The first season an Israeli team participated in European competition. Goals by Avi Cohen (81') and Avi Nimni (87') helped Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Maltese side FC Valetta 1-2 in the away leg of the Champions League first round qualifiers, and a 1-0 victory at Ramat Gan Stadium (Meir Melika, 23') handed Maccabi a 3-1 aggregate victory. The contest against Belgian side FC Brugge in the second round was more challenging and Maccabi were relegated from the competition after losing 0-1 at home and 3-0 away.
Maccabi Tel Aviv were introduced to the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (a tournament that was discontinued after the 1998/99 season) with a two-legged encounter against Icelandic first division side Keflavik IF. Winning scorelines of 1-2 in Iceland and 4-1 in Ramat Gan, with goals by Avi Nimni, Nir Klinger, Gadi Brumer and Alon Brumer, were enough to send Maccabi Tel Aviv through to the next qualifying round in convincing fashion. There Maccabi Tel Aviv were to encounter the strongest European opponent they had ever faced, German stalwarts Werder Bremen. At home Maccabi held out for a goalless draw but it was not enough to keep them in the competition. They lost 2-0 in Germany and were eliminated.
Two legs against Swiss champions Grasshopper were all that stood between Maccabi Tel Aviv and an historic debut in the group stages of the Champions League. The first game in Switzerland ended in a 1-1 draw (Evgeny Kashentsev, 55'), keeping the historic dream alive. But Maccabi lost their first ever European game hosted at Bloomfield Stadium 0-1 and were forced to wait for a future opportunity.
Another season in which Maccabi Tel Aviv missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League. Turkish champion Fenerbahce won 0-1 at Ramat Gan Stadium. Throughout most of the return match, Maccabi dramatically stayed level at 1-1 (Eli Driks, 77'), but they failed to find the winner that would get them to the Group Stage. After being eliminated, Maccabi went on to play Spanish side Tenerife in the UEFA Cup qualifiers, only to be religated from this competition after losing 3-2 in Spain (Ofer Mizrahi 74', Avi Nimni 87') and 1-1 in Ramat Gan (Gadi Brumer 58').
The UEFA Cup’s first qualifying round handed Maccabi Tel Aviv a home tie against Lithuanian football club Zalgiris Kaunas, which ended in a 3-1 victory courtesy of goals by Andjei Kubika (14', 34') and Liron Basis (70'). In the return match, however, Maccabi fell behind 2-0, which would have meant elimination on the away goals rule. But a dramatic goal by Liron Basis three minutes from time propelled them into the next round. There the French side Lens proved to be a much more challenging opponent and Maccabi Tel Aviv were eliminated after a 2-2 draw in the home leg (Andjei Kubika 44', Dedi Ben Dayan 85') and a 2-1 loss in France (Liron Basis 24').
Maccabi's greatest victory in Europe came during the 2001/02 UEFA Cup qualifiers when they defeated Lithuanian side Zalgris Vilna 6-0 in the home leg of the first round. Dedi Ben Dayan electrified the crowd at Bloomfield in the 7th minute, Dego added a hat-trick (27', 45', 75'), Tal Banin (51') scored his first European goal in Maccabi kit and Eli Biton (88') sealed the final result. At the return match in Lithuania Rodrigo Goldberg scored (57') for a satisfying 0-1 result and head coach Nir Levine's players earned the right to play Croatian side Dynamo Zagreb in the following round. The first game in Croatia ended in a 2-2 draw with goals by Rodrigo Goldberg (23') and Baruch Dego (42'). A 1-1 draw in the return tie at Bloomfield, with a goal by Avi Nimni (41'), helped Maccabi advance to the following stage on the away goals rule. The season's European adventure ended in Holland when Roda JC beat Maccabi 4-1 (Ferenc Horvath 78'), an aggregate advantage that held even after Eli Biton's brace (38', 58') at the return match at Bloomfield handed Maccabi a 2-1 victory.
The European season that ended with Maccabi winning the domestic championship is mainly remembered for the fact that UEFA prohibited games on Israeli soil due to the security situation. Despite the restriction, Maccabi did their job against Estonian side Levadia Tallinn, winning away 0-2 courtesy of goals by Andrejs Prohorenkovs (4') and Reuven Oved (21'). In the return match, played in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Maccabi won again 2-0 on goals by Baruch Dego (74') and Andrejs Prohorenkovs (85'), moving them into the next round to play Portuguese league runners-up Boa Vista. The "home" leg was once again played in Sofia and Maccabi won 1-0 courtesy of a goal by Baruch Dego (34'). In the return match, the Portuguese managed to overturn the tie by winning 4-1 (Amir Turjeman 76'), ending Maccabi's participation in Europe for that year.
This season's European campaign ended in disappointment after Maccabi Tel Aviv were eliminated in the first qualifying round by Slovakian side MSK Zilina. Maccabi lost 1-0 in Slovakia and failed to overturn the tie at the return match played in Italy, which ended in a 1-1 draw (John Paintsil, 25').
The only year in which two Israeli teams made it to the Champions League qualifying rounds. Maccabi Tel Aviv finished the 2003/04 Premier League season in the second spot but still qualified for Europe's pre-eminent competition. Qulaification for the Champions League group stage began with games against HJK Helsinki of Finland, which ended 0-0 away and 1-0 at Bloomfield, with a goal by Liran Cohen three minutes before injury time. The next stop was Thessaloniki in Greece to face stalwarts PAOK , a game which Maccabi won 1-2, with goals by Ishmael Addo (13') and Erez Mesika (43'). It later emerged that the Greek team had fielded an ineligible player and Maccabi were granted a technical 0-3 victory. Despite the already formidable aggregate lead, Maccabi left no room for further doubt when they also won the return match 1-0 (Liran Cohen 8'). For the first time in the club’s history, Maccabi Tel Aviv had qualified for the group stage of the Champions League.
In the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds, Maccabi Tel Aviv first faced a rival close to home, Apoel Nicosia of Cyprus. The game in Cyprus proved more difficult than anticipated and Maccabi lost 1-0. A significant result, for at the return match at Bloomfield goals by Avi Nimni and Erez Mesika only earned Maccabi a 2-2 draw that ended Maccabi’s European dream for the season.
Maccabi's campaign in the UEFA Cup qualifiers began with one of the club's most embarrassing defeats in European competition, a 1-0 loss in Andorra against amateur side Santa Coloma. Maccabi overturned the tie with a 4-0 win over the Andorrans at Bloomfield coutesy of a brace by Yannick Kamanan (12', 71') and additional goals by Erez Mesika (25') and Yossi Shivhon (63'). In the next round Maccabi surrendered to Turkish side Kayseri Erciyesspor, first drawing the home leg 1-1 (Yannick Kamanan 60') and then losing 3-1 at the return match in Turkey (Rudy Haddad 41').
After a three-year absence from Europe, Maccabi returned for three qualifying rounds of the Europa League. In the first round they faced Montenegrin side FK Mogren, winning 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-0 victory at Bloomfield (Yoav Ziv 49', Harris Medunjanin 52') and losing 1-2 in the return match in Montenegro (Harris Medunjanin 7'). In the next round, Maccabi faced a very strong rival, Greek stalwarts Olympiakos. In the away game, that was played without spectators in accordance with UEFA sanctions, Maccabi scored just one goal (Harris Medunjanin 18') in a 2-1 loss. In the return match, Maccabi Tel Aviv knew that a 1-0 victory would suffice to reach the next round, and Roberto Collauti (42') delivered the goods with a goal close to halftime. In the play-offs for a place in the group stage, head coach Avi Nimni's squad faced daunting opponents, French giants Paris St. Germain. The French won 2-0 in Paris, leaving Maccabi with it all to do in Tel Aviv. Both teams put on a wonderful display at the return match at Bloomfield. The home side scored an impressive four goals, including a brace by Eliran Atar (48', 95') and individual goals by Yuval Avidor (68') and Harris Medunjanin (83'). But the visitors pulled back three of their own and the resultant 4-3 scoreline sent Maccabi crashing out of European play for the rest of the season.
As in the previous season, Maccabi Tel Aviv met three rivals in the Europa League qualifiers, and this time the ending was a happier one. In the first round, Maccabi hosted Khazar Lankaran of Azerbaijan and won 3-1 (Moussa Konate 22', Eliran Atar 39', Guillermo Israelevich 44'). After a goalless draw in the return match, Maccabi advanced to the second round, where they faced Bosnian side Zeleznicar. They won the away leg 0-2 courtesy of a brace by Roberto Collauti in the 47th and 56th minute. In the return match, head coach Motti Ivanir's squad scored an explosive six goals in a 6-0 triumph that equalled the team's prior record win in Europe. This victory saw two players score braces (Collauti 18', 45' and Eliran Atar 54', 86'), a wonderful free kick by Rafi Dahan (38') and an own goal by defender Velibor Vasilic (81'). The play-off draw in Switzerland handed Maccabi a trip to Greece to face European regulars Panathinaikos in a duel for a place in the group stage of the competition. After a 0-0 stalemate at halftime at Bloomfield, Moussa Konate (60') and Eliran Atar (67', 90') scored second-half goals to give Maccabi a 3-0 victory. Harris Medunjanin (61') scored at the return match in Athens and even two goals by the Greek side and a 2-1 defeat for the visitors were not enough to stand in the way of Maccabi Tel Aviv making an historic first appearance at the Europa League Group Stage.
Maccabi's European campaign started mid-July with the second qualifying round of the Champions League. The team succeeded in starting that campaign on the right foot with victories in both legs against Hungarian champions Gyori, 0-2 away and 2-1 at home at Bloomfield Stadium.
The next hurdle, the third qualifying round, proved to be far higher as Maccabi drew the toughest possible opponent, Swiss champions FC Basel. After losing by the smallest of margins, 1-0, in the away leg, Maccabi were already trailing 0-3 after half an hour in the return leg at Bloomfield Stadium. A Basel own goal, and a second by midfielder Eran Zahavi, returned hope to the hearts of the Maccabi faithful even before the referee's halftime whistle. In the second half Maccabi continued their momentum and midfielder Mahran Radi equalised just after the restart. But the home side failed to find the two additional goals that would have given them the winning aggregate and at 3-3 Maccabi made their exit from the 2013/14 Champions League competition.
Maccabi were then destined to compete in the final play-off round of the Europa League against Greek side PAOK Thessaloniki, but the suspension of Ukrainian side FC Metalist Kharkiv, who defeated PAOK in the Champions League qualifiers, returned the Greeks to the premier European tournament and handed Maccabi Tel Aviv a free pass to the Europa League group stage.