The UEFA Champions League is a yearly football club competition that is organised and run by the Union of European Football Association, and contested by European clubs in the top divisions.
It’s considered by many to be one of the most prestigious tournaments on the planet, and the most prestigious in European football overall.
The event has been won by 22 clubs, of which 12 have won it more than a single time. Read Madrid is currently the most successful team to participate in the competition, and have won it 14 times, which includes its very first five season.
They are also the current reigning champions, having won against Liverpool 3-1 for the 2018 final, and have become the first team in the League era to win the title for three years in a row.
History of The Champions League
The very first iteration of the European Cup took place during the 1955-56 season, where sixteen teams took art in the event, which was held in Milan, Italy.
The inaugural final was held at the Par des Princes between Real Madrid and Stade de Reims, with the Spanish team coming back from behind the lead to win 4-3 thanks to Alfredo Di Stefani, along with Hector Riat.
Real Madrid managed to defend their trophy for the next season while playing at their home stadium against Florentina. Real Madrid continued their winning streak for the third season, where they Francisco Gento scored the game-winning goal, allowing the team to retain their win for one more year.
Their reign came to an end during the 1960-61 season after rivals Barcelona took them in the first round, although Barcelona would be defeated by Benfica 3-2 for the final game.
The Champions League has since grown in popularity over the years, becoming one of the most-watched events in sports history, and is followed by around 2 billion fans every year, and has become a hotbed of activity for the sports betting scene during years when they return from slots and online bingo.
The Champions League Format
First introduced in 1955, it was initially known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, or more commonly as the European Cup, and was initially a straight knockout competition that was open to the champions club for each nation that wished to took place.
The name change came in 1992, where they also added a round-robin group stage, and allowed multiple entrants from different countries from around the world. In its current format, the Champions League starts during late June, and has four knockout qualifying rounds, as well as a play-off round.
32 teams in total are drawn into eight groups of four teams each, and play each other in a double round robin system. The group of eight that wins, as well as the runners-up then proceed to a knockout phases that eventually culminates in a final match that takes place in May.
Real Madrid currently hold 13 titles for the event, followed by Milan with 7.
After them is Bayern Munich with 5, while Liverpool comes in fourth with 5.