Since the European Cup first came to fruition in the mid-1950s, 22 different clubs have lifted the sought-after trophy. It’s no surprise that teams often target European success, with highly-respected managers, such as Sir Alex Ferguson, believing that the competition is better than the FIFA World Cup. Throughout the Champions League’s 65-year history, some clubs have dominated the knockout tournament, winning the European Cup on several occasions. So, let’s take a look at which teams have won the most Champions League titles.
Real Madrid – 13
Real Madrid are, by some margin, the most successful side in Champions League history. Following the creation of the competition, Los Blancos lifted the trophy in each of the first five editions of the tournament. After that, the Spanish side enjoyed a resurgence in Europe during the late 1990s and early 2000s. In that period, Madrid were crowned champions in 1997-98, 1999-00, and 2001-02.
After the appointment of Zinedine Zidane, Los Blancos continued their reign of dominance in Europe. The Frenchman guided the 13-time winners to three consecutive triumphs between 2015 and 2018. In turn, Madrid became the first team in the Champions League era to win back-to-back competitions. Because of their reputation, Zidane’s side are once again among the favourites to lift the trophy in 2020-21, with Funbet sports betting placing them at 16/1 to clinch their 14th title, as of November 19th.
AC Milan – 7
Behind Los Blancos, AC Milan are the second most successful team in the history of the Champions League. The Red and Blacks first won the tournament in 1962-63 following a 2-1 win over Benfica, before later winning the European Cup in 1968-69 after defeating Ajax 4-1. Regarding their most dominant period, Milan secured back-to-back European success between 1988 and 1990, as per Topend Sports.
At the turn of the millennium, the Rossoneri put together one of the most dangerous teams of the era. With the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Cafu, Dida, Hernan Crespo, Kaka, Paulo Maldini, and many others gracing the famous San Siro turf throughout the 2000s, Milan won two further Champions League trophies, the most recent of which came back in 2006-07, after triumphing over Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool.
Bayern Munich and Liverpool – 6
Between them, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have won each of the last two Champions League campaigns. In 2018-19, Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Tottenham Hotspur to clinch their sixth European Cup, while Bayern overcame Paris Saint-Germain in 2019-20.
Throughout the 1970s, both sides dominated the tournaments. From 1973 to 1976, Die Roten won three consecutive titles, before the Reds then won back-to-back European Cups in 1976-77 and 1977-78. While nothing should detract from their achievements, it’s a testament to Madrid’s triumphs that, collectively, Bayern and Liverpool haven’t won as many titles as Los Blancos.
The Champions League is full of history
Ever since the Champions League introduction, it has been a favourite among football fans across the globe. The competition’s unpredictability and world-class participants make it a must-watch event, and one that teams are always desperate to win. That said, over the coming years, it appears unlikely that anyone will be able to topple Madrid as the tournament’s most successful team.