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 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 "league, uefa champions league, uefa":
... with the most titles belongs to Dušan Bajević who won 4 Greek Championships,1 Greek Cup,1 League Cup,1 Super Cup and 1 Mediterranean Games Cup ... Kostas Negrepontis 1940 ... ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Greek League 1 Greek Cup 1 Kostas Negrepontis 1948 ... ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? — Giorgos Daispaggos 1948 1948 ...
... as the Hungarian has had some flaws in a few games, but in the play-offs of the Belgian league he got back to his regular level ... played an important role in qualifying for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League 2011–12 season ... On 13 September 2011 Köteles debuted in the UEFA Champions League against Valencia ...
... the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship qualification match between Hungary and Switzerland on 24 March 2003 ... the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship qualification match between Switzerland and Albania on 26 March 2003 ... the UEFA Cup 2003-04 first round match between Dinamo Zagreb and MTK on 24 September 2003 ...
32 times in European competitions, achieving to qualify to UEFA Champions League group stages for the first time in their history the season 2009–10 ... They participated again in UEFA Champions League group stages the season 2011–12 and achieved qualification for the quarter-finals of the competition ...
... Season League Cup Europe / Other Division P W D L F A Pts Pos 1934–35 1st 15. 3rd RU 1935–36 1st 24. 1st SF 1936–37 1st 12 ...
Famous quotes containing the words league and/or champions:
“Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Forward the Light Brigade!”
—Alfred Tennyson (18091892)
“Did all the lets and bars appear
To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
Youth must its ignorant impulse lend
Age finds place in the rear.
All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:”
—Herman Melville (18191891)