Date:Tuesday May 29 2012
Motherwell manager and big Leeds United fan Stuart McCall is looking forward to leading his club in the European Cup next year, a competition he fell in love with during the 1970`s following Leeds.
Motherwell will be involved in next season`s competition after finishing third in the Scottish Premier League last season.
The Fir Park club have taken the second Champions League spot with Glasgow Rangers not allowed to enter the competition because of their administration problems.
47-year-old McCall was brought up in Leeds and he recalls the famous Leeds side he used to go and watch as a youngster and the reason he fell in love with the competition, despite it reducing him to tears after Leeds lost the final in controversial circumstances in 1975 to Bayern Munich.
Speaking in the Scottish Sun, McCall said, "The competition has been part of my life since I was a nipper. I just about remember when Leeds played Celtic in 1970 but I was too young to go — but I went to a few European Cup games at Elland Road when I was older.
"I went to the quarter final when they beat Anderlecht 3-0 at home on the way to the final when they were robbed against Bayern Munich.
"To this day, I remember watching at home on television and bursting into tears when they lost.
"I fell in love with the European Cup when I was a lad because of that Leeds run."
Leeds lost the final 2-0 in Paris but it was a number of controversial decisions by French referee Michel Kitabdjian that will be remembered by Leeds fans.
Kitabdjian waved away two clear penalty decisions involving German legend Franz Beckenbauer. Firstly a clear handball was ignored and shortly afterwards when he upended Allan Clarke in the penalty area.
He also disallowed a Peter Lorimer strike from the edge of the area after the referee adjudged that Billy Bremner was in an offside position. Once again, Beckenbauer was involved when he got Kitabdjian to consult his linesman after initially giving the goal. After consultation with his assistant, he gave offside against Bremner, who had actually been pushed towards the Bayern goal by Beckenbauer.
McCall will be hoping to write his own piece of history with Motherwell who will enter the competition in July at the third qualifying stage.
They face a tough task to qualify, as they look set to face one of a number of teams with regular Champions League experience.
Spartak Moscow (Russia), FC Copenhagen (Denmark), Dynamo Kiev (Ukraine), Panathinaikos (Greece), SC Braga (Portugal) or Fenerbahce (Turkey) could all be possible opponents in the third qualifying round.
A win would see them enter the lucrative group stage of the Champions League.
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Date:Tuesday May 29 2012
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