The late-lamented Emanuel Calleja, forsighted then, that Maltese Clubs in particular, have a lot to gain, by participating in European competitive soccer. He argued that local soccer followers will have the opportunity of seeing the cream of European Clubs playing against Maltese Clubs. The visits of illustrious Clubs, such as Manchester United, Celtics, Juventus, Sporting Lisbon, Athletico Madrid, Inter, Ferencvaros, Leeds United, Barcelona (to mention a few) was only made possible because we are competing in these competitions, otherwise the chances of seeing such formidable Clubs in action at the National Stadium, would have been indeed remote.
When Mr. Calleja originated his idea, he was highly criticized, and dubbed with excessive pretentions, but today, all participating Clubs agree that the venture is a success - moneywise. Besides by participating in Europe, apart from showing the Maltese Flag, the local players have an incentive and an ambition to fulfill that of playing in European competitive soccer.
In this respect they make that extra effort so that their Club will be there in the final reckoning, among the Elite Clubs of Europe.
Valletta vs DuklaValletta FC`s baptism in European football was in season 1963/64, against Czechoslovakia giants Dukla Praha in the Champions League.
|1963-64 - Dukla Praha||1972-73 - Internazionale|
To date (season 2012/2013), Valletta FC participated 36 times in European competitions; 15 editions of the Champions Cup, 7 editions of the Cup Winners', 8 editions of the UEFA Cups, twice in the Intertoto Cup and in 4 editions of the Europa League.
Throught the years, Valletta FC were polled against several high-profile European clubs such as Italian giants Juventus FC and Internazionale, former English champions Leeds UTD, their Scottish counterpart Glasgow Rangers, Porto and Dinamo Moscow, to mention just a few.
The results obtained by Valletta in European competitions, were however not always so positive. Disastrous results such as 8-0 defeats against Grasshoppers of Switzerland and Honved of Hungary as well as a 10-0 trashing against Glasgow Rangers were amongst the worst defeats experienced. However amidst all this, Valletta also achieved positive results such as minimal 1-0 defeats to Porto and Internazionale as well as victories against HJK Helsinki and Barry Town.
|2002-03 - Intertoto Cup vs K.S. Teuta||2000-01 - UEFA Cup vs HNK Rijeka|
Without any doubt Valletta's qualification to the first round proper of the Champions cup in season 1999/2000 was the most successful participation ever, eliminating Barry Town of Wales 3-2 on aggregate. In season 2000/2001, Valletta just missed qualification in extra-time losing 8-6 on aggregate to Rijeka in the qualifying round of the UEFA cup.
In season, 2003/2004, Valletta FC participated in European competitions for the 15th consecutive year. In fact no other local club has ever managed to participate for such a long period consecutively including also Birkirkara FC.
In season 2009-10 season, Valletta participated in the Europa League. They eliminated Keflavik 5-2 on aggregate and became the first Maltese team to make it through to the second qualifying round of the Europa League. In the second round they earned a credible 1-1 draw away to St Patrick's Athletic F.C. of Ireland. However in the return leg they were eliminated 10 minutes from time following a solitary goal by Declan O'Brien.
|1987-88 - UEFA Cup vs Juventus||2009-10 - Europa League vs St Patrick's Athletic|
Season 2010-11, Valletta participated again in the Europa League, they entered the competition in the second round against K.S. Ruch Chorzow from Poland. In the home leg they earned a 1-1 result and in the away leg the match ended goal less, however the Citizens were eliminated by the away goal.
Season 2011-2012, Champions Valletta FC were drawn against Tre Fiori FC of San Marino in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
Valletta registered an emphatic 3-0 win away from home in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. Valletta sealed their passage to the second qualifying round of the Champions League after beating Tre Fiori 2-1 for a 5-1 aggregate win.
During the second qualifying round Valletta met Lithuanian side Ekranas. In the home leg they lost 3-2 and and in the away Ekranas edged the Malta champions 1-0 to progress to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League 4-2 on aggregate.
|2010-11 - K.S. Ruch Chorzow||
2011-12 - FK Ekranas
Season 2012-2013, Champions Valletta FC were drawn against FC Lusitans of Andorra in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
Valletta managed to set a new record for the highest victory ever achieved by a Maltese team in European competitions as they registered an 8-0 result in the first leg of their Champions League first qualifying round. The Maltese champions blew their dismal opponents apart, racing into a five-goal lead inside the opening 22 minutes.
During the away leg, Valletta registered a slender victory to confirm their place in the second qualifying round.
During the second qualifying round Valletta met FK Partizan of Belgrade. In the home leg Valletta’s hopes of reaching the next stage of the Champions League were dashed as the Citizens crashed to a 4-1 defeat. Partizan proved too strong for Valletta, translating their early superiority into three first-half goals which all but sealed their win.
During the away match, two goals from Nemanja Tomic helped Partizan Belgrade win the match 3-1. Despite falling behind after 10 minutes, the Citizens showed great character to get back into the match when Michael Mifsud put them level early in the second half. Partizan’s superiority came to the fore late on as they netted two quick goals to seal a 3-1 win and progress to the next round 7-2 on aggregate.
|2012-13 - FC Lusitans||
2012-13 - FK Partizan
Season 2013-2014 - vs La Fiorita
Season 2013-2014, Valletta FC were drawn against SP La Fiorita of San Marino in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
During the away leg, Valletta managed to beat La Fiorita 3-0 in Serravalle. It was a solid display from Mark Miller’s men who after a slow start gradually took control of proceedings and were rarely troubled by the San Marino side.
Denni scored at either side of half- time of the first leg while Ian Zammit came off the bench to add a late third goal.
The match was evenly balanced in the opening stages, but the Citizens gradually got more into the picture and deservedly took the lead on the half hour.
La Fiorita defender Federico Rinaldi handled the ball inside his area in an attempt to anticipate Ian Azzopardi and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
From the resultant penalty, Denni beat Simone Montanari with a low drive.
On the restart, Miller switched to a five-man midfield when he introduced Shaun Bajada for defender Jonathan Caruana.
The move yielded instant dividends as Valletta doubled their lead five minutes into the second half.
Dyson Falzon’s throughball released Denni who showed great footwork before beating Montanari.
Zammit came on for Denni on 85 minutes but he still found time to add a third in stoppage time.
During the home leg, Valletta registered a slender victory to confirm their place in the second qualifying round with an aggregate score of 4-0.
Valletta's first half ended goalless despite Valletta creating a host of scoring chances. During the dying minutes of the second half, the Citizens were awarded a penalty after Gianluca Bollini pushed substitute Ian Zammit in the box. Zammit picked himself up to drive his shot past Montanari from the spot.
|2013-14 - SP La Fiorita||
2013-14 - SP La Fiorita
Season 2013-2014 - vs FC Minsk
In the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, Valletta were drawn against FC Minks of Belarus. The Citizens earlier eliminated San Marino's La Fiorita with an aggregate score of 4-0.
During the home leg were held to a 1-1 result by Belarusian team FC Minsk. The match was a balanced affair with FC Minsk enjoying a physical edge thanks to their superior match fitness but Valletta produced a gallant display throughout.
After five minutes FC Minsk opened the score, Hamza Barry fell Dmitry Gorbushin outside the box and, from the ensuing free-kick, Aliaksandr Sachyuka's shot sailed into the net at the near post after Valletta goalkeeper Pietro Marino appeared to have been wrong-footed by a feint from an FC Minsk player.
FC Minsk created another chance when Raman Behunov stormed into the box from the left to collect Aliaksei Bialevich's curling cross but his shot was wide. As half-time approach, Valletta intensified their pressure. A cross by Ryan Fenech was blocked by the FC Minsk goalkeeper who easily out jumped Shaun Bajada but on the stroke of half-time, Valletta levelled matters.
A mistake by Aliaksandr Sachyuka prove costly as his mishit backpass was intercepted by the persistent Ryan Fenech who drove home from close range.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, Miller withdrew Spanish striker Arnal Conde, was making his first appearance for Valletta, with Nigerian James Aud-Gustine Obaje coming in.
Three minutes past the hour, Fenech's long-range drive that was stopped by the FC Minsk goalkeeper. There was an even bigger scare for Valletta when Raman Vasiliuk's diagonal effort came off the base of a post. Still, Valletta refused to lie down. Fenech went close with a powerful shot that flew just wide of a post. With nine minutes remaining, Marino denied FC Minsk when touching Rozhok's grounder around the near post.
In the dying stages, Ian Zammit, who had just replaced Fenech, curled his shot wide of the far post after receiving from Obaje.
In the second leg Valletta’s bid to progress to the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League came to an end as they were eliminated from the competition by FC Minsk 3-1 on aggregate.
Valletta were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League after suffering a 2-0 defeat during the away leg.
Coach Mark Miller opted to start with Nigerian striker Aud-Gustine James Obaje in attack and Ian Azzopardi in defence, leaving Shaun Bajada out of the starting line-up.
After a goalless first half, the hosts managed to take the lead eight minutes after the break thanks to Roman Vasilyuk whose effort beat goalkeeper Pietro Marino.
On the hour, FC Minsk doubled the score through Vital Kibuk. A blow for Valletta who at this point needed two goals to secure qualification.
Miller included new signing Romulo Marcos Antoneli and Ian Zammit in the Citizens; bid to get back in the game but this was not enough for them to reduce the gap.
This was the first defeat for Valletta in this Europa League campaign after the two wins over SP La Fiorita and the 1-1 draw with FC Minsk in the first
|2013-14 - FC Minsk||
2013-14 - FC Minsk
Season 2014-2015 - vs Qarabag FK
2014-15 vs Qarabag FK
||2014-15 vs Qarabag FK|
Season 2015-2016 - vs Newtown AFC
During the home leg, Valletta were trailing 2-1 from the away leg, the Citizens produced a brave performance, dominating possession for long stretches but Jason Oswell's early strike and the second-half dismissal of Ryan Camilleri left them with too much to do.
Season 2016-2017 - vs B36 FC Torshavn
During the second leg, Valletta moved to the second qualifying round of the Champions League despite losing the second leg to B36 Torshavn 2-1 in the Faroe Islands
Federico Falcone’s goal again proved vital for the Citizens as they progressed to the next round on the away goals’ rule after the tie finished all-square at two-all.
The Citizens started brightly against B36 and the woodwork denied the visitors an opener early on when Jhonnattann saw his effort coming off the bar.
Two minutes later, Falcone came agonisingly close to an opener but his drive was somehow kept out by B36 goalkeeper Trugvi Askham.
However, it was the hosts who drew first blood when in their first serious foray at the Valletta goal, Hanus Thorleifsson hit home after being set up by Hogni Eysturoy.
Valletta refused to panic and drew level midway through the half when Falcone was on hand to hit the ball home following a pass by Romeo Romau.
B36 twice went close to restoring their lead before the break but efforts by Thorleiffson and Jakub Borg were kept out by Henry Bonello, the Valletta goalkeeper.
The match remained evenly poised on the restart with Santiago Malano forcing Askham into a fine save on 63 minutes. But three minutes later B36 went 2-1 up when Hannes Agnarsson scored following another Eysturoy assist.
Valletta weathered the storm and ventured forward on counter break. However, the woodwork came to B36’s rescue a second time when Jhonnattann’s effort again crashed against the bar.
Eight minutes from time, the well-positioned Bonello came to Valletta’s rescue when he stopped an effort by substitute Sebastian Pingel.
B36 stepped up the pressure in search of a third goal that would have them through but Valletta defended stoutly to book their place in the next round.
Season 2016-2017 - vs Red Star Belgrade
In the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, Valletta were drawn against Red Star Belgrade of Serbia. The Citizens earlier eliminated B36 FC Torshavn from Faroe Islands with an aggregate score of 3-2.
A gutsy performance from Valletta was not enough to earn them a positive result in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round match against Red Star Belgrade as the Serbian outfit came back from a goal down to win 2-1.
While the defeat was hard to take for Valletta, who had taken an early lead through Federico Falcone, they can still take a lot of encouragement from a bold showing against a team who, on paper, are superior to the Maltese champions.
A goal down, Red Star were always going to make a reaction in the second half but Falcone's exit due to injury before half-time made things easier for the visitors as Valletta lost their attacking pillar.
The hosts were off to a brisk start, pushing forward when in possession without losing their tactical shape.
Valletta's early efforts produced an early breakthrough on 15 minutes to the delight of their vocal fans.
And what a goal it was Federico Falcone, latching on to a great cross from fellow Argentine Leandro Aguirre, rifled a powerful volley into the far corner of the net.
Valletta's aggressive pressing was making it difficult for Red Star to build any sort of momentum.
Three minutes past the half-hour, Valletta thought they had doubled their lead when Jhonnattann picked out Falcone who advanced before hitting a curling effort home but the Argentine was flagged offside in what looked like a dubious decision by the assistant referee.
Falcone was forced to leave the field late in the first half after picking up an injury. He was replaced by Santiago Malano.
Two minutes into the second half, Valletta had a great chance to extend their advantage/ Pani's through-ball found Malano in ample space after the Argentine had sprung open Red Star's offside ploy. Malano galloped forward but he took a heavy touch which enabled Damir Kahriman to recoup ground and shackle the Argentine before play was stopped for a dubious foul on the Red Star goalkeeper.
Katai was Red Star's most dangerous player with his swift incursions down the left. The Serbia winger had a low shot saved by Henry Bonello while Guelor Kanga fired wide from outside the box.
Red Star increased their pressure. Argentine Pablo Mouche ran himself into a shooting position inside the box before lifting a menacing shot that Bonello did well to push over the bar.
There was another chance for Red Star as Katai nodded over from Mouche's cross.
In a City counter-attack, Jhonnattann pushed forward on the right but his powerful strike was beaten away by Kahriman.
From the prospect of doubling their lead, Valletta conceded an equaliser on 65 minutes. Storming into the box from the right, Katai held off Ian Azzopardi and chipped the ball over Bonello from an acute angle.
Red Star went ahead 16 minutes from time. Katai was the provider as his low cross from the left was tucked home by substitute Predrag Sikimic.
During the away leg, the Malta champions left the Arena Stadium with a few regrets after a very positive showing in an entertaining encounter with action at both ends of the field.
The Citizens started brightly and soon forged ahead.
From a corner, Caruana was first to Jhonnattann’s delivery and the Malta defender headed firmly past Red Star goalkeeper Damir Kahriman.
The home team looked rattled and on 22 minutes Jhonnattann should have doubled Valletta’s lead.
In a quick foray, the Brazilian forward sped clear and with only Kahriman to beat he sent his effort just wide of the upright.
Red Star finally threatened on 25 minutes when Hugo Viera profited from lack of communication between Caruana and Roderick Briffa but his effort was well saved by Bartolo.
The hosts drew level on the half hour. Guelor Kanga fed Mitchell Donald on the edge of the area and the Dutch midfielder hit a rasping drive that gave Bartolo no chance.
Red Star grew in stature and three minutes later Hugo Ibanez almost made it 2-1 but his deft flick from routine distance forced a smart save from the Valletta goalkeeper.
Eleven minutes into the second half, Mifsud did well to turn past two defenders but his low shot was parried away by Kahriman.
Red Star were denied by the woodwork on 59 minutes. They were awarded a central free-kick and Aleksandar Katai’s curling drive came off the upright and from the rebound Viera fired wide.
Jhonnattann’s pace was proving a handful for the Red Star defenders and on 68 minutes he embarked on a surging run that took him past two defenders but his grounder flashed wide.
Valletta paid dearly for this miss as seven minutes later Red Star went 2-1 up.
Substitute Slavoljub Srnic, who had just replaced Pablo Mouche, put Katai clear and the skipper kept his cool to slid the ball past Bartolo.
The Citizens soon responded and three minutes later Santiago Malano picked Mifsud who showed great skill to turn past Zoran Rendulic but the forward was denied by the onrushing Kahriman.
Red Star almost struck a third goal when Ibanez sped clear but was thwarted by the alert Bartolo.
The Valletta goalkeeper again distinguished himself in stoppage time when he pushed away Katai’s shot.
|vs Dukla Praha||0-2||0-6||0-8|
|vs HJK Helsinki||1-0||1-4||2-4|
|vs FK Austria Memphis||0-4||0-4||0-8|
|vs Glasgow Rangers||0-4||0-6||0-10|
|vs Maccabi Tel Aviv||1-2||0-1||1-3|
|vs Skonto Riga||1-0||0-2||1-2|
|vs Anorthosis Famagusta||0-2||0-6||0-8|
|vs Barry Town||3-2||0-0||3-2|
|vs Rapid Vienna||0-3||0-2||0-5|
|vs FC Haka||0-0||0-5||0-5|
|vs FC Artmedia Petrzalka||0-2||0-1||0-3|
|2011-2012||San Marino||vs Tre Fiori||2-1||3-0||5-1|
|Lithuania||vs FK Ekranas||2-3||0-1||2-4|
|2012-2013||Andorra||vs FC Lusitans||8-0||1-0||9-0|
|Serbia||vs FK Partizan||1-4||1-3||2-7|
|2016-2017||Faroe Islands||vs B36 FC Torshavn||1-0||1-2||3-2|
|Serbia||vs Red Star Belgrade||1-2||1-2||2-4|
|Cup Winners Cup|
|vs Real Zaragoza||0-3||1-5||1-8|
|vs Haladas Szombathely||1-1||0-7||1-8|
|vs Dynamo Moscow||0-2||0-5||0-7|
|vs Glasgow Rangers||0-8||0-10||0-18|
|vs Inter Bratislavia||2-5||0-0||2-5|
|vs Gloria Bistrita||1-2||1-2||2-4|