Champions League Trophy and the Winners
Champions League Trophy and the Winners
The cup that is given to the winner of the Champions League has had two different designs throughout its history. The first version of the trophy was delivered from the first season (1955-1956) till the 1965-1966 season.
In March 1967, the UEFA Executive Committee authorized Real Madrid to take ownership of this trophy, which was donated by the newspaper L'Équipe at the beginning of the tournament.
Until the 2007-2008 season, the teams that were proclaimed champions (except for the third consecutive times or fifth alternate) had to return the trophy two months before the final of the following year, giving them a replica on a smaller scale in exchange.
List of all Champions League winners with the authentic trophy (not a replica) in their showcases according to the chronological order of its obtaining:
- Real Madrid (after winning the UCL in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, it's the only club that owns the authentic trophy with the first design, awarded it after its sixth victory in the competition, 5 in a row and 8 alternate).
- Ajax Amsterdam (after winning the 1971, 1972 and 1973 editions: 3 in a row)
- Bayern Munich (after winning the 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013 and 2020 UCL: 3 in a row and 3 alternate)
- AC Milan (after winning the 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007 UCL: 7 alternates)
- Liverpool FC (after winning the 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005 and 2019 UCL: 6 alternates).
- FC Barcelona (after winning the 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015 UCL: 5 alternates).
European Champions Cup 1955-1976
The first UCL tournament had 16 teams from 16 countries, but without an English team, which did not arouse much interest in the media. Until the third season, there were no English clubs in the competition, then the English Football Federation decided to take part in the UCL with Manchester United.
Representatives from 16 clubs were invited to a meeting on April 2 and April 3, 1955, and the L'Equipe rules were unanimously approved. The first match was the one played in Lisbon between Sporting Clube de Portugal and FK Partizan, which ended with a tie at three.
The first winner of the competition was Real Madrid, a team that won the trophy 5 consecutive years, defeating teams such as Stade de Reims (1955-1956), AC Fiorentina (1956-1957), AC Milan (1957-1958) , Stade de Reims (1958-1959) and Eintracht Frankfurt (1959-1960).
In the 1960-1961 season, Real Madrid was eliminated by its historic rival, FC Barcelona. Later the Catalans reached the final round but were defeated by SL Benfica, who became the new champion. The Portuguese team of Benfica repeated the success of the previous year and, defeat in the final at Real Madrid 5-3.
SL Benfica reached the final again for the 3rd time in a row, but lost to Italian AC Milan at London's Wembley Stadium. Next year, Inter Milan won the Cup in Vienna defeating Real Madrid, and they were also champions in the 1964-1965 season at the San Siro stadium defeating Benfica. In 1965-1966, Real Madrid won a title again, the sixth, defeating Partizan de Belgrado in Brussels.
In 1966-1967, Celtic from Glasgow was proclaimed the winner, (a team that at that time had no foreigners and was made up only of Scottish players), they won the Champions Cup over Inter Milan in Lisbon.
In 1968 Man United became the 1st English club to win the UCL title by defeating SL Benfica. In 1968-1969 AC Milan beat Ajax in the final for 4-1.
The Netherlands dominated the competition for the next four years, winning a title at Feyenoord (1969-1970) after beating Celtic in overtime; and three from Ajax Amsterdam against Panathinaikos from Greece (1970-1971); FC Internazionale of Italy (1971-1972) and against Juventus FC of Italy (1972-1973).
For the next three seasons a German team, Bayern Munich, dominated the competition. It began by winning the final of (1973-1974) at Atlético de Madrid, also at Leeds United (1974-1975) and against the French team AS Saint-Ètienne (1975-1976).