5 clubs with the most appearances in Champions League finals 

Real Madrid and AC Milan are European royalty
Real Madrid and AC Milan are European royalty

Often considered to be the pinnacle of a team's success, the Champions League title is undoubtedly the most elusive prize in club football. Ever since its inception in 1955, as many as 22 clubs from all across Europe have gotten their hands on the famous trophy. According to the current Champions League format, 32 teams clash with each other in an attempt to secure European glory.

Breakdown of the current Champions League season

After a pandemic-riddled 2020-21 season, things have finally started to settle down in the sporting world. Following Bayern Munich's predicted victory in an updated Champions League format in 2020, Chelsea shocked everyone by winning it last season. In the current season, every participant has had the opportunity to play their opening games, however, to contrasting fortunes.

Barcelona continued their continental misery with yet another defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich, losing 0-3 to them on home soil. Despite Cristiano Ronaldo's efforts, Manchester United ended up losing 2-1 to Young Boys through a sensational last-minute winner. Meanwhile, Manchester City romped to a 6-3 win against RB Leipzig, with Jack Grealish scoring his first Champions League goal for the Sky Blues.

In light of so many shockers, it is almost impossible to predict the clubs that'll contest this season's Champions League final. Having said that, a certain group of teams have the required experience to make a name for themselves, yet again. On that note, let's take a look at the five clubs with the most appearances in Champions League finals:


#5 Juventus - 9 finals

Juventus have lost the most number of Champions League finals
Juventus have lost the most number of Champions League finals

A surprise entry in this list, Juventus have won the highly coveted Champions title only twice in their 123 years of existence. As a result, the Bianconeri have an unwanted record of losing most continental finals to their name. Having been part of nine finals, Juventus have been on the losing end a mind-boggling seven times.

The Italian giants have an abysmal Champions League track record in recent history. For the last four seasons, Juventus have failed to progress past the quarterfinal stage and have been knocked out in the Round-of-16 stage since 2020. Even with Cristiano Ronaldo leading their attacking line, the Old Lady disappointingly crashed out of the competition early last season.

With such a jagged history, Juventus have thoroughly earned the nickname of continental bottlers. Their last Champions League title came in 1996, before the tournament's rebranding. Following Ronaldo's exit this season, Juventus' chances of winning this year's edition of the competition have been dampened even further.


#4 Liverpool - 9 finals

Liverpool won their sixth Champions League title in 2019
Liverpool won their sixth Champions League title in 2019

At number four are the Premier League giants with the most turbulent Champions League history. Liverpool enjoyed a dominant period on the European front in the late 70s and early 80s. The Reds contested an impressive five finals during this era, winning four of them.

In total, Liverpool have been involved in nine Champions League finals, coming out victorious on six occasions. Their most recent European win came in the 2018-19 season, famously thumping Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in the semifinals and edging past Tottenham in the final.

However, the 19-time Premier League champions are best known in Europe for their lead role in the 'miracle of Istanbul', orchestrating a fabled comeback against AC Milan in 2005. Liverpool reigned supreme on the night, securing their fifth Champions League title through a penalty shootout after coming from 3-0 behind in the second half. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm, the Reds have once again cemented their place among the top European teams.


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#3 Bayern Munich - 11 finals

Bayern with the second treble of their history
Bayern with the second treble of their history

At the time of writing, Bayern Munich are among the favorites to win the 2021-22 season's Champions League title. The Bavarians boast a glittering past in the competition and an even brighter present. Bayern have the joint third-best record in the Champions League, winning it on six occasions.

The German giants have had their fair share of defeats, losing five out of the 11 finals they have participated in. Nevertheless, they are also subject to some of the most memorable campaigns in the tournament's history, accomplishing the three-peat between 1974-1976.

However, their most dominant period in the Champions League has to be the current run they are on. Bayern famously became only the second team after Barcelona to secure two continental trebles, winning a whopping six trophies in the 2019-20 campaign. Continuing their brilliant form of last season, Bayern are on track to add another Champions League title to their trophy cabinet.


#2 AC Milan - 11 finals

Milan's famous side of 2005
Milan's famous side of 2005

The quintessential fallen giants, AC Milan, were once at the summit of club football. Milan were especially unplayable in the 1990s, with the likes of Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit in their ranks. To put things into perspective, the final three Ballon d'Or finalists for the years 1988 and 1989 were all contracted to none other than AC Milan.

The Italian giants were Champions League regulars prior to the commencement of the past decade, appearing in a monstrous 11 finals. Winners of seven titles, Milan, were practically the team to beat on their best day. However, they experienced a colossal dip in the 2010s, one which they still haven't recovered from.

Milan completely vanished from the Champions League following Massimiliano Allegri's departure in 2014, failing to qualify for the competition for seven consecutive seasons. After an impressive 2020-21 season, the Rossoneri are finally back in the Champions League and will be looking to redeem their tarnished reputation.


#1 Real Madrid - 16 finals

Real Madrid lifting their most recent Champions League title in 2018
Real Madrid lifting their most recent Champions League title in 2018

When it comes to the Champions League, Real Madrid steer clear of every other elite club in existence. Los Blancos have more European titles than any other team's appearances in the finals. Having partaken in 16 finals, Real Madrid emerged as winners in 13 instances.

The 34-time Spanish champions established continental supremacy as soon as the competition was initiated, winning five titles on the trot. With world-beaters like Alfredo di Stefano, Gento and Ferenc Puskas on their team, Real Madrid romped to European glory in the early 60s.

In recent years, Los Merengues have regained their status as the best club in European competitions by completing the three-peat between 2016-2018. With Zinedine Zidane in the dugout and Cristiano Ronaldo as their frontman, the continental giants sailed past teams without much difficulty.

With their unparalleled success in the Champions League, Real Madrid are undoubtedly the most decorated European team.

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Edited by Nived Zenith
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