The European Cup was founded in 1956 for League champions of European countries. The European Cup was changed to the Champions League in 1997, allowing other teams than the current champions to enter.
The European Fairs Cup was founded in 1958, the final played over two legs. It was renamed as the UEFA Cup in 1972. A single leg final was introduced in 1998, but the competition changed more dramatically in 2000 when teams were allowed to enter if they didn’t make it into the second phase of the Champions league.
The European Cup Winners’ Cup was introduced in 1961. The name says it all really, only cup winners were allowed or the runners up if the cup winners were also champions. The competition was abandoned in 1999, merged into the UEFA Cup set-up.
The European Super Cup was originally played in 1972 between the winners of the European Cup/Champions League and the conquerors of the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Since 2000, the UEFA Cup winners are opponents to the winners of the Champions League.