European Cup

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

SeasonWinnerRunner-up
1990-1991Red Star BelgradeOlympique Marseille
1989-1990MilanBenfica
1988-1989MilanSteaua Bucuresti
1987-1988PSV EindhovenBenfica
1986-1987PortoBayern Munich
1985-1986Steaua BucurestiBarcelona
1984-1985JuventusLiverpool
1983-1984LiverpoolRoma
1982-1983HamburgerJuventus
1981-1982Aston VillaBayern Munich
1980-1981LiverpoolReal Madrid
1979-1980Nottingham ForestHamburger SV
1978-1979Nottingham ForestMalmö FF
1977-1978LiverpoolFC Brugge
1976-1977LiverpoolBorussia Mönchengladbach
1975-1976Bayern MunishSaint Etienne
1974-1975Bayern MunichLeeds United
1973-1974Bayern MunichAtlético Madrid
1972-1973AjaxJuventus
1971-1972AjaxInternazionale
1970-1971AjaxPanathinaikos
1969-1970FeyenoordCeltic
1968-1969MilanAjax
1967-1968Manchester UnitedBenfica
1966-1967CelticInternazionale
1965-1966Real MadridPartizan Belgrade
1964-1965InternazionaleBenfica
1963-1964InternazionaleReal Madrid
1962-1963MilanBenfica
1961-1962BenficaReal Madrid
1960-1961BenficaBarcelona
1959-1960Real MadridEintracht Frankfurt
1958-1959Real MadridStade de Reims
1957-1958Real MadridMilan
1956-1957Real MadridFiorentina
1955-1956Real MadridStade de Reims

History

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.

Statistics

ClubTitles
Real Madrid6
Liverpool4
Milan4
Ajax3
Bayern Munich3
Benfica2
Internazionale2
Nottingham Forest2

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.

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