The European Cup (also known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup) was established in 1955 as a result of the South American Championship of Champions, a club competition in South America. It may also be seen as an enlarged version of the Mitropa Cup, which had formerly existed in Europe but only featured clubs from Central and Eastern Europe. Winners of national domestic leagues from across Europe will compete in the European Cup. These teams will play in a knockout format of two-legged home and away matches. It would go on to become Europe’s most prestigious club competition until 1991, when the Champions League took its place.
Winners and runners-up
|1990-1991||Red Star Belgrade||Olympique Marseille|
|1981-1982||Aston Villa||Bayern Munich|
|1979-1980||Nottingham Forest||Hamburger SV|
|1978-1979||Nottingham Forest||Malmö FF|
|1975-1976||Bayern Munish||Saint Etienne|
|1974-1975||Bayern Munich||Leeds United|
|1973-1974||Bayern Munich||Atlético Madrid|
|1965-1966||Real Madrid||Partizan Belgrade|
|1959-1960||Real Madrid||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|1958-1959||Real Madrid||Stade de Reims|
|1955-1956||Real Madrid||Stade de Reims|
In 1955, the biggest European football club competition started. In the first edition, 16 teams competed, with Real Madrid beating Stade de Reims 4-3 in the final at Parc des Princes in Paris.
The tournament will be extended to 22 teams the next year. The number of competing teams grew in the following years until it hit 32, which was perfect for playing five rounds (Round of 32, Round of 16, Quarter-finals, Semi-finals and Final). There were 33 teams in several years, resulting in a preliminary round between two teams.
Aston Villa, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Chelsea, Crvena zvezda, Feyenoord, Hamburger SV, Olympique Marseille, PSV, and Steaua Bucuresti have all won once.
The most active clubs have been English clubs, who have won a record of eight trophies (Liverpool 4, Nottingham Forest 2, Manchester United 1 and Aston Villa 1).
Real Madrid holds the record for most consecutive titles with five. Ajax (1991-1973) and Bayern München each claimed three titles in a row (1974-1976). Furthermore, Benfica, Inter, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, and Milan have all won the tournament in consecutive years.
European Cup timeline
In 1955 The competition is established.
In 1960 Real Madrid win the competition for the fifth time in a row.
In 1991 The tournament is rebranded to Champions League.