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Jordi Bertomeu

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Jordi Bertomeu

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EuroLeague httpssmediacacheak0pinimgcomoriginals65

9 June 2000; 16 years ago (2000-06-09)

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EuroLeague, known as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for sponsorship reasons, is the highest level tier and most important professional club basketball competition in Europe, with teams from up to 18 different countries, members of FIBA Europe. For sponsorship reasons, for five seasons starting with 2010–11, it is named the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. The competition is controlled by the privately held Euroleague Basketball, which is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, and features clubs that come from a Europe-wide consortium of leading professional basketball leagues, called ULEB.


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The FIBA European Champions Cup was originally established by FIBA and it operated under its umbrella from 1958 until the summer of 2000, concluding with the 1999–00 season. That was when Euroleague Basketball was created.

FIBA had never trademarked the "EuroLeague" name, even though it had used that name for the competition since 1996. Euroleague Basketball simply appropriated the name, and since FIBA had no legal recourse to do anything about it, it was forced to find a new name for its championship series. Thus, the following 2000–2001 season started with 2 separate top European professional club basketball competitions: the FIBA SuproLeague (previously known as the FIBA EuroLeague) and the brand new Euroleague 2000–01 season.

The rift in European professional club basketball initially showed no signs of letting up. Top clubs were also split between the two leagues: Panathinaikos, Maccabi Elite, CSKA Moscow and Efes Pilsen stayed with FIBA, while Olympiacos, Kinder Bologna, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Tau Cerámica and Benetton Treviso joined Euroleague Basketball.

In May 2001, Europe had two continental champions, Maccabi of the FIBA SuproLeague and Kinder Bologna of the Euroleague. The leaders of both organizations realized the need to come up with a unified competition. Although only a year old, Euroleague Basketball negotiated from a position of strength and dictated proceedings. FIBA essentially had no choice but to agree to Euroleague Basketball's terms. As a result, European club competition was fully integrated under Euroleague Basketball's umbrella and teams that competed in the FIBA SuproLeague during the 2000–01 season joined it as well.

In essence, the authority in European professional basketball was divided over club-country lines. FIBA stayed in charge of national team competitions (like the FIBA EuroBasket, the FIBA World Cup, and the Summer Olympics), while Euroleague Basketball took over the European professional club competitions. From that point on, FIBA's Korać Cup and Saporta Cup competitions lasted only one more season before folding, which was when Euroleague Basketball launched the ULEB Cup, now known as the EuroCup.

In November 2015, Euroleague Basketball and IMG agreed on 10-year joint venture. Both Euroleague Basketball and IMG will manage the commercial operation, and the management of all global rights covering both media and marketing. The deal was worth €630 million euros guaranteed, with projected revenues reaching €900 million euros.

Names of the competition

  • FIBA era: (1958–2001)
  • FIBA European Champions Cup: (1958–1991)
  • FIBA European League ("FIBA Euro League"): (1991–1996)
  • FIBA EuroLeague: (1996–2000)
  • FIBA SuproLeague: (2000–2001)
  • Euroleague Basketball era: (2000–present)
  • Euroleague: (2000–2016).
  • EuroLeague: (2016–present).
  • *There were two separate competitions during the 2000–01 season. The SuproLeague, which was organized by FIBA, and the Euroleague, which was organized by Euroleague Basketball.

    Title sponsorship

    On 26 July 2010, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball announced a €15 million strategic agreement to sponsor the top European basketball competition across the globe. According to the agreement, starting with the 2010–11 season, the top European competition would be named Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball. Similarly, the Euroleague Final Four would be named the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, whereby the new league title would appear in all media accordingly. This title partnership will run for five seasons, with the option of extending it to an additional five. On 23 October 2013, Turkish Airlines and Euroleague Basketball agreed to extend their partnership up until 2020.


    Starting with the 2009–10 season, the EuroLeague's first phase was the Qualifying Rounds, which involved eight clubs bracketed into a knockout tournament consisting of two-legged matches. The four survivors of the First Qualifying Round were paired against one another for the Second Qualifying Round, with the two winners playing for the last spot in the EuroLeague Regular Season. All losing clubs in the Qualifying Rounds parachuted down into Euroleague Basketball's second-tier EuroCup.

    The next phase of the old format was the Regular Season, in which 24 teams participated; from 2009–10 to 2015–16, the participants included 23 or 24 clubs automatically entered into the Regular Season, depending on if there was a Qualifying Round winner. Each team played two games (home-and-away) against every other team in its group. At the end of the Regular Season, the field was cut from 24 to 16. Before 2008–09, the teams were divided into three groups of eight teams each, with the top five teams in each group plus the top sixth-place finisher advancing. After that, the Regular Season involved four groups with six teams each, with the first four teams in each group advancing. From 2013–14 to 2015–16, the eight eliminated teams in this stage were dropped down to the EuroCup.

    Under the previous format, the second phase, known as the Top 16, then began, featuring the 16 survivors of the Regular Season, drawn into eight-team groups. As in the Regular Season, each Top 16 group was contested in a double round-robin format.

    The third phase under the old format, the Quarterfinal round, was played from the 2004–05 season 2015–16. Before that, only the group winners advanced to the EuroLeague Final Four (see below). From 2004–05 to 2015–16, the first- and second-place teams from each group advanced. In the quarterfinal round, the first-place team from each group was matched against a second-place team from another group in a playoff series. Through the 2007–08 season, the series was best-of-three, and expanded to best-of-five for 2008–09. Home advantage in the series goes to the first-place team.

    The Final Four, held at a predetermined site, features the winners of the four quarterfinal series in one-off knockout matches. The semifinal losers play for third place; the winners play for the championship.

    The 2010 Final Four was held on 7 and 9 May at Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in Paris. The 2011 Final Four was held at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

    For the 2012–13 Euroleague season the Top 16 was changed from four groups of four teams to two groups of eight teams. The four best teams in each group qualified to the quarterfinals.


    The league usually, but not always, includes domestic champions from the leading countries. Depending on the country, places in the EuroLeague may be awarded on the basis of:

  • Performance in the previous season's domestic league.
  • Performance over the previous two or three domestic seasons.
  • Contracts with Euroleague Basketball.
  • In addition, the winner of the previous season's EuroCup receives a place.
  • For example, two 2007–08 domestic champions from ULEB member countries did not compete in the 2008–09 Euroleague—Zadar (Croatia) and Hapoel Holon (Israel). Zadar played in the second-level EuroCup in 2008–09. Hapoel Holon, however, did not compete in any of the three European continental club competitions—not even the third-tier EuroChallenge (which is run by FIBA Europe instead of Euroleague Basketball)—because of financial difficulties.

    Starting with the 2009–10 season, and through 2015–16, the entrance criteria changed:

  • A number of clubs were chosen via a formula based on competitive performance, television revenues, and home attendance, to receive "A Licenses", giving them automatic entry into the EuroLeague regular season phase. Originally, 13 clubs received A Licenses, with Asseco Prokom Gdynia of Poland becoming the 14th before the 2011–12 season. A Licenses were awarded for three years, meaning that the next adjustment of A Licenses would not take place until 2012–13. However, Euroleague Basketball suspended the A License of Virtus Roma after the club finished in the bottom half of its domestic league in 2010–11.
  • Eight clubs received one-year "B Licenses" into the EuroLeague regular season. Seven of them were directly based on the ranking of the domestic league in which the club competed. The eighth was a three-year "wild card" license based on similar factors to the A Licenses; the first such license was awarded to ASVEL Basket of France.
  • Under the old format, the winner of the previous year's Eurocup received a one-year "C License" into the EuroLeague regular season. If the club qualified for a direct B License into the regular season via its domestic league, the C License was awarded to the club not already qualified for the regular season that was highest on the EuroLeague entry list.
  • Eight other clubs received one-year "B Licenses" into the EuroLeague qualifying rounds, with two advancing into the regular season.
  • Teams that lost the A licence

  • Virtus Roma
  • Asseco Prokom
  • Montepaschi Siena
  • Unicaja
  • Arena standards

    Effective as of the 2012–13 season, EuroLeague clubs with an "A License" must host their home matches in arenas that have a seating capacity of at least 10,000 people. In 2008, Euroleague Basketball decided to increase the arena seating requirement to 10,000 within four years time in order to force clubs to move into and/or build bigger arenas. This was done in hopes of increasing revenues through more ticket sales. Non "A License" EuroLeague clubs must play in arenas that seat at least 5,000 people.

    Current teams

    These are the teams that will participate in the 2016–17 EuroLeague season:


  • Real Madrid has been the most successful team, having won the competition a record nine times.
  • Split (1989, 1990, 1991), is the only team to have won the competition three times in a row, in the EuroLeague Final Four era (1987–88 season to present).
  • ASK Riga as a soviet club in late '50s and early '60s (1958, 1959, 1960), is the only team to have won the competition three times in a row, in the pre-EuroLeague Final Four era.
  • Real Madrid (1964, 1965) & (1967, 1968) with Varese (1972, 1973) & (1975, 1976) are the only teams to have won the European Championship twice in a row for two times in the pre-EuroLeague Final Four era.
  • Cantù (1982, 1983), Cibona (1985, 1986) and Olimpia Milano (1987, 1988) are the other three teams to have won the European Championship twice in a row (only for one time) in the pre-EuroLeague Final Four era.
  • Maccabi Tel Aviv (2004, 2005) and Olympiacos (2012, 2013) are the only teams to have won the EuroLeague twice in a row, becoming back-to-back EuroLeague champions in the Euroleague Basketball era (2000–01 season to present).
  • Athens is the only city, from which seven different clubs: AEK, Maroussi, Olympiacos, Panathinaikos, Panellinios, Panionios, and Peristeri have participated in the EuroLeague, followed by Istanbul with six different clubs: Beşiktaş, Darüşşafaka, Anadolu Efes, Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Ülker.
  • Although Israel is located in the Middle East, its teams play in the EuroLeague, as its national federation is a member of FIBA Europe and its top professional league is a member of ULEB. (Similarly, the Israel Football Association is a member of UEFA, enabling its national team and clubs to play in UEFA competitions.)
  • In the small area of less than 40 km² (25 mi²) in the northern metropolitan area of Milan, there are 3 clubs that have won a total of 10 European Champions' Cups, and played in a total of 16 finals: Olimpia Milano, Cantù, and Varese.
  • The record score differential for a final game was achieved in the 2004 finals, in Tel Aviv, where the home club Maccabi Elite, defeated Skipper Bologna, by a score of 118–74 (44-point difference).
  • A crowd of 22,567, which filled Belgrade Arena on 5 March 2009 for a 2008–09 Top 16 match between Partizan and Panathinaikos is the official record. Before that 19,700 fans filling OAKA, achieved at a Panathinaikos home match at the Olympic Indoor Hall, Athens, against TAU Cerámica on 12 April 2006, for the 2005–06 third quarterfinal playoff game.
  • The most points ever scored in a single game is 99, by Radivoj Korać, on January 14, 1965.
  • All-time leaders

    Since the beginning of the 2000–01 season (Euroleague Basketball era):

    Media coverage

    The EuroLeague is broadcast on television in 199 countries and territories. It can be seen by up to 245 million (800 million via satellite) households weekly in China. It is also televised in the United States and Canada on NBA TV and available online through ESPN3 (in English) and ESPN Deportes (in Spanish). The EuroLeague Final Four is broadcast on television in 201 countries.

    The EuroLeague also has its own internet pay TV service, called EuroLeague TV.


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  • References

    EuroLeague Wikipedia

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