It was a few years since the Toffees last competed in high-end knockout competition in Europe.
It’s no secret that Everton still has a long way to go before meeting European standards from Crosstown rival Liverpool, who won their sixth Champions League trophy in 2019 after beating Tottenham in final.
Here’s what you need to know about the Blues’ last qualification for the Champions League.
When was the last time Everton qualified for the Champions League?
Everton last qualified for the Champions League in 2005 under David Moyes, for the 2005-06 edition of the competition.
The Blues finished in fourth place in the Premier League – ahead of Liverpool – which gave them the right to enter the Champions League in the third qualifying round.
They were handed over to La Liga side Villarreal as opponents in the Champions League qualifying round but failed to beat them – losing 4-2 overall and unable to advance to the round following.
The Blues lost both legs 2-1, with Luciano Figueroa and Josico at the net for the Spanish team at Goodison Park.
Juan Pablo Sorin opened the scoring in the second leg at Estadio El Madrigal, and although Mikel Arteta equalized for the Toffees early in the second half, a Diego Forlan winner in the stoppage time allowed Villarreal to go to the next step.
The game is also known for the infamous refereeing decisions made by referee Pierluigi Collina, who ruled out a potential goal scored by Duncan Ferguson.
Ferguson directed the ball into the net, but his celebrations were cut short with Collina whistling to signify a foul. Ferguson protested the move, but Collina responded by putting her hand to his ear, as if to say he couldn’t understand what he was saying.
Collina then justified his decision by stating that he had whistled for a Marcus Bent sweater, but subsequent reruns showed that it was actually his own shirt that was pulled.
Collina announced her retirement from refereeing a few days after the Villarreal game.
Villarreal went on to beat Manchester United and Rangers, and were only knocked out by Arsenal in the semifinals.
When was the last time Everton qualified for the Europa League?
Everton last qualified for the Europa League in 2017 under Ronald Koeman, his seventh place in the Premier League earned him a place in the Europa League third qualifying round.
They failed to make it past the group stages, finishing third in Group E behind Atalanta and Lyon.