An elite tournament for clubs in Europe, the UEFA Champions League brings together some of the best teams and players in the world to battle it out for continental supremacy. The top clubs who win, or finish second, third or fourth (depending on their league), qualify for the group stage of the tournament. A number of champions from some of the smaller associations within Europe then go on to compete in a couple of knockout rounds for a spot in the group stage. Top ranked sides are drawn apart from each other, and the top two sides from each group qualify for the round of 16.
Each year, the final of the tournament is played in a major city which is capable of hosting such a massive event. The competition attracts extensive television audiences, not just in Europe, but all over the world, and is largely considered the best competition for club football. In 2013, the final between German powerhouses Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund generated a world-wide television audience of 360 million. It stands as the most watched final to date.
Real Madrid won the tournament in 2014, and they remain the most successful club in Europe with 10 victories and three runner-up medals. Bayern Munich and Ajax are the only sides to have won three consecutive Champions Leagues, the Germans in 1974/75/76, while the Dutch outfit reigned supreme from 1971 to 1973. Liverpool remain the most successful English side with five wins and twice finishing as beaten finalists, while Manchester United have three wins and two runner-up finishes to their credit.
|YEAR||WINNER||RUNNERS UP||VENUE OF FINAL|
|2014||REAL MADRID||ATHLETICO MADRID||ESTADIO DA LUZE, PORTUGAL|
|2013||BAYERN MUNICH||BORUSSIA DORTMUND||WEMBLEY STADIUM, ENGLAND|
|2012||CHELSEA||BAYERN MUNICH||ALLIANZ ARENA, GERMANY|
|2011||BARCELONA||MANCHESTER UNITED||WEMBLEY STADIUM, ENGLAND|
|2010||INTER MILAN||BAYERN MUNICH||BERNABEU STADIUM, SPAIN|
|2009||BARCELONA||MANCHESTER UNITED||STADIO OLYMPICO, ITALY|
|2008||MANCHESTER UNITED||CHELSEA||LUZHNIKI STADIUM, RUSSIA|
|2007||AC MILAN||LIVERPOOL||OLYMPIC STADIUM, GREECE|
|2006||BARCELONA||ARSENAL||STADE DE FRANCE, FRANCE|
|2005||LIVERPOOL||AC MILAN||OLYMPIC STADIUM, TURKEY|