The Balkans Cup was an international football competition for clubs from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. It was introduced in 1961 and was very popular in the 1960s (the 1967 final attracted 42,000 spectators), being the second most important international club competition for clubs from the region (after the European Champions' Cup in which the champions could play; the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup originally attracted few teams from the region as many did not organise domestic cups regularly and only Yugoslavia had significant representation in the Fairs Cup). The competition has been dominated by Bulgaria-based teams. The Bulgarian teams have won together a total number of 9 titles.
|Number of teams||Various|
|Related competitions||Mitropa Cup|
|Last champions|| Samsunspor|
|Most successful club(s)||Beroe Stara Zagora (4 titles)|
It later declined after Balkan clubs obtained more representation in the two minor UEFA competitions, in contrast to the (much older but also defunct) Balkan Cup (not Balkans) for national teams.
|Nr of Clubs
(or Champion in Group Format)
|Results of Finals
(or Points in Group Format)
(or Runner-up in Group Format)
|Steagul Roşu Braşov||13 – 8 Points RR||Levski Sofia|
|Olympiacos||a 1–0 / 0–1 / 1–0
Play-off match in Istanbul, Turkey.
|Rapid București||2–0 / 1–1 a||Spartak Plovdiv|
|Rapid București||a 3–3 / 2–0||Farul Constanţa|
|Fenerbahçe||1–0 / 1–2 a / 3–1
Play-off match in Istanbul, Turkey.
|Beroe Stara Zagora||a 3–0 / 3–4||Spartak Sofia|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||3–0 / 0–1 a
2nd Leg: Dinamo walked off while losing 0–1.
|Partizani Tirana||3–0 / 1–1 a
2nd Leg: Beroe did not show up.
|Beroe Stara Zagora|
|Panionios||a 2–1 / 1–1||Besa Kavajë|
|Trakia Plovdiv||a 5–0 / 0–4||Vardar Skopje|
|Lokomotiv Sofia||2–0 / 1–1 a||ASA Târgu Mureș|
|Akademik Sofia||a 2–1 / 0–0||Vardar Skopje|
|Radnički Niš||a 1–0 / 2–1||Eskişehirspor|
|Dinamo Zagreb||a 3–1 / 2–3||Sportul Studențesc|
|Panathinaikos||2–1 / 0–0 a||Slavia Sofia|
|NK Rijeka||4–1 / 0–1 a||Jiul Petroşani|
|Sportul Studențesc||a 2–0 / 1–1||NK Rijeka|
|Velež Mostar||6–2 / 6–5 a||Trakia Plovdiv|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||a 3–0 / 3–1||17 Nëntori Tirana|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||6 – 4 Points RR||Argeş Piteşti|
|Iraklis Thessaloniki||4–1 / 1–3 a||Argeş Piteşti|
|Slavia Sofia||a 3–0 / 2–3||Panionios|
|Slavia Sofia||a 5–1 / 1–0||Argeş Piteşti|
One Final in Serres, Greece.
|1989–90||The Balkans Cup did not take place due to the Romanian Revolution of 1989.|
|Inter Sibiu||1–0 (a.e.t) / 0–0 a||Budućnost Podgorica|
|Sarıyer||1–0 / 0–0 a||Oţelul Galaţi|
|Edessaikos||3–1 / 0–1 a||Etar Veliko Tarnovo|
|Samsunspor||2–0 / 3–0 a||PAS Giannina|
- Competition's formats:
- type-A: One group of 5 clubs.
- type-B: Two groups of 4, top clubs qualifying for the final.
- type-C: Two groups of 3, top clubs qualifying for the final.
- type-D: One group of 3 clubs.
- type-E: Knock-out (Quarterfinals → Semifinals → Final).
- type-F: Two groups of 3 and one group of 4, top clubs plus the best runner-up qualifying for the Knock-out Semifinals.
- type-G: Knock-out (Preliminary round qualifying 2 clubs out of 4 → Semifinals → Final).
- type-H: Knock-out (Preliminary round qualifying 1 club out of 2 → Semifinals → Final).
- type-I: Knock-out (Semifinals → Final).
When sorted by year of winning or losing final(s), the table is sorted by the year of each club's first final.
|Club||Winners||Finalists||Finals||Years of Winning||Years of Losing||Entries||Notes|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||4||1||4||1968, 1969, 1983, 1984||1970||7||1984 Top Spot in Group|
|Slavia Sofia||2||1||3||1986, 1988||1977||5|
|Rapid București||2||-||2||1964, 1966||—||2||Winner in Both Entries|
|Trakia Plovdiv||1||1||2||1972||1981||2||Reached Final in Both Entries|
|NK Rijeka||1||1||2||1978||1980||2||Reached Final in Both Entries|
|Steagul Roşu Braşov||1||-||-||1961||—||4||1961 Top Spot in Group|
|Argeş Piteşti||-||2||2||—||1984, 1985, 1988||3||1984 Runner-up in Group|
|Vardar Skopje||-||2||2||—||1972, 1974||4|
|Levski Sofia||-||1||1||—||1961, 1963||3||1961 Runner-up in Group|
|17 Nëntori Tirana||-||1||1||—||1983||4|
|Etar Veliko Tarnovo||-||1||1||—||1993||3|
|Total||28||26||52||52 Teams in Finals, since 1961 and 1983–84 editions were contested in Group Format.|
- All 24 Clubs (out of 89 in total) that appeared in the Balkans Cup for 3 times or more, eventually Reached the Final with the exception of: Galatasaray (5 entries) and Beşiktaş (3) of Turkey, Vllaznia Shkodër (3) of Albania and Universitatea Craiova (3) of Romania.
- Beroe Stara Zagora of Bulgaria is competition's Record Holder concerning participation (7 entries), finals reached (4, plus one top spot in group) and wins (4), while in their single lost final against Partizani for 1970 edition, they opted not showing up in Tirana for the return leg of a 1–1 draw at home.
- Next to Beroe's 4, their compatriots Slavia Sofia reached 3 Finals (2 wins), while Romanian Argeş Piteşti had 2 (no win), plus one runner-up spot in group (each time they entered the competition, ended up in the losing side).
- 6 clubs won Balkans Cup in their Single Entry: Dinamo Zagreb (Yugoslavia, now Croatia) in 1976, Panathinaikos Athens (Greece) in 1977, Velež Mostar (Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 1980–81, Inter Sibiu (Romania) in 1990–91, Sarıyer İstanbul (Turkey) in 1991–92 and Edessaikos Edessa (Greece) in 1992–93 edition.
Clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia competed as part of SFR Yugoslavia.
Top performer by country:
|BUL||Beroe Stara Zagora||4||1||4||7||Balkans Cup record holder in wins, finals reached and entries.|
|YUG||NK Rijeka||1||1||2||2||Radnički Niš same performance in 3 entries.|
|GRE||Panionios Smyrna (Athens)||1||1||2||3|
|TUR||Sarıyer İstanbul||1||–||1||1||Samsunspor and Fenerbahçe 1 win in 2 and 4 entries respectively.|
In the 33 years of its existence, a total of 89 clubs from 6 countries appeared in the 28 Balkans Cup editions. Two of them, both Turkish, withdrawn their participation before playing a single match: Zonguldakspor in 1980–81 and Trabzonspor in 1986. Sides with 4 entries or more:
|Club||Country||Entries||Winners||Finalists||Finals||First Edition||Last Edition||Notes|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||BUL||7||4||1||4||1967–68||1992–93|
|Galatasaray||TUR||5||–||–||–||1961–63||1990–91||Also Withdrew in 1977–78 and 1979–80.|
|Steagul Roşu Braşov||ROU||4||1||–||-||1961||1972|
|Fenerbahçe||TUR||4||1||–||1||1961||1967–68||Also Withdrew in 1963–64.|
|17 Nëntori Tirana||ALB||4||–||1||1||1964–66||1990–91|
Bulgarian and Turkish sides were present at each one of the 28 Balkans Cup editions, while Yugoslavian were absent 9 times in total, entering just twice during its last decade of existence (ironically, reaching both finals). Generally, South Slavs (both Football Association and clubs) were never keen supporters of the competition, as they had neither been enthusiastic about the national teams' Balkan Cup, too.
|Number of different sides that entered||15||17||18||15||12||12|
|Editions of Balkans Cup that|
|||Country was represented by at least one club||28||28||27||27||26||20|
|||Country's club withdrew before playing a match||—||5||—||1||—||1|
|||Country was still represented by another club||—||1||—||1||—||—|
|||Country's clubs competed (=-+)||28||24||27||27||26||19|
|Country's clubs were absent (=28 total editions-)||—||4||1||1||2||9|
|Years/editions that country's clubs were absent||—||1977 to 1981
|1983–84||1983 to 1985||1961 (First Cup) |
1983 to 1988
|||Editions a club quit after playing at least one match||1||5||1||4||—||1|
|Editions a club withdrew or quit (=+)||1||10||1||5||—||2|
|||Editions with double entry||8||5||6||3||1||—|
|||Total entries (=-+)||36||28||33||29||27||19|
|% success in winning the Cup (=÷×100)||25%||11%||15%||21%||4%||21%|
|% success in reaching the final (=÷×100)'||42%||14%||33%||31%||15%||47%|
Despite the fact that in each edition there was at least one Turkish side initially entering, in no less than 5 occasions it withdrew before playing a single match and in 5 more quit during group stage, after unsuccessful results. Greeks followed with 1 withdrawal and 4 quits, while clubs from all countries had sporadically terminated their participation in some early stage of the competition, except for Albanian. Multiple winner and several other records holder Beroe Stara Zagora, became the only Bulgarian side ever to withdraw or quit a Balkans Cup match and the single one to do so in a final, by not showing up for 1970 edition's return leg against Partizani Tirana of Albania, following a 1–1 draw at home.
- "Balkans Cup". rsssf.com. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Draw for the venue was held by FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous.
- 1983–84 edition not included, since contested in Group Format.
- 1961 edition not included, since contested in Group Format.
- 1961 and 1983–84 editions not included, since contested in Group Format.