The History of the Champions League

Since the Champions League final is happening on Saturday, May 29th, Let’s briefly go over some history of the Champions League.

The UEFA Champions League came around as a new version of the European Cup and the first tournament was played in 1992. The tournament was designed for the top clubs in Europe. In the beginning, it was a straight knockout tournament open only to the champion clubs of each national championship in 1955 known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup.

The First edition of the European Cup took place during the 1955-1956 season. Sixteen teams participated, and the first match ended in a 3-3 draw between Sporting CP and Partizan. Clubs from Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Poland, Scotland, Yugoslavia, Netherlands, Austria, Spain, West Germany, Saar, Switzerland, Portugal, France, And Hungary were the teams to take part in the First European Cup. The first winner of the tournament was actually Real Madrid, a major club that has countless Champions League Trophies, as they beat Stade De Reims 4-3. Real Madrid continued winning the title for the next 3 seasons, being the champions of the first five European Cups.

1992 to now, the current format of the UEFA Champions League, added group stages and multiple entrants from certain countries. Leagues such as the English Premier League and La Liga are eligible to enter multiple top teams. 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The winner of the Champions League qualifies for the following years Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Currently, Real Madrid, the winners of the first European cup, holds the record for the most victories, with 13 titles in total including European Cups and Champions League cups.

The teams in the Champions League finals this year are Chelsea FC and Manchester City.