Shakhtar has appeared in several European competitions and is often a participant of the UEFA Champions League. The club became the first club in independent Ukraine to win the UEFA Cup in 2009, the last year before the competition was revamped as the Europa League. FC Shakhtar Donetsk is one of two Ukrainian clubs, the other one is Dynamo Kyiv, who have won a major UEFA competition. The club plays its home matches at the Donbass Arena. Shakhtar Donetsk is Ukraine's second most popular football club. The club is the sole favorite of football fans in the Donbas.
The club draws its history from the very start of the Soviet football league competitions and is one of the oldest clubs in Ukraine. The club was a member of the Soviet Voluntary Sports Society of Shakhtyor, having connections with other Soviet teams from Karaganda, Soligorsk, among others. In the late Soviet period, Shakhtar was considered a tough mid-table club of the Soviet Top League and a cup competition specialist after winning the Soviet Cup two years in a row in 1961 and 1962.
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