History of Slovan Bratislava football club
The very well-known and the most popular Slovak football club - Slovan Bratislava was established shortly after the First World War and the emergence of Czechoslovak Republic (Czechoslovakia) on 3rd May 1919 as I. Czechoslovak sport club of Bratislava (I. Čs.Š.K.). Ten years after its founding, I. Čs.Š.K. Bratislava was clearly dominating in Slovakia and was often competing with strong opponents from Central Europe. Slovan Bratislava, with a sky-blue color of the jerseys started winning the most valuable trophies at the turn of the 20th and 30th years of the 20th century. Slovan was a national champion of Slovakia four times and received twice the title of the amateur champion of Czechoslovakia. What should be mentioned as well is a legendary victory 8:1 over professional football players from the English Newcastle United in May 1929 in Bratislava. Between the years 1939-1945, Slovan playing with a name SK Bratislava, won four championship titles and was clearly the best team in Slovakia.
After the Second World War and re-establishment of Czechoslovakia, SK Bratislava began to attack the dominance of the Czech clubs from Prague: Sparta and Slavia. In 1949 footballers wearing sky blue jerseys historically won the first title of the premier Czechoslovak league. The club won the title with a changed name again, this time as Sokol NV Bratislava. The Sokol NV Bratislava got the trophy for the best team in Czechoslovakia also in 1950 and 1951. The club won another national title, with a „new„ name: Slovan, in 1955 again. This successful winning era was followed by 13 difficult years, in which Slovan finished six seasons on a second place. Slovan was struggling to win the title despite the fact that his team signed the best Slovak footballer of the 20th century Jan Popluhár.
On 21 May 1969 Slovan Bratislava defeated FC Barcelona in the 1969 European Cup Winners' Cup Final by a score of 3–2.
Finally, the glory of Slovan started to shine again in 1969, which is written in the history as the most successful year, when Slovan was entitled as a national champion again and won the most valuable trophy: UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Slovan won this title under the guidance of a head coach Michal Vican, who made up a great team, which was partially formed by younger players, players from Slovan youth categories and by more experienced players as well. These players were proud of their club and were willing to sacrifice a lot for it. There was a passion and love seen in football. Slovan qualified to final through Yugoslavian team FK Bor, FC Porto, AC Torino and Scottish Dunfermline Athletic FC. In the final, Slovan had to face a great opponent, a well-known CF Barcelona. The fight for the trophy for the winner of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup took place on 21st May 1969 at the stadium of St. James in the Swiss city of Basel. Michal Vican sent into this fight the heroes of the sky blue club: Alexander Vencel, Jozef Fillo, Vladimír Hrivnák, Alexander Horváth, Ján Zlocha, Ľudovít Cvetler, Jozef Čapkovič, Ivan Hrdlička, Karol Jokl, Ladislav Móder and Ján Čapkovič. Slovan won this difficult battle 3:2 and the goals were scored by Ľudovít Cvetler, Vladimír Hrivnák and Ján Čapkovič. After the final whistle of the referee a celebration started not only right on the pitch, but also in entire Slovakia. This evening has been the most memorable moment of the Czechoslovak football and is still remembered in the public.
The season of 1969/1970 brought another success and Slovan was a national champion again and was back on top of his glory.
Other championships titles came in seasons 1973/1974 and 1974/1975. The team was led by Jozef Vengloš, who was also a coach of a national team, which was formed by a huge amount of players from Slovan and were involved in winning the title: Champions of Europe in 1976.
After this incredible seasons, some unsuccessful period followed and Slovan was relegated into second division in the season of 1984/1985. Slovan was going through some difficult years, but in the early 90s Slovan showed his power again and entered into another incredible golden season with a new coach, Dušan Galis. Slovan was able to break a long lasting dominance of Sparta Praha in Czechoslovakia and after 17 years got a title of a Czechoslovak champion again.
On 1st January 1993, an independent Slovak Republic was formed and Slovan therefore played the national Slovak league. Slovan, as the best Slovak team won three national titles in a row and clearly dominated the Slovak competition. In 1996 the club received an invitation to participate on a tournament in Spain, where he won the Ciutat de Cartagena Trophy over FC Barcelona 2: 1. During the 1998/1999 season, Slovan won double, as the winner of the Slovak Club as well. Later on, in 2004, a poor economic situation of the club culminated in relegation to the second division again. After returning to the first division, a hard work and willingness to bring Slovan back to the light of glory paid for it and the first results could be seen and Slovan became a champion in 2009. In that year, due to some technical circumstances, Slovan Bratislava played his last game on its home stadium Tehelne pole and moved to nearby stadium Pasienky. In the 2010/2011 and 2012/2013 seasons, players of Slovan were crowded as the national champions and winners of the Slovak Cup as well. Players also succeed under the guidance of a head coach Vladimir Weiss in August 2011 and eliminated Italian AS Roma and reached the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. In Group F, Slovan was playing Paris Saint-Germain, Athletic Bilbao and Red Bull Salzburg. Another title of the national champion followed in the 2013/2104 season and Slovan has become the most successful club since 1993 as part of an independent Slovak league.