The Champions League is the biggest sporting event in European club football.
Winning the champions league earns you the title of being the best football club in whole of Europe, dominators of European football.
The title and fame alone should be enough however that’s not just it. The money involved is a big thing for the participating clubs. As per 2019/20 UEFA will also pay teams 2.7 million euros for every match they win and 900,000 euros for every match they draw. So, if a team wins every single game on their way to lifting the Champions League trophy, they will earn 82.2 million euros.
Introduced in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, it was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion club of each national championship. The competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries. It has since been expanded, and while most of Europe’s national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to five teams. Clubs that finish next-in-line in their national league, having not qualified for the Champions League, are eligible for the second-tier UEFA Europa League competition, and from 2021, teams not eligible for the UEFA Europa League will qualify for a new third-tier competition called the UEFA Europa Conference League.
In its present format, the Champions League begins in late June with a preliminary round, three qualifying rounds and a play-off round, all played over two legs. The six surviving teams enter the group stage, joining 26 teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in late May or early June. The winner of the Champions League qualifies for the following year’s Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The competition has been won by 22 clubs, 12 of which have won it more than once. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament’s history, having won it 13 times, including its first five seasons. Liverpool are the reigning champions, having beaten Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 in the 2019 final. Spanish clubs have the highest number of victories (18 wins), followed by England (13 wins) and Italy (12 wins). England has the largest number of winning teams, with five clubs having won the title.
Clubs with the most amount of UCL titles
Real Madrid – 13
AC Milan – 7
Liverpool – 6
Bayern Munich – 5
Barcelona – 5