Champions League

The UEFA Champions League was formed in 1992-1993 as a modern edition of the European Cup. It was first contested in the 1992-1993 season. With the implementation of a mini-league group stage structure, the Champions League, which was already known as the most coveted club competition in football, has become ever more popular. With an early round of group play followed by a knockout round, the new concept was reminiscent of the FIFA World Cup.The sport has been extended on many occasions to include more clubs – the original eight have grown to 32. (qualification stage excluded). A team that wins the Champions League five or three years in a row will keep the cup for the rest of their lives (since the rule changed in 2008 it is only a replica). It’s almost as famous as the FIFA World Cup Trophy these days.

Winners and runners-up

2019-2020Bayern MunichPSG
2017-2018Real MadridLiverpool
2016-2017Real MadridJuventus
2015-2016Real MadridAtlético Madrid
2013-2014Real MadridAtlético Madrid
2012-2013Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund
2011-2012ChelseaBayern Munich
2010-2011BarcelonaManchester United
2009-2010InternazionaleBayern Munich
2008-2009BarcelonaManchester United
2007-2008Manchester UnitedChelsea
2002-2003Real MadridJuventus
2001-2002Real MadridBayer Leverkusen
2000-2001Bayern MunichValencia
1999-2000Real MadridValencia
1998-1999Manchester UnitedBayern Munich
1997-1998Real MadridJuventus
1996-1997Borussia DortmundJuventus


The Champions League began in 1992 if the European Cup is not taken into account. As numbers for the Champions League are discussed, it is normal to combine the Champions League with the European League.

The Champions League varies from the European Cup in that it uses a group format rather than a round-robin format, which many people favour. Despite the fact that a group stage was added in 1991, the reshaping was formalised with the name change. A combination of group play and round-robin has emerged as the competition has progressed.

The top European clubs have dominated the tournaments so far, with few unexpected victories. Porto’s win in 2004 was perhaps the greatest disappointment of all. Nantes nearly defeated Juventus in the semi-finals in 1995-96, which should have created a sensation (lost 3-4 on aggregate). It would have been a shock if Dynamo Kyiv had prevailed in 1998-99; they were just one goal down on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Leeds made the semi-finals two years back.But it wasn’t close to beating Valencia at the time. Villa Real is another team that isn’t always seen in the final stages of major competitions; in 2006, they were just one goal down on aggregate against Arsenal in the semi-finals.


Most won titles by clubs

ClubTitles1st title
Real Madrid71997-98
Bayern Munich42000-01
Manchester United21998-99
Borussia Dortmund11997-98

Juventus (3), Milan (3), Bayern Munich (3), and Atlético Madrid (3) are the most consistent runners-up (3). Manchester United, Valencia, and Liverpool have all been eliminated from the final on several occasions.

With 13 Champions League and European Cup trophies, Real Madrid is the top winning team in Europe (6 and 7 in European Cup and Champion League respectively).

When contrasting nations, it is obvious that Spanish clubs have had the most success in the Champions League in its history (concerning the seasons 1992-93 to 2018-19).

 Most won titles by country



In the second qualifying round of 2011–12, HJK Helsinki and Bangor City had the highest winning margin. If the qualifying process is omitted, the matches Liverpool-Besiktas (2007-2008) and Real Madrid-Malmö FF (2007-2008) have the highest goal difference of eight goals (2015-2016). If only finals are taken into account, Milan’s best triumph came in the 1994 final, when they beat Barcelona 4 to 0 in the final.

Format and participating teams

After a qualifying round, the tournament’s first edition (1992-1993) featured eight teams. The eight teams were divided into two groups, with the champions of each division competing in a final. In the first season, a total of 36 clubs competed in the qualification; since then, the number of clubs has grown.

The Champions League was extended to 16 teams for the third edition (1994-1995). (excluding the qualification). The format had a four-group group phase followed by three knockout rounds.

Another expansion in 1997-1998 brought the total number of teams to 24. (excluding the qualification). A group phase of six groups was followed by a three-stage knockout phase.

In the 1999-2000 season, the tournament was extended for the third time, bringing the total number of teams to 32. (excluding the qualification). The teams were now grouped into eight groups, with a first group round, a second, and eventually a knockout stage.

The second group stage was dropped in the 2014-2015 season. In the knockout round, a new stage (Round of 16) was played instead.

UEFA Champions League timeline

In 1955 European Cup, the predecessor of Champions League, is established.
In 1992 The competition is established.
In 1994 The competition is expanded to involve 16 clubs.
In 1996 For the first time is a final decided on a penalty shootout (Juventus vs. Ajax).
In 1997 The competition is expanded to involve 24 clubs.
In 1999 The competition is expanded to involve 32 clubs.
In 2000 Two clubs from the same country are for the first competing in a final (Real Madrid vs Valencia).
In 2017 Real Madrid become the first club to win the tournament two years in a row (2016-2017).
In 2018 Real Madrid become the first club to win the tournament three years in a row (2016-2018).

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