The UEFA Champions League /juːˈeɪfə ˈtʃæmpiənz ˈliːɡ/, known simply as the Champions League, and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual continental club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football. The final of the 2011 tournament was the most-watched UEFA Champions League final to date, as well as the most watched annual sporting event worldwide that year, drawing 178.7 million television viewers.
Prior to 1992, the tournament was officially called the "European Champion Clubs' Cup", but was usually referred to simply as the "European Cup". The competition was initially a straight knockout competition open only to the champion club of each country. During the 1990s, the tournament began to be expanded, incorporating a round-robin group phase and more teams. Europe's strongest national leagues now provide up to four teams each for the competition. The UEFA Champions League should not be confused with the UEFA Europa League, formerly known as the UEFA Cup.
The tournament consists of several stages. In the present format, it begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams join 22 seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are eight groups of four teams each. The eight group winners and eight runners-up enter the final knockout phase, which culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Real Madrid is the most successful club in the competition's history, having won the tournament nine times, including the first five seasons it was contested. Spanish clubs have accumulated the highest number of victories, with 13 wins. The title has been won by 22 different clubs, 12 of which have won the title more than once. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins, with Milan being the last club to successfully defend their title, in 1990. The reigning champions of the competition are Chelsea, after beating Bayern Munich 4–3 on penalties, following a 1–1 draw after extra time.
Other articles related to "european cup, european, cup":
... first senior meeting in 2001 when she took part in the European Cup in Ried, Austria ... During this event she reached the limits that were needed to participate in the European Junior Championships, but because there were two other Dutch athletes who did the same and who got higher scores ... Also during the European Cup in 2002 as well as the Dutch National Championships in 2003 she managed to make three errors at the long jump ...
1992 1st, European Cup (together with Thierry Bochet) 1st, French Championship 1994 2nd, French Championship 1995 2nd, French Championship 2001 2nd, European Championship team race (together with ...
... The European Cup was an association football competition contested from 1956 to 1992 ... Villalonga Llorente led Real Madrid to success in the inaugural European Cup Final in 1956 and repeated the feat the following season ... has won the tournament on three occasions, leading Liverpool to success in the 1977, 1978 and 1981 European Cup Finals 17 other managers have won the title on two ...
... converted into the Taça de Portugal, the main domestic cup ... They achieved their first double of league and cup in 1956 and repeated it six more times (1988, 1998, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2011) ... Porto first participated in the European competitions in the 1956–57 season, when it competed in the second edition of the European Cup ...
... Competition Round Opposition Home Leg Away Leg Aggregate 1962–63 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup First round Valencia 2-2 2-4 4-6 1963–64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Preliminary round Basel 5-1 5-0 10-1 First round Dinamo ...
Famous quotes containing the words cup and/or european:
“In poorer lands
No one touches the water of life.
It has no taste
And though it refreshes absolutely
It is a cup that must also pass
Gets some advantage....”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)
“God grant we may not have a European war thrust upon us, and for such a stupid reason too, no I dont mean stupid, but to have to go to war on account of tiresome Servia beggars belief.”