In 1955, UEFA Champions League was established. It is a competition where the best European football clubs compete against each other to win the trophy. Champions Trophy is the most valued trophy in Europe when it comes to club football.
The tournament was called European Cup till 1992. Until 1997, only the clubs that have won their respective league titles were legible to participate in the Champions League. The teams that finish third or fourth in the strongest leagues are also eligible to compete in the Champions League.
Champions League is held every year. The best football clubs in Europe compete to win the Champions League. Winning the Champions League is equivalent to being the best football team in the season. Clubs that have major success in the
Champions League are the elite among the elite. Only 22 teams have won the Champions League at least once. Let’s take a look at the Champions League’s most successful teams.
1. Real Madrid
Real Madrid is the undisputed king of Europe. Champions League has been won 13 times by Real Madrid. No other team is close to this many title wins. Real Madrid has won the Champions League in the years 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018.
Real Madrid started their Champions League by winning the very first season. They have the highest win streak in the Champions League. Real Madrid is the only team that has won the Champions League five times consecutively (from 1956 to 1960). Real Madrid has also lost the final three times in the years 1962, 1964, 1981.
Real Madrid has played the Champions League finals the maximum number of times. They are the only team to play the final sixteen times.
2. AC Milan
Milan has won the Champions League competition seven times in total. They have the highest number of Champions League trophies after Real Madrid. AC Milan won the competition in the years 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007.
AC Milan lost in the Champions League final four times. They have managed to make it to the finals 11 times in total. They lost the Champions League final in the years 1958, 1993, 1995, 2005.
3. Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich is the best football club in Germany. They have won the Champions League six times. Bayern Munich won the Champions League competition in the years 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013, 2020. Bayern Munich has three consecutive title wins in the Champions League (1974,1975,1976). They are one of only three teams that have achieved this feat.
Bayern also lost in the Champions League final five times. They finished 2nd in the years 1982, 1987, 1999, 2010, 2012. Bayern Munich and Benfica have both lost five times in the Champions League finals. Bayern has played the CL final 11 times in total.
Liverpool is the most successful English football club in the Champions League. They have won the Champions League trophy six times in total. Liverpool has won the Champions League in the years 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019.
Liverpool has finished 2nd in the tournament thrice. They have finished 2nd in the years 1985, 2007, 2018. Liverpool has played the final nine times and they have won six times out of nine.
Barcelona won the Champions League five times. They are the 2nd most successful team from Spain in the Champions League. Barcelona has won the Champions League in the years 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015.
Barcelona has lost in the finals of the Champions League three times in the years 1961, 1986, 1994. As a nation, Spain has had the most successful outings in Champions League. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are the main contributors to the success of Spain in the Champions League.
Ajax is a Dutch football team that has had astounding success in the Champions League. They won the title four times: in 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1995. They are also one of the three teams that have won the Champions League three consecutive times alongside Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Ajax has lost the final of the Champions League twice. They have lost in the years 1969 and 1996. Dutch football was at its pinnacle in the 1970s and the 1990s. It’s been 16 years since Ajax reached the Champions League final.
3-Time Champions League Winners
Inter Milan and Manchester United have each won the Champions League thrice. Both the teams reached the finals five times. There isn’t much to separate the success of the two teams in the Champions League.
Inter Milan is the 2nd most successful Italian team in the Champions League. They have won the league thrice in the years 1964, 1965, 2010. They have lost the final twice in the years 1967, 1972.
Manchester United have won the Champions League in the years 1968, 1999, 2008. They have lost the Champions League in 2009, 2011. Manchester United has the most league wins in the English Premier League. They have done well in the Champions League as well.
2-Time Champions League Winners
Five teams have won the Champions League twice. These teams are Juventus, Benfica, Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, and Porto.
Juventus have won the Champions League in the years 1985 and 1996. The unfortunate record for Juventus is that they have lost in the Champions League seven times. They have lost the final in the years 1973, 1983, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2017. This is the maximum number of times that any team has lost the Champions League finals.
Benfica is a top Portuguese team that has won the Champions League twice. They have won in the years 1961 and 1962. They have lost the final five times in the years 1963, 1965, 1968, 1988, 1990. The performance of Benfica was remarkable in the 1960s.
Chelsea is a successful English football club in the Champions League. They have won the Champions League in 2012 and 2021. Chelsea is the current champion in the Champions League. Chelsea has lost the final of the Champions League only once in 2008.
Nottingham Forest is another English football club that has won the Champions League title twice. They’ve reached the final two times and won both times. Nottingham Forest won the Champions League back-to-back in 1979 and 1980.
Porto has won the Champions League in the years 1987 and 2004. This Portuguese team has never lost in the final of the Champions League.
1-Time Champions League Winners
Nine teams have won the Champions League once. Celtic, Hamburger SV, Steaua București, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Feyenoord, Aston Villa, PSV Eindhoven, Red Star Belgrade have each won the Champions League title once.