Sporting – Partizan 3:3 (1:1)
Venue: Estádio Nacional (Lisabon), 4th of September 1955
Kick-off time: 5pm
Referee: Edouard Harzic (France).
Strelci: 1-0 (Martins 14′); 1-1 (Milutinović 45′); 1-2 (Milutinović 50′); 2-2 (Quim 65′); 2-3 (Bobek 73′); 3-3 (Martins 78′).
GOALS: 1-0 `14 Martins, 1-1 `45 Milutinovic, 1-2 `50 Milutinovic, 2-2 `65 Quim, 2-3 `73 Bobek, 3-3 `78 Martins
Sporting forward Joao Martins scored first ever Champions Cup goal.
Carlos António do Carmo Costa Gomes; Manuel António Caldeira, Manuel Passos, João José Galaz; Armando Barros, Júlio Cernadas “Juca”; Joaquim Almeida “Quim”, Manuel Vasques, João Batista Martins, José António Barreto Travassos, Hugo Dias.
Head Coach: Scopeli
Slavko Stojanovic; Cedomir Lazarevic, Branko Zebec, Bruno Belin; Bozidar Pajevic, Ranko Borozan; Prvoslav Mihajlovic, Milos Milutinovic, Marko Valok, Stjepan Bobek, Antun Herceg.
Head Coach: Aleksandar Tomasevic
Return leg: Beograd, 12th of October 1955, FK Partizan – Sporting CP: 5:2 (2:0)
1-0 `15 Milutinovic, 2-0 `29 Milutinovic, 2-1 `49 Walter, 3-` 64 Milutinovic, 4-1 `74 Milutinovic, 4-2 `77 Walter, 5-2 `88 Jocic
Predecessor to Champions League, Champion Cup, kicked-off on 4th of Septemper 1955 with a Lisboa encounter between hosts Sporting and Partizan Beograd.
Our club had the honour of participating in first ever Champions Cup competiton and first ever Champions Cup game.
The whole Champions Cup idea was initiated by French sports daily L`Equipe, at the time irritated by British press who claimed English champion Wolverhampton was the best team in the world. Wolves actually played several friendlies with 50s greats like Honved, Spartak Moscow and Vienna and won all of them, so English assumed there was no need for them to participate in some kind of continent`s competition and took no part in it.
– It would be better to see Wolverhampton travel to Moscow or Budapest to prove they are unbeatable. If English are so convinced in quality of their football, then it`s time for a tournament, said L`Equipe Chief Editor Gabriel Hanot.
L`Equipe requested media support from several other sport magazines – Gazetta dello Sport from Milano, Madrid`s Marca, A Bola from Lisboa, El Mundo from Barcelona and Belgrade`s Sport among others. L`Equipe owner Jacques Goddot and Chief Editor Gabriel Hanot gathered representative of leading clubs – including Partizan – for a meeting in UEFA staged 2nd of March 1955 and received support for first ever Champions Cup.
L`Equipe presented potential participants with a Champions Cup format including 14 to 16 teams and games to be played midweek in the evening hours so that the working class would be able to make it. Broadcasting rights would be allocated to participating countries.
Tournament would kick-off in September 1955 with participation of respective champions of leading European countries but Partizan, regarded among top five European teams at the time, received a wildcard although our club finished fifth in Yugoslavian league previously.
So, it was down to Sporting and Partizan to kick-off most prestigious European club competition and after a 3-3 Lisboa draw Partizan trashed Portuguese side 5-2 in Belgrade backed by 25000 supporters.
After beating Sporting, Partizan played a Quarter-finals tie against Real Madrid.
First leg was played in Madrid on 15th of December 1955 and Real won it 4-0 with Milutinovic seeing two of his goals disallowed. Real Madrid`s President Bernabeu apologized to Partizan representatives after the game for a “ blatant mugging” but a month later, in icy and snowy conditions in Belgrade, Partizan won return leg 3-0 with brace from Milutinovic and goal from Mihajlovic. Partizan had one more goal disallowed in the game and post came to Spaniard`s rescue after Herceg`s 90th minute shot.
Partizan failed to change to course of history and Real Madrid went on to win first Champions Cup before winning nine more European trophies.
At least, Partizan`s Milos Milutinovic picked up top competition`s goalscorer award with 7 goals to his name in first ever Champion Cup tournament.
Sporting v Partizan highlights