Manchester United have been drawn in Group A of the 2016/17 Europa League. They will face Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, Dutch side Feyenoord and Ukrainian unknowns FC Zorya Luhansk. Manager José Mourinho has not competed in this tournament since 2004, when he won the trophy then known as the UEFA Cup, with Porto. It’s fair to say that United’s Europa League opponents make up a tricky, but very winnable, group.
Previewing Manchester United Europa League Opponents
United’s Tournament History
Manchester United’s first participation was in the 1964-65 season, when it was known as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. This was also their best showing in the tournament. They reached the semi-final, losing to eventual winners Ferencváros of Hungary. During its early days, the Fairs Cup was an independent competition. In 1971 it became the UEFA Cup, with Europe’s governing body realising the growing importance of continental football. Despite this UEFAdoes not recognise any winners of the Fairs Cup in their list of honours, unlike FIFA.
United competed in the UEFA Cup six times between 1976 and 1995. Their 1984-85 elimination in the quarter-finals to another Hungarian side, Videoton was the closest they came to success. In 1995-96 they were eliminated by Russianside Rotor Volgograd on away goals. The game was most memorable for the fact that goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel equalised with a last minute header.