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Top 10 most successful Champions League teams

AC Milan in 2003 UCL, best UCL teams
AC Milan in 2003 UCL--------image via:

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Champions league is an annual football club competition which is organized by UEFA (Union of European Football Association). It is the contest among the top football clubs in Europe. UEFA champions league is one of the most significant football tournaments in the world. it is also the most watched sporting event throughout the world. Champions league teams compete each others for the title and it is considered very prestigious for any club in the history of European football.

Champions league starts from mid-July with total 32 teams, which are distributed in eight groups and play each other in a double round-robin system. The group stage games are followed by the knockout phage. In the 2015-16 season of UCL, the knock out stages are knocking at the door starting from 17th February. At this point, Sportyghost team brings to you the list of top 10 most successful champions league teams.

champions league, UEFA, UCL top teams
UEFA Champions league logo——image via: www.youtube.com

Top 10 most successful champions league teams:

The Spanish clubs have gathered the highest number  (15) of champions league titles, while English and Italian clubs claimed 12 wins at the champions league final. There are 22 different European clubs which have won the champions league title. Here is the list of top 10 most successful champions league teams. We have arranged them in a chronological manner for your convenience.

1. Real Madrid, Spain

Titles won: 10 (1956-1960, 1966, 1998,2000, 2002, 2014)

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Real Madrid is the most successful team in champions league history. Under Carlo Ancelotti, Real Mardid defeated their city rival Atletico Madrid at the 2014 champions league final to claim the prestigious La Décima. Real Madrid are always known to sign biggest star even in the early 1950s. Legends like Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas were all lured to the Santiago Bernabeu prior to today’s stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez.

Real Madrid celebrates La Decima, Real in UCL
Real Madrid celebrates La Decima—–image via: Flickr/El Coleccionista de Instantes

Their most famous champions league victory came in 1960 final against Frankfurt, when Alfred Di Stefano scored a hat-trick and led the team in a 7-3 victory. Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas also netted four goals in that match. However, the Spanish side had to wait more than thirty years since 1966 to regain the champions league title. The Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is the current top goal scorer (88) in the champions league history. In this record, Cristiano kept behind another Real Madrid legend Raul, who scored 71 goals in his 142 UCL appearances.

Key players: Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, Raul Gonzales, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Also Read: Top 10 Highest goalscorers in UCL

                Top 10 goalscorers in English Premier league

                Top 10 highest goalscore record holders in Serie A

2. AC Milan, Italy

Titles won: 7 (1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007)

AC Milan have proved to be a dominant force in the UEFA Champions league title-run with their seven European triumphs. The Italian club was crowned with the champions league glory for the first time in 1963, while they defeated Benfica by 2-1. They again claimed their title in 1969 Champions league final against AFC Ajax in a glorious 4-1 win. AC Milan had to pass some rough time then following financial difficulties. Soon, they returned to the tract in late 1980s. as soon as they got the balance, AC Milan signed Dutch trio of Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. With these striking forces, AC Milan reclaimed their title in 1989 against Steaua Bucharest and the following year against Benfica.

AC Milan in 2003 UCL, best UCL teams
AC Milan in 2003 UCL——–image via: Wikimedia/Soccer illustrated

Then four years later in 1994, AC Milan won their fifth title defeating the Spanish giant Barcelona by 4-0. The team was heavily influenced by the great Paolo Maldini. He played total 902 official matches for AC Milan. Maldini led AC Milan to 2003 UCL title by defeating domestic rivals Juventus on penalties at Old Trafford stadium in England. The club’s 7th title came in 2007 against Liverpool by the courtesy of Filippo Inzaghi. They defeated the Reds in by 2-1. AC Milan is one of the top teams in champions league.

Key players: Gianni Rivera, Marco Van Basten, Paolo Maldini, Andriy Shevchenko.

Also read: Top 10 famous Italian football players in history

3. Barcelona, Spain

Titles won: 5 (1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015)

Barcelona is at no. 3 in the list of Top 10 most successful champions league teams. FC Barcelona have been graced by many famous footballers like Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Michael Laundrup, Rivaldo, Romario. In the recent era of football, the Spanish side is flourishing with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar Jr, Andres Iniesta, and Dani Alves like superstars. The team won their first ever champions league title in 1992 under Johan Cruyff as a coach. The Catalans defeated Sampdoria at the 1992 European Cup final with their Dream team which includes Pep Guardiola, Jose Mari Bakero, Ronald Koeman, Michael Laundrup and Romario. Johan Cruyff became the most successful manager during that period of time.

FC Barcelona Winning titles, FC barcelona trophies, top teams in UCL
FC Barcelona Winning titles—-image via: Wikimedia/Christopher Johnson

The Spanish giant then waited 14 long years to regain their glory in the champions league. This time, Frank Rijkaard paved the way to the 2-1 victory over English club Arsenal in the final of 2006 UEFA Champions league. Under new manager and former Barca player Pep Guardiola, Barcelona adopted a new style of playing football, known as “tiki-taka”. With a strong midfield presented by Xavi and Iniesta, they demolished the English giant Manchester United by 2-0 in 2009 and again in 2011 by 3-1. In the 2014-15 season, Barcelona became the only football team in the history of European football to win the treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey, and UEFA champions league) , the club’s 2nd in 6 years span. They beat Juventus by 3-1 in the 2015 Champions league final. Lionel Messi is always the key player for the Barcelona. Barcelona are undoubtedly one of the champions league top teams and they are most favourite in 2016 UEFA champions league.

Key players: Johan Cruyff, Michael Laundrup, Rivaldo,  Ronaldinho, Xavi, Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez.

Also read: Barcelona’s match preview in 2014-15 UCL Finals

4. Bayern Munich, Germany

Titles won: 5 (1974-1976, 2001, 2013)

Bayern Munich enjoyed a golden period during the mid 1970s in the champions league. They won the titles for consecutive three times from 1974 to 1976. Players like Franz Beckenbauer, Germ Muller and Sepp Maier led Bayern Munich to their hat-trick champions league titles. The German legendary footballer Gerd Muller scored total 18 goals during that period.

Since then, Bayern Munich waited 25 years to taste the glory of winning champions league again. Captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was the hero of 2001 Champions league final when Bayern defeated Valencia on penalties. Then in 2013, Bayern Munich grabbed their fifth champions league title defeating their domestic rival Borussia Dortmund by 2-1 at Wembley stadium. Bayern Munich is one of the most successful champions league teams in this list.

Recent Bayern stars, bayern legends
Recent Bayern stars—–image via: www.youtube.com

Key players: Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller, Oliver Kahn, Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben.

Also read: Top 10 German players of all-time

               Top 10 richest footballers in German Bundesliga

5. Liverpool, England

Titles won: 5 (1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005)

Trophy case of Liverpool, UCL legends, best UCL teams
Trophy case of Liverpool—–image via: Wikimedia/Sanjiva Persad

Liverpool is the most successful English club in the champions league title run. They have won more European and domestic trophies than any other English club. Liverpool was the most dominant and most successful team in champions league during 1970s and 1980s. The team was glorified by the Scottish greats like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness. They were the key players in the club’s European success during that time. However, Liverpool won their most memorable victory in the UCL on 25th May, 2005 in Istanbul in a match against AC Milan. It was a heart-throbbing match. AC Milan was ahead of the game by 3-0 at half-time and it seemed tough enough to touch the trophy for the Reds. Then with the help of captain Steven Gerrard, Liverpool staged an almighty comeback to level the game by 3-3 scoring three in just six minutes. The game ended in penalties and Liverpool shocked the world by winning their 5th champions league title.

Key players: Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Steven Gerrard, Roy Evans.

Also read: Top 10 successful managers in English Premier league

               Top 10 highest paid footballers in EPL in 2016

6. AFC Ajax, Netherlands

Titles won: 4 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1995)

AFC Ajax is at no. 6 in our list of top 10 most successful champions league teams. With 33 Eredivisie titles, AFC Ajax is the best Dutch club in Europe. The Dutch are the pioneer of “Total Football”. It was firstly introduced by the legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff. He is considered as the best dutch footballer of all-time.

AFC Ajax reached their apex of success in the early 1970s by winning three consecutive champions league titles from 1971-1973. They paved the way for the future great sides like FC Barcelona and AC Milan with their relentless attacking attitude. Johan Cruyff was the original conductor of Ajax’s unparallel success. However, the Amsterdam side had to wait 22 long years for their 4th European title and became the last homegrown team to win the champions league. Frank De Boer, Ronald De Boer, Edwin Van Der Sar came to join the club through Ajax youth system. Another dutch legend Patrick Kluivert along with his teammates grabbed the decisive winner against Milan in the final of 1995 champions league. Ajax are 4th among the top 10 most successful champions league teams in this list.

Key players: Johan Cruyff, Frank Rijkaard, Johan Neeskens, Patrick Kluivert.

7. Inter Milan, Italy

Titles won: 3 (1964,1965, 2010)

Italian club Inter Milan has spent it’s entire footballing life under the shadow of AC Milan. But, their influence at the European level was never underestimated. The Nerazzurri won two European titles in the mid 60s. Footballers like <a href="https://en generic cialis lilly.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Suárez_(footballer,_born_1935)” target=”_blank”>Luis Suarez, Giancinto Facchetti and Sandro Mazzola contributed their best in Inter Milan’s champions league title.

Inter Milan legends, inter milan squad
Inter Milan legends—-image via: Flickr/dieckmann.kevin

The manager, Helenio Herrera adopted “Catenaccio” formation of 5-3-2, which allowed Inter to bring back wingers as opposed to the defensive minded full backs. The formation ensured Facchetti to become one of the best players at that time.

Then after a long interval, manager Jose Mourinho inspired the Milanese to win their 3rd champions league title in 2010. They defeated Bayern Munich by 2-0 in the final and became one of the top teams in champions league.

Key players: Giacinto Facchetti, Luis Suarez, Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito

8. Manchester United, England

Titles won: 3 (1968, 1999, 2008)

One of the most tragic events in football history took place in 1958 when Munich Air disaster claimed the number of Manchester United players, including the young promising footballer Duncan Edwards. It took years to rebuild the team. Finally they gathered Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law under one tent and started their triumph race in the champions league. In 1968 European league’s final, the red devils defeated Eusebio’s Benfica and lifted the crown for the first time.

Then in 1999, after 30 years, Manchester United got their hand on champions league trophy again. United met Bayern in the final and were a goal down within the first five minutes of the game. After leading the match for more than 85 minutes, Bayern was stunned by two injury time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer respectively. They took ManU to the 2nd  Champions league title. The dramatic win was one of the most memorable events in football history.

Manchester United in 1999 UCL, best team in UCL, champions league football teams
Manchester United in 1999 UCL—-image via: Wikimedia/Seán Murray

Nine years later, in 2008 they beat their domestic rivals Chelsea on penalties and claimed 3rd Champions league title. The club’s success was mostly contributed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently the highest goal scorer in the champions league.

Key players: Boby Charlton, George Best, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Also read: Top 10 most notable Transfers in EPL

               Top 10 fastest footballers in the world

9. FC Porto, Portugal

Titles won: 2 (1987, 2005)

FC Porto is the most successful Portuguese football club. They lifted their 1st champions league trophy in 1987. The Portuguese side’s 2-1 victory came against the German club Bayern Munich. Their next title came in 2005 under the guidance of Jose Mourinho who made Porto a eminent football club.

 In the 2005 champions league final Porto were least favourite than the French side FC Monaco, who were in a good shape throughout the tournament. The Mourinho’s side ran out 3-0 winners against Monaco and claimed their 2nd title. FC Porto stands at no. 9 in our list of top 10 most successful champions league teams.

Key players: Ricardo Carvalho, Deco, Maniche.

Also read: Jose Mourinho’s net income in 2016

              Cristiano Ronaldo net earnings and endorsements 2016

10. Juventus, Italy

Titles won: 2 (1985, 1996)

The Italian Serie a side put an end to dominance of Liverpool in 1985. It was their best team ever, which was consisted of Paolo Rossi, Zbigniew Boniek, Marco Tardelli, and Michel Platini. Giovanni Trapattoni led the Juves to win the final against Liverpool by 1-0, where Platini’s penalty was the winning one. Juventus became the first time in the history to win the champions league, despite being the top in serie A along with AC Milan for decades.

Platini and Maradona in one frame, champions league top scorers, UCL teams
Platini and Maradona in one frame——image via: Wikimedia/Unknown

11 years later, Juventus again came back with new form of energy and met Dutch side AFC Ajax in 1996 final. The juves won on penalties after the match drew by 1-1 in 120 minutes. Alessandro del Piero was the most influential player for the Juves. They also reached the final in 2015 champions league, where they were defeated by the current champion FC Barcelona. Juventus is one of the best clubs in champions league.

Key players: Michel Platini, Alessandro Del Piero, Andre Pirlo.

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