Coming 33 years after the first, the Wembley meeting of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in this season’s Champions League will be just the second all-German European club Final. Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Mönchengladbach contested that first one – the 1980 UEFA Cup Final – and the involvement of two Bundesliga sides at the sharp end told a story about the distinctive nature of that tournament. Two teams from one country reaching the Final was itself not especially unusual – England and Spain had provided both finalists in past UEFA and Fairs Cup Finals – but what stood out was the dominance by clubs from a single country to an extent not seen in any European tournament before or since.
While the West German champions of the late 70s couldn’t quite match the English in the European Cup, the sheer strength in depth of the Bundesliga did lend itself to a virtual monopoly over the UEFA Cup. Three of the four semi-final places in the 1978/79 tournament were taken by German clubs with Borussia Mönchengladbach going on to win it for the second time in just four seasons. The German stranglehold on the competition would grow tighter still in the 1979/80 tournament. The holders progressed comfortably to the Quarter-Finals as did all four of the other Bundesliga entrants – Bayern Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart. It was an unprecedented feat to have five participants from one country in the last-eight of the UEFA Cup, especially as no nation had even fielded five entrants in the competition before – West Germany were given a fifth place only because Albania did not take up its allocation.