Football Champions is a card game I found after spending numerous years (and cash) playing MLB Showdown. During my time playing MLB Showdown, I was fortunate to meet many people throughout the country and talked to many of them on a regular basis (sup chat). One of the chatters talked about a soccer card game that essentially was MLB Showdown. I was able to pick up a starter and a few packs off UK Ebay. I was hooked.
The game itself was produced by Wizards of the Coast. It started with the 2001-2002 soccer (read: Football) season. The English Premier League, Ligue 1 (French), and Serie A (Italy) were all represented, first with a large base set, then a smaller expansion set later in the season.
After the first season, the French cards were ceased in production. The English sets were produced one more year (2002-2003). However, instead of being called Football Champions, the game was renamed under the Subbuteo moniker. This caused confusion amongst the people who played the game in the first year and was discontinued.
The most successful (or franchise to make it past one single season) was the Italian version. The final season for the Italian game was in 2004-2005.