The final set of Intertoto Cup fixtures took place over the weekend and the eleven winning clubs now advance to the UEFA Cup second qualifying round. Advancing are Aston Villa, Napoli, Stade Rennais FC, RC Deportivo La Coruna, SC Braga, SC Vaslui, SK Sturm Graz, Grasshopper-Club, VfB Stuttgart, IF Elfsborg and Rosenborg BK.
A bit of history was made in this final installment of the Intertoto Cup as Rosenborg became the first Norwegian side to successfully qualify and Stuttgart became the only side to qualify for the UEFA Cup from the Intertoto Cup three times. All eleven Intertoto Cup winners will join the 16 automatic entrants and the 37 UEFA Cup first qualifying round winners in the draw for the second round, which will be held this Friday in Nyon.
The UEFA Intertoto Cup winners that progress furthest in the UEFA Cup will be presented with a trophy, following in the footsteps of Newcastle United FC in 2006 and Hamburg last season, who both reached the Round of 16.
Aston Villa’s 1-0 home win against Odense BK secured a 3-2 aggregate victory but also came at a heavy cost. Defender Wilfred Bouma had to be carried off after dislocating his ankle in the eleventh minute and is likely out for several months. In a bit of a soap-opera twist, wantaway midfielder Gareth Barry came on to replace Bouma.He received a warm reception from the home fans, which was a dramatic turnaround from his being booed by Villa supporters in a friendly the previous Wednesday.