Newcastle United are on the verge of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, and it has been a long time since they last played in the competition. The last time Newcastle played in the Champions League was in the 2002/03 season, when they were managed by Bobby Robson. They had finished fourth in the Premier League the previous campaign to earn a place in the Champions League qualifying rounds, which they successfully navigated to seal their spot in the group stage. In the group stage, they were drawn in a ‘group of death’ with Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen, but ultimately finished third in the group behind Barcelona and Inter Milan. Newcastle did qualify for the Champions League again for the following season, but they did not participate in the group stage having been defeated by Partizan Belgrade on penalties in the final qualifying round.
Their last taste of European football was the 2012/13 season under Alan Pardew, when they finished second in a Europa League group consisting of Bordeaux, Maritimo and Club Brugge. Consecutive 1-0 aggregate wins were secured over Metalist Kharkiv and Anzhi Makhachkala, before their European dream came to an end at the hands of eventual runners-up Benfica in the quarter-finals. Newcastle have two smaller European titles to their name; the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1968/69 and the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006.