UEFA Champions League Winners List: Counting The Stars

UEFA Champions League Winners Football

UEFA Champions League has witnessed breathtaking moments and displays of absolute brilliance in football that continue to amaze the world. Since its inception, this league continues to offer an unmatched platform for top clubs to showcase their talent and add glory to their names.

Europe’s elite clubs dream of being crowned winners, and that is what makes this competition one of the most prestigious in the world. The champions list includes some of the most iconic clubs in history, with each victory carving a new history for the game.

The intensity and drama that unfold in each match are what sets UEFA Champions League apart from other footballing events. This competition has created a platform for players to showcase individual brilliance and team dominance.


Season Winner Runner-up Score Venue
2010–11 Barcelona Manchester United 3–1 Wembley Stadium, London
2011–12 Chelsea Bayern Munich 1–1 (4–3 pens) Allianz Arena, Munich
2012–13 Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund 2–1 Wembley Stadium, London
2013–14 Real Madrid Atlético Madrid 4–1 (a.e.t.) Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
2014–15 Barcelona Juventus 3–1 Olympiastadion, Berlin
2015–16 Real Madrid Atlético Madrid 1–1 (5–3 pens) San Siro, Milan
2016–17 Real Madrid Juventus 4–1 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2017–18 Real Madrid Liverpool 3–1 NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev
2018–19 Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
2019–20 Bayern Munich Paris Saint-Germain 1–0 Estádio da Luz, Lisbon
2020–21 Chelsea Manchester City 1–0 Estádio do Dragão, Porto
2021–22 Liverpool Chelsea 3–2 (a.e.t.) Gazprom Arena, Saint Petersburg
2022–23 Manchester City Bayern Munich 2–1 Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul

From the group stage to the dramatic knockout rounds, the league’s format adds excitement to every moment. The league has a unique way of bringing together the best clubs across Europe and offering a showcase of the most creative and competitive football in the world.

Apart from the thrilling matches and incredible talent on display, the league offers an unmatched experience that extends to fans worldwide. Any football fan, regardless of their loyalties, would not want to miss out on the UEFA Champions League experience.

With access to some of the most iconic football grounds and players across the continent, the league brings together the most elite footballing moments.

For those yet to experience this excitement, they are missing out on some of the most thrilling moments in footballing history. UEFA Champions League promises an encapsulating experience that stirs emotions and makes every moment worth remembering.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of this incredible journey that continues to create new histories and stories of triumph.


History of the UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious football competitions in the world. The tournament was initially named the European Cup and later changed to the current name in 1992. As I explore the history of the tournament, I’m fascinated by the changes made to the eligibility criteria for participating clubs over the years.

It’s interesting to note how these changes have shaped the competition and influenced club participation.

While we’re discussing influential clubs, the rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona, two of the most successful clubs in the history of the competition, has been a significant part of this narrative.

Another aspect of the tournament’s history that caught my attention is the introduction of the multiple-winner badge, which recognizes clubs that have won the competition more than five times.

As I dive deeper into the history of the UEFA Champions League, I continue to discover exciting facts and events that have contributed to the competition’s rich legacy.

Speaking of prestigious competitions, it’s worth noting the parallel journey of the Premier League, another highly esteemed tournament, and the clubs that have triumphed there the most.

Name change from European Cup

The competition was originally named European Cup until it was renamed as UEFA Champions League in 1992. The change in name coincided with a new format and increase in the number of competing teams. The purpose of the change was to broaden the appeal of the tournament, attract more diverse audiences, and generate greater interest and revenue.

The renaming also sought to emphasize that the competition is not restricted to elite clubs but is open to all champions across Europe who meet certain eligibility criteria.

After the name change from European Cup to UEFA Champions League, several modifications were made to the eligibility criteria for participating clubs. The first significant change was an expansion of the field from 32 teams to 36, followed by another expansion to 48 teams since 2004.

To ensure diversity in representation, multiple spots are reserved for different countries depending on their coefficient ranking in European competitions. The winners of domestic leagues get automatic qualification while others have to qualify through playoffs.

Eligibility criteria for participating clubs

To participate in the UEFA Champions League, certain criteria must be fulfilled by the clubs. These rules and regulations are put in place to maintain the fair play and ensure the quality of the tournament.

  • Clubs must qualify for their national leagues to be eligible for participation.
  • A maximum of five teams from a single country can enter the Champions League, and they are determined based on their ranking system.
  • The defending champions are automatically qualified for the next season.
  • Only clubs that meet financial fair play requirements that aim to keep European football sustainable will be allowed into UEFA competitions.


In addition to these rules, there are other provisions for clubs representing different countries or regions.

The eligibility criteria for participating clubs provide an equal opportunity to all teams regardless of their country or reputation. It also ensures healthy competition among them with proper guidelines on how they can qualify for the tournament.

Clubs need to comply with these regulations to compete in arguably Europe’s most prestigious club competition. Following these guidelines is essential as it guarantees transparency and fairness in this widely watched contest.

To increase sustainability and protect competitive balance, suggestions such as additional financial restraints or new qualifying pathways could be recommended and employed by UEFA, which only further enhances eligibility criteria for participating clubs’ objective of maintaining a top level of competition where everyone has an equal chance of winning.

Changes in rules for entry of clubs

Eligibility criteria for participating clubs

The eligibility criteria for clubs participating in UEFA Champions League have undergone significant changes over the years. These changes in rules for entry of clubs have helped to promote fairness and equality in the competition.

Initially, only domestic champions were allowed to participate and the tournament was known as the European Cup. However, in 1992, it was rebranded as the Champions League and participating teams were allowed based on their performance in their respective national leagues. In 1997, the rule was further relaxed to include runner-ups from top-ranked countries.

More recently, four extra spots have been created exclusively for playoff winners from smaller countries who do not meet the criteria for direct qualification.

Each year, there are unique details to how clubs qualify for participation that are influenced by their previous performance records, latest rankings or changes made prior by UEFA. These modifications could also enable other talented teams with less exposure chances to compete against experienced opponents; thereby improving overall competitiveness.

Multiple-winner badge

The recognition of clubs that have won multiple UEFA Champions League trophies is achieved through a special symbol known as the “badge of honour.” This acknowledgement is given to any club who has won this elite tournament at least five times in their history.

The badge includes an image of the trophy with the number of wins displayed beneath it, and it is worn on the player’s jersey during Champions League matches.

  • The ‘Badge of Honour’ recognizes teams that have accumulated 5 or more titles.
  • It includes an image of the trophy with the number of wins displayed under it.
  • The badge is worn by players on their jerseys during matches.
  • The first club to earn this honor was Real Madrid in 2000, after winning their eighth European Cup title.
  • Los Blancos are also currently the most successful club in European football, having won the tournament a record 13 times since its inception in 1955.
  • AC Milan and Liverpool FC are tied for second place in terms of most Champions League titles, having each won it five times throughout their respective histories.

Additionally, some clubs have been awarded unique badges to commemorate specific milestones or achievements within their Champions League history. For example, FC Barcelona was awarded a special badge after winning three consecutive Champions League titles from 2009-2011, becoming the only team to ever achieve this feat.

List of UEFA Champions League winners

As a football fanatic, I have always been interested to know about the history of the UEFA Champions League Winners. In this piece, I’ll be sharing a comprehensive list of the UEFA Champions League winners and runners-up over the years. We’ll be breaking it down season-wise to give you a better perspective on how teams have fared throughout the years.

To add to that, we’ll also be sharing the details of the matches that had to go into extra time or penalty shootouts, so you can relive the nail-biting moments of some of the most memorable matches in football history.

Season-wise list of winners and runners-up

This section highlights the historical season-wise list of winners and runners-up of the prestigious UEFA Champions League. The list includes details of clubs that have progressed to the knock-out stages and further achieved victory or defeat in the final match.

Below is a table of all season-wise winners and runners-up, along with their respective nationalities, goals scored, and margin:

Season Winner Runner-up Nationality (winner) Nationality (runner-up) Goals (winner) Goals (runner-up) Margin
2000-01 Bayern Munich Valencia Germany Spain 1 1 0

Unique details include the margin column, which states the difference in goals between the winner and runner-up teams. It is important to note that the margin changes annually and can range from one goal to several.

Details of matches that went into extra time or penalty shoot-out

Matches that continued into extra time or penalty shoot-outs are of great interest to football enthusiasts and fans. These matches are often the most intense, and the results can be unpredictable. The UEFA Champions League has had several such matches throughout its history, with many memorable moments.

The details of these matches provide fascinating insights into the strategies and performances of the competing teams. Some matches were decided within minutes of going into extra time, while others lasted until the last minute of added time.

Similarly, some penalty shoot-outs were one-sided affairs, while others went down to the wire. All these details add to the drama of these crucial moments in football history.

One such memorable match was the 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan. After a poor first half from Liverpool, they made an incredible comeback in the second half to level at 3-3 by full time. In extra time, neither team could score, leading to a penalty shoot-out that Liverpool won spectacularly 3-2.

Knowing all these exciting details about extra time and penalty shoot-outs adds more context and meaning to our appreciation of UEFA Champions League matches. With every iteration of this tournament comes new opportunities for unexpected twists and turns that keep us on edge as fans and spectators.

Performances of clubs in UEFA Champions League

Performances of clubs in UEFA Champions League - football

As a football enthusiast, the UEFA Champions League has always been a tournament that fascinates me. The performances of clubs in the tournament create an atmosphere of excitement and tension that is unmatched by any other competition. Looking back at the past years, there have been some clubs that have dominated the tournament and others that have faced heartbreak despite repeated attempts.

In this section, I will be sharing some interesting statistics about the performances of clubs in the UEFA Champions League. We’ll dive into which clubs are considered the most successful in the tournament in terms of wins, consecutive wins, and the clubs that have been runners-up the most number of times.

We’ll also look at some clubs that despite reaching the final, have never lifted the coveted trophy.

Most successful clubs in terms of wins and consecutive wins

The clubs that have achieved the greatest success in terms of wins and consecutive victories are shown below. The Real Madrid Club de Fútbol holds the top position with 13 wins and an all-time record of five consecutive victories.

Italian Serie A team AC Milan, with seven trophies, has won the trophy second-most amount of times. During a period from 1971 to 1984, Liverpool FC managed to win four of their five championships consecutively.

Club Name Number of Wins Consecutive Wins
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol 13 5
AC Milan 7 N/A
Liverpool FC 6 5 out of 9 (1971-1984)

The first assignment for determining the most successful clubs in terms of wins and consecutive victories was withdrawn due to Fifa’s reluctance towards the idea. However, UEFA initiated this concept later on in its European rankings system to acknowledge successful clubs.

A fun fact: Bayern Munich’s current manager, Hansi Flick, played seven games for Germany at Euro ’88 but did not appear in any FIFA World Cup match during his playing career.

Being a bridesmaid is tough, just ask the clubs that have been runners-up the most in the UEFA Champions League.

Clubs that have been runners-up the most number of times

One interesting facet of UEFA Champions League history is the performance of clubs that have been runners-up the most number of times. Below is a table showcasing the who’s who of these clubs with corresponding details.

Clubs Number of Runner-up Finishes
Juventus 7
Benfica 5
Atlético Madrid 3
Valencia 2
Stade de Reims 2
Fiorentina 1
Eintracht Frankfurt 1
Partizan Belgrade 1

Beyond these statistics, it is noteworthy to mention that Juventus leads this list by a significant margin. This highlights their consistent presence in the final stages throughout tournament history and raises a question if they will be able to break this curse and finally lift the coveted trophy once again.

Clubs that have never won the trophy despite reaching the final

Several Clubs have made it to the final of the UEFA Champions League but unfortunately have been unable to lay their hands on the trophy, despite their efforts and determination.

  • One of the Clubs that have never won the trophy despite reaching the final is S.L. Benfica from Portugal. They made it to six finals between 1961 and 1968 but were unsuccessful in winning any of them.
  • The second Club on this unfortunate list is A.S. Monaco F.C., who reached the finals in 2004 but lost to F.C. Porto by three goals to nil.
  • Juventus F.C has reached a staggering nine finals in total, making them one of Europe’s most successful Clubs nevertheless, they famously remain without a win since their last success in 1996.
  • Valencia C.F has lost all four finals they have participated in (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2019), making them another side with no success so far.
  • Finally, Atlético Madrid was continually stuck finishing runners-up for a record-breaking three times (1974, 2014 and 2016) before winning it at their third attempt

Furthermore, several Teams Have been on this unfortunate list sans victory due to various circumstances encompassing teamwork shortcomings or meeting superior oppositions.

Interestingly enough, these clubs’ primary goal is to make significant improvements over time or maintain consistency so that they enjoy an opportunity presented by competing at topmost levels.

Performances of nations in UEFA Champions League

Performances of nations in UEFA Champions League

Growing up, I was always fascinated by the level of competition and prestige that the UEFA Champions League carries. One interesting aspect that often gets overlooked is the performance of nations in the tournament. It’s incredible to see how different countries have fared over time in the biggest club competition in Europe.

When looking at the list of nations that have had clubs reach the final, there are a few surprises here and there. To add another layer to this, it’s also fascinating to see the number of wins and runners-up finishes for each nation. Let’s break down how nations have performed in the UEFA Champions League.

List of nations that have had clubs reach the final

List of nations that have had clubs reach the final

Countries that have had clubs compete in the UEFA Champions League final include Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands, France, and Scotland.

  • Italy: AC Milan 13 times (won 7), Juventus 9 times (won twice), Inter Milan reached the final twice (won once).
  • Spain: Real Madrid has won an unprecedented 13 titles in 16 finals.
  • England: Liverpool holds six titles followed by Manchester United who have three.
  • Germany: Bayern Munich holds six European Cup trophies with Borussia Dortmund winning it on one occasion
  • Portugal: Benfica played eight finals but won only two and Port won once out of two appearances.
  • Netherlands: Ajax Amsterdam won four-times and Feyenoord Rotterdam won once. PSV reached the final twice but been unlucky to never clinch a trophy.

Other countries whose clubs have featured in this elite European competition’s Final include France where Marseille are the only team to win it while Scotland has Celtic and Rangers who’ve both lifted this trophy once.

It is pertinent to note that many of Europe’s traditional superpowers are well represented on this list due to their proud heritage steeped in football tradition.

Number of wins and runners-up finishes for each nation

The UEFA Champions League has seen clubs from various nations participate in the tournament, with some nations showing supremacy over the others. Here is a detailed list of the number of wins and runners-up finishes for each nation.

Nation Number of Wins Number of Runners-up Finishes
Spain 18 11
England 13 9
Italy 9 5 4 3 2

Champions League have been elusive to many clubs despite reaching the finals several times. For instance, FC Barcelona has lifted the trophy on five different occasions, but they have also finished as runners-up five times in their history.

PSG has lost two finals so far, while Atletico Madrid has come out as second-best in local derbies against Real Madrid twice. These instances show how close one can come to winning and losing the tournament.

Get ready for a whole lot of football-related trivia with this list of UEFA Cup and Europa League finals, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup finals, UEFA Super Cup matches, UEFA Europa Conference League finals, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners, and Women’s Champions League finals.

Related articles

As I was researching about the UEFA Champions League, I came across some fascinating information about related articles that will definitely interest any soccer enthusiast.

One of the articles that caught my attention was a comprehensive list of UEFA Champions League-winning managers. Over the years, I was blown away by the incredible managerial talent showcased in this list.

Another article listed the UEFA Cup and Europa League finals, which was a nostalgic trip down memory lane for me as I reminisced about some of the best matches in history.

Additionally, there are lists that cover the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup finals, UEFA Super Cup matches, UEFA Europa Conference League finals, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners, and UEFA Women’s Cup and Women’s Champions League finals. These related articles are a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about European soccer history.

List of UEFA Champions League winning managers

This segment delves into individuals who have won the UEFA Champions League as managers. It highlights the coaches who have led their teams to victory and includes details about their respective winning seasons.

  • The list of UEFA Champions League winning managers features well-known coaches who have led their teams to victory in Europe’s premier club competition.
  • Jupp Heynckes tops the list with three triumphs while Carlo Ancelotti, Bob Paisley, Zinedine Zidane and Jose Mourinho are among those with two victories each.
  • Other winners include Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex Ferguson, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Vicente del Bosque, and Arrigo Sacchi among others.
  • Their winning years span from 1956 to present day reflecting the evolution of football over time.
  • Notable wins include Bayern Munich’s Jupp Heynckes leading his team to victory over Borussia Dortmund in 2013 while Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane claimed his second title win after defeating Liverpool in 2018.

UEFA Champions League-winning managers form a crucial part of football history and have played instrumental roles in shaping clubs’ successes across various eras.

List of UEFA Cup and Europa League finals

The article presents a comprehensive list of UEFA Cup and Europa League finals, with season-wise details of the winners and runners-up. The table below gives a summary of each final, including the teams that played, the scoreline, and the venue where the match was held.

Season Winners Runners-up Scoreline Venue
2020-21 Villarreal Manchester United 1-1 (11-10 on penalties) Gdańsk, Poland
2019-20 Sevilla Congratulations to these players! Victors really did it in style!

The finals have involved several exciting matches that went into extra time or were decided by penalty shoot-outs. Notably, over the years, there have been instances when teams from the same country faced each other in the finals. For instance, in 2018-19, Chelsea and Arsenal contested for the trophy in an all-English final held in Baku.

Interestingly, during the 1999-2000 season of UEFA Cup (now Europa League), Galatasaray emerged victorious against Arsenal after a dramatic penalty shoot-out that saw both teams finishing tied at four goals each after extra time.

The match remains one of the most memorable finals in the history of UEFA Cup and Europa League. The UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup may be gone, but its memories live on in this list of thrilling finals.

List of UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup finals

This section presents a concise and factual summary of the “List of UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup finals.” It features a detailed table that showcases relevant columns of information on the event. The information therein spans the edition, date, venue, winner and runners-up, agg score, and attendance for each final.

Notably, this list comprises all past Cup Winners’ Cup finals from its inception in 1960 to its eventual disbandment in 1999.

The competition pitted the cup winners of domestic competitions across Europe against one another in a bid to determine who among them was the continent’s best club side.

List of UEFA Super Cup matches

List of UEFA Super Cup matches

The UEFA Super Cup is an annual football match played between the winners of the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League. It serves as a curtain-raiser for the European club football season.

  • The first UEFA Super Cup match was played in 1972, with Ajax defeating Glasgow Rangers.
  • Since its inception, the competition has undergone several changes in format, including a one-legged final and a two-legged final played on neutral ground.
  • The most successful club in terms of UEFA Super Cup wins is Barcelona with five titles, followed closely by AC Milan with four.
  • The latest edition of the competition was won by Chelsea who defeated Villarreal 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
  • The upcoming 2021 edition of the competition will see Chelsea face off against Europa League winners Villarreal again.

Notably, The UEFA Super Cup is regarded as one of the most prestigious club football competitions in Europe and attracts high calibre players from around the world.

If you’re keen to stay updated on all things football, ensuring your knowledge includes comprehensive insight into list of UEFA Super Cup matches could be critical for improving your understanding and appreciation for one of Europe’s top-tier club football competitions.

List of UEFA Europa Conference League finals

A comprehensive and informative list of the finals played in UEFA’s newest club competition – the Europa Conference League is presented below.

Season Winners Runners-up Result
2021-22 TBD TBD TBD

The Europa Conference League was introduced by UEFA in the 2021-22 season featuring teams who did not qualify for either the Champions League or the Europa League. The winner earns a spot in the following season’s Europa League.

List of UEFA Intertoto Cup winners

The information below outlines the winning teams in UEFA competition and focuses on a semantic NLP variation of the heading: “List of UEFA Intertoto Cup Winners”.

  • This secondary European football cup was created to provide clubs who did not qualify for the main competitions with a chance to participate.
  • Winners of this tournament were decided based on a series of matches during July and August of each year.
  • The competition was disbanded in 2008, with the final winner being French club, Bordeaux.
  • A total of 11 clubs won this competition throughout its existence, with German team Hamburg and Danish side Odense claiming it twice.
  • The other teams to win this cup include Lyon, Schalke 04, Villarreal, West Ham United, Aston Villa, Fulham FC, Sigma Olomouc and Toulouse FC.

Overall, UEFA Intertoto Cup provided an opportunity for smaller football clubs to participate in international competitions. Unfortunately, due to changes in the format of these tournaments and new qualifying regulations and criteria constantly evolving, there is no certainty regarding programs like these moving forward.

List of UEFA Women’s Cup and Women’s Champions League finals

The UEFA Women’s Cup and Women’s Champions League finals winners’ list showcases the champions of every season since the inception of the tournament. The table below displays teams that have won the tournament, alongside scores in each match.

Season Winners Score Runners-up
2001 Frankfurt 2–0 Umeå
2002 Umeå 3–1 Frankfurt
2003 Umeå 4–1 Fortuna Hjørring
2004 Umeå aet, 1–0 Frankfurt
2005 Turbine Potsdam aet, 6–2 Djurgården
2006 Frankfurt aet, 3–2 Arsenal
2007 Arsenal aet, 1–0 Umeå
2008 Duisburg –– ––

In addition to this information, it is worth noting that the most successful team in this league is Olympique Lyonnais Féminin with seven titles. No other team has come close to matching this record on the women’s side.

Five Facts:

  • ✅ The UEFA Champions League was established in 1955 and was previously known as the European Cup. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The competition is open to league champions of all UEFA member associations (except Liechtenstein) and clubs finishing from second to fourth position in the strongest leagues. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competition, having won it 14 times. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Six teams have won the competition three consecutive times or five times overall, earning a multiple-winner badge, including Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool, and Barcelona. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The current champions, as of the 2024 season, are Manchester City, who won their first title by beating Inter Milan 1-0 in the final. (Source: Team Research)


What is the UEFA Champions League and who can participate in it?

The UEFA Champions League is a seasonal football competition established in 1955, and prior to the 1992–93 season, it was named the European Cup. The league champions of all UEFA member associations (except Liechtenstein, which has no league competition), as well as the clubs finishing from second to fourth position in the strongest leagues, are eligible to participate.

How many teams can participate in the UEFA Champions League and who are the current champions?

A total of 32 teams can participate in the UEFA Champions League, and the current champions are Manchester City, who won their first title in the 2024 final.

Who are the most successful clubs in UEFA Champions League history?

Real Madrid hold the record for the most victories, having won the competition fourteen times, including the inaugural edition. They have also won the competition the most consecutive times, with five straight titles from 1956 to 1960. Six teams have won the competition at least three times consecutively or five times overall, including Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool and Barcelona.

Which nations have produced the most UEFA Champions League winners?

Spain has provided the most champions, with nineteen wins from two clubs, followed by England with fifteen wins from a record six clubs, and Italy with twelve wins from three clubs. Other nations that have produced winners include Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, France, Romania, Scotland, and Yugoslavia, while Belgium and Greece have had one runner-up each.

What is the history of UEFA Champions League winners badge and trophy?

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

What are some other important UEFA football competitions?

Other important UEFA football competitions include the UEFA Cup and Europa League, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup matches, UEFA Europa Conference League, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners, UEFA Women’s Cup, and Women’s Champions League.

How has the UEFA Champions League evolved over the years, and have there been any major incidents?

Originally, only the champions of their respective national league and the defending champions of the competition were allowed to participate. However, this changed in 1997 to allow the runners-up of the stronger leagues to compete, and again in 1999 when third and fourth-placed teams of the said leagues also became eligible.

The defending champions of the competition did not automatically qualify until the rules were changed in 2005 to allow title holders Liverpool to enter the competition. English teams were banned from the competition for five years following the Heysel disaster in 1985. In recent times, some finals have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some being moved from their original venues and played behind closed doors or with limited capacity.

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