Real Madrid, AC Milan lead list of Champions League all-time winners originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
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.
Not only do Real Madrid own the most UCL titles, but their trophy case features two times 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
Inter Milan: 3
Manchester United: 3
Nottingham Forest: 2
Aston Villa: 1
Borussia Dortmund: 1
Crvena zvezda: 1
The Champions League was founded in 1955 as the European Cup. It rebranded in 1992 as the Champions League.
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, as Benfica defeated 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.
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
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:
Bayern Munich: 5
AC Milan: 4
Atletico Madrid: 3
Real Madrid: 3