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UEFA Champions League logo 2.svg

The UEFA Champions League is known simply as the Champions League. It is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football.

Prior to 1992/93 season, the tournament was officially called the "European Champion Clubs' Cup", but was usually referred to simply as the "European Cup". The competition was initially a straight knockout competition open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the tournament began to be expanded, incorporating a round-robin group phase and more teams. Europe's strongest national leagues currently provide up to four teams each for the competition.

The other UEFA club football competition is the UEFA Europa League, formerly known as the UEFA Cup.

The UEFA Champions League consists of several stages. In the present format, it begins in mid-July with 3 knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams join 22 seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are 8 groups of 4 teams each. The 8 group winners and 8 runners-up enter the final knockout phase, which culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competition's history, having won the tournament 9 times, including the first 5 seasons it was contested. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, with 14 wins, followed by England and Italy with 12 each. The title has been won by 22 different clubs, 12 of which have won the title more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992/93, no club has managed consecutive wins, with AC Milan being the last club to successfully defend their title, in 1989/90.


Season Teams Champions Runners-up Final
Total Group
Stage
Knockout
Stage
2014/15 77 32
(8 groups)
16       GER Olympiastadion
Berlin
2013/14 76 32
(8 groups)
16   ESP Real Madrid   ESP Atlético Madrid   POR Estádio da Luz
Lisbon
2012/13 76 32
(8 groups)
16   GER Bayern Munich   GER Borussia Dortmund   ENG Wembley Stadium
London
2011/12 75 32
(8 groups)
16   ENG Chelsea   GER Bayern Munich   GER Football Arena
Munich
2010/11 76 32
(8 groups)
16   ESP Barcelona   ENG Manchester United   ENG Wembley Stadium
London
2009/10 76 32
(8 groups)
16   ITA Inter Milan   GER Bayern Munich   ESP Santiago Bernabéu
Madrid
2008/09 76 32
(8 groups)
16   ESP Barcelona   ENG Manchester United   ITA Stadio Olimpico
Rome
2007/08 76 32
(8 groups)
16   ENG Manchester United   ENG Chelsea   RUS Luzhniki Stadium
Moscow
2006/07 73 32
(8 groups)
16   ITA AC Milan   ENG Liverpool   GRE Olympic Stadium
Athens
2005/06 74 32
(8 groups)
16   ESP Barcelona   ENG Arsenal   FRA Stade de France
Paris
2004/05 72 32
(8 groups)
16   ENG Liverpool   ITA AC Milan   TUR Atatürk Olympic Stadium
Istanbul
2003/04 72 32
(8 groups)
16   POR Porto   FRA Monaco   GER Veltins-Arena
Gelsenkirchen
2002/03 72 32‡
(8 groups)
8   ITA Juventus   ITA AC Milan   ENG Old Trafford
Manchester
2001/02 72 32‡
(8 groups)
8   ESP Real Madrid   GER Bayer Leverkusen   SCO Hampden Park
Glasgow
2000/01 72 32‡
(8 groups)
8   GER Bayern Munich   ESP Valencia   ITA San Siro
Milan
1999/00 71 32‡
(8 groups)
8   ESP Real Madrid   ESP Valencia   FRA Stade de France
Paris
1998/99 56 24
(6 groups)
8   ENG Manchester United   GER Bayern Munich   ESP Camp Nou
Barcelona
1997/98 55 24
(6 groups)
8   ESP Real Madrid   ITA Juventus   NED Amsterdam Arena
Amsterdam
1996/97 24 16
(4 groups)
8   GER Borussia Dortmund   ITA Juventus   GER Olympiastadion
Munich
1995/96 24 16
(4 groups)
8   ITA Juventus   NED Ajax   ITA Stadio Olimpico
Rome
1994/95 24 16
(4 groups)
8   NED Ajax   ITA AC Milan   AUT Ernst-Happel-Stadion
Vienna
1993/94 42 8
(2 groups)
4   ITA AC Milan   ESP Barcelona   GRE Olympic Stadium
Athens

‡ The 8 groups was followed by a 4 groups stage


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