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Champions League: Top 5 clubs with the most UCL trophies

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.99K   //    08 Feb 2019, 15:00 IST

UEFA Champions League Trophy
UEFA Champions League Trophy

The UEFA Champions League will return next week!

Sixteen teams remain in Europe's premier continental club tournament, and the first round of knockout fixtures has thrown up some mouth-watering match-ups.

To kick us off next Tuesday, a rejuvenated Manchester United will face Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford, a game that is now much less cut-and-dried thanks to Neymar's injury.

Liverpool play Bayern Munich in a high-octane clash at Anfield on 20th February, while Juventus travel to Spain to face Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid.

Dark horses Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund will meet each other at Wembley next Wednesday.

Real Madrid have been the undisputed kings of Europe of late, winning 3 of the last four editions of the Champions League. No team apart from Barcelona and Juventus has come close to competing on the same level.

But this season seems to be a lot more unpredictable. With Zinedine Zidane, the mastermind of Real's hat-trick of titles, stepping down from his job last season, the Spanish giants have been thrown into chaos. Julen Lopetegui was a disaster, and no one is really betting on Santiago Solari to help them retain their title.

English clubs like Liverpool and Manchester City are now being favoured by many to lift the coveted prize. There's a very real possibility of seeing an unexpected winner this season.

Having said that, let's take a look at 5 of the most successful clubs in Champions League history:

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#5 Barcelona (5 titles)

Barcelona Victory Parade
Barcelona Victory Parade

Barcelona may have overtaken Real Madrid to become the dominant team domestically in Spain in recent times, but the Los Blancos have always trumped their rivals in Europe.

Since the Champions League was only open to the league winners from each country until 1992, Barca made their first appearance in the competition only in 1959.

They reached the final the very next season but lost out to Benfica. Their first ever title surprisingly came only 31 years later, when they beat Sampdoria 1-0 in the final through a Ronald Koeman free kick.

After Pep Guardiola took over as manager, they went on to beat Manchester United in 2 finals in 3 years.

In 2015, they famously beat giants like City, PSG, Bayern and Juventus en route to the title that sealed their second treble. To date, they are the only Spanish team to have achieved that feat, and also the only club to have done it twice.

The Blaugrana seem to be running away with the league title this season, but the players have made it clear that the Champions League is their primary target. Valverde and his men will be eager to end Real's vice-like grip on the competition this year.

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