The UEFA Champions League is an annual football championship tournament contested by the top football clubs from the European Countries. It is managed and organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and hence this tournament is also called as UEFA Champions League. It is widely perceived as the most prestigious championship tournament in the world. The final match of the UEFA Champions League for the 2012-2013 year was viewed by the 360 million people across the globe thus making it the most watched annual tournament in this history of sports.
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League was introduced in 1992 as it replaced European Club which had been run since 1955 and hence replaced bt UEFA in 1992. However, the 1992 UEFA champions league was a knockout competition that includes only the the champion football club from each European Country but later on in 1990s, the League expanded and included the runner-up teams from the top national football leagues.
At that time, only the champion of the National football league were allowed the enter the competition but now, the top four football clubs of each country participates in the UEFA Champions League. However, the UEFA Champions League is now expected to include the top five teams from each national league from onwards the 2015-2016 session.
The football clubs that finish next to the top clubs of the national football league are however not allowed to enter the UEFA Champions League but they may be eligible to enter the UEFA Europa League.
EUFA Champions League Knockout Rounds
Each year, the competition of UEFA Champions League begin in mid July with a play-off and three knockout rounds. The 10 surviving football clubs joined the league with the other 22 clubs that have already joined the league. All the 32 football clubs are divided into 8 groups with 4 teams in each group. The winners and runners-up of the 8 groups proceed to the knockout stage. However, the UEFA Champions League ends in May of every year. The Champions League winner qualifies for the Fifa Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup respectively.
11 Time UEFA Champions
The La Liga club, Real Madrid were crowned champions of the UEFA Champions League for 11 times. The Spanish football clubs have won the most titles for about 16 times. However, 12 league titles were won by the clubs of both Italy and England. A total of 22 different clubs were able to won the Champions League with 12 clubs winning more than once. As the name and structure of the tournament had changed in 1992, no football club was able to win the league for consecutive times. Milan was the only football club that successfully defend the title in 1989-90. The ruling Champions of the UEFA Champions League were Real Madrid who won their eleventh title after defeating Atletico Madrid on Penalties following the 1-1 draw in the final match of 2016.
Number of Clubs that will join
The UEFA Champions League Tournament starts with a total number of 32 football clubs divided into 8 groups. Each team is suppose to play at its own home ground and once on their opponent’s home ground. The winning team and the runner up from each group progress to the next level round.. However, the team placed at third position joins the UEFA Europa League. The winning clubs from the each group faces the runner up from the other group. The tournament operates through the away goals rule. If the two football matches ended up with same aggregate then the team who scored more away goals advances. The group stage begins in September each year and the knockout round begins in February.