UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious European club football tournament. The UEFA Champions League is an annual continental club football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs.
UEFA organizes the strongest club tournaments in the world: Champions League, League of Europe and European Super Cup. The last trophy is played between the winners of the Champions League and the League of Europe.
History of UEFA Champions League
Since the first season of 1955/56, the tournament was called the European Champion Clubs' Cup or simply European Cup. The last time the European Champion Clubs' Cup was played in the season 1991/92. Then the organizers of the tournament changed the format and abandoned the play-off system in the form of a group tournament. At the same time, the hymn and emblem that are still in force appeared. Since the season 1992/93, the tournament finally got its present name - UEFA Champions League.
The competition is appealing to a wide-ranging television audience not only in Europe but throughout the world for many years. The final of the tournament was the most popular annual sports event in the world in recent years. So, the final of 2013 became the most popular final for the entire time of the tournament, drawing 360 million television viewers.
It is interesting that Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competition's history, having won the tournament 11 times, including its first five seasons. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories - 16 wins.
Champions League Tournament
The tournament begins with a group stage of 32 teams. As a result of the draw, the teams are divided into eight groups of 4 teams each. Each team meets the others in its group home and away in a round-robin format. The winning team and the runners-up from each group then progress to the next round. The third-placed team enters the UEFA Europa League. Teams continue to play a few more matches, and then decide who passes in the quarter-finals. The quarterfinals are followed by the semi-finals, and then the final, consisting of one game at a neutral stadium.
Champions League winners
The club, which won in the Champions League, takes the trophy for ten months. Then the clubs receive a reduced copy of the award, for reference. The club, which won 5 times or 3 times in a row, takes the cup to perpetual storage.
The trophy is often called "big ears" because of the original design of the cup handles in many countries around the world. The Spanish version of this nickname ("la Orejona") is very popular in Latin America.
Six clubs were awarded the cup for numerous victories forever:
Real Madrid (after the 5th victory in a row, 1960),
Ajax (after 3 consecutive victories, 1973),
Bayern Munich (after 3 consecutive victories, 1976),
Milan (after the 5th victory, 1994),
Liverpool (after the 5th victory, 2005),
Barcelona (after the 5th victory, 2015).