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Champions League
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Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is an annual international inter-club football competition between Europe's most successful clubs, regarded as the most prestigious club trophy in the sport.

Table of contents
1 History
2 The Champions League
3 Qualification
4 Memorable events
5 European Cup and Champions League finals
6 External links

History

Originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup, the competition began in 1955/56 using a two-leg knockout format where the teams would play two matches, one at home and one away, and the team with the highest overall score qualifying for the next round of the competition. Entry was restricted to the teams that won their national league championships.

The format and name were changed in 1992/93, and now the competition consists of three qualifying rounds, one stage of group competition (where teams play each other in the style of "home-and-away" or "regular season" competition), and then four rounds of knock-out finals. All qualifying round and knock-out ties are two-legged except the final, which is a single match played at a predetermined site.

Real Madrid CF has won this competition nine times. The next most successful teams are A.C. Milan (6 titles), Bayern Munich, Ajax and Liverpool (4 titles).

The Champions League

The music which introduces television coverage of the competition is by Tony Britten, based on George Frideric Handel's coronation anthem "Zadok the Priest", and is performed by the Chorus of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

It has occasionally been noted that in order for the present name to be grammatical the spelling would have to be "Champions’ League".

Qualification

Qualification for the competition is decided by teams placing in their domestic league championships on a quota system, with countries with stronger domestic leagues allocated more teams. Clubs that play in stronger domestic leagues also enter at later stages of the competition. For example, the three strongest domestic leagues, as rated by UEFA, place their champions and runners-up directly into the group phase, and their third-and fourth-place teams enter at the third qualifying round. There is one exception to this rule; the current Champions League titleholder automatically qualifies for the group stage, regardless of where it finished in its domestic league.

Memorable events

Along the history of the competition there have been many events which will not be forgotten. The spectacular Real Madrid side with Di Stefano, Gento and Puskas; Eusebio and his Benfica; the successful Bayern Munich of Beckenbauer; the imperial Ajax; the powerful Milan; or the powerful breathtaking F.C. Porto. Also another hard to forget moment was in 1999 when Manchester United came from behind and scored two goals in the last five minutes to beat Bayern Munich and pull off the historical triple of Domestic League-Domestic Cup-Champions League trophies.

There were also some sad moments. There was the 1958 Munich air disaster in which some Manchester United players died, breaking a marvellous team. Another event was the 1985 European Cup Final in Heysel, where 39 Juventus supporters lost their lives.

European Cup and Champions League finals

Season Winner Score Runner-up Venue
2004/05       Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadyumu,
İstanbul;
2003/04 Porto
(por)
3 - 0 Monaco
(fra)
Arena AufSchalke,
Gelsenkirchen
2002/03 AC Milan
(ita)
0 - 0
aet
Juventus
(ita)
Old Trafford,
Manchester
3-2 in penalty shootout
2001/02 Real Madrid
(spa)
2 - 1 Bayer Leverkusen
(ger)
Hampden Park,
Glasgow
2000/01 Bayern Munich
(ger)
1 - 1
asdet
Valencia
(spa)
San Siro,
Milan
5-4 in penalty shootout
1999/00 Real Madrid
(spa)
3 - 0 Valencia
(spa)
Stade de France,
Saint-Denis
1998/99 Manchester United
(eng)
2 - 1 Bayern Munich
(ger)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
1997/98 Real Madrid
(spa)
1 - 0 Juventus
(ita)
Amsterdam ArenA,
Amsterdam
1996/97 Borussia Dortmund
(ger)
3 - 1 Juventus
(ita)
Olympiastadion,
Munich
1995/96 Juventus
(ita)
1 - 1
aet
Ajax
(net)
Stadio Olimpico,
Rome
4-2 in penalty shootout
1994/95 Ajax
(net)
1 - 0 AC Milan
(ita)
Ernst Happel Stadium,
Vienna
1993/94 AC Milan
(ita)
4 - 0 Barcelona
(spa)
Spiros Louis Stadium,
Athens
1992/93 Marseille
(fra)
1 - 0 AC Milan
(ita)
Olympiastadion,
Munich
1991/92 Barcelona
(spa)
1 - 0
aet
Sampdoria
(ita)
Wembley Stadium,
London
1990/91 Red Star Belgrade
(yug)
0 - 0
aet
Marseille
(fra)
Stadio San Nicola,
Bari
5-3 in penalty shootout
1989/90 AC Milan
(ita)
1 - 0 Benfica
(por)
Prater Stadium,
Vienna
1988/89 AC Milan
(ita)
4 - 0 Steaua Bucharest
(rom)
Camp Nou,
Barcelona
1987/88 PSV Eindhoven
(net)
0 - 0
aet
Benfica
(por)
Neckarstadion,
Stuttgart
6-5 in penalty shootout
1986/87 Porto
(por)
2 - 1 Bayern Munich
(ger)
Prater Stadium,
Vienna
1985/86 Steaua Bucharest
(rom)
0 - 0
aet
Barcelona
(spa)
Sánchez Pizjuán,
Seville
2-0 in penalty shootout
1984/85 Juventus
(ita)
1 - 0 Liverpool
(eng)
Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
The Heysel tragedy occurred in this final.
As a consequence, all English clubs were banned from every UEFA competition, for the next five years.
1983/84 Liverpool
(eng)
1 - 1
aet
Roma
(ita)
Stadio Olimpico,
Rome
4-2 in penalty shootout
1982/83 Hamburg
(ger)
1 - 0 Juventus
(ita)
Spiros Louis Stadium,
Athens
1981/82 Aston Villa
(eng)
1 - 0 Bayern Munich
(ger)
De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1980/81 Liverpool
(eng)
1 - 0 Real Madrid
(spa)
Parc des Princes,
Paris
1979/80 Nottingham Forest
(eng)
1 - 0 Hamburg
(ger)
Santiago Bernabéu,
Madrid
1978/79 Nottingham Forest
(eng)
1 - 0 Malmö
(swe)
Olympiastadion,
Munich
1977/78 Liverpool
(eng)
1 - 0 Club Brugge
(bel)
Wembley Stadium,
London
1976/77 Liverpool
(eng)
3 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
(ger)
Stadio Olimpico,
Rome
1975/76 Bayern Munich
(ger)
1 - 0 Saint-Étienne
(fra)
Hampden Park,
Glasgow
1974/75 Bayern Munich
(ger)
2 - 0 Leeds United
(eng)
Parc des Princes,
Paris
1973/74 Bayern Munich
(ger)
1 - 1
aet
Atlético de Madrid
(spa)
Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
Bayern Munich
(ger)
4 - 0 Atlético de Madrid
(spa)
Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
Final score: 1-1
Bayern Munich won the final replay (4-0)
 
1972/73 Ajax
(net)
1 - 0 Juventus
(ita)
Crvena Zvezda Stadium,
Belgrade
1971/72 Ajax
(net)
2 - 0 Inter Milan
(ita)
De Kuip,
Rotterdam
1970/71 Ajax
(net)
2 - 0 Panathinaikos
(gre)
Wembley Stadium,
London
1969/70 Feyenoord
(net)
2 - 1
aet
Celtic
(sco)
San Siro,
Milan
1968/69 AC Milan
(ita)
4 - 1 Ajax
(net)
Santiago Bernabéu,
Madrid
1967/68 Manchester United
(eng)
4 - 1
aet
Benfica
(por)
Wembley Stadium,
London
1966/67 Celtic
(sco)
2 - 1 Inter Milan
(ita)
Estádio Nacional,
Lisbon
1965/66 Real Madrid
(spa)
2 - 1 Partizan Belgrade
(yug)
Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
1964/65 Inter Milan
(ita)
1 - 0 Benfica
(por)
San Siro,
Milan
1963/64 Inter Milan
(ita)
3 - 1 Real Madrid
(spa)
Prater Stadium,
Vienna
1962/63 AC Milan
(ita)
2 - 1 Benfica
(por)
Wembley Stadium,
London
1961/62 Benfica
(por)
5 - 3 Real Madrid
(spa)
Olympisch Stadion,
Amsterdam
1960/61 Benfica
(por)
3 - 2 Barcelona
(spa)
Wankdorf Stadium,
Berne
1959/60 Real Madrid
(spa)
7 - 3 Eintracht Frankfurt
(ger)
Hampden Park,
Glasgow
1958/59 Real Madrid
(spa)
2 - 0 Stade de Reims
(fra)
Neckarstadion,
Stuttgart
1957/58 Real Madrid
(spa)
3 - 2
aet
AC Milan
(ita)
Heysel Stadium,
Brussels
1956/57 Real Madrid
(spa)
2 - 0 Fiorentina
(ita)
Santiago Bernabéu,
Madrid
1955/56 Real Madrid
(spa)
4 - 3 Stade de Reims
(fra)
Parc des Princes,
Paris

''aet = after extra time; asdet = after sudden death extra time

See also : List of sporting events

External links