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.
Real Madrid (Spain)
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.
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.