The Champions League or more precisely the UEFA Champions League is a football tournament organized by UEFA ( the Union of European Football Associations). It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Champions League was first played in 1992. The League replaced the similar European Champion Clubs’ Cup often simply referred to as the European Cup. The European Cup was first played in 1955.
Champions League introduced many changes compared to European Champion Clubs’ Cup. Among the most important differences us that UEFA Champions League allows for multiple entrants from the same country. ( European Champion Clubs’ Cup did not) How many entrants a country can send varies between countries. To accommodate the higher number of teams the Champions League also added a group stage to the tournament where the number of teams are reduced from 32 to 16.
How many teams each country/league get to send to Champions league depends on something called their UEFA coefficient. The Best Leagues (England, Germany, Spain) get to send 4 teams, while Italy, Portugal and France each get to send 3 teams. Remaining countries get to send 1 or 2 teams. Starting in the 2015–16 season the strongest leagues will get to send 5 teams.
The top teams in each countries top league goes on to qualify for Champions league. In England that has 4 sports the top 4 teams in the Premier league moves on. Last Years winner is qualified regardless of how well they play in their national league the next year. If they are unable to qualify for Champions league through their League they take the place of the lowest qualifying team that qualify through the league.
The Winner of Champions League qualify for UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Champions league is the most watch annual sporting event in the world and last years final was viewed by 360 million viewers.
22 different teams have won the Champions league, 12 of these have won more than once. The most successful team of all is Real Madrid that has won it 9 times. The most successful country is Spain with 13 wins followed by Italy and England that has 12 each. No team has ever won the Champions League to years in a row.
Playing Champions league can give clubs a good addition to their bank account. Especially small clubs can benefit immensely from making it to the Champions League An even bigger pay day is waiting for them if they can reach the group stage of the tournament. The rewards for reaching the group stage of the tournament can increase a small teams budget dramatically and each win there adds another €1,000,000 to their bank account.
Each team receives the following compensations in Champions League.
- Reaching the playoffs: €2,100,000
- Reaching the group stage: €8,600,000
- Winning Group match: €1,000,000
- Tie a Group match: €500,000
- Reaching the Round of 16: €3,500,000
- Reaching the Quarter-finals: €3,900,000
- Reaching the Semi-finals: €4,900,000
- Runner Up: €6,500,000
- Winner: €10,500,000
Each team also get a second type of compensation if they qualify for the Champions League. This compensated is based on the value of the TV rights in their area.
Champion League Winners
|Club||Won||2nd||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Real Madrid||9||3||1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002||1962, 1964, 1981|
|Milan||7||4||1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007||1958, 1993, 1995, 2005|
|Bayern Munich||5||5||1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013||1982, 1987, 1999, 2010, 2012|
|Liverpool||5||2||1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005||1985, 2007|
|Barcelona||4||3||1992, 2006, 2009, 2011||1961, 1986, 1994|
|Ajax||4||2||1971, 1972, 1973, 1995||1969, 1996|
|Internazionale||3||2||1964, 1965, 2010||1967, 1972|
|Manchester United||3||2||1968, 1999, 2008||2009, 2011|
|Benfica||2||5||1961, 1962||1963, 1965, 1968, 1988, 1990|
|Juventus||2||5||1985, 1996||1973, 1983, 1997, 1998, 2003|
|Nottingham Forest||2||0||1979, 1980||—|
|Red Star Belgrade||1||0||1991||—|
|Stade de Reims||0||2||—||1956, 1959|