Champions League - the biggest football league
Designed to replace the old European Cup, the UEFA Champions League is Europe’s top annual football tournament for clubs.
As one of the most distinguished sporting competitions in the world its quality is renowned and from its inception in 1992 no club had successfully retained the trophy until Real Madrid in 2017, though the Spanish giants have gone on to win it for a third year running.
The final of this competition is watched by more people than the Olympics or even the World Cup Final and is seen as the pinnacle of the sport.
Champions League history
In years gone by the European Cup was entered only by the winners of all the European leagues and played from the beginning as a knock-out competition.
UEFA decided in the early 90’s however that more quality was needed and as such, since 1992 the bigger leagues may enter two, three or sometimes four teams in what is now known as the Champions League.
There has been a top European club tournament since 1955 when 16 teams were invited to play in the first European Cup with Real Madrid the big dogs even back then, Los Blancos winning five consecutive tournaments from 1956 to 1960.
Since it became the Champions League however the competition has moved the world’s favourite sport up to another level with sponsorship and TV money now in the billions.