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May 23, 2014 7:17 pm
If Real Madrid beat city rivals Atlético in tonight’s final, they will become the first club to be crowned 10-time winners of European football’s biggest honour. Piero Bohoslawec offers an at-a-glance guide to the Champions League and its previous incarnation, the European Cup.
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Most consecutive wins by a country: 6
Between 1977 and 1982, English teams dominated the European Cup with successive victories. Liverpool won three times; Nottingham Forest twice; and an Aston Villa victory completed the longest winning streak of any single country. Overall, English sides have won the tournament 12 times, as have the Italians, while Spain comes out on top with a record 13 titles.
Most consecutive wins by a club: 5
The first winners in 1956, Real Madrid dominated for the next four years, culminating in a 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, before a record crowd of 127,000 in Glasgow (Ferenc Puskás, scorer of four of their goals, is pictured right).
Consecutive CL winners: zero
Since the cup changed its format in 1992, renaming itself the Champions League and affording certain countries the right to field multiple teams, no club has retained the trophy. Manchester United were finalists three times between 2008 and 2011, but only won the first.
Most victories by an English club: 5
When he joined Manchester United in 1986, Sir Alex Ferguson envisaged himself “knocking Liverpool right off their f*cking perch”. Although his trophy-laden years enabled him to surpass his hated rivals domestically, Liverpool still have five European cups to United’s three.
Most final defeats: 5
Bayern Munich, Juventus and Benfica share this unwanted record; the latter last won the cup in 1962 and fans point to the curse of Béla Guttmann, the Hungarian coach who acrimoniously left the club that year, vowing that it would not lift a European trophy for the next 100 years. Benfica have since lost a record eight European finals, including this year’s Europa League.
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