Given all this it is no surprise that the Champions League is considered the biggest and best club football competition in the world.
Champions League Winners List
Since the Champions League competition began in 1955 there have been 21 different clubs who have lifted the trophy. It started out as a straight forward knockout football competition in 1955, in which only the club champions of each European country could enter.
What’s more, participating clubs also receive TV revenue on top of prize money which again is highly lucrative considering that the Champions League final is the most watched sporting event in the world with around 100 million global viewers. Even if a club lost every match in the group stage of the Champions League they would still walk away with 3.3 million.
What is now known as the UEFA Champions League began life as the European Champions Club Cup and did not change its name to the Champions League until 1992. 2 teams qualify from each group through to the knockout stage of the Champions League. Both Valencia and Stade Reims have reached the Champions League final twice but lost on both occasions. In terms of country wins the Champions League has been held the most in Italy, Spain and England with 12 titles for Spain and Italy and 11 titles for England.
The current Champions League champions are Inter Milan but the 2010/2011 competition is already underway and so it will not be long until there is a new title added to this list. In its current form the Champions League also allows more than national champions to enter with countries such as England and Spain having 4 teams qualify for the competition.
Champions League Prize Money and TV Ratings
The European cup is a highly lucrative competiton for football clubs in the modern era with Champions League prize money reaching up to 36.4 million for a championship winning campaign. Here is a list of all the Champions League winners:
Football Team – Times Won – Years WonReal Madrid – 9 titles – 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002AC Milan – 7 titles – 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007Liverpool FC – 5 titles – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005Bayern Munich – 4 titles – 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001Ajax – 4 titles – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995Barcelona – 3 titles – 1992, 2006, 2009Inter Milan – 3 titles – 1964, 1965, 2010Manchester United – 3 titles – 1968, 1999, 2008Benfica – 2 titles – 1961, 1962Juventus – 2 titles – 1985, 1996Nottingham Forest – 2 titles – 1979, 1980Porto – 2 titles – 1987, 2004Celtic – 1 title – 1967Hamburg – 1 title – 1983Steaua Bucuresti – 1 title – 1986Marseille – 1 title – 1993Feyenoord – 1 title – 1970Aston Villa – 1 title – 1982PSV Eindhoven – 1 title – 1988Red Star Belgrade – 1 title – 1991Borussia Dortmund – 1 title – 1997It can be seen that Real Madrid and AC Milan have been most prolific in the Champions League throughout history, but in the modern era Barcelona have dominated with 3 wins in the last 18 years. As ever Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid have been ranked as favourites for the competition. Only 12 teams have managed to win the competition more than once and the record for most wins is held by Real Madrid with a tally of 9. In its modern form the Champions League has 3 stages; First there is the qualification stage for the clubs who do not qualify automatically, then when the main competition begins there is a group stage consisting of 8 groups of 4 teams. However, after Inter Milan and Bayern Munich defied bookies and reached the final last year anything could happen is this year’s Champions League!
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