Brian Seal

When Mexico tricked El Salvador in the World Cup

This day in football history On 7 June 1970, hosts Mexico defeated El Salvador 4–0 in the World Cup group stage, using a little trickery along the way. Just before halftime, with the match tied at 0–0, referee Ali Kandil awarded a free kick to El Salvador in their own half of the pitch. To everyone’s surprise, …

When a European Championship semifinal was decided by a coin toss

This day in football history On 5 June 1968, a coin toss sent hosts Italy into the European Championship final over the Soviet Union. Italy went on to win the final in a replay. Only four teams — Italy, the Soviet Union, England, and Yugoslavia — participated in the tournament. The two semifinal matches were played on the same day, with …

The 20th anniversary of when Roberto Carlos bent time and space

This day in football history On 3 June 1997, Brazil managed a 1–1 draw with France in the opening match of the Tournoi de France thanks to one of the most celebrated goals in football history. Organized by the French Football Federation as a friendly in anticipation of the 1998 World Cup, the Tournoi de France featured …

When UEFA banned English clubs

This day in football history On 2 June 1985, the governing body of European football, UEFA, banned English clubs from participating in European competitions. UEFA enacted the ban in response to the Heysel Stadium disaster four days prior. On 29 May, at the 1985 European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus at Heysel Stadium in Brussels, …

The 50th anniversary of Celtic’s historic European Cup

This day in football history On 25 May 1967, Celtic became the first British club to win the European Cup, beating Inter 2–1 in Lisbon. Notably, 14 of Celtic’s 15 players and coaches were born within 10 miles of Celtic Park. Inter won back-to-back European Cups in 1964 and 1965, then defeated defending champions Real Madrid in …