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Apr 7 16 6:54 PM

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The 2015-16 UEFA Champions League and Europa League regulations (11.04) state “The winning team is presented with forty gold medals and the runner-up with forty silver medals. Additional medals may not be produced”.

Presumably it is to each clubs’ discretion who receives a medal i.e. players, management, coaches, officials etc. There were reports after the 2014-15 final that UEFA had ‘ordered’ Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen to return his winners medal as he had not played in the tournament. The same applied to his colleagues Claudio Bravo, Douglas Costa and Josip Masip.http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/barcelonas-thomas-vermaelen-is-forced-to-give-back-his-champions-league-winners-medal-voetbalkrant/

My understanding is that they weren’t ‘ordered’ to return the medals, just that UEFA would not recognise them as a Champions League ‘winner’ as they had not played a single minute of the winning campaign.

A story in the Daily Express of 1 March 2013 about André Villas-Boas not having received a winners medal for his part in guiding Chelsea through the early stages of their 2011-12 Champions League victory provides a UEFA guidance on how the medals should be distributed:
[table=default*default*0*0*0][tr][td]   
[/td][td]   [/td][td]   [/td][td]   [/td][td][table=default*default*0*0*0][tr][td]   [/td] [/tr][/table][/td][td][table=default*default*0*0*0][tr][td]   [/td] [/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table]“Chelsea were given a box of 40 medals after winning the Champions League final last May, but did not think to offer one to the man who steered them safely through into the knockout stages.UEFA further give guidelines to who should receive a medal, “all players who have been fielded in the UEFA Champions League season and those on the match sheet in the final”, a list of just 23 players in Chelsea’s case last season.Additional handouts to those who made it to the bench – plus Jamal Blackman, who got one for being third goalkeeper in Munich even though he never had to get stripped for action during the campaign – take the tally to 27.A club spokesman confirmed that the rest had been given to “backroom staff” although was unable to say whether that included owner Roman Abramovich himself.”http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/matthew-dunn-/380956/Andre-Villas-Boas-still-waiting-for-Chelsea-Champions-League-medal

It would appear that Jamal Blackman has also a Europa League winners’ medal (2012-13)http://thechels.info/wiki/Jamal_Blackman and yet he has never played for Chelsea’s first team in a competitive fixture. Peter McDonnell who won UEFA Cup and Champions Cup winners’ medals in 1975-76 and 1976-77 and made no first team appearances for Liverpool has also achieved this ‘feat’.http://www.lfchistory.net/Players/Player/Profile/496 However, McDonnell's (European Champions’ Cup) winner's medal was lost after the game, believed by some to have been stolen and given to one of Liverpool's first-team players who had missed the final. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_McDonnell

Using the above guide as a rule from a statistician’s / historian’s point it is relatively easy to determine who has ‘won’ and who has ‘not won’ just by checking the appearances for that particular season. However, who has got a medal and who hasn’t got a medal is a different matter.

Looking back at UEFA archive regulations I note that 25 medals were awarded from seasons 2001-02 to 2005-06, increasing to 30 medals from 2006-07 to 2011-12, and further increasing to 40 medals from 2012-13 to present. I have not been able to find any record of the regulations prior to 2001-02.Since the inception of the three European Cups I assume that winners’ medals were only available to those players who actually played in the final, although I am not sure what happened in the case of a player playing in only the first leg of a two legged Inter-Cities Fairs Cup final?

Since the introduction of the two from five substitute rule in the late 1960’s it appears that the match day 16  would receive a medal although I am sure UEFA must have made exceptions for players missing out on the second leg of a UEFA Cup final e.g. Steve Perryman (Tottenham 1983-84). From 1995-96 to 1996-97 the substitute rules increased to three from five, and from 1997-98 (to present) to three from seven.

Whether a player deserves or feels he deserves a medal or not is subjective. Roy Keane was suspended (also injured) from the 1998-99 Champions League final but received a winners’ medal. He has said that “I do not feel like I’ve won a European Cup. I received a medal but didn’t feel I deserved it. It was not just me who missed out through suspension that night but Paul Scholes as well” Most people would disagree with the “didn’t feel I deserved it” quote given his contribution to Manchester United’s success that season, particularly in the semi final v Juventus.   http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/214014/I-never-won-my-medal.html

In Liverpool’s Champions League success in 2004-05 Neil Mellor played a major contribution in the group stage victory versus Olympiakos. By the time of the final he was recovering from injury. He missed out on a winners’ medal, although how much of this was due to “either UEFA incompetence or light-fingered pitch invaders” isn’t clear. However, he does say that he has one of AC Milan’s ‘losers’ medals! Liverpool actually used 27 players that season so based on the allocation of 25 medals at least two players were always going to miss out.http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/p/preston/6069698.stmhttp://www.theguardian.com/football/2006/jan/24/newsstory.sport4

So, in conclusion who has a winners’ medal and who is a winner are not necessarily the same.

In order to try and clarify things a bit further does anyone have UEFA’s rules / regulations prior to 2001-02.? Also, when did medals for only the match day 16 (or 18) cease?
 
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#1 [url]

Apr 13 16 9:12 AM

I remember, a lot of years ago, I had the chance to exchange some e-mails with the former IFFHS president, the late Dr. Alfredo Pöge, about this issue. Summarizing, he told me that, as per their criteria, if a player never appears for a team that wins a competition, then such player should not be regarded as winner. On the other hand, a player who gives his contribution to the winning team for just one minute in whichever moment of a competition, then he should be regarded as winner. I've always agreed with these criteria, that are also adopted by all the most important statistical yearbooks. In fact, just citing some Italian examples, "Almanacco Illustrato del Calcio", "Annuario del Calcio Mondiale" and "Soccerdata", in their data, consider as winners just those players who have actively taken part in a competition with at least one appearance. This is the fairest and most consistent way, in my opinion.

Also, we can discuss about players who leave the club at mid-season. When Inter Milan won the UEFA Cup in 1997/98, Maurizio Ganz scored a decisive goal in the second round versus Lyon. At mid-season, he was transferred to another club, while Inter conquered the trophy in May. Ganz obviously didn't receive the medal, even if he gave his active contribution to the final success.
Also Tony Woodcock played some games and scored some goals for Nottingham Forest in the 1979/80 European Cup before moving to another club at mid-season.
For this reason, I asked Dr. Pöge about this matter and he told me that they have to be considered winners as well! For example, he confirmed me that for IFFHS Clarence Seedorf has won 5 Champions League titles and not only 4, because in the 1999/00 edition he effected 6 appearances for Real Madrid, before leaving the club in December.

UEFA have their own criteria, and we have to respect them, but I agree more with the ones adopted by the most important statistics companies.

Ted Best wrote:
In order to try and clarify things a bit further does anyone have UEFA’s rules / regulations prior to 2001-02.? Also, when did medals for only the match day 16 (or 18) cease?
 
I don't know that. It would be interesting if UEFA explained this in their website.

Ted Best wrote:
There were reports after the 2014-15 final that UEFA had ‘ordered’ Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen to return his winners medal as he had not played in the tournament. The same applied to his colleagues Claudio Bravo, Douglas Costa and Josip Masip.http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/barcelonas-thomas-vermaelen-is-forced-to-give-back-his-champions-league-winners-medal-voetbalkrant
Just Douglas smiley: tongue

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#2 [url]

Apr 24 16 9:09 PM

Thanks for your reply Luca

I agree that a ‘Winner’ is a player who played at anytime during their club’s successful campaign.
Most records will only document who actually played in the final together with the unused substitutes and generally consider these as the players who actually ‘won’ the final.

Together with Ganz and Woodcock I am sure there are many more players who fall into this category or made only a brief substitute appearance e.g. Jim Iley made a 5 minute substitute appearance for Newcastle United versus Feyenoord in 1968-69 and Graeme Souness made a substitute appearance for Tottenham versus Keflavik in 1971-72, his only first team appearance for the club.

You mention you had communication with Dr Pöge. I remember writing to him about his published European Cup data. Along with a number of like minded friends we politely advised him that ‘his’ data had a number of errors. He refused to accept that ‘his’ organisation made mistake which quickly earned him the title of “Das Führer”. I know the IFFHS published records for the European Champions Clubs’ Cup up to 1969-70, the European Cup Winners’ Cup up to 197-68 and the first two editions of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup but have they published any subsequent seasons? If no, why did they stop?

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#3 [url]

Apr 24 16 11:35 PM

Ted Best wrote:
I agree that a ‘Winner’ is a player who played at anytime during their club’s successful campaign.
Well, this is all rather subjective of course.  A player who had a minor role in a possibly irrelevant game several months prior to the final is probably less important to the overall "campaign" than a major player from the previous season, who would have been instrumental in setting the club en route to its eventual success.  It's just a matter of interpretation about which players are eligible to be considered "winners", how far back to go etc (e.g. why should it be the whole season).  Without a concrete definition (which is what you were asking for earlier) it is just opinion and how inclusive to be.

Even if we restricted "winners" to just those players who were available for the final, a player who scores an own-goal and is sent off is probably less of a "winner" than someone who stayed on the bench and did nothing.  Ultimately, football is a team game and any subdivision of honours is complicated.

All this stuff about medals reminds me of having to sit through tediously slow ceremonies and watch crooks like Havelange and Blatter pompously hand them out.

Your correspondence with the late Dr Pöge sounds like similar feedback from others who communicated with him.  For IFFHS Eurocups info, have you checked all the old IFFHS magazines?  I don't remember exactly which seasons were published.

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#4 [url]

Apr 25 16 8:00 PM

In the late 80's/early 90's I had some correspondence with Dr. Pöge, and I have the same experience. On one occasion he just blamed the Dutch staff member (I think Jan-Hermen de Bruijn) and he wrote he would replace him. Concerning "‘his’ organisation": I think IFFHS was Dr. Pöge, a one-man organization.

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#5 [url]

Apr 26 16 7:25 AM

To me it appear to be fair that all players who have played during the campaign are considered to be winners, but we must draw a line to the current season. Imagine team X will win this season's Champions League. This is also a result of team X qualified for that competition the previous year which is a result of etc, etc.

Regarding NT's it appear to be very clear which players are considered to be the winners. Those who have been selected for the tournament.

Regarding the late De. Pöge I remember he always answered me the same way like FIFA use(d) to do. The idea of his project however was a good one, but I have the same idea/feeling as Sensini that IFFHS was (more like) a one-man organization, which cannot be good. Sensini also names Jan-Hermen de Bruijn, who has always been very helpful to me to set up and improve my archives in the pre internet era.

Ted Best's comment that IFFHS (Pöge) does not make mistakes,makes clear there was no room for improvement, which is very pityful indeed. As we are only human we easily can make mistakes. If one point someone on a mistake, most of us are investigating this, or at least are trying to do so.

Last Edited By: Fast Midfielder Apr 26 16 7:34 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#7 [url]

Apr 27 16 7:12 PM

Fast Midfielder wrote:
Regarding NT's it appear to be very clear which players are considered to be the winners. Those who have been selected for the tournament.


These are the official regulations, but we can't deny that, for example, a third goalkeeper who never plays during a World Cup tournament shouldn't be regarded as winner for statistical purposes. Who doesn't play, doesn't get caps for the records, so I don't see why he should be considered winner of a competition.
nfm24 wrote:
Ultimately, football is a team game and any subdivision of honours is complicated.
Just one example: the Argentine defender José Chamot. He "won" the 2002/03 Champions League for AC Milan playing just a couple of minutes in the injury time in a game versus Real Madrid where he didn't even touch the ball. Probably the cook or the bus-driver of the club had more merits than him...

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#8 [url]

Apr 27 16 7:32 PM

Luca wrote:
Probably the cook or the bus-driver of the club had more merits than him...

The bus driver should definitely get a medal.  He knows all the players, and he knows how to find the way to the stadium.  Thus he is at least as advanced as Steve McClaren, for example.    If Steve McClaren was the bus driver, he would probably fill up with the wrong kind of petrol and get stuck at the motorway services.

I still think the "Bus Driver of the Year" event should be televised instead of the Oscars.

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#9 [url]

Apr 28 16 9:11 PM

nfm24 wrote:

I still think the "Bus Driver of the Year" event should be televised instead of the Oscars.

It's a shame the in this thread mentioned IFFHS didn't have a "World Best Bus Driver 1863-2016" election! ;-)
Also lacking are the statistics of the bus drivers of each international match since 1872.

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#10 [url]

Apr 29 16 12:28 AM

Ultimately, football is a team game and any subdivision of honours is complicated.

+1 yep

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#12 [url]

Apr 29 16 7:21 AM

Sensini wrote:
It's a shame the in this thread mentioned IFFHS didn't have a "World Best Bus Driver 1863-2016" election! ;-)
Also lacking are the statistics of the bus drivers of each international match since 1872.
Back then it was still known as World Coachman of the Year.   And the IFFHS magazines would be full of pictures of Dr Pöge presenting Golden Gearsticks to the top 3.

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#15 [url]

Apr 29 16 4:24 PM

And what about cooks? Many of them do deserve special medals as well. Look at Leicester City and Atlético de Madrid: their cooks surely prepare exceptional dishes, considering how much and how well their players run.

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#17 [url]

May 7 16 8:37 AM

I just want to add an interesting detail I discovered not a long ago. The Brazilian/Italian forward Dino da Costa was able to lift two continental trophies in just one season!
In 1960/61 he won the Cup Winners' Cup for Fiorentina and the Fairs Cup for Roma.
This bizarre achievement was due to the fact that the 1960/61 Cup Winners' Cup final was in spring, while the 1960/61 Fairs Cup final was in autumn.
I'm not 100% sure, but this might be the only case ever happened in the European competitions.

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#18 [url]

May 7 16 8:57 PM

How about this one? Richie De Laet became Premier League winner with Leicester and promoted with Middlesbrough to the Premiership as you can read here. Before the winter he played twelve matches for Leicester, after he played ten for Middlesbrough.

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#19 [url]

May 13 16 5:54 PM

If we look at this subject from a reverse angle, the Spanish coach Rafa Benítez deserves the "loser award" of the season.
Sacked by Real Madrid in January; relegated with Newcastle in May....

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#20 [url]

May 13 16 8:14 PM

Benitez is the Anti-Ranieri.

I can't remember whom, but I'm sure there was a player who won a Scottish and English championship medal in the same season after transferring in January. Probably there are many cases in other countries.

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