Real Madrid, AC Milan lead list of UEFA Champions League winners

Real Madrid’s road to a repeat in the UEFA Champions League will begin in Group F.

The group stage draw for the 2022-23 Champions League campaign was held in Istanbul on Thursday. The event saw the reigning champions from Madrid land in Group F along with Scottish side Celtic, German side RB Leipzig and Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.

Los Blancos took down Liverpool of the English Premier League in the 2022 final to capture their record-extending 14th UCL title. And the Spanish side is considered one of the top favorites to hoist the trophy once again in 2023.

But before Real Madrid begin their pursuit of a 15th European title, here’s a look back at past Champions League winners.

Who has the most Champions League titles?

Not only does Real Madrid own the most UCL titles, but their trophy case features twice the amount of silverware as the next-closest club. Los Blancos won the first five UCL titles from 1956-60 — no other club has ever won more than three straight — and have earned seven since 2000.

AC Milan holds the second-most titles behind Real Madrid with seven. Although it’s been over a decade since the Red and Blacks’ last UCL title win, which came in 2007 against Liverpool.

Speaking of Liverpool, the Reds are tied with Bayern Munich for the third-most trophies at six apiece. Liverpool defeated fellow EPL club Tottenham for the 2018 title, while Bayern Munich have been crowned champions of Europe twice in the last decade (2013, 2020).

FC Barcelona rounds out the top five with five titles. Four of Barcelona’s UCL titles have come since 2006, with the most recent being in 2015 over Italian side Juventus.

Here’s a full look at the all-time UCL/European Cup standings:

Real Madrid: 14

AC Milan: 7

Bayern Munich: 6

Liverpool: 6

Barcelona: 5

Ajax: 4

Inter Milan: 3

Manchester United: 3

Benfica: 2

Chelsea: 2

Juventus: 2

Nottingham Forest: 2

Porto: 2

Aston Villa: 1

Borussia Dortmund: 1

Celtic: 1

Crvena zvezda: 1

FCSB: 1

Feyenoord: 1

Hamburg: 1

Marseille: 1

SOP: 1

When did the first Champions League edition take place?

The Champions League was founded in 1955 as the European Cup. It was rebranded in 1992 as the Champions League.

Who won the first ever Champions League tournament?

The debut European Cup season featured a 16-team tournament, with Real Madrid beating French club Stade de Reims 4-3 in the final. It wasn’t until 1961 that a club other than Real Madrid won the European Cup, nor did Benfica defeat FC Barcelona in the final.

In the inaugural 1992-93 Champions League season, Marseille took down AC Milan in the final to become the first and only French side to win the tournament.

Who has the most Champions League Final appearances?

Real Madrid have reached the Champions League Final a record 17 times, failing to walk away as winners on just three occasions — vs. Benfica in 1962, vs. Inter Milan in 1964 and vs. Liverpool in 1981. AC Milan and Bayern Munich boast the second-most UCL Final appearances with 11 apiece, while Liverpool is the only other team with double-digit trips to the final at 10.

Here are the all-time leaders in UCL Final/European Cup appearances:

Real Madrid: 17

AC Milan: 11

Bayern Munich: 11

Liverpool: 10

Juventus: 9

Barcelona: 8

Benfica: 7

Ajax: 6

Which club holds the most Champions League Final losses?

No club has been the Champions League runner-up more than Juventus, who have lost in seven of their nine UCL Final appearances. Juve have been defeated in their last five UCL Final trips, with their most recent win coming in 1996 via penalties over Ajax.

Bayern Munich and Benfica are tied for the second-most UCL Final losses at five each. Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, owns the record for most UCL Final trips without a title with three.

Here are the clubs with the most Champions League/European Cup Final losses:

Juventus: 7

Bayern Munich: 5

Benfica: 5

AC Milan: 4

Liverpool: 4

Atlético Madrid: 3

Barcelona: 3

Real Madrid: 3

What are the Champions League groups for 2022-23?

Group A

Ajax

Liverpool

Naples

Rangers

Group B

port

Atletico Madrid

Bayer Leverkusen

Club Brugge

Group C

Bayern Munich

Barcelona

Inter Milan

Victoria Plzen

Group D

Eintracht Frankfurt

Tottenham Hotspur

Sporting Lisbon

Marseille

Group E

AC Milan

Chelsea

RB Salzburg

Dinamo Zagreb

Group F

Real Madrid

RB Leipzig

Shakhtar Donetsk

Celtic

Group G

Manchester City

Sevilla

Borussia Dortmund

Copenhagen

Group H

Paris Saint-Germain

Juventus

Benfica

Maccabi Haifa

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