The UEFA Champions League is the most popular European football club tournament organised by the UEFA. Introduced in 1955 as the European Cup, it was initially a straight knockout competition.
The Champions League took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage in 1991 and allowing many participants from several countries since 1997.
It has since been developed, and while most of Europe’s national divisions can still just enter their champion, the strongest divisions now provide up to four clubs.
The 32 clubs are drawn into 8 groups of four clubs and play each other in a double round-robin system.
The 8 group winners and 8 runners-up proceed to the knockout stage, culminating with the final game in late May or in June.
The winner of the tournament qualifies for the next year’s Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Spanish teams have the highest number of victories (18 wins), followed by England (14 wins) and Italy (12 wins). Twenty-two teams have won the tournament.
Real Madrid is the most victorious team in the competition’s history, having won it 13 times.
Bayern Munich stays the only team to have won all of their games in a single competition en route to their cup win in the 2019–2020 campaign.
Chelsea are the reigning champions, having beaten Man City 1–0 in the 2021 final. Cristiano Ronaldo has the record for most goals in the UEFA Champions League as he scored 134 goals.
Iker Casillas played a record 177 games in the UEFA Champions League. The final is usually held in the last two weeks of May or in the early days of June.
In the 2019–20 campaign, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the competition was suspended for five months.
The format of the rest of the competition was temporarily changed as a result, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals being played as single-game knockout stages at neutral venues in Portugal, with the final taking place on 23 August.
2021-22 UEFA Champions League Odds
Man City +300
Bayern Munich +550
Manchester United +1200
Real Madrid +1600
Atletico Madrid +2500
Borussia Dortmund +3500
Inter Milan +4000
RB Leipzig +5000
AC Milan +6500
Sporting Lisbon +15000
Zenit St Petersburg +20000
Club Brugge +25000
Dynamo Kiev +25000