Newly wealthy Newcastle United were transformed during their first full season under the ownership of a Saudi-backed consortium and now they're heading to the UEFA Champions League.
Eddie Howe's side secured a spot in the group stage of the 2023/24 edition after a 0-0 draw against Leicester City in their penultimate match of the campaign. The result guaranteed a top four finish and a berth into Europe's elite cup competition.
The revitalised club had an impressive 2022/23 season, losing just one game before the mid-season break for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and then returning afterwards to extend their unbeaten league run to 17 matches before defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City.
The 2023/24 campaign has proved tricker so far, with a 1-0 win over Brentford snapping a run of three consecutive defeats. Now Howe's men face the mouthwatering prospect of a Group F programme against AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund.
Who escapes the Champions League 'Group of Death'? Predicting PSG, Newcastle, Milan, or Dortmund to progress
Newcastle have not been in the Champions League proper since 2002/03, when they reached the second group stage (a stage of the competition that no longer exists). They came third in that group, behind Barcelona and Inter Milan.
Newcastle looked on course to once again reach the group stage of the Champions League in 2003/04. Their third-place finish in the Premier League earned them a path through qualifying (at the time), but they never made it to the group stage.
Nolberto Solano had given them a 1-0 lead from the first leg of their third qualifying round tie away at Serbian side Partizan, but Alan Shearer, Kieron Dyer, Jonathan Woodgate and Aaron Hughes all missed penalties to send themRead on sportingnews.com