It’s no secret that clubs crave for continental success, and this desire is even more pronounced when it comes to Europe. The UEFA Champions League, which was previously known as the European Cup, happens to be one of the most fiercely competitive and most popular club competitions in the world.
The fiercely competitive nature may hint at the lack of a dominance from one club, but it has not been the case. Real Madrid are the most successful club in this competition and they continue to add this title to their trophy cabinet by winning the Champions League in 2016.
Real Madrid have amassed a whopping 11 Champions League titles in their history. What is the secret to the Spanish outfit being so successful in this competition?
The European Cup was formed in the 1950s as a means of pitting the champions of the top European leagues against each other. It was a straight knockout competition to start with.
In recent times, Real Madrid have had to negotiate group stages in order to win the Champions League.
The knockout competition is extremely hard to win, but the Spanish outfit had an excellent start to proceedings because they had a great team to start with. Alfredo Di Stefano is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
His presence was the primary factor towards Madrid winning five successive European Cups at the inception of the tournament.
What Does It Take to Win the Title?
The Champions League puts the strongest teams against each other. These teams also invariably possess some of the best managers, who are extremely adept at making tactical decisions. Madrid have had the luxury of some of the best coaches in the world like Jose Villalonga, Vicente del Bosque, and Carlo Ancelotti.
They have been multiple champions during the managerial careers and command a great respect amongst players. More importantly, they are able to make key tactical decisions at the top end of the game. When it comes to two extremely strong teams, only the finer details bring out the difference.
Real Madrid will continue to win the Champions League, as they have the potential to attract the best managers going forward.
A number of great players have graced the Santiago Bernabeu in the past and continue to do so. Alfredo di Stefano reigns supreme at the top of the list after helping Real Madrid win five Champions League titles and eight La Liga medals. Even Cristiano Ronaldo with all his superiority at scoring goals is not even close to matching this record.
Yet, the Portuguese superstar has been a huge influence on this current Madrid team, which has already won the Champions League twice in the last five years. Other names like Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo have played a major role in the success of the club as a whole.
Buoyed by rich investors, a number of new teams have started making their presence felt in the latter stages of this competition. Yet, Real Madrid keep on winning the UEFA Champions League since they have the ability to intimidate opposition with their incredible history.
After having won the La Liga a record 32 times and the Champions League record 11 times, it is fair to say that most of the opposition coming up against Madrid are already awestruck.
Though no one can argue that Real Madrid is a very powerful team, here is a list of other UEFA winners since the year 2000:
Real Madrid keep on winning the UEFA Champions League due to their financial status as one of the richest clubs in the world over the last couple of decades. They had been able to maintain the top spot in the Deloitte football list for much of the last decade until recently losing the spot to Manchester United.
The rich history gives the club the ability to negotiate their own TV rights and sponsorship deals, which run into several million each year. As a result, the club are able to frequently break the transfer record in order to sign players like Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Gareth Bale.
Few clubs in the world can come close to the financial muscle of Madrid.
Despite the Champions League/European Cup being extremely difficult, it is easiest to see why Real Madrid keep on winning this competition.
They have an enormous budget that allows them to buy virtually any player in the world and a great history that shows how the Spanish team perfected the art of recruiting and training formidable football players.
Written by Kevin McNamara
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