The clubs that have won the Champions League the most times will be revealed today on Brainnews.
This article was compiled by Mitchell Fretton.
The Champions League is the holy grail for Europe’s elite players and coaches.
The competition — known as the European Cup when it followed a knockout format — creates timeless memories for those fortunate enough to lift the trophy.
But which clubs have enjoyed the most success at the continent’s top table?
Starting with the team to have tasted success more than any other, read on to discover how many times the most successful sides have got their hands on the cup with the big ears.
13 – Real Madrid
First title: 1956
Last title: 2018
Fun fact: Real Madrid hold the record for most consecutive final wins with five (1956-60).
Los Blancos can undoubtedly claim the honour of being the most successful side in the history of the competition.
The Spanish club have provided some classic European moments, most notably Zinedine Zidane’s volley, which secured a ninth title for the club.
Gareth Bale also scored a memorable goal in their 2018 triumph, unleashing a magnificent overhead kick that flew past Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.
7 – AC Milan
First title: 1963
Last title: 2007
Fun Fact: Milan were the first Italian team to win a European Cup in 1963.
Perhaps Milan’s most memorable Champions League triumph came in 2007, when they overcame the mental hurdle of defeating Liverpool in a repeat of the 2005 final.
Filippo Inzaghi scored a brace in Athens to complete a 2-1 victory with the likes of Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Paolo Maldini all starring.
Earlier in the decade, Andriy Shevchenko put in a man-of-the-match performance in the 2003 all-Italian final against Juventus. The Ukranian scored the decisive penalty in the shootout at Old Trafford.
6 – Bayern Munich
First title: 1974
Last title: 2020
Fun fact: Bayern’s 1974 triumph was the first and only time the final was decided by a replay. After a 1-1 draw in Brussels against Atletico Madrid, Franz Beckenbauer lifted the trophy two days’ later thanks to a 4-0 win.
Nothing is sweeter than beating your bitter rivals on the biggest stage and Bayern Munich did just that when they beat Borussia Dortmund in 2013, courtesy of a last-minute winner from Arjen Robben.
In 2001, Bayern defeated Valencia in a game full of penalties. The match finished 1-1 with both teams scoring from the spot but it was Bayern who came out on top in the penalty shootout to secure their fourth title.
More recently, 2020 saw Bayern claim their sixth crown, beating Paris Saint-Germain in the only final to be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
6 – Liverpool
First title: 1977
Last title: 2019
Fun fact: Liverpool are England’s most successful club in Europe, winning six of their nine finals.
Liverpool’s comeback against Milan in the 2005 final was arguably the greatest conclusion in the history of the competition.
Eventually winning on penalties, Liverpool overcame a 3-0 half-time deficit, completing what is now regarded as the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.
More recently in 2019, Mo Salah and Divock Origi were decisive in front of goal as they overcame Tottenham in Madrid.
5 – Barcelona
First title: 1992
Last title: 2015
Fun fact: Barcelona’s maiden victory in 1992 was the last edition of the European Cup before the competition was rebranded as the Champions League.
Lionel Messi has starred in a number of Barcelona’s most iconic moments on the European stage.
In 2008, his looping header sealed a first title in 16 years as Pep Guardiola’s side defeated defending champions Manchester United in Rome.
Three years later, the Red Devils were again on the wrong side of the scoreline against the Blaugrana, with Messi starring in a masterful 3-1 victory at Wembley.
In 2015, the Argentine’s deft nutmeg and chip against a helpless Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer set the Catalan side on their way to another final, where they went on to beat Juventus in Berlin.
4 – Ajax
First title: 1971
Last title: 1995
Fun fact: Patrick Kluivert became the youngest player to score in a Champions League final when he scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win against Milan, aged just 18.
Although they have had little European success in recent years, Ajax remain an iconic team due in large part to the era of success during Johan Cruyff’s time with the club.
The Dutch side’s first three titles came consecutively between 1971 and 1973, with Cruyff scoring a brace in their 1972 triumph.
Louis van Gaal led them to their most recent victory, which came against Fabio Capello’s Milan in 1995.
3 – Manchester United
First title: 1968
Last title: 2008
Fun fact: Manchester United became the first English club to win the Treble when they clinched the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in 1999.
If Liverpool’s 2005 win was the greatest comeback, Manchester United’s 1999 victory stands alone as the final with the most late drama.
Finding themselves 1-0 down heading into stoppage time, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fired United to a remarkable last-gasp victory over Bayern Munich.
Nine years later, John Terry’s slip in the penalty shootout in Moscow helped Sir Alex Ferguson to his second Champions League win as coach and the club’s third overall.
3 – Inter Milan
First title: 1964
Last title: 2010
Fun fact: Led by Jose Mourinho in 2009-10, Inter Milan became the first Italian team to win Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia in the same season.
Inter won back-to-back titles in the 1960s but went on to endure a long period of absence from Europe’s summit.
Mourinho helped change that in 2020. His star-studded side, featuring the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o and Diego Milito, fired the Italian club to a memorable 2-0 victory against Bayern Munich in Madrid.
That triumph was the last time an Italian team has been crowned champions of Europe.