UEFA have ranked 500 teams to play in the European Cup/Champions’ League from 1955-2016 and Barry Town have been ranked 227th, just 3 behind AZ Alkmaar from Holland and 8 behind Everton.
The Town enjoyed a ‘successful’ period of champions league football during the late 90’s and early naughties, having high profile ties against Aberdeen, Porto and Dynamo Kiev to name a few.
1996 saw the club create history as they became the first League of Wales side to progress beyond the opening round of a European competition.
Also, following a victory in Latvia over Dinaburg, Barry defeated Hungarian outfit Budapest Vasutas in one of several epic European nights at Jenner Park. Despite trailing 3–1 from the away fixture, Barry Town stormed to a victory in the return fixture by the same score-line, and then won on penalties 4–2.
A memorable all-British tie with Scottish Premier League side Aberdeen was their reward. After losing 3–1 to Roy Aitken’s side at Pittodrie, the Welshmen were held to a pulsating 3–3 draw at a rain-swept Jenner Park; exiting the cup in thrilling fashion before a crowd of over 6,000 and in what has become one of the most epic nights at Jenner Park.
Another great European night for Barry was against Dynamo Kiev. This game saw world class players such as Andriy Shevchenko and Sergei Rebrov grace the grass of Jenner Park.
In the 2000–01 season, Barry became the first League of Wales side to win a European Champions League tie, when they defeated the Azerbaijan champions FC Shamkir to set up a tie with Portuguese giants FC Porto. Barry lost the first leg in Portugal to a 8–0 margin, after conceding two early penalties in front of a enormous 55,000 crowd. However, the Town would win the home leg 3–1, recording a famous result which saw well know players Ricardo Carvalho, Helder Postiga play at Jenner Park.
The list was headed by Spanish giants Real Madrid, who have played a total of 403 Champions League/European Cup games. The highest ranked British team was Manchester United who have played a total of 261 games and winning 145 of them.
In Wales, the highest ranked team is TNS (The New Saints) who were ranked 151st having played a total of 26 games, winning 6, drawing 4 and losing 16.
In total there were 6 teams from Wales listed: TNS, Barry, Llanelli, Cwmbran, Rhyl and Bangor City. Barry were ranked 227th having played a total of 14 games. They have won 4, drawn 1, and lost 9, scoring 11 and conceding 38. Leicester City, who have only played 6 games in total, were ranked 6 above Barry.
There are a few notable teams below Barry in the rankings. Real Betis from Spain, Hibernian and Kilmarnock from Scotland, Malmo of Sweden, Bologna of Italy, Ipswich Town and Burnley of England.
After the cup final against TNS on Saturday, we can only hope the Town get promoted and can challenge TNS for the title in the future and bring some of the these EPIC European nights back to Jenner Park.
The full list of stats can be found here.