Salzburg's mammoth 20-game European run

The second leg of the semi-final will be Salzburg's 20th game in Europe this season, equalling Bordeaux, Villarreal and Basel's record runs.

Salzburg celebrate winning the 18th game of their European season, at home to Lazio
Salzburg celebrate winning the 18th game of their European season, at home to Lazio ©AFP/Getty Images

It started on 11 July in front of 1,452 spectators at Hibernians Stadium in Malta and could end 309 days later at a full Stade de Lyon for the UEFA Europa League final: Salzburg are on a record-breaking European run.

Salzburg's campaign began against Hibernians in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round and after an away-goals loss to Rijeka at the next hurdle, they transferred to the UEFA Europa League play-offs. With Real Sociedad, Borussia Dortmund and Lazio all dispatched in the knockout rounds, Salzburg's semi-final second leg on 3 May will be their 20th game in Europe this season.

That equals the record number of games in a single campaign set in 1995/96 by Bordeaux when they went from the UEFA Intertoto Cup (8 matches) to a two-legged UEFA Cup final (12 matches). This was also replicated in 2004/05 as Villarreal got through eight UEFA Interoto Cup matches then 12 more on their way to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals and 2012/13 when Basel progressed from UEFA Champions League second qualifying round to UEFA Europa League semis, just like Salzburg this term.

Group highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Marseille
Group highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Marseille

It is a sequence that has taken Salzburg to Malta, Croatia, Romania, Portugal, France, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Italy and back to France (which they will hope to revisit for the Lyon final). By the time they return from Marseille for a second time they will have travelled over 21,000km to pursue their UEFA Europa League dream (21,414km, by UEFA.com's calculations).

They did not taste defeat until game 17 when they fell 4-2 at Lazio, a quarter-final deficit brilliantly overturned when they scored three goals in five minutes a week later.

  • Salzburg are the first Austrian semi-finalists in a major UEFA club competition since Rapid Wien in the 1995/96 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. Salzburg themselves got to the 1993/94 UEFA Cup final.
  • Salzburg are the first team to reach a major semi-final after playing Maltese opposition since Porto in the 1993/94 UEFA Champions League. In that first round Porto knocked out Floriana, who had met eventual UEFA Cup runners-up Borussia Dortmund the season before.

Here is the full run – which Salzburg will bid to extend to an unprecedented 21st match by winning their semi-final with Marseille, whom they previously faced in the group stage.

Action from Salzburg's win at Hibernians on 11 July
Action from Salzburg's win at Hibernians on 11 July©Domenic Aquilina

UEFA Champions League

Second qualifying round
11 July: Hibernians 0-3 Salzburg
19 July: Salzburg 3-0 Hibernians (agg: 6-0)
Third qualifying round

26 July: Salzburg 1-1 Rijeka
2 August: Rijeka 0-0 Salzburg (agg: 1-1, Rijeka win on away goals)

UEFA Europa League

Highlights: Salzburg comeback stuns Lazio
Highlights: Salzburg comeback stuns Lazio

Play-offs
17 August: Viitorul 1-3 Salzburg
24 August: Salzburg 4-0 Viitorul (agg: 7-1)
Group stage
14 September: Vitória SC 1-1 Salzburg
28 September: Salzburg 1-0 Marseille
19 October: Konyaspor 0-2 Salzburg
2 November: Salzburg 0-0 Konyaspor
23 November: Salzburg 3-0 Vitória SC
7 December: Marseille 0-0 Salzburg (Salzburg first in Group I)
Round of 32

15 February: Real Sociedad 2-2 Salzburg
22 February: Salzburg 2-1 Real Sociedad (agg: 4-3)
Round of 16

8 March: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Salzburg
15 March: Salzburg 0-0 Borussia Dortmund (agg: 2-1)
Quarter-finals
5 April: Lazio 4-2 Salzburg
12 April: Salzburg 4-1 Lazio (agg: 6-5)
Semi-finals
26 April: Marseille v Salzburg
3 May: Salzburg v Marseille

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