L’Equipe, a French sports magazine, initiated the European Cup in the year of 1955. The tournament was formally known as The European Cup and was renamed the UEFA Champions League during the 1992-1993 season.
The competition is now managed by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA). It is a seasonal competition where 32 of the best clubs from all over Europe compete to become the best soccer club in the whole of Europe.
The clubs compete to achieve the most coveted title in football. The matches take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays all around Europe. The winners of this tournament qualify for the International Cup, which is played against the winners of South America’s top-tier club compeition, the Copa Libertadores.
Real Madrid CF was the first team to win the European Cup, since then they have won the league eight times. This includes the five consecutive wins from 1955-1956 to 1959-1960.
So what is it that makes the tournament so special?
The top domestic clubs of every European country that are members of the UEFA are allowed to play the game. The only country not participating in the competition has been Liechtenstein, as they do not have a domestic league.
The game has evolved a lot since it was first initiated. He wanted to have an all-European club competition while the UEFA’s founder members wanted to have an all-European national competition. In 1992-1993 not only did the name of the tournament change, the way it was organized was also different.
An initial group stage was introduced in addition to the knockout matches, and a qualifying round was introduced. This was done so that more teams from other nations of Europe could participate. The number of teams participating shot up from eight teams to thirty-two teams.
Now, even clubs that finish from second to fourth in the most competitive domestic leagues are also eligible to participate in the tournament. The UEFA coefficient is the basis on which the associations are ranked. This is done to obtain the number of places in the competition for every association.
The tournament is divided into different stages:
The group stage: qualifying stage.
The knockout stage: second round, quarter, semi and the finals.
The final this year will be held in Madrid and headlined by two English Premier League standouts, Liverpool and Tottenham. According to several odds comparisons, Liverpool are the favorites to lift their sixth Champions League title, but Tottenham are no pushovers.
It is hotly-anticipated and both sides are almost evenly matched, with attacking, physical, and scintillating central to the playing style of both clubs. Expect another pulsating, heart-pounding and classic Champions League fixture in just a few days time on June 1.