UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League is a seasonal club football competition administered by European football governing body UEFA. It is the biggest club competition in the world and has worldwide following and popularity. Earlier it was known as the European Cup.
The competition’s origins stretches back to the mid-1950s when the French sports journalist and editor of L’Equipe suggested a Europe-wide club competition to be conducted.
The European Champions Clubs’ Cup, abbreviated to European Cup, began in the 1955-156 and was initially dominated by Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid who emerged triumphant in the first five editions of the trophy.
In the 1992-1993 season, the competition was revamped as the UEFA Champions League and a number of changes have been rung since then. Previously the UEFA Champions League used two group phases and then the knockout rounds but now there is only one group phase (in which 32 teams from Europe participate) and then the knockout rounds kick in. The quarter-finals and the semi-finals are two-legged ones and the final is a one-off.
The most successful club in the history of the European Cup/UEFA Champions League is Real Madrid, who have won the title 9 times. AC Milan have won the competition 7 times so far. 19 other clubs have won the competition during the course of the tournament’s history.
Serie A dynamo Inter Milan are the reigning champions after they beat Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in the final at Madrid’s Bernabeu Stadium on May 22, 2010. Argentinian striker Diego Milito scored the match’s two goals and was voted best player.
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