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The UEFA Champions League is the most respected football club competition in the world.
Played out between the elite of European football clubs, the Champions League is the premier competition in European football.
Previously known simply as the 'European Cup', the tournament has existed since 1955, and has evolved through a series of format changes into its modern incarnation, the UEFA Champions League.
The early days of the Champions League were dominated by Real Madrid, who won the tournament on each of the first 5 occasion it was played, from 1955 to 1960, including the famous 1960 final, played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, which resulted in a famous 7-3 victory for Real Madrid over Eintracht Frankfurt. The game itself is notable for featuring two out of three players to have scored a hat trick in the champions League final, the legendary Real Madrid forward pairing of Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano.
The next few years were dominated by teams from Portugal, Italy and Spain, until 1967, when Celtic FC became the first British club to win the Champions League. They were soon followed by another British club, Manchester United, who won the tournament in the following year, managed by famous Scottish manager Matt Busby. It would be more than 30 years until the next time Manchester United managed to win the tournament again, managed by another highly regarded Scottish manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 70's heralded a new dawn for the Champions League, and from 1970 to 1981, the tournament was won by only 4 teams. Periods of dominance for Ajax, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Nottingham Forest brought the tournament into the modern era.
Since then, no team has been able to recreate the stranglehold over the tournament which was prevalent in the early days of the Champions League, and the title of Champions of Europe has been spread between a variety of teams from many different leagues. The late 80's and early 90's brought some surprises with them, with surprise victories for teams such as Romania's Steaua Bucharest and Red Star Belgrade from Serbia.
In terms of records, Real Madrid are the most successful team to have played in the Champions League, having won no fewer than 9 Champions League titles, closely followed by AC Milan with 7 Champions League final victories under their belt. It is also a former Real Madrid player who holds the record for the total number of goals scored in the Champions League, held by Raul, who managed to score a total of 70 goals in the Champions League.
The UEFA Champions League continues to grow in strength, attracting interest from all corners of the globe, and with UEFA looking to strengthen the competition even further in the forthcoming years, the future of the UEFA Champions League looks brighter than ever.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Saturday, May 25, 2013
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