UEFA Champions League Records and Stats

UEFA Champions League Records and Stats

Santiago Bernabeu founded the Champions Cup in 1955. He proposed an annual competition for Europe’s top teams. The tournament was immediately very successful, especially in countries such as Spain, Italy, and France, and in a short time it became the main competition for clubs. Called the UEFA Champions League in 1992, it is today a cup rich in history and symbolism in which all the best players in the world compete. So many curiosities, records, and statistics developed in these decades: from the most successful player to the match with the highest number of cards, from the city that hosted the most finals to the team with the best victory. These are the most interesting records of the current Champions League.

Team with the most Champions League wins: 13 for Real Madrid

Real Madrid, with 13 Champions League titles, reigns supreme. In 1955, Bernabeu presented Europe’s best team for the first time. Los Blancos won the first five Champions Cups under Di Stefano-Puskas. In all five tournaments, they defeated Fiorentina and Milan twice. Los Blancos will no longer win the European Cup after captain Sanchis holds the big-eared cup in the disputed 1998 final against Juventus.Bayer Leverkusen lost to the Galacticos in 2002 after a comfortable win over Valencia in 2000. Real Madrid won its tenth in 2014 after beating Atletico Madrid in extra time in Lisbon under Carlo Ancelotti. Two years later, with Zidane on the bench, Los Blancos defeated the Colchoneros again on penalties at the San Siro. Juventus and Liverpool, both dominated by Cristiano Ronaldo, followed.

Spain has the most Champions League victories.

The most successful nation in Champions League history is Spain, with 18 victories. A great contribution is obviously offered by Real Madrid, which has 13 trophies. Barcelona has won the remaining five finals, while Atletico Madrid and Valencia have lost three and two finals, respectively. Then there’s England, which has 13, led by the legendary Liverpool. The Reds, champions in 2018-19, have won on 6 occasions. In third place is Italy, which boasts 12 titles. Milan, which has raised 7: the others are from Inter (3) and Juventus (2). No victory for Fiorentina, Roma, and Sampdoria, who only had one chance and wasted it. Germany follows with 7 titles: 5 belong to Bayern Munich, followed by Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund. Ajax’s 4 victories—3 with the great Cruijff—bring the Netherlands to 6. France, on the other hand, is bad at club level, boasting only one success: the honor goes entirely to Marseille, who, led by the amazing trident Voller-Boksic-Pelé, beat Milan in Munich in 1993.

Player with most Champions League appearances: 181 for Casillas,

The Champions League leader is Iker Casillas, who hung up his gloves at the end of the 2018-19 season. The Spanish goalkeeper has totaled 177 games in the Champions League finals, which becomes 181 if the preliminaries are also considered. Born and raised in Real Madrid, the youngster was “forced” to leave in 2015 in search of a starting spot, and he has since made 27 appearances for Porto. Behind him is his former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo. Between Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, there have been 180 appearances for the Portuguese phenomenon. However, the number 7 is still in business and will soon become its record holder. Xavi, the midfielder and leader of Barcelona, closes the podium. The Spaniard counts 151 races—157 with preliminary races—in the first competition in Europe. The ranking is obviously full of great champions, including Maldini—with 139 total games, all of course in the Milan shirt—and Buffon, stuck at 132 between Parma, Juventus, and PSG. Just as the share of the number 1 could rise further, the same thing will certainly happen to the statistics of Messi, the last player still active in the top 10: The Barcelona phenomenon has 149 appearances in the Champions League.

Most successful player and coach in the Champions League: 6 cups for Gento

The most successful player in the history of the Champions League is Francisco Gento, who lifted the trophy on 6 occasions with Real Madrid in the 1950s and 1960s. Behind him, many Spaniards count 5 trophies. Together with them were also Costacurta and Maldini, all obviously with Milan. Cristiano Ronaldo also has five victories, the first with Manchester United and then four with Los Blancos. As for the coaches, however, there are three of them who are the most successful ever. Joining Bob Paisley—who raised 3 with Liverpool in the late 1970s and early 1980s—are also Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane. The Italian coach won two with Milan and then one—the famous tenth—with Real Madrid. All with Los Blancos instead of the French coach. Finally, still at 2, there are true masters of football such as Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola, Sacchi, and Clough.

The youngest and oldest player in the Champions League

The youngest player to play in a Champions League match is Anderlecht defender Celestine Babayaro in the 1-1 draw against Steaua Bucharest on November 24, 1994. The boy was just 16 years and 87 days old. However, the youngest to score was Olympiakos’ Peter Ofori-Quaye, who scored his only goal in a 5-1 defeat against Rosenborg on October 1, 1997; he was 17 years and 195 days old. Immediately after him, with just 20 more days on his identity card, there is the better-known Mateo Kovacic, who in 2011 scored the flag goal for his Dinamo Zagreb in the 1-7 draw against Lyon. On the other hand, the oldest player to play in a Champions League match is Marco Ballotta, the Lazio goalkeeper who took the field in the Bernabeu defeat against Real Madrid in 2007, aged 43 years and 253 days. The oldest player to score is Manfred Burgsmüller of Werder Bremen, who scored against Dinamo Berlin on October 11, 1988, when he was 38 years and 293 days old.