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The FC Twente story: glory days

FC Twente may be UEFA Champions League novices yet they are no strangers to big European nights as the fourth episode of our behind-the-scenes documentary shows.

The FC Twente story: glory days
The FC Twente story: glory days ©UEFA.com

FC Twente may be competing in the UEFA Champions League for the first time but they have a European pedigree that resonates around the Dutch Eredivisie titleholders.

Just eight years after being formed, Twente got to the UEFA Cup semi-finals in 1973, and then knocked out the mighty Juventus en route to the final two years later. Although they would lose to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach over two legs, reaching that final still rates as one of Twente's finest achievements, part of a golden era bettered only perhaps by last season's first league title.

Among the heroes of their run to the 1975 UEFA Cup final, Frans Thijssen, Kick van der Vall and Theo Pahlplatz still work at the club and 35 years on they look back at that time in the fourth episode of UEFA.com's behind-the-scenes documentary: The FC Twente story.

Pahlplatz's son Boudewijn, a former winger in the Arjen Robben mould, now works as head coach Michel Preud'homme's assistant and he remembers that team fondly. Twente missed out on silverware in 1975 yet two years later Thijssen, Van der Vall and Pahlplatz, together with fans' favourites Jan Jeuring, Epi Drost and Arnold Mühren, claimed the first trophy in the Enschede outfit's history: the Dutch Cup, won at PEC Zwolle's expense.

Pahlplatz Jr sees clear comparisons between Twente's great side of the 1970s and the current crop. "They were a team that really played the positional game very well, and that is our current strength as well," he tells UEFA.com in episode four.

"I think that is also typical for Twente throughout the years. The highlights back then: playing a UEFA Cup final, competing for the national title. Now we are moving in that direction. We won the title and in the next years we will have to show if we can repeat that. We are working hard on that as a club and we will continue to work on that."

As players like Theo Janssen, Luuk de Jong and Wout Brama follow in such illustrious footsteps, the immediate preoccupation is beating SV Werder Bremen on Tuesday. The 1-1 home draw with Bremen on Matchday 3 left Twente bottom of Group A, albeit only two points off second spot, and defender Peter Wisgerhof tells UEFA.com that the Dutch champions will be doing everything to win at the Weserstadion. "We really have to win this game if we want to come third or even second," he said. "We have to aim for three points."