The UEFA Champions League came about as a new version of the European Cup and was played for the first time in the 1992-1993 season. Already established as the most prestigious club tournament in football, Champions League has become even more popular with the introduction of the new tournament set-up. The new concept has a resemblance to the FIFA World Cup with an early phase, including group play followed by a second knockout phase. Champions League have over the years expanded on several occasions to include more teams - the initial 8 teams have become 32 (qualification phases excluded).
All the finals in the history of the Champions League.
|2015-2016||Real Madrid||Atlético Madrid|
|2013-2014||Real Madrid||Atlético Madrid|
|2012-2013||Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund|
|2001-2002||Real Madrid||Bayer Leverkusen|
If the precessor, European Cup, is not counted the Champions League started in 1992. Although, when statistics are presented for Champions League it is common that Champions League and European League are accumulated.
The big change besides the new name was that a group phase was replacing the round-robin format. In the development of the tournament a hybrid-form of group play and round-robin has evolved.
In the first edition (1992-1993) the tournament consisted of 8 teams after a qualification phase. The eight teams were playing in two groups followed by a final between the group winners.
The first season was in total 36 participating in the qualification, since when the numbers has increased.
In the third edition of the Champions League (1994-1995), the tournament expanded to 16 teams (excluding the qualification). The format consisted of a group phase with four groups followed by three knockout stages.
In season 1997-1998 another expansion added more teams and 24 teams (excluding the qualification) participated. A group phase, including six groups was followed by a knockout phase in three stages.
In season 1999-2000 the tournament expanded for the third time and this time to include 32 teams (excluding the qualification). Now the team was divided into eight groups, which followed by a second group stage and finally a knockout stage.
In season 2014-1025, the second group phase was abandoned. Instead, another stage (Round of 16) in the knockout phase was played.
These clubs have won the most titles in the Champions League, the predecessor European Cup excluded.
Most the times runners-up are Juventus (5), Milan (3) and Bayern Munich (3). Manchester United, Valencia and Atlético Madrid have also lost the final more than once.