It has become increasingly difficult to retain the most important European club trophy. Whereas in the first twenty years of its existence a prolonged dominance for one club was the rule, there was no successful defence for a quarter of a century after the Champions League was introduced in the early nineties.
The following series of consecutive wins have been achieved:
5 (1955/56-1959/60) Real Madrid 3 (1970/71-1972/73) Ajax (1973/74-1975/76) Bayern München (2015/16-2017/18) Real Madrid 2 (1960/61-1961/62) Benfica (1963/64-1964/65) Internazionale (1976/77-1977/78) Liverpool (1978/79-1979/80) Nottingham Forest (1988/89-1989/90) Milan
Other series: the city of Milano won the trophy in 3 consecutive seasons (1962/63 Milan, then twice Inter), the Netherlands won it 4 seasons in a row (1969/70 Feĳenoord, then thrice Ajax), and England brought the Cup home in 6 consecutive years, the longest stretch by one country (the double wins of Liverpool and Forest were followed by Liverpool again in 1980/81 and Aston Villa in 1981/82). Spain managed a second series of five successive wins between 2013/14 and 2017/18 (Barcelona in 2014/15, the other four by Real).
In 1997/98, Juventus became the first team to lose consecutive finals; Valencia were the second team to do that in 2000/01, which also was the first final to feature both losers of the previous two finals.
The first (and so far only) time the winners of the previous two finals met in a final was 1961/62 (Benfica beating Real Madrid 5-3 in arguably the best ever Champions' Cup final). Other finals to have included two teams that had been present in the previous two finals: 1989/90 (Milan winners 1989, Benfica losers 1988) and 1993/94 (Milan losers 1993, Barcelona winners 1992).
While defending the trophy grew more difficult, unbeaten winners became more and more common until the mid-nineties; the changed Champions' League format appears to have made it harder again: in the twenty-first century, unbeaten winners have become almost as seldom as in the first twenty years of the tournament, when it happens only twice. However, in the unusual 2019/20 season, in which the last three knock-out rounds were played over a single leg at a neutral venue, Bayern set a record for eternity by not only remaining unbeaten but winning every single match, scoring nearly four goals per game in the process. All unbeaten winners with their P-W-D-L-F-A records:
1963/64 Internazionale 9 7 2 0 16- 6 1971/72 Ajax 9 7 2 0 14- 3 1978/79 Nottingham Forest 9 6 3 0 19- 7 1980/81 Liverpool 9 6 3 0 24- 4 [away] 1983/84 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 15- 3 [pen] 1988/89 Milan 9 5 4 0 20- 5 [pen] 1990/91 Crvena zvezda 9 5 4 0 18- 7 [pen] 1992/93 Olympique Marseille 11 7 4 0 25- 4 1993/94 Milan 12 7 5 0 21- 2 1994/95 Ajax 11 7 4 0 18- 4 1998/99 Manchester United 13 6 7 0 31-16 2005/06 Barcelona 13 9 4 0 24- 5 2007/08 Manchester United 13 9 4 0 20- 6 [pen] 2019/20 Bayern München 11 11 0 0 43- 8
Note: [away] marks campaigns that involved progressing at least once on the away goals rule; [pen] marks campaigns requiring at least one penalty shoot-out.
Ajax, Liverpool, Manchester United and Milan are the only teams to have won the trophy unbeaten twice; of those four, only Ajax did not require penalty shoot-outs in either case.
Since the traditional Champions' Cup was transformed into the Champions League, it proved difficult defend the title, a situation reminiscent of the Cup Winners' Cup Jinx: no club ever managed to defend the Cup Winners' Cup. Since the 1991/92 season, when the Champions League was introduced, the holders reached the final on 4 occasions until 2016/17 (when Real Madrid put an end to this jinx) but always ended up on the losing side:
Milan: winners in 1993/94, lost 1994/95 final to Ajax; Ajax: winners in 1994/95, lost 1995/96 final to Juventus; Juventus: winners in 1995/96, lost 1996/97 final to Borussia Dortmund; Manchester United:winners in 2007/08, lost 2008/09 final to Barcelona.Milan and Ajax also reached the Cup Winners' Cup final once as holders, in which they faced rank outsiders (1.FC Magdeburg and KV Mechelen respectively), but failed to defend their trophy.
Below we list all clubs to have entered the Champions' Cup or
Champions League (including qualifiers) on at least 15 occasions.
Note that seasons in which a club withdrew before playing a single match (such as a number of Eastern European clubs in 1968/69) are not included.
All numbers up to and including the 2019/20 season.
50 Real Madrid 39 Benfica 36 Ajax Bayern München Dynamo Kyiv 34 Anderlecht Celtic Juventus FC Porto 32 Olympiakos (Piraeus) 30 Barcelona Rangers 29 Linfield 28 Manchester United Milan Panathinaïkos PSV (Eindhoven) 27 CSKA (Sofia) (CDNA, Sredets) Sparta Praha 26 Fenerbahçe Galatasaray Steaua Bucuresti 25 Crvena zvezda Beograd Rosenborg BK 24 Liverpool 22 Jeunesse d'Esch Partizan Beograd 21 Arsenal FC Basel Dinamo Zagreb Internazionale Sporting (Lisboa) 20 Club Brugge HJK (Helsinski) Shakhtar Donetsk 19 APOEL (Lefkosia) Austria Wien Besiktas Spartak Moskva 18 Borussia Dortmund Dinamo Bucuresti Olympique Lyonnais Omonia (Lefkosia) Valletta 17 Feyenoord Malmö FF Sheriff Tiraspol 16 AEK (Athinai) Chelsea AS Monaco Rapid Wien 15 Atlético Madrid BATE Barysau CSKA Moskva F91 Dudelange IFK Göteborg Grasshoppers FC København Levski (Sofia) (Levski-Spartak, Vitosha) Maribor RB Salzburg (includes Austria Salzburg)See also the section on consecutive participations.
Below we list all clubs to have entered the Champions League group
stage (so not counting the qualifying rounds) at least 5 times since
the first edition in 1991/92.
All numbers up to and including the 2019/20 season (so including 29 editions).
Note that Dynamo Kyiv's entry in 1995/96, when they were disqualified for attempted bribery and replaced by AaB, is not included.
25 Barcelona 24 Real Madrid 23 Bayern München FC Porto 22 Manchester United 20 Juventus 19 Arsenal Olympiakos (Piraeus) 17 Dynamo Kyiv Milan 16 Benfica Chelsea Galatasaray Olympique Lyonnais PSV (Eindhoven) 15 Ajax 14 Borussia Dortmund Shakhtar Donetsk 13 Anderlecht Internazionale 12 Bayer Leverkusen CSKA Moskva Liverpool Paris Saint-Germain Spartak Moskva Valencia 11 Roma Rosenborg BK 10 Atlético Madrid Celtic Panathinaïkos Rangers 9 Manchester City AS Monaco Olympique Marseille 8 FC Basel Schalke 04 Sparta Praha Sporting (Lisboa) 7 Besiktas Club Brugge Dinamo Zagreb Steaua Bucuresti Werder Bremen Zenit Sankt Peterburg 6 Fenerbahçe Lille OSC Napoli 5 AEK (Athinai) BATE Barysau Deportivo (La Coruña) Feyenoord Lokomotiv Moskva Sevilla Tottenham HotspurSee also the section on consecutive participations.
Bayer Leverkusen (12) entered most often in spite of never winning the German league since the Champions League was introduced (in fact, they never won it at all).
Until 2016, the record number of consecutive participations in the Champions' Cup was held by Dynamo Kyiv, with 20. Meanwhile, thanks to the almost guaranteed entry for the strongest clubs from the major European leagues, the record is extended annually by Real Madrid; their closest pursuers are Dynamo's compatriots Shakhtar Donetsk. All clubs to play at least 4 times in succession (up to and including the 2019/20 season) in the Champions' Cup (including preliminary rounds for the Champions League):
23 Real Madrid (1997/98-2019/20) 20 Dynamo Kyiv (1993/94-2012/13) Shakhtar Donetsk (2000/01-2019/20) 19 Arsenal (1998/99-2016/17) 18 Manchester United (1996/97-2013/14) 16 Barcelona (2004/05-2019/20) 15 Real Madrid (1955/56-1969/70) 13 Olympiakos (Piraeus) (1997/98-2009/10) Olympique Lyonnais (1999/00-2011/12) Chelsea (2003/04-2015/16) BATE Barysau (2007/08-2019/20) 12 PSV (1997/98-2008/09) Bayern München (2008/09-2019/20) 11 Rosenborg BK (1995/96-2005/06) Dinamo Zagreb (2006/07-2016/17) 10 Dynamo Berlin (1979/80-1988/89) Bayern München (1997/98-2006/07) Celtic (2001/02-2010/11) Sheriff Tiraspol (2001/02-2010/11) Internazionale (2002/03-2011/12) Pyunik Yerevan (2002/03-2011/12) Ajax (2010/11-2019/20) FC Basel (2010/11-2019/20) Benfica (2010/11-2019/20) 9 Celtic (1966/67-1974/75) Liverpool (1976/77-1984/85) Rangers (1989/90-1997/98) Skonto Riga (1997/98-2005/06) Sparta Praha (1997/98-2005/06) Manchester City (2011/12-2019/20) FC Porto (2011/12-2019/20) 8 Anderlecht (2003/04-2010/11) Partizan Beograd (2008/09-2015/16) Celtic (2012/13-2019/20) Juventus (2012/13-2019/20) Ludogorets Razgrad (2012/13-2019/20) Paris Saint-Germain (2012/13-2019/20) The New Saints (2012/13-2019/20) 7 CSKA (Sofia) (1956/57-1962/63) FC Porto (1995/96-2001/02) Galatasaray (1997/98-2003/04) Maribor Branik (1997/98-2003/04) Ajax (2001/02-2007/08) FC Porto (2003/04-2009/10) Olympiakos (Piraeus) (2011/12-2017/18) APOEL (Lefkosia) (2013/14-2019/20) Atlético Madrid (2013/14-2019/20) 6 Benfica (1960/61-1965/66) Újpest Dózsa (1970/71-1975/76) Linfield (1982/83-1987/88) Steaua Bucuresti (1993/94-1998/99) Barcelona (1997/98-2002/03) Spartak Moskva (1997/98-2002/03) Juventus (2000/01-2005/06) [punished by FIGC after 2005/06] FBK Kaunas (2000/01-2005/06) Milan (2002/03-2007/08) Liverpool (2004/05-2009/10) FC København (2009/10-2014/15) HJK (Helsinki) (2010/11-2015/16) Zenit Sankt Peterburg (2010/11-2015/16) CSKA Moskva (2013/14-2018/19) Steaua Bucuresti (2013/14-2018/19) Qarabagh Agdam (2014/15-2019/20) FC Santa Coloma (2014/15-2019/20) 5 Górnik Zabrze (1963/64-1967/68) Anderlecht (1964/65-1968/69) Bayern München (1972/73-1976/77) Jeunesse d'Esch (1973/74-1977/78) Omonia Nicosia (1975/76-1978/79) [withdrew from 1974/75 competition] Omonia Nicosia (1981/82-1985/86) Steaua Bucuresti (1985/86-1989/90) Real Madrid (1986/87-1990/91) Sparta Praha (1987/88-1991/92) Brøndby IF (1996/97-2000/01) Deportivo (La Coruña) (2001/02-2005/06) Benfica (2003/04-2007/08) Fenerbahçe (2004/05-2008/09) Werder Bremen (2004/05-2008/09) F91 Dudelange (2005/06-2009/10) Sporting (Lisboa) (2005/06-2009/10) Olympique Marseille (2007/08-2011/12) Rangers (2007/08-2011/12) Panathinaikos (2008/09-2012/13) Ekranas Panevezys (2009/10-2013/14) Milan (2009/10-2013/14) Maribor (2011/12-2015/16) Skënderbeu Korçë (2011/12-2015/16) AS Monaco (2014/15-2018/19) Roma (2014/15-2018/19) FK Astana (2015/16-2019/20) Club Brugge (2015/16-2019/20) Dynamo Kyiv (2015/16-2019/20) Viktoria Plzen (2015/16-2019/20) Young Boys (Bern) (2015/16-2019/20) 4 Young Boys (Bern) (1957/58-1960/61) Dukla Praha (1961/62-1964/65) Dinamo Bucuresti (1962/63-1965/66) Internazionale (1963/64-1966/67) Saint Etienne (1967/68-1970/71) Ajax (1970/71-1973/74) Viking (Stavanger) (1973/74-1976/77) Austria (Wien) (1978/79-1981/82) CSKA (Sofia) (1980/81-1983/84) Olympiakos (Piraeus) (1980/81-1983/84) Shamrock Rovers (1984/85-1987/88) Górnik Zabrze (1985/86-1988/89) PSV (1986/87-1989/90) Olympique Marseille (1989/90-1992/93) [banned from 1993/94 competition] Barcelona (1991/92-1994/95) Steaua Bucuresti (1993/94-1996/97) IFK Göteborg (1994/95-1997/98) Juventus (1995/96-1998/99) Anorthosis Famagusta (1997/98-2000/01) Dinamo Zagreb (1997/98-2000/01) Bayer Leverkusen (1999/00-2002/03) Club Brugge (2002/03-2005/06) Steaua Bucuresti (2005/06-2008/09) Levski Sofia (2006/07-2009/10) Levadia Tallinn (2007/08-2010/11) Sparta Praha (2007/08-2010/11) FC Twente (2008/09-2011/12) Borussia Dortmund (2011/12-2014/15) Galatasaray (2012/13-2015/16) Bayer Leverkusen (2013/14-2016/17) Zalgiris Vilnius (2014/15-2017/18) Borussia Dortmund (2016/17-2019/20) F91 Dudelange (2016/17-2019/20) Napoli (2016/17-2019/20) Rosenborg BK (2016/17-2019/20) Sheriff Tiraspol (2016/17-2019/20) Tottenham Hotspur (2016/17-2019/20)
Since 1991/92 the Champions' Cup has included a Champions League group
stage, initially with 8 clubs (corresponding to the quarterfinals of the
tournament), meanwhile with 32 clubs. The following clubs have reached
this league stage of the competition in at least 3 successive seasons
(up to and including the 2019/20 season).
While the current record holders are unsurprising, Rosenborg BK deserve a special mention: in 2002, they became the first club to establish a series of 8 (and earlier 6 and 7) consecutive qualifications for the (first) group stage.
23 Real Madrid (1997/98-2019/20) 19 Arsenal (1998/99-2016/17) 18 Manchester United (1996/97-2013/14) 16 Barcelona (2004/05-2019/20) 13 Chelsea (2003/04-2015/16) 12 PSV (1997/98-2008/09) Olympique Lyonnais (2000/01-2011/12) Bayern München (2008/09-2019/20) 11 Olympiakos (Piraeus) (1997/98-2007/08) 10 Bayern München (1997/98-2006/07) Internazionale (2002/03-2011/12) Benfica (2010/11-2019/20) 9 Manchester City (2011/12-2019/20) 8 Rosenborg BK (1995/96-2002/03) Dynamo Kyiv (1997/98-2004/05) FC Porto (2011/12-2018/19) Juventus (2012/13-2019/20) Paris Saint-Germain (2012/13-2019/20) 7 Galatasaray (1997/98-2003/04) FC Porto (2003/04-2009/10) Atlético Madrid (2013/14-2019/20) 6 Barcelona (1997/98-2002/03) Juventus (2000/01-2005/06) [punished by FIGC after 2005/06] Milan (2002/03-2007/08) Liverpool (2004/05-2009/10) Shakhtar Donetsk (2010/11-2015/16) CSKA Moskva (2013/14-2018/19) 5 FC Porto (1995/96-1999/00) Spartak Moskva (1998/99-2002/03) Deportivo La Coruña (2000/01-2004/05) Werder Bremen (2004/05-2008/09) Olympique Marseille (2007/08-2011/12) Milan (2009/10-2013/14) Ajax (2010/11-2014/15) Olympiakos (Piraeus) (2011/12-2015/16) Zenit Sankt-Peterburg (2011/12-2015/16) 4 Juventus (1995/96-1998/99) Bayer Leverkusen (1999/00-2002/03) Ajax (2002/03-2005/06) Anderlecht (2003/04-2006/07) Dynamo Kyiv (2006/07-2009/10) Borussia Dortmund (2011/12-2014/15) Galatasaray (2012/13-2015/16) Bayer Leverkusen (2013/14-2016/17) Borussia Dortmund (2016/17-2019/20) Napoli (2016/17-2019/20) Tottenham Hotspur (2016/17-2019/20) 3 Milan (1992/93-1994/95) Spartak Moskva (1993/94-1995/96) Ajax (1994/95-1996/97) Steaua Bucuresti (1994/95-1996/97) Borussia Dortmund (1995/96-1997/98) Sturm Graz (1998/99-2000/01) Lazio (1999/00-2001/02) Sparta Praha (1999/00-2001/02) Lokomotiv Moskva (2001/02-2003/04) Panathinaikos (2003/04-2005/06) Sparta Praha (2003/04-2005/06) Benfica (2005/06-2007/08) Celtic (2006/07-2008/09) AS Roma (2006/07-2008/09) Shahtar Donetsk (2006/07-2008/09) Sporting (Lisboa) (2006/07-2008/09) Steaua Bucuresti (2006/07-2008/09) Valencia (2010/11-2012/13) Anderlecht (2012/13-2014/15) Schalke 04 (2012/13-2014/15) AS Monaco (2016/17-2018/19) Liverpool (2017/18-2019/20) Shakhtar Donetsk (2017/18-2019/20)
The worst finish a European Champions' Cup winner ever achieved in their domestic league in their winning season was 11th, by Aston Villa in 1981/82:
English First Division 1981/82 11.Aston Villa 42 15 12 15 55-53 42The second-worst finish, and the only one with a record under 50%, and the only one in which the continental champions finished in the bottom half of their domestic league, is the 10th place (of 18) of Bayern München in 1974/75:
German 1.Bundesliga 1974/75 10.Bayern München 34 14 6 14 57-63 34The worst finish of a Champions League winner was fifth, which happened twice, in Spain 1999/00 and England 2004/05:
Spanish La Liga 1999/00 5.Real Madrid 38 16 14 8 58-48 62 English Premier League 2004/05 5.Liverpool 38 17 7 14 52-41 58As a result, neither Madrid nor Liverpool qualified directly for the next edition but whereas in Spain Real Zaragoza (4th in the league 1999/00) were relegated to the UEFA Cup so that Real Madrid could defend their trophy, the English FA pressurised UEFA into admitting both Everton (4th in the league 2004/05) and Liverpool (on a wild card).
All Champions' Cup winners bar Bayern 1974/75 and Villa 1981/82 finished among the first 3 of their national championship with the exception of Nottingham Forest (5th in 1979/80), Liverpool (5th in 1980/81 and in 2004/05), Juventus (6th in 1984/85), Real Madrid (4th in 1997/98 and 5th in 1999/2000) and Milan (4th in 2006/07).
Among the multiple winners, Barcelona are the only one to have won all their Cups as domestic champions; Ajax were Dutch champions in 3 of their 4 Champions' Cup winning campaigns (2nd in 1970/71, their first win).
In all, the double of Champions' Cup and domestic league has been won on 29 occasions by 16 different teams:
Barcelona (5 times, 1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2014/15), Bayern München (4 times, 1973/74, 2000/01, 2012/13 and 2019/20), Ajax (3 times, 1971/72, 1972/73 and 1994/95), Real Madrid (3 times, 1956/57, 1957/58 and 2016/17), Liverpool (twice, 1976/77 and 1983/84), Manchester United (twice, 1998/99 and 2007/08), Internazionale (twice, 1964/65 and 2009/10), Benfica (1960/61), Celtic (1966/67), Hamburger SV (1982/83), Steaua Bucuresti (1985/86), PSV (1987/88), Crvena zvezda Beograd (1990/91), Milan (1993/94) and FC Porto (2003/04).
Seven of the above made the double of Champions' Cup and domestic league into a treble, adding the domestic cup; Barcelona (2008/09 and 2014/15) and Bayern München (2012/13 and 2019/20) did so twice; the other five: Celtic (1966/67), Ajax (1971/72), PSV (1987/88), Manchester United (1998/99) and Internazionale (2009/10). Celtic, Ajax, PSV, Barcelona, Internazionale and Bayern München thereby won all competitions they entered in the relevant seasons; Celtic also won the Scottish League Cup 1966/67 (as well as the Glasgow Cup), for which there is no Dutch, German, Spanish or Italian equivalent; Manchester United did not win the English League Cup 1998/99.
Barcelona managed a unique feat by also winning all three bonus competitions in the next season: the Spanish Super Cup 2009 (for which they qualified as league champions) and the European Super Cup 2009 and FIFA World Club Cup 2009 (for which they qualified as Champions League winners 2008/09). Ajax performed a comparable feat by winning both the European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup (the predecessor of the FIFA World Club Cup) in 1972 (the Super Cup matches were played in January 1973); there was no Dutch Super Cup tournament at the time. Manchester United won the Intercontinental Club Cup 1999 but not the European Super Cup (losing to Lazio) while both Celtic and PSV failed to win the intercontinental trophy.
As an aside, Bayer Leverkusen managed to finish runners-up in all three competitions (Champions League, German League and German Cup) they entered in 2001/02. Bayern München emulated that feat in 2011/12 (one season later they won all three competitions).
Before the Champions League was introduced (and for half a decade afterwards), a country could (normally) only have two entrants in the Champions' Cup if one of its clubs won the competition but failed to win the domestic league. This occasionally led to meetings between clubs from the same country. It should be remarked that in the first two cases, Real Madrid had also won the Spanish league in 1956/57 and 1957/58, but UEFA admitted the runners-up, Sevilla and Atlético de Madrid respectively, to the Champions' Cup regardless.
From the 1997/98 season, league runners-up of the eight countries highest in the UEFA Coefficient Rankings could also qualify for the Champions League, and domestic ties became much more likely (cf. the section Runners-Up Stuff below); since the 1999/2000 season, six countries can enter three or four participants in the reformed Champions League. Spain managed to get three teams in the semifinals and for the first time ever, a 'domestic final' was played. Italy emulated this feat in 2002/03, and England in 2006/07 (but the fourth team, Milan, won the trophy) and 2007/08 (in which season no English club was eliminated by a non-English one). It would appear to be only a matter of time before one country manages to field all semifinalists (as already happened once in the UEFA Cup, in 1980), which then surely should be considered the final nail in the coffin of the original idea to have "champions" compete against each other.
Chelsea and Liverpool set a record for domestic meetings by playing each other in five consecutive seasons from 2004/05 to 2008/09 (implying that for half a decade they met as often in a European competition 'for champions' as in the domestic league, and that in spite of the fact that between them the two clubs only managed two English championships in the relevant period of time). The two Madrid rivals, Real and Atlético, also met five times in the Champions' Cup or League, in 1958/59 and the four consecutive seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17, while Real Madrid and Barcelona met on four occasions (1959/60, 1960/61, 2001/02 and 2010/11).
All "domestic meetings" in the Champions' Cup or League:
1957/58 Spain Real Madrid v Sevilla [quarterf., 8-0 and 2-2] 1958/59 Spain Real Madrid v Atlético de Madrid [semif., 2-1, 0-1 and 2-1] 1959/60 Spain Real Madrid v Barcelona [semif., 3-1 and 3-1] 1960/61 Spain Real Madrid v Barcelona [2nd round, 2-2 and 1-2] 1978/79 England Nottingham Forest v Liverpool [1st round, 2-0 and 0-0] 1985/86 Italy Hellas Verona v Juventus [2nd round, 0-0 and 0-2] 1997/98 Germany Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund [quarterf., 0-0 and 0-1 aet] 1998/99 Germany Bayern München v 1.FC Kaiserslautern [quarterf., 2-0 and 4-0] 1999/00 Spain Valencia v Barcelona [semif., 4-1 and 1-2] 1999/00 Spain Real Madrid v Valencia [final, 3-0] 2001/02 Spain Barcelona v Real Madrid [semif., 0-2 and 1-1] 2002/03 Italy Internazionale v Milan [semif., 1-1 and 0-0] 2002/03 Italy Milan v Juventus [final, 0-0, 3-2pen] 2003/04 England Chelsea v Arsenal [quarterf., 1-1 and 2-1] 2004/05 Italy Milan v Internazionale [quarterf., 2-0 and 3-0 (awarded)] 2004/05 England Chelsea v Liverpool [semif., 0-0 and 0-1] 2005/06 England Liverpool v Chelsea [group stage, 0-0 and 0-0] 2006/07 England Chelsea v Liverpool [semif., 1-0 and 0-1 aet, 1-4 pen] 2007/08 England Arsenal v Liverpool [quarterf., 1-1 and 2-4] 2007/08 England Liverpool v Chelsea [semif., 1-1 and 2-3 aet] 2007/08 England Manchester United v Chelsea [final, 1-1 aet, 6-5 pen] 2008/09 England Chelsea v Liverpool [quarterf., 3-1 and 4-4] 2008/09 England Manchester United v Arsenal [semif., 1-0 and 3-1] 2009/10 France Olympique Lyon v Bordeaux [quarterf., 3-1 and 0-1] 2010/11 England Chelsea v Manchester United [quarterf., 0-1 and 1-2] 2010/11 Spain Real Madrid v Barcelona [semif., 0-2 and 1-1] 2012/13 Germany Bayern München v Borussia Dortmund [final, 2-1] 2013/14 Spain Barcelona v Atlético de Madrid [quarterf., 1-1 and 0-1] 2013/14 Spain Real Madrid v Atlético de Madrid [final, 4-1 aet] 2014/15 Spain Atlético de Madrid v Real Madrid [quarterf., 0-0 and 0-1] 2015/16 Spain Barcelona v Atlético de Madrid [quarterf., 2-1 and 0-2] 2015/16 Spain Real Madrid v Atlético de Madrid [final, 1-1 aet, 5-3 pen] 2016/17 Spain Real Madrid v Atlético de Madrid [semif., 3-0 and 1-2] 2017/18 England Liverpool v Manchester City [quarterf., 3-0 and 2-1] 2018/19 England Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City [quarterf., 1-0 and 3-4] 2018/19 England Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur [final, 2-0] overview domestic ties in Europe
Real Madrid do not only hold the record of most wins; they are also the club who most often eliminated the defending champions: on no fewer than 8 occasions they managed to do this, in 5 of which they went on to win themselves. Together with CSKA (Sofia) they hold the distinction of performing this feat in consecutive seasons.
All clubs to eliminate the defending champions more than once (seasons in which they won themselves in bold):
8 Real Madrid (1963/64, 1965/66, 1987/88, 1988/89, 1997/98, 1999/00, 2001/02, 2013/14) 6 Juventus (1982/83, 1984/85, 1995/96, 2002/03, 2012/13, 2014/15) 3 Barcelona (1960/61, 1985/86, 2008/09) CSKA Sofia (1973/74, 1980/81, 1981/82) Dynamo Kyiv (1967/68, 1976/77, 1998/99) Internazionale (1966/67, 2004/05, 2009/10) 2 Ajax (1994/95, 2018/19) Atlético de Madrid (2015/16, 2019/20) Milan (1962/63, 1968/69)
Most successful countries against the holders:
Spain 14 eliminations (Real Madrid 8, Barcelona 3, Atlético 2, Deportivo 1) Italy 12 (Juventus 6, Internazionale 3, Milan 2, Sampdoria 1) England 4 (Arsenal 1, Chelsea 1, Liverpool 1, Nottingham Forest 1) Bulgaria 3 (CSKA Sofia 3) Germany 3 (Bayern München 1, Borussia Dortmund 1, Schalke 04 1) Netherlands 3 (Ajax 2, Feĳenoord 1) Ukraine 3 (Dynamo Kyiv 3) Romania 2 (Dinamo Bucuresti 1, UT Arad 1)
No other country boasts more than one such elimination.
There have been quite a few penalty shootouts to decide the winners of the Champions' Cup in recent years. Here you'll find some records concerning them.
From the season 1997/98 on, runners-up from the 8 strongest leagues were allowed into the Champions' Cup. This led to a record of 3 German teams participating in the Cup, Borussia Dortmund as defending champions, Bayern München as German champions, and Bayer Leverkusen as German runners-up. This was emulated by Spain in 1998/99 as well as by England, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain in 1999/2000; however, Germany set a new record by entering 4 teams in the Champions' League group stage (the same three as in 1997/98 plus Hertha BSC). In fact Italy and Spain also entered four teams but saw one losing out in the last qualifying round. In 2000/01, Spain was the only country to enter four teams in the group stage, with Italy, Germany, France and England settling for three. It has since become common for two or three of the top-5 countries to enter 4 clubs in the group stage; England had a change to enter 5 in 2005/06 when Liverpool got a 'wild card' as holders but Everton (who had entered as fourth team in the 2004/05 league) failed to negotiate the final qualifying round.
In 1997/98, all three German teams reached the quarterfinal stage, which was a record. It was bettered in 1999/00, when Spain managed to field three semifinalists (a feat repeated in 2002/03 by Italy and in 2006/07 by England).
However, Bayer Leverkusen were not the first domestic runners-up to reach the quarterfinal stage. If we exclude the first competition 1955/56, in which many non-champions participated, that honour goes to Sevilla, who were admitted as Spanish runners-up in the 1957/58 edition and were only eliminated by champions and holders Real Madrid in the quarterfinal.
As for 1955/56, four clubs reached the quarterfinals who had not been champions in the previous domestic season, and one reached the semifinals, Hibernian, who had only finished 5th in the Scottish league 1954/55. The other three were Vörös Lobogo (Hungarian runners-up), Rapid Wien (third in Austria) and Partizan Beograd (5th in the previous Yugoslav season).
In 1958/59, Atlético de Madrid, runners-up in the Spanish league the previous season, even went one stage further, reaching the semifinals and forcing Spanish champions and holders Real Madrid to a play-off before bowing out of the competition.
The second team to reach the semifinals of the Champions' Cup without having won the domestic title or the Champions' Cup in the previous season was AS Monaco, who did so in 1993/94 in spite of having finished third in the French league in 1992/93 behind Olympique de Marseille, who had also won the Champions' Cup in 1992/93 but were banned in the wake of a bribery scandal, and Paris Saint-Germain, who declined taking Olympique's place in the Champions' Cup, preferring to play in the Cup Winners' Cup instead.
In 1998/99, both finalists of the Champions' League had qualified as runners-up of their domestic league 1997/98; Manchester United became the first team to win the Champions' Cup having entered as runners-up, taking that distinction from Bayern München by two goals in injury time.
Likewise, in 1999/00 neither finalist would have qualified for the tournament under the traditional rules: Real Madrid had finished 2nd in Spain in 1998/99, Valencia only fourth.
Monaco's record of reaching the semifinals as third placed team from their country was bettered by Valencia, who reached the final in 1999/2000 having entered as Spain's 4th placed team the season before and reached it again as 3rd placed team in 2000/01. In 2001/02, Bayer Leverkusen equalled Valencia's record by reaching the final after entering as Germany's 4th placed team. Milan improved on this by becoming the first team to win the Champions League 2003 following qualification as 4th place team in their domestic championship in the previous season, a feat emulated by Liverpool in 2004/05.
Atlético de Madrid hold another record: they are the only club who have won the Intercontinental Cup against the winners of the Copa Libertadores, in spite of not (and indeed never) having won the European Champions' Cup in the previous season, when they beat Independiente as stand-ins for Bayern München in 1974.
While Atlético are the only team with more intercontinental than continental titles, Nottingham Forest have more continental wins (2 Champions' Cups in 1979 and 1980) than domestic league titles (1, in 1977/78, directly following promotion from the second division).
1973/74, 1st round: Dinamo Bucuresti 11-0 Crusaders
1965/66, 1st round: Stade Dudelange 0-8 Benfica Benfica 10-0 Stade Dudelange Benfica win 18-0 on aggregate
1969/70, 1st round: Feĳenoord 12-2 KR (Reykjavik), total 14 goals
1965/66, 1st round: Stade Dudelange 0-8 Benfica Benfica 10-0 Stade Dudelange Benfica win 18-0 on aggregate, total 18 goals 1968/69, 2nd round: Reipas (Lahti) 1-9 Spartak Trnava Spartak Trnava 7-1 Reipas (Lahti) Spartak Trnava win 16-2 on aggregate, total 18 goals 1969/70, 1st round: Feĳenoord 12-2 KR (Reykjavik) KR (Reykjavik) 0-4 Feĳenoord (in Rotterdam) Feĳenoord win 16-2 on aggregate, total 18 goals 1979/80, 1st round: HJK (Helsinki) 1-8 Ajax Ajax 8-1 HJK (Helsinki) Ajax win 16-2 on aggregate, total 18 goals
1968/69, quarterf.: Ajax 1-3 Benfica Benfica 1-3 Ajax playoff: Ajax 3-0 Benfica (aet, in Paris) 2016/17, 1/8 final: Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Barcelona Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain Barcelona win 6-5 on aggregate 2018/19, 1/8 final: Manchester United 0-2 Paris Saint-Germain Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Manchester United 3-3 on aggregate, Manchester United win on away goals
Prepared and maintained by Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
Author: Karel Stokkermans
Last updated: 17 Sep 2020
(C) Copyright Karel Stokkermans and RSSSF 1996/2020
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