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Who are the kings of the Champions League?
With the 30th
edition of the Champions League season well under way, and with fans watching with anticipation as the best teams in Europe battle it out on the road to Munich, we’ve got a list of some of the biggest and best records in the Champions League.
It’s important to note that the records in this list will include records set in both the Champions League and the European Cup.
Champions League titles
The Champions League has been won by a total of 22 clubs from all over Europe. Real Madrid are miles ahead of all other teams with no less than 13 Champions League wins to their name, followed by AC Milan with 7 titles and Liverpool and Bayern Munich with six Champions League wins a piece.
Interestingly enough, there are some obscure teams who have won the Champions League in the past. Teams like Nottingham Forest who won back-to-back titles, Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade, and Romanian outfit FCSB.
Despite only having two teams that have managed to lift their Champions League trophy, clubs from Spain have won the tournament the most times with 18 titles between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
England are in a close second with 14 titles between 5 clubs, followed by Italy with 12 between 3 clubs, and Germany with a total of 8 Champions League wins.
Real Madrid on top of Europe
Not only have Los Blancos fought their way to the most titles, but they are also top of just about every other ranking in the competition.
Most appearances? Real Madrid with 47; Most matches? Real Madrid with 454; Most wins? Real Madrid, again, with 270, Most defeats? Los Blancos take that one too with 105; Most goals scored? Real Madrid’s 999 goals would like a word.
Most red cards? Surprisingly, not a Real Madrid record. Juventus owns that record with a total of 28 sending offs so far.
The final is no place for heroes
There have been more than 170 goals scored in Champions League finals (not including penalty shootouts), but surprisingly, there has never been a hat-trick scored in any finals.
The competition itself, however, has seen more than 138 hat-tricks scored, the fastest of which was scored by Lyon’s Bafétimbi Gomis in 2011. It took Gomis just 8 minutes to find the back of the net three times.
Cristiano Ronaldo pretty much owns the tournament
Okay, not literally, but Ronaldo has dominated the Champions League tournament since he made his debut in 2002.
Ronaldo currently holds the record for most goals (138), most matches (183), most assists (42), and most penalties scored (19).
There’s no doubt that we’ve been treated to a golden generation of players including Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappé, Neymar and Lewandowski, but if the stats are anything to go by, Ronaldo might just be the best player the Champions League will ever see.
Literally hours of entertainment
Iker Casillas holds the record for the most number of minutes played in the Champions League with 16,267 total minutes played. That translates to just over 271 hours of uninterrupted football, or, 11 consecutive days.
Three’s a crowd
Liverpool’s Bob Paisley was the first manager to win the Champions League three times (1977, 1978, 1981), it took a while for another coach to complete the same feat but in 2014 AC Milan’s Carlo Ancelotti secured his third to go along with his wins in 2003 and 2007.
Of course one of the greatest players the world has ever seen, Zinedine Zidane, would go on to become one of the best managers in the world. It didn’t take him long to prove it and he joined Paisley and Ancelotti as one of three coaches to have won the Champions League three times (2016, 2017, 2018).
Love it or hate it, there’s no doubt that the Champions League is arguably one of the most exciting football tournaments in the world. With world class players like Ronaldo and Messi turning out for the world’s best teams, there’s a good chance we could see more of these records being set and, hopefully, broken by future wonderkids.
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