LAST season's top four finish for Newcastle ensured that they'd be spending this season playing in Europe's elite competition – the Champions League.

It's the first time the Magpies have qualified for the competition since the glory days of the Bobby Robson era in the 2002-03 season.


But Newcastle have been in Europe more recently than that, after Alan Pardew guided them to a fifth placed finish in the 2011-12 season.

The Newcastle team back then was spearheaded by the dynamic duo of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse up front and boasted some tidy players in the form of Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye.

It also contained cult legends like Fabricio Coloccini and Jonas Gutierrez.

And after finishing fifth to secure Europa League qualification, Alan Pardew oversaw the team's European adventure in the 2012-13 season.

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According to The Mirror, the private jet used to fly Newcastle's players and North East reporters around Europe was previously used by Lady Gaga for her world tour.

The jet was kitted out luxuriously, and included a private cabin complete with a double bed and mirrors.

While Pardew is not remembered particularly fondly on Tyneside, his side went on a decent run in the competition – reaching the quarter-finals.

Along the way, the Toon Army were able to visit the likes of Athens, Bruges, Bordeaux, Madeira, Moscow and Kharviv.

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Newcastle were eventually knocked out by a Benfica side managed by Jorge Jesus – who had a good record managing against English teams in Europe.

Newcastle face a trip to Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in The Champions League on Tuesday night.

The Magpies are currently third in the group and behind Dortmund on their head-to-head record following their loss to them last time out.

A loss to Dortmund would make it incredibly tricky for Newcastle to finish ahead of the Bundesliga side, who are currently second in the group.

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