Newcastle United will return to the Champions League next season after an absence of more than 20 years.
The Magpies have spent the majority of the season in the Premier League’s top four positions and have won nine of their last 13 matches to qualify for the world’s greatest club competition.
Monday night’s 0-0 draw with Leicester means Eddie Howe’s side are now certain of a top-four finish with one match left to play.
The club were 19th in the Premier League when Howe was appointed as head coach in November 2021.
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Newcastle have played well over 125 games in Europe and have previously enjoyed two Champions League campaigns – the first in 1997/97, when they famously beat Barcelona 3-2 at St. James’ thanks to a Faustino Asprilla hat-trick, the second in 2002/03, when they were winners against Juventus and memorably took on Inter Milan at the San Siro, drawing 2-2 with around 12,000 Magpies fans in the iconic stadium.
They qualified again in 2003/04, but lost out to Partizan Belgrade on penalties in the third qualifying stages, meaning they dropped into the UEFA Cup rather than going into the Champions League group stages.
The Magpies are no strangers to European football in other competitions, winning the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in their first-ever European tournament in 1968/69 and becoming regulars in Europe in the early 1990s and early 00s.
Ten years ago, United reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League but lost over two legs to Benfica.
But now a whole new generation of supporters can look forward to European adventures thanks to Premier League Manager of the Year nominee Howe, his staff and his team, who received a rapturous reception from a capacity crowd under the lights on Monday night.
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