5 Most Successful Teams in Champions League History

Carlo Ancelotti made history this season by becoming the first manager to win four Champions League titles, helping Real Madrid extend their record tally in the competition in the process.

Carlo Ancelotti

Real Madrid further enhanced their stature as the most decorated team in European history last month, extending their tally of titles to 14.

Fresh from Real’s success over Liverpool at the Stade de France, we’ve taken a look at the five most successful teams in the history of the Champions League.

5) Barcelona

Barcelona first tasted glory on the European stage in 1991-92 when they sealed a 1-0 extra-time victory over Sampdoria courtesy of a Ronald Koeman strike at Wembley.

They made it through to the final two years later but came away on the wrong side of a 4-0 loss against AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Further success in Europe was some way down the line, having to wait until 2005-06 when they beat Arsenal 2-1 after the Gunners had goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sent off just 18 minutes into the clash.

Pep Guardiola took control of the club in 2008 and went on to lead the Blaugrana through two successful campaigns in 2009 and 2011, beating Manchester United on both occasions.

Barca’s fifth and final triumph in the Champions League came in 2014-15 following a 3-1 win over Juventus.

4) Liverpool

Liverpool became the second English club to go all the way in the European Cup when they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 in the 1976-77 showpiece.

They successfully defended their crown under Bob Paisley the following campaign at Wembley when Kenny Dalglish’s goal sealed a 1-0 win against Club Brugge.

Paisley led the Reds to glory a third time in 1981 to solidify his legendary status with the Merseyside outfit as they overcame Real Madrid.

Liverpool’s fourth European crown came with Joe Fagan at the helm when they defeated Roma on penalties in 1984.

One of the most memorable Champions League finals saw the Premier League club land their fifth title, coming from a 3-0 half-time deficit to draw 3-3 and subsequently beat AC Milan on penalties in 2005.

It was 14 years later that Jurgen Klopp watched his side beat Premier League rivals Tottenham 2-0, but the German failed to repeat that feat after losing last month’s final against Real Madrid.

3) Bayern Munich

Just three German clubs have tasted success in Europe; Hamburg, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Hamburg and Dortmund boast one title apiece but Bayern have been the dominant force from the Bundesliga with six titles to their name.

Bayern sit one spot clear of Liverpool on this list due to the fact that they’ve also finished runner-up on five occasions, while the Reds have lost four finals.

After a spell of Dutch success, with Ajax winning the European Cup for three successive seasons, Bayern stepped up to enjoy a hugely prolific period of their own.

Manager Udo Lattek was in charge when they beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 in a replay in 1974 before Dettmar Cramer arrived to build on that platform.

Bayern retained their crown in 1975, seeing off Leeds, and they went on to win it for a third successive time with a 1-0 win over St Etienne in 1976.

A penalty shootout win over Valencia in 2001 secured European silverware for the fourth time but their sweetest win arguably came in 2013.

An all-German final for the first time in the history of the competition saw Bayern take on Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Goals from Mario Mandzukic and Arjen Robben cancelled out Ilkay Gundogan’s strike to seal a 2-1 win.

Kingsley Coman was the hero in 2020 when he netted late against former club Paris Saint-Germain to seal Bayern’s sixth European honour.

2) AC Milan

AC Milan became the first Italian outfit to lift the European Cup following a 2-1 win over Benfica in 1963 with boss Nereo Rocco in the dugout.

Rocco was still in charge when they landed the trophy again in 1969 after an emphatic 4-1 win against Ajax at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Arrigo Sacchi followed in the footsteps of Rocco, tasting success on two occasions, as Milan won the European Cup in 1989 and 1990.

After losing the 1993 final against Marseille, a third win in six years arrived under the tutelage of Fabio Capello via a 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in 1994.

Carlo Ancelotti also boasts two successes in the competition with the Rossoneri, beating Juventus in 2003 and seeing off Liverpool in 2007 to take the club’s tally to seven.

1) Real Madrid

Real Madrid laid down a marker in Europe from the outset, winning the inaugural edition in 1956 and going on to successfully defend the title on four occasions.

They went on to lose two finals in 1962 and 1964 but reclaimed their place as the King’s of Europe in 1966.

A sixth success didn’t arrive until 1998 but it sparked a run of three victories in the space five years to take their tally to eight overall with the Galacticos starring under Jupp Heynckes and Vicente del Bosque.

Ancelotti brought European glory back to the glory for a ninth time following a 4-1 extra time victory over Atletico Madrid in 2014.

Another golden era arrived with Zinedine Zidane at the helm as they won three successive crowns between 2016 and 2018.

Already well clear of any other rival in the overall table, Real further extended their record in the competition last month as they edged past Liverpool 1-0 in the final to lift the trophy for a 14th time.

Bobbie is a big football fan across all levels, and he also has an impressive background in martial arts and is a regular provider of quality boxing and UFC content.
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