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The 12 most successful European Cup teams in history – Liverpool and Man Utd feature


Champions League football is back after the summer hiatus with a host of teams dreaming that they can win Europe’s premier competition this season.

Liverpool are the reigning champions after they beat Tottenham in Madrid on June 1 to claim a sixth European Cup in their history.

A total of 22 clubs have won the competition since its inception in 1955, with Real Madrid holding the record for the most victories, having won the competition 13 times, including the inaugural competition.

They have also won the competition the most consecutive times, from 1956 to 1960, while Juventus have been runners-up the most times, losing seven finals.

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Liverpool won their sixth European Cup last season after beating Tottenham in Madrid

Liverpool’s latest win puts them in outright third as the most successful clubs in Champions League/European Cup history – but who makes it into the top 12 list overall?

Number of European Cup/Champions League wins

Real Madrid – 13

AC Milan – 7

Liverpool – 6

Bayern Munich, Barcelona – 5

Ajax – 4

Inter Milan, Manchester United – 3

Juventus, Benfica, Nottingham Forest, Porto – 2

Chelsea won their only European Cup to date in 2012, beating Bayern Munich in the final
Chelsea won their only European Cup to date in 2012, beating Bayern Munich in the final

Teams that have won the UEFA Champions League three consecutive times, or five times overall, receive a multiple-winner badge.

Six teams have earned this privilege: Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool, and Barcelona.

Until 2009, clubs that had earned that badge were allowed to keep the European Champion Clubs’ Cup and a new one was commissioned.

Since 2009, the winning team each year has received a full-size replica of the trophy, while the original is retained by UEFA.

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Real Madrid are the most successful team in European Cup history, winning the trophy 13 times
Real Madrid are the most successful team in European Cup history, winning the trophy 13 times

There are 10 other clubs that have won the competition once, including three British ones.

Celtic became the first British team to win the European Cup when they beat Inter Milan in 1967, while Aston Villa also won it in 1982.

More recently, Chelsea won the Champions League in 2012 with a penalties victory over Bayern Munich.

Leeds United, Arsenal, and Tottenham are the only other British teams to have appeared in a European Cup final but all lost.



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