The Champions League is the most prestigious international football club tournament in the world. It is also the most followed annual sporting event worldwide with more than 350 million spectators.
The Champions League was created by the initiative of the newspaper L’Équipe in the 1955-56 season under the name of European Champions Club Cup, with a direct elimination format and being designed to define the best club on the continent.
In 1992 the tournament was restructured including for the first time a format of league competition or group stage as a previous step to the knockout phase. The winner of this competition plays the European Super Cup against the champion of the Europa League and, as a representative of the confederation, the FIFA Club World Cup.
Currently the actual champion is Chelsea Football Club, who won their second title after beating Manchester City Football Club, and here you can find more about international competitions.
More about the competition
This competition has also become a highly profitable business for clubs who reach the group stage as UEFA distributes some of the money earned from television contracts between these teams.
In the 2013-2014 season the UEFA Champions League distributed 904 million euros among the 32 participating teams and also the teams received even more income with the sale of merchandising tickets and many other things.
The team led by Carlo Ancelotti is the top winner of the competition, with 13 titles won, both when it was called the European Cup, from 1995 to 1992, and when it went through a restructuring in the format in this last year and was called the UEFA Champions League.
In the previous format, the Spanish team was crowned in the editions: 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1966, while in the new and that remains until today they have raised the cup in: 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Real Madrid’s best year
In this season Madrid began winning the European Super Cup after beating Mourinho’s Manchester United and also managed to beat Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup, this securing two titles that year.
Later, in this year’s UEFA Champions League Real Madrid had an outstanding and much suffered participation throughout the championship, with its ups and downs managed to break through in the group stages and in the knockout games.
And that was how in the final they played the cup with Liverpool winning 3-1 thanks to a double from Gareth Bale and a goal from Karim Benzema, which assured the thirteenth Champions League cup to the Spanish team.
Together with Zidane, Real Madrid managed to win 9 of the 13 possible titles since the Frenchman came to the leadership of the team.
But his arrival was not unrelated to the wear and tear he had suffered with the squad, since different discontent had been generated in several players, for example in Gareth Bale and his annoyance to become a substitute player.
On May 31, 2018 and to the surprise of all fans Zidane announced his retirement from Real Madrid, which ended with an unforgettable cycle for this team, which made the number of cups he has reached during his time in the Champions League grow much more.
An AC Milan that doesn’t give up
Although Real Madrid has been the team that has lifted the most Champions League cups, the Italian club AC Milan has followed the numbers of the Spaniards very closely.
They have been winners in the seasons: 1962-1963, 1968-1969, 1988-1989, 1989-1990, 1993-1994, 2002-2003 and 2006-2007, which makes them the second team with the most Champions League wins.
The Italian team is betting on following its path of victories, since being one of the most important in the Italian Serie A, it always bets on trying to match and exceed the numbers of the Spanish club in this european competition.
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