Hibernians F.C. - 1990s


In 1990, Hibs invited the Italian club Palermo for a friendly match which was held at the Hibernians Ground. The Sicilians won the match 2-1. After three years out of European competitions Hibernians participated in the UEFA Cup in 1990-91 against FK Partizan Belgrade. In the first leg in Malta, Hibs lost 0-3 and in the second match the team from Yugoslavia won 2-0.

On 22 November 1992, Indridi Einarsson, an Icelandic player on loan from Fylkir died in sleep after having played a match for Hibernians F.C.

Season 1993-94 saw the appointment of Englishman Brian Talbot as coach. A former international midfielder, Talbot had a renowned career as a player with Ipswich, Arsenal, Watford and Fulham winning two FA Cups in a row first with Ipswich and Arsenal in 1978 and 1979. His appointment immediately made an impact as Hibs won the Maltese Premier League title after an 11 year drought. The supporters were in seventh heaven after the club won the league in style losing just one match against Hamrun Spartans and beating two direct rivals, Floriana and Valletta in the last three matches of the league campaign. In the same year Hibs also won the Maltese Super Cup for the first time, beating Floriana on penalties after that the match ended 2-2. As part of the celebrations the club organized a friendly match against the Italian side AC Reggiana which it lost by a single goal.

League champions from weak nations were no longer eligible to play in the UEFA Champions League due to changes to the competition structure. In 1994-95 Hibernians therefore played in the UEFA Cup despite being the Maltese reigning champions. They were drawn with Dinamo Minsk of Belarus. Hibs lost the first match in Belarus 1-3 but won the return leg 3-1 against all expectations. The Paolites were however eliminated after extra time, winning the match 4-3 but losing 6-5 on aggregate. A Belarusian player who scored one of the three goals in the first leg was later found positive for drugs. UEFA suspended the player and fined Dinamo Minsk but did not revoke the latter's qualification to the next round. In the same year Hibs won the Maltese Premier League for the eighth time and the second in a row. Hibs again won the title with just one defeat, against Sliema Wanderers.

In 1995-96 Hibs played in the UEFA Cup against Chernomorets Odessa of Ukraine and lost both matches, 5-2 in Malta and 2-0 away from home.

In 1996-97 Hibs played in the Intertoto Cup having finished fourth in the Maltese Premier League in the preceding season. The Paolites lost all four matches; losing 2-1 against FC Uralmash Yekaterinburg of Russia at the Hibernians Ground; 4-1 in Bulgaria against CSKA Sofia; 2-0 at the Hibernians Ground against RC Strasbourg of France and 5-3 in Turkey against Kocaelispor.

In 1997-98 Hibs played against IBV Vestmannaeyar of Iceland in the Cup Winners' Cup, losing 1-0 at home and 3-0 away. Hibs won their sixth Maltese Cup after beating Valletta 2-1 in the final.

In the beginning of 1998 Hibs welcomed the national Polish football team. As part of their training camp in Malta the Poles played against Hibernians at Corradino in the Hibs Football Ground. The visitors won the match 1-0. Again Hibs played in the Cup Winners’ Cup, in the 1998-99 season. In the last edition of this cup, Hibs played against Amica Wronki of Poland. Hibs lost both encounters 4-0 away and 1-0 at home.

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