, and lost to Chelsea in the final.

Before that, Newcastle had competed in the UEFA Cup seven times and made it to the semi-finals during the 2003/04 season, only to be stopped by a Didier Drogba-inspired Marseille.

The Toon last tasted European success in 1969 when they lifted the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (the original Europa League).

Faustino Asprilla’s hat-trick against Barcelona sealed an iconic win

Hulton Archive – Getty

Faustino Asprilla’s hat-trick against Barcelona sealed an iconic win

It has been a long time since the Geordies got to experience any European football, but the wait for the Champions League has been even longer.

Plus, the Magpies have only ever competed in the main part of UEFA’s premier competition twice.

The Toon first played in the Champions League during the 1997/98 season, but despite beating Barcelona 3-2 at St James’ Park, they crashed out.

The Magpies then took part in the 2002/03 Champions League campaign and made it through to the second group stage and lost their first three games before beating Juventus and Feyenoord.

But a 2-0 defeat in the final match against Barcelona saw Newcastle’s European dream ended and they haven’t been back since.

The Magpies did make it to the qualification stage of the Champions League the following year but were knocked out by Partizan Belgrade.

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