The UEFA Champions League as we all currently know it first came to fruition back in 1993, with French club Marseille winning the inaugural iteration of the competition.
But, a Champions League-style competition has been in existence for decades and decades before what we know it as today, with the competition previously being known as the European Cup, or the European Champion Clubs’ Cup. Beginning all the way back in September of 1955 with just 16 teams competing, the competition back then was only open to the champion of each participating country, and was a straight knockout competition.
It carried on in a similar vein over the following years, albeit slowly increasing in terms of the number of teams eligible to participate. But then in the early 90’s, the competition went through a huge shake-up. It was renamed as the UEFA Champions League, and there was somewhat of a format change, seeing the competition’s teams play each other in a proper group stage format first before culminating in a knockout phase and final.
Currently, the famed trophy known affectionately as “Big Ears” has been won by a total of 23 different teams, with 13 of those 23 winning teams having won the title more than once, while a total of just 9 clubs have retained the trophy in consecutive seasons.