UEFA Champions League


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The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious football club competition in Europe and has gained popularity around the whole world, including Iraqi football fans, of course. Today, at Iraq Bet, we will discuss this first-tier football competition.

The Champions League originally was founded in 1955 as the European Cup, it acquired its current name in 1992 and has expanded ever since, adding more clubs to the competition and introducing a group stage.

uefa champions league logo 1
Champions League Logo

Champions League Format

The champions of national leagues are automatically qualified to the Champions League group stage. Some top league like the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga… have 4 teams participating in the Champions League.

The competition consists of 32 teams, although there are plans to expand it to 36 teams in 2023-24 season. These 32 teams compete in a round-robin group stage consisting of 8 groups, including 4 teams each.

The top two teams of each group advance to the knock-out stage or round of 16 whereas teams that have finished 3rd in their group, enter the second-tier European club competition, Europa League.

In the knock-out stage, 16 teams proceed and 2 teams, chosen via a draw, will go head-to-head home and away. The team winning on aggregate will proceed to the quarter-finals.

The final is played once in a pre-determined stadium (before the league even starts) and the winner participates in the FIFA Club World Cup.

UEFA Champions League Prize Money

  • Group Stage Match Victory: €2,800,000
  • Group Stage Match Draw: €900,000
  • Qualification to Round of 16: €9,600,000
  • Qualification to Quarter-finals: €10,600,000
  • Qualification to Semi-finals: €12,500,000
  • Runners-up: €15,500,000
  • Champions: €20,000,000
champions league trophy
Champions League Trophy

Champions League Club Records

ClubCountryTitles WonRunner UpsSeasons Won
Real MadridSpain1431956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022
AC MilanItaly741963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007
Bayern MunichGermany651974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013, 2020
LiverpoolEngland641977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019
BarcelonaSpain531992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015
AjaxNetherlands421971, 1972, 1973, 1995
Manchester UnitedEngland321968, 1999, 2008
Inter MilanItaly221964, 1965, 2010
JuventusItaly271985, 1996
BenficaPortugal251961, 1962
ChelseaEngland212012, 2021
Nottingham ForestEngland201979, 1980
PortoPortugal201987, 2004
Hamburger SVGermany111983
Steaua BucureștiRomania111986
Borussia DortmundGermany111997
Aston VillaEngland101982
PSV EindhovenNetherlands101988
Red Star BelgradeYugoslavia101991
Champions League Club Records

The most successful clubs are Spanish, with Spain holding a total of 19 titles. Second place is England with a total of 14 titles, then comes Italy with a total of 12 titles.

Champions League Player Records

Thousands of players have participated in the Champions League ever since its foundation in 1955, but only few players leave a mark. Let’s take a look below at the top scorers of all time, as well as players with the most Champions League appearances.

Player Apps

RankPlayer NameCountryNumber of AppsYears Active
1Cristiano RonaldoPortugal1832003-Present
2Iker CasillasSpain1771999–2019
3Lionel MessiArgentina1562005–Present
5Raúl GonzálezSpain1421995–2011
6Karim BenzemaFrance1422005–Present
7Ryan GiggsWales1411993–2014
8Thomas MüllerGermany1342009–Present
9Andrés IniestaSpain1302002–2018
10Sergio RamosSpain1292005–Present
UEFA Champions League Player Apps

Top Goal Scorers

RankPlayer NameCountryNumber of GoalsYears Active
1Cristiano RonaldoPortugal1402003-Present
2Lionel MessiArgentina1252005–Present
3Robert LewandowskiPoland862011-Present
4Karim BenzemaFrance862005–Present
5Raúl GonzálezSpain711995–2011
6Ruud van NistelrooyNetherlands561998–2009
7Thomas MüllerGermany522009–Present
8Thierry HenryFrance501997–2012
9Alfredo Di Stéfano (Deceased)Argentina491955–1964
10Andriy ShevchenkoUkraine481994–2012
11Zlatan IbrahimovićSweden482001–Present
UEFA Champions League Top Goal Scorers