# Category Archives: The Champions League

All good punters need to have a solid grasp of odds when betting on football, or any other sport for that matter. And the more you know about odds, the more daring and elaborate you can be with your accumulators and or any type of bet.

So, just think how valuable it would be to gain a true understanding of the ways in which bookmakers calculate their odds! Here at Ladbrokes, we think it’s time we let you into the secret… Use the knowledge and test your skills on Ladbrokes’ 2018 world cup betting odds.

### Bookmakers’ odds and their true value

Quite simply, all bookmakers need to make a profit to stay in business. So rather than calculating odds with true probabilities, bookmakers adjust them slightly to ensure they bring in a profit.

### Example:

Let’s say that following close analysis of statistics, injuries and so on, a bookie works out the following:

• Team 1: has a 25% chance of winning
• Team 2: has a 55% chance of winning
• There is a 20% chance of a draw between the two sides

As the probabilities above add up to 100%, this means that the bookmaker will neither win nor lose any money.

So to make a profit, the bookmaker adjusts the probabilities, like so:

• Team 1: has a 32.4% chance of a win after alterations
• Team 2: has a 54% chance of a win after alterations
• A draw between the two clubs: 21.6% chance after alterations

The percentages above add up to 108%, which gives the bookmaker an 8% profit margin. In European decimal odds, these odds are displayed as coefficients, like so:

54% = 1.85

32.4% = 3.09

21.6% = 4.63

At the odds stated above, the bookmaker pays out the punter’s stake x 1.85, or 3.09, or 4.63 (depending on the result).

So let’s say a punter splits a £100 stake to put £50 on a win by Team 1, £30 on a win for Team 2 and the remaining £20 on a draw.

In the event that Team 1 wins the match, the bookkeeper must pay out the £50*1.85 = £92.50.

In the event that Team 2 wins, the bookkeeper must hand over 30*3.09 = 92.70

If the game ends in a draw, then the bookie needs to pay out 20*4.63 = £92.60

You see how close the resulting pay outs are? For the example above, we distributed the £100 proportionately to show you how bookies make their money. In essence, they want you to bet this way so they can carry on making a profit no matter what the outcome.

To achieve this, bookmakers balance true probability with public opinion. You rarely see odds contrasting with public opinion. This is because doing so would result in punters making a disproportionate number of wagers on one side of the bet. This would increase risk of loss for the bookmaker, as well as for the punter.

### Balancing the books

A bookie’s job is to balance the books and to make a small amount of profit consistently. For this reason, they don’t look to fleece their customers. Instead, they want to keep them coming back again and again and to reduce the chances of losing money themselves.

The best bookmakers know they can’t balance their books for every single football match. To them, it’s all about spreading risk to manage small changes in profit margins.

Here at Ladbrokes, we understand that this is exactly the way that the most successful punters manage their betting money. By sharing some secrets about the way our industry operates, we also want to show how we’ve built up relationships with our best customers through mutual trust and understanding. Learn more about how to bet on football and other sports in our online betting guide

You know the score – literally: betting in football largely revolves around predicting which team will outscore the other.

When it comes to the specials market however, you’re able to do more than pick a winner. Have your say on the potential score line, pick which manager’s next in the sack race, or who’s going to miss a penalty at the weekend; there’s everything to play for.

### Winning margin

As its name suggests, this bet requires you to guess the winning margin during a particular match.

Fancy Leeds United to beat Charlton Athletic by two goals? If you place a two goal winning margin bet and either Leeds or Charlton win 2-0, 4-2, 5-3, 12-10, or by any other two goal margin, you will see a return on your stake.

### Clean sheet odds

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a team gets a clean sheet when it manages not to concede a single goal during the course of a match. Arsenal were renowned for incredible defensive play back in the 1980s and 1990s, so the odds of a clean sheet may have been 1/6 around that time.

However these days, they’re known for lacking strength in defence, and that will mean that the odds of them getting a clean sheet are higher.

### Penalty/Missed penalty

Penalties are often the cause of heated discussions between pundits and punters alike both during and after football games.

As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that bookies allow you to bet on whether a spot kick will be awarded and whether the taker will score or miss.

### Results minute markets

If you want to be really specific, you can place a bet that applies for exact portions of a match. This means you can bet on whether there’ll be a goal or a booking between the 10 and 20th minutes, for example.

You can even bet on how many corners will be awarded during that period. In fact, there’s virtually no limit to the precise predictions on which you can place bets.

### Red card

We know that some footballers are more passionate than others and get booked more often as a result.

Some get booked for over-zealous celebrations, whereas others get yellow cards for getting a bit carried away during disagreements with the referee.

The precise reasons for the double booking or straight red card don’t matter; as long as you’ve placed that winning bet, you’ll see a return.

### Next manager

This is another popular special bet. With managers coming and going so frequently, there is always speculation as to who will be taking over, so punters can have a go at making predictions.

The specials market gives you the chance to add an extra flair to your football watching, allowing you to have your say on both the on- and off-field antics that surround the beautiful game.

From red cards to clean sheets, the list of specials on which you can bet is practically endless.

Over the years, England has been one of the most dominant countries in shaping and developing the football world, producing some world-class players, and hosting one of the most prestigious domestic leagues around.

Both on an international and club level, England has seen some incredible football moments, and we’ve listed four of our all-time favourites.

### England wins the World Cup in 1966

Back in 1966, England was widely considered to the best national team in the world.

The fact that the tournament was held in England made the national team outright favourites. Despite an uninspiring draw in the first group match, England looked almost unstoppable for the rest of the tournament.

The final itself against West Germany was held at Wembley and was a thrilling match. Finishing 2-2 after 90 minutes, the match exploded in the half an hour of extra time. A dubious second goal from Geoff Hurst – the source of controversy ever since – put the hosts 3-2 in front.

Finally, a third from Hurst in the dying seconds of the game made England world champions for the first – and as yet – only time. Hurst remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

### Nottingham Forest wins back-to-back European Cups

While Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968, Nottingham Forest remains the only club in the country to achieve the feat twice in a row (1979 and 1980).

What makes the feat even more remarkable is the fact that Nottingham Forest was a relatively small, provincial club that had only won promotion to the top tier of the domestic league in 1977.

This period of unprecedented success means that Brian Clough can lay claim to be one of the greatest English club manager of all time.

### Manchester United wins the treble 1999

Manchester United have dominated English football for most of the being the Premier League winners 13 times, and the club achieved its greatest feat in 1999: the year it won the league title, FA Cup and Champions League in a single year.

The thrilling FA Cup semi-final match against then arch-rivals, Arsenal, saw Dennis Bergkamp miss a penalty. Most memorably, it was the match in which Ryan Giggs scored a wonder goal that made a mockery of one of the best defences in the game.

In the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, the Red Devils trailed 1-0 for most of the match. It wasn’t until the last few minutes that substitute Teddy Sheringham equalised at short range, before Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the winner less than a minute later.

United were the first club to achieve this treble. Such was the scale of this feat that some pundits predict that it is one that will never be repeated.

### Liverpool wins the Champions League for a fifth time

After dominating European football in the 1970s and early 1980s, Liverpool FC was a shadow of its former self by 2005.

Having not won the domestic league title since 1991, the Reds got into the Champions League by the skin of their teeth, after finishing fourth in the 2003-04 season.

Liverpool’s form in Europe in 2004-05 contrasted sharply with that in the league. But after getting to the semi-final, they managed to scrape past Premier League champions Chelsea to face AC Milan in the final.

During the final, Liverpool were trailing 3-0 at half-time and it didn’t look good for the then four-time champions. But after clawing three goals back over a thrilling six-minute period, Liverpool went on to win the match in a penalty shootout.

As this was the fifth time that Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe, they were allowed to keep the European Champion Clubs’ Cup permanently.

With one of the most respected domestic leagues in the world, there is little wonder that English football has produced some incredible moments, from underdog clubs exceeding all expectations to ultimate national success.

If you’ve mastered the basics of football betting, you may feel ready to take it to the next level.

While there is no such thing as a sure-fire system, there are a few golden rules you should follow if you want to become a truly successful punter.

In football betting (and other betting for that matter), good value occurs when bookmakers’ odds offers a reward which outweighs any risk. To figure this out, you need to:

Estimate a side’s chance of winning

Find the best decimal price for your bet

Multiply the chance (%) of a win against the bookie’s odds

Any result of 1.00 or more means the bet has value (and may be worth a punt!)

Example:

So if you think that Swansea City have a 50% chance of winning at home, then you will only make the bet if you can find a price better than 2.00. This is because 50% = 0.50 * 2.00 = 1.00 (fair value).

If you continue to make bets with a value of less than 1.00, you will actually lose money over the course of the season.

It is widely accepted that football teams tend to perform better at home than if they were away. If you look at pretty much every football league season, you’ll see that teams score more goals at home than they do away over the course of a season.

Example:

Let’s assume that in a Premier League season, the total number of wins by home sides is 179 over the course of a season. Let’s also assume there were 86 draws and 115 defeats. It’s clear from these figures alone that the home advantage is very real.

But how much is this advantage? You can work it out by taking the number of home wins and home defeats and divide them by two (179 + 115/2).

First, add up the home wins and home losses, and divide by two. So in this case: (179 + 115) / 2 = 147. This number is the expected number of wins if there was no home advantage for any team.

Now, divide the total number of home wins by the expected number of wins without home advantage (179 / 147 = 1.21). This result tells us that in the league, home teams had a 21% advantage over away teams.

### Recent form

Another great way of assessing the wisdom of certain bets is to look closely at recent form (rather than that over the whole season).

The thinking here is that a team on a winning run with a totally fit squad will be full of confidence. This in turn may give them the edge over a historically better team suffering from a short run of bad results.

### Injuries

Injuries can have a hugely negative impact on a side, even if the absent player is part of a strong squad.

Central defenders and goalkeepers often tend to be the difference between winning and losing. If one of those players is missing, then that’s a sign that they could be due a dip in form. This is especially true if the missing player is also the captain.

As we said before, football betting isn’t an exact science. Yet keeping a close eye on these different aspects of the game can give you a better chance of guessing the match outcome correctly.

If you’re new to betting, it would be smart to learn a thing or two before you pick who you are going to stake your money on.

Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to improve your chances of winning money by on the football.

### Never bet what you can’t afford to lose

Here at Ladbrokes, the need to bet responsibly is something we take very seriously. So, if you want to keep having fun on your football accumulator or your handicap – don’t overstretch yourself.

Work out what you can afford to lose bet before you start and avoid betting big to counter a losing streak.

### Long shots offer long odds for a reason

We all wish we’d bet on Greece to win Euro 2004 at 250/1. However, such long shots don’t often come in, which is exactly why the odds are long in the first place!

Even at 50/1, if a bookie is willing to offer you £50 for every quid you bet, that team almost certainly won’t hit the jackpot in your lifetime.

Just because your mate is convinced that the only way to win big is by putting his money down on a random 12-team accumulator, it doesn’t mean you should too. Unless you follow the form of the teams you’re thinking of betting on, don’t do it!

After all, the more teams you bet on, the less likely you are to win.

When it comes to placing bets as a beginner, the old Chinese proverb ‘every journey starts with a single step’ is one to remember.

An effective (not to mention easy and cheap) way of learning about the best ways to bet, is to read up on the subject. Keep an eye on form, understand the value of your bets before you make them and you’ll be on to a winner!

### Remember to have fun!

Let’s face it – gambling can be really fun. Yet the more seriously you take it, the less likely you are to enjoy the thrill of it all.

If you’re truly committed to bringing in returns on your football betting, you can in the long run. However, we recommend you master the basics first, and move onto more advanced tactics later on. Take our advices and check out world cup football tips.

By following our simple tips, you’ll be well on your way.

Of the 53 countries that enter teams into the UEFA Champions League, some have had more success over the years than others.

We’ll give you an overview of each country’s performance in the competition, looking at which teams have finished best, and see which countries have produced the greatest number of champions.

### Albania

Most successful clubs in Champions League: KF Tirana, Dinamo Tirana, KF Skënderbeu Korçë

Best finish: Round of 16 (KF Tirana – 1989-1990)

### Andorra

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FC Santa Coloma, FC Sant Julià

Best finish: Second Qualifying Round (FC Santa Coloma – 2014-15)

### Armenia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FC Pyunik, Shirak Gyumri, Spartak Yerevan, Banants Yerevan, Kilikia Yerevan, Ulisses, FC Yerevan

Best finish: Second Qualifying Round (FC Pyunik – 2015-16)

### Austria

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Rapid Wien, Austria Wien, FC Salzburg

Best finish: Semi Finals (Austria Wien – 1978-79)

### Azerbaijan

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Neftchi Baku, Qarabağ Agdam,

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (Qarabağ Agdam – 2014-15)

### Belarus

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FC BATE Borisov, Dinamo Minsk, Slavia-Mozyr, Belshina Bobruisk

Best finish: Group Stage (FC BATE Borisov – 2008-09)

### Belgium

Most successful clubs in Champions League: RSC Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Standard Liege

Best finish: Final (Club Brugge – 1977-78)

### Bosnia and Herzegovina

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Željezničar Sarajevo, FK Sarajevo

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (Željezničar Sarajevo – 2002-03)

### Bulgaria

Most successful clubs in Champions League: CSKA Sofia, Levski Sofia, Lokomotiv Sofia

Best finish: Semi Finals (CSKA Sofia – 1981-82)

### Croatia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split

Best finish: Quarter Final (Hajduk Split – 1994-95)

### Cyprus

Most successful clubs in Champions League: AC Omonia, APOEL FC, Apollon FC

Best finish: Quarter Final (APOEL Nicosia –2011-12)

### Czech Republic

Clubs that have participated in Champions League: Sparta Prague, Dukla Prague, Spartak Trnava

Best finish: Quarter Finals (Sparta Prague – 1984-85)

### Denmark

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Kjøbenhavns Boldklub, Aarhus Gymnastikforening, Brøndby IF

Best finish: Quarter Finals (Brøndby IF – 1986-87)

### England

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Chelsea

Best finish: Champions (all of above have won the competition, making England the country with the highest number of Champions League-winning teams. Manchester United were the first English club to win the trophy in 1967-68)

### Estonia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Levadia Tallinn, Nõmme Kalju

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (Levadia Tallinn – 2009-10)

### Faroe Islands

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Havnar Bóltfelag, B36 Tórshavn, EB/Streymur

Best finish: Second Qualifying Round (Havnar Bóltfelag – 2014-15)

### Finland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi, FC Kuusysi, FC Haka, TPS Turku

Best finish: Quarter Finals (FC Kuusysi – 1985-86)

### France

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Olympique de Marseille, AS Monaco, Stade de Reims, AS Saint-Étienne

Best finish: Champions (Olympique de Marseille – 1992-93)

### FYR Macedonia

Clubs participated in Champions League: FK Vardar, FK Rabotnički, Sloga Jugomagnat

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (FK Vardar – 2003-04)

### Georgia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Dinamo Tbilisi, Torpedo Kutaisi

Best finish: Round of 16 (Dinamo Tbilisi – 1979-80)

### Germany

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV

Best finish: Champions (all of the above – Bayern Munich were the first German club to win the title in 1974)

### Gibraltar

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Lincoln Red Imps

Best finish: Second Qualifying Round (2015-16)

### Greece

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Panathinaikos FC, Olympiacos FC, AEK Athens

Best finish: Final (Panathinaikos FC – 1970-71)

### Hungary

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Újpest FC, Vasas SC, Győri ETO FC

Best finish: Semi Finals (Újpest FC – 1973-74)

### Iceland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Íþróttabandalag Akraness, Valur

Best finish: Round of 16 (Íþróttabandalag Akraness – 1975-76)

### Israel

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Maccabi Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Tel-Aviv

Best finish: Group Stage (Maccabi Tel Aviv – 2004-05)

### Italy

Most successful clubs in Champions League: AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan

Best finish: Champions (all of the above. AC Milan were the first Italian side to win the European Cup in 1962-63)

### Kazakhstan

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FC Astana, FK Aktobe

Best finish: Group Stage (FC Astana – 2015-16)

### Latvia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Skonto FC, FK Ventspils

Best finish: Play-Offs (FK Ventspils – 2009-10)

### Lithuania

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FK Žalgiris, FBK Kaunas, FK Ekranas

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (FK Ekranas – 2012-13)

### Luxembourg

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Jeunesse Esch, Avenir Beggen

Best finish: Round of 16 (Jeunesse Esch – 1963-64)

### Malta

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Sliema Wanderers, Valletta FC

Best finish: Round of 16 (Sliema Wanderers – 1971-72)

### Moldova

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Sheriff Tiraspol, Zimbru Chișinău, FC Milsami

Best finish: Play-Offs (Sheriff Tiraspol – 2010-11)

### Montenegro

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FK Mogren, Rudar Pljevlja, Sutjeska Nikšić

Best finish: Second Qualifying Round (Rudar Pljevlja – 2015-16)

### Netherlands

Most successful clubs in Champions League: AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord

Best finish: Champions (all of the above. AFC Ajax was the first Dutch team to win the European Cup in 1971)

### Northern Ireland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Linfield, Glentoran, Derry City

Best finish: Quarter Finals (Linfield – 1966-67)

### Norway

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Rosenborg BK, Lillestrøm SK, SFK LYN

Best finish: Quarter Finals (Rosenborg BK – 1996-97)

### Poland

Clubs participated in Champions League: Legia Warsaw, Widzew Łódź

Best finish: Semi Finals (Widzew Łódź – 1982-83)

### Portugal

Most successful clubs in Champions League: SL Benfica, Porto

Best finish: Champions (both of the above. Benfica were the first Portuguese team to win the European Cup in 1960-61)

### Republic of Ireland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Dundalk, Waterford United, Bohemian FC, Cork Celtic

Best finish: Round of 16 (Waterford United – 1970-71)

### Romania

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Steaua București, Dinamo București, Universitatea Craiova

Best finish: Champions (Steaua București – 1985-86)

### Russia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow

Best finish: Semi Finals (Spartak Moscow – 1990-91)

### San Marino

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Tre Fiori, SS Folgore, Tre Penne

Best finish: First Qualifying Round (SS Folgore – 2015-16)

### Scotland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Celtic, Rangers, Dundee, Dundee United, Hibernian

Best finish: Champions (Celtic – 1966-67)

### Serbia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Red Star Belgrade, FK Partizan

Best finish: Champions (Red Star Belgrade – 1990-91)

### Slovakia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: MŠK Žilina, FC VSS Košice, FC Petržalka akadémia

Best finish: Group Stage (MŠK Žilina – 2010-11)

### Slovenia

Most successful clubs in Champions League: NK Maribor, Olimpija Ljubljana

Best finish: Group Stage (NK Maribor – 1999-2000)

### Spain

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Real Madrid, Barcelona

Best finish: Champions (both of the above. These two teams have won a combined 15 Champions Leagues, making Spain the most successful country in terms of how many competitions have been won. Real Madrid won the first-ever European Cup in 1955-56.)

### Sweden

Most successful clubs in Champions League: IFK Göteborg, Malmö FF

Best finish: Final (Malmö FF – 1978-79)

### Switzerland

Most successful clubs in Champions League: FC Zürich, BSC Young Boys

Best finish: Semi Finals (FC Zürich – 1976-77)

### Turkey

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş

Best finish: Semi Finals (Galatasaray – 1988-89)

### Ukraine

Most successful clubs in Champions League: Dynamo Kyev, Shakhtar Donetsk

Best finish: Semi Finals (Dynamo Kyev – 1998-99)

### Wales

Most successful clubs in Champions League: The New Saints FC, Barry Town United

Best finish: Third Qualifying Round (The New Saints – 2010-11)

Simply qualifying for the UEFA Champions League is an achievement in itself. However, when it comes to winning the tournament, there are a few countries that have seen much greater success than others.

Spain, Italy and England have produced 39 Champions League-winning teams between them, which demonstrates the incredible talent in their clubs, and why their respective leagues are considered some of the best in the world.

Of the many teams who have won the UEFA Champions League, five of those stand apart from the rest for having won the competition five or more times.

With a combination of world-class skill and incredible teamwork on the pitch, these teams are some of the best to have graced the Champions League. We’ll take a look at their outstanding performances over the years and why they are considered to be so great.

Seasons won: 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2013-14 (10 titles)

Having won ‘La Decima’ in 2014, it is clear to see why Real Madrid are linked so closely with the Champions League in the minds of football fans across the world.

Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)

The most successful Real Madrid team was the one that won the first five European Cups from 1956 to 1960.

The standout match of this era was the last of these first five wins in the 1960 European Cup Final. Los Blancos legend, Alfredo Di Stéfano scored three goals. Meanwhile, the equally legendary Ferenc Puskás scored four.

These players are two of just three players to have ever scored a hat-trick in a European Cup/Champions League Final, and Puskás is the only player to score four goals in a Final.

Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Real Madrid (2002)

Another match that stands out for Madrid is the 2002 Champions League Final. During a pretty tight match, the utter class of Zinedine Zidane proved the difference.

On the stroke of half-time, Zizou produced a left-footed volley that went straight into the top corner. The goal is widely considered one of the best in the history of the competition.

### AC Milan (Italy)

Seasons won: 1962-63, 1968-69, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993-94, 2002-03, 2006-07 (seven titles)

AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona (1994)

Of all AC Milan’s wonderful performances in the Champions League, the 1994 Final stands apart from the rest. This is largely because of the shocking score-line.

After all, Milan were playing a Barcelona team with stars like Romário, Ronald Koeman and Hristo Stoichkov in the line-up. In fact, the Catalan side were favourites to win their second trophy in three years.

Many pundits describe Milan’s performance in this game as one of the best in the history of the competition.

### Bayern Munich (Germany)

Seasons won: 1973-74, 1974-75, 1975-76, 2000-01, 2012-13 (five titles)

Bayern Munich 7-0 Barcelona (2013)

As performances go, Bayern Munich’s demolition of Barcelona in the Semi-Final of the 2013 Champions League takes some beating. Bayern won 4-0 at the Allianz Arena and 3-0 away at Camp Nou to complete a record aggregate win for this stage of the competition.

Bayern achieved this feat with a series of ruthlessly-efficient counter-attacks. This was true to such an extent that the Catalan side were reluctant to push men forward to challenge the German team for fear of conceding more.

In the Final, Bayern met Borussia Dortmund: the first time that two German sides met at this stage of the competition. Bayern won the match 2-1.

### FC Barcelona (Spain)

Seasons won: 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2014-15 (5)

FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (2009)

Manchester United were reigning champions as they faced Barcelona in the Final. Before the match, hype surrounded the match-up between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

On the night, Messi’s brilliance proved decisive as he put in the second goal to put the match beyond of the reigning champions. On the night, Barcelona made a fantastic United side look ordinary.

### Liverpool (England)

Seasons won: 1976-77, 1977-78, 1980-81, 1983-84, 2004-05 (five titles)

During the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool dominated English football and won the European Cup four times.

Former Liverpool manager, Bob Paisley, remains the only manager to win the trophy three times with the same club.

Liverpool 1-1 AS Roma (1984)

The most memorable moment in the club’s most successful era is probably Bruce Grobbelaar’s use of ‘spaghetti legs’. After the 1984 Final failed to produce a winner, the match went to a penalty shootout.

Grobbelaar wobbled his legs as Roma’s Francesco Graziani was taking his penalty, in the hope of distracting the Italian. It worked, and Liverpool went on to win the shootout 4-2.

When you consider just how good a team must be to win the competition, the fact that these club have won it so many times shows just how good were, and continue to be.

As many of these clubs still dominate European football, we expect to see them in finals for years to come.

As of March 2016, 39 managers have won the UEFA Champions League. Yet when it comes to choosing the best Champions League managers of all time, the 10 on this list arguably stand head and shoulder above the rest.

### Bob Paisley

During nine seasons at Anfield, Bob Paisley led Liverpool to win their first ever European Cup. He also remains one of only two managers in history to win three titles (1977, 1978 and 1981). What’s more, Paisley is still the only manager to achieve this feat with one club.

### Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti has also won the Champions League three times. He led AC Milan to the title in 2003 and 2007, before winning it again in 2014 as head coach of Real Madrid. He is also one of only six men to have won the competition as both a manager and a player.

### Brian Clough

Brian Clough won the European Cup twice in a row (1979 and 1980) as manager of Nottingham Forest.

Clough achieved this feat with a relatively small, provincial club, leading many to regard it the greatest achievement in the history of the competition.

### Sir Alex Ferguson

Many consider Sir Alex Ferguson to be one of the finest managers in history. He won his first Champions League title in 1999, when Manchester United made history by becoming the only side to win the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in one season.

The Scot won his second and final Champions League title in 2008.

### Vicente del Bosque

Vincente del Bosque coached Real Madrid for four years from 1999 to 2003, and, under his leadership, Los Blancos enjoyed their most successful spell in recent history.

del Bosque led his side to two Champions League wins, as well as domestic titles in three of his four seasons at the Bernabeu.

### José Villalonga Llorente

José Villalonga Llorente led Real Madrid to the first two of five straight European Cups in 1956 and 1957, making him the first manager to win the trophy.

### Luis Carniglia

Luis Carniglia is yet another Real Madrid manager on this list. The Argentine led his team to two European Cup wins in 1958 (3-2 against AC Milan) and 1959 (2-0 over Stade Reims).

### Ottmar Hitzfeld

Ottmar Hitzfeld was nicknamed ‘der General’, and it is clear that he was a great leader. Hitzfeld won the Champions League once with Borussia Dortmund (1997) and once with Bayern Munich (2001).

### Pep Guardiola

In just four seasons at Barcelona, Pep Guardiola won two Championship League titles along with every major honour available. Guardiola also won the European Cup with Barcelona as a player and is, along with Ancelotti, one of only six men to achieve the feat in both roles.

Having been a manager for a relatively short time, there is every chance that Guardiola could add to his already impressive tally of Champions League titles.

### José Mourinho

Along with Ancelotti, Hitzfeld, Jupp Heynckes and Ernst Happel, José Mourinho is one of only five managers to win the Champions League with two different clubs. In Mourinho’s case, he won it with Porto in 2004 and with Inter Milan in 2010.

It is clearly difficult to choose the best Champions League manager of all time. After all, there are so many factors involved. Are Paisley and Ancelotti the best because they won it three times each? Or are Clough and Mourinho on a par because of their ability to lead small clubs to the grand prize?

In the end, it’s all a matter of opinion. Yet what is clear is that the managers on this list have gone down in history as being among the greatest managers that, not just the Champions League, but the world has ever seen.

As the Champions League is such a formidable competition, the title of ‘Top Scorer’ is one that comes with legendary status, as well as the Golden Shoe.

Here are some of the players who have been top scorers in multiple Champion League seasons.

### Lionel Messi

Team: Barcelona

Top scorer in the following seasons: 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2014-15

Total number of goals: 83 (as of the end of March 2016)

Years active in the competition: 2005 – present

### Gerd Müller

Team: Bayern Munich

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75, 1976-77

Total number of goals: 35

Years active in the competition: 1969-77

### Cristiano Ronaldo

Top scorer in the following seasons: 2007-08, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15

Total number of goals: 90 (as of the end of March 2016)

Years active in the competition: 2003 – present

### Ferenc Puskás

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1959-60, 1961-62, 1963-64

Total number of goals: 36

Years active in the competition: 1956-66

### Eusébio

Team: Benfica

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1964-65, 1965-66, 1967-68

Total number of goals: 46

Years active in the competition: 1961-74

### Jean-Pierre Papin

Team: Marseille, Milan, Bayern Munich

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92

Total number of goals: 28

Years active in the competition: 1989-94

### Ruud van Nistelrooy

Team: PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Real Madrid

Top scorer in the following seasons: 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05

Total number of goals in the Champions League: 56

Years active in the competition: 1998-2009

### Alfredo di Stéfano

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1957-58, 1961-62

Total number of goals: 49

Years active in the competition: 1955-64

### Romário

Team: Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1989-90, 1992-93

Total number of goals: 20

Years active in the competition: 1988-95

### Andriy Shevchenko

Team: Dynamo Kiev, Milan, Chelsea

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1998-99, 2005-06

Total number of goals: 48

Years active in the competition: 1994-2012

### Raúl

Top scorer in the following seasons: 1999-00, 2000-01

Total number of goals: 71

Years active in the competition: 1995-2011

While Ronaldo is currently the highest scorer overall, Messi has been top scorer in more Champions League seasons than anyone else.

New players always come along to break old scoring records. But the players on the list above have assured their places in football history, using the Champions League as an opportunity to show just how talented they are.

Given its prestige in the international footballing community, winning the UEFA Champions League brings with it huge pride. However, the winners can also look forward to a significant financial prize, but exactly how much is at stake?

We’ll talk you through the various monetary prizes that are on offer in the Champions League, from victory in the qualifying rounds all the way up to the winners.

### Fixed prize money

As of 2015-16, UEFA distributes the base prize money in the following ways:

• To teams reaching the First Qualifying Round: €200,000 (£157,600)
• To teams reaching the Second Qualifying Round: €300,000 (£236,390)
• To teams reaching the Third Qualifying Round: €400,000 (£315,160)
• To the teams that lose in the Play-offs: €3,000,000 (£2.4 million)
• Play-offs Winners: €2,000,000 (£1.6 million)
• Base fee for reaching group stage: €12,000,000 (£9.5 million)
• Winning a match in the Group Stage: €1,500,000 (£1.2 million)
• Drawing a match in the Group Stage: €500,000 (£394,000)
• Reaching the Round of 16: €5,500,000 (£4.3 million)
• Reaching Quarter-Finals: €6,000,000 (£4.7 million)
• Reaching Semi-Finals: €7,000,000 (£5.5 million)
• Runners-Up: €10,500,000 (£8.3 million)
• Winning the Final: €15,000,000 (£11.8 million)

The fixed figures above constitute 60% of the total prize money available for the Champions League. The other 40% comes from the ‘market pool’.

### Market pool

The market pool is a variable amount which UEFA distributes to each of the clubs taking part from the Group Stage onwards.

The different amount that each club receives is based on the value of the TV market in its country of origin. In 2015-16, the total market pool is estimated to be €482,800,000 (£381 million).

Half of the value of each country’s TV market is split among its clubs’ according to their performances in the last league campaign.

The other half of each country’s share of the market pool is allocated to teams based on the number of matches that they play over the course of the tournament.

Each time that a country’s club is knocked out in the Play-Offs, 10% is deducted from its total share of the market pool.

The various amounts that each club receives can only be calculated once all the contracts are finalised and after the tournament ends.

The Champions League is by far the most lucrative competition in the world – even more so than the World Cup!

With the Champions League’s total prize money pool around £1 billion, participation is worth a lot of money, whether teams end up eliminated in the early rounds or go on to win.

With this in mind, it is easy to see why it means so much to different clubs across Europe.