Many regard the Champions League as the biggest and most exciting football competition in Europe. With the Champions League final around the corner, we take a look at the record books to see who has won the most Champions League titles, both as clubs and players.
This year, Manchester City, under the guidnace of Pep Guardiola, are looking to claim their first-ever UCL trophy as they face an in-form Inter Milan side that is equally determined to go all the way. Who will be crowned Champions in Istanbul? Let's dig up the archives to unearth some fun facts about clubs and players with the most titles in Champions League history.
- 1 Clubs and Players with the Most UEFA Champions League Trophies
- 2 Real Madrid – 14
- 3 AC Milan – 7
- 4 Liverpool – 6
- 5 Bayern Munich – 6
- 6 Barcelona – 5
- 7 Players with the Most UEFA Champions League Trophies
- 8 Paco Gento – Real Madrid–6
- 9 Cristiano Ronaldo – 5
- 10 Alessandro Costacurta
- 11 Gareth Bale
- 12 Karim Benzema
Clubs and Players with the Most UEFA Champions League Trophies
— Manchester City Looking to Win their first-ever UCL title (@ChampionsLeague) June 9, 2023
With Manchester City looking to claim their first UEFA Champions League crown, let's quickly flash back to clubs and players who have had the most glorious moments in this competition.
Real Madrid – 14
Real Madrid have dominated both Spanish football as well as the Champions League. Los Blancos are currently touted as the most successful team in the European competition with fourteen titles, making them the all-time greatest Champions League team. Real Madrid noticeably made history as the first team to win the Champions League consecutively four times, between 2013-14 and 2017-18. It was in fact Manchester City who stopped Ancelotti's men this season as they tried to hunt down a 15th title.
AC Milan – 7
AC Milan are ranked among Europe’s elite teams and they were the first Italian team to compete in the Champions League in 1955. The Rossoneri have won the competiton seven times, making them the team with the second-highest number of titles after Real Madrid. They were knocked out this season in a breathtaking derby against Inter Milan in the semi-finals. The Champions League has eluded them for many years now, last winning the trophy in 2007 against Liverpool.
Liverpool – 6
Liverpool are one of the five teams that have recorded five or more European titles. The Reds boast of the highest number of European and international trophies among the British teams–fourteen titles. The English club had to be patient as they endured a fourteen-year wait since 2005 to lift the title for the sixth time in 2019 after a 2-0 victory over Tottenham.
Bayern Munich – 6
Bayern Munich are one of the most legendary football teams in Europe. The Bavarians are famed for winning eight European titles, including six Champions League trophies. Germany's most successful club first won the Champions League in 1973-74. They fell short this season thanks to a new European powerhouse (Manchester City), who are hoping to go all the way and lift their first ever Champions League trophy.
Barcelona – 5
Barcelona have been one of the most successful football teams in Spain. The Catalan club fell below par in this season's Champions League title race–failing to make it out of the group stage. However, Barcelona are among the top five teams in the Champions League title with five trophies to their name, winning their first back in 1992. With the new developments in the team, we hope Barcelona will be back with a bang next season to challenge for the iconic trophy once more.
Players with the Most UEFA Champions League Trophies
Below is a list of players who have won the most UCL trophies to this date.
Paco Gento – Real Madrid–6
The Spanish footballer, known for his state-of-the-art dribbling skills and lightning pace, tops the list of players with the highest number of Champions League titles. Real Madrid fans still hold him in high esteem for his accurate passes that tore defences whenever called to duty. Paco Gento could clock 100 meters in eleven seconds, making him one of the best left-wingers of all time. He won six trophies with Los Blancos during his 18-year stay at the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo – 5
Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players to have ever graced the game due to his great dribbling skills, famous free-kicks, and incredible scoring prowess. Football enthusiasts first learnt of his prowess during his rise with Sporting Lisbon before moving to Manchester United to play at the Theatre of Dreams. The Portuguese forward is the joint second-highest Champions League winner with five titles. He first won the Champions League title at Manchester United and then won it repeatedly at Real Madrid. He last won the trophy with Les Blancos, after failing to bring the trophy to Italy when he was with Juventus.
The Italian defender features among the players with the highest Champions League titles. The centre-back stayed with AC Milan for over 20 years, becoming one of the club's oldest scorers. His collaboration with the duo of Mauro Tassotti and Paolo Maldini still evokes memories among the Rossoneri fans as a member of the Hall of Fame. He has five Champions League titles, the joint second-highest tally in the competition. He lifted the Champions League trophy in the 1988-89 season when his side got the better of Steaua Bucuresti in the final game. His last Champions League trophy came in the 2006-07 season when AC Milan defeated Liverpool in the final.
Gareth Bale started as a left full-back at Tottenham Hotspur before advancing to a more attacking position, where elite European clubs spotted his attacking prowess. Real Madrid won the race to sign him and it turned out to be the right move for him, as he went on to win five Champions League titles. The most memorable trophy for the Walesman was the dramatic 2017-18 Champions League final when he scored a memorable overhead kick against Liverpool, one of the greatest goals ever scored in a final.
Karim Benzema won 24 trophies at Real Madrid including three Copa del Rey and four La Liga titles. The player who now heads to Suadi Arabia also won five Champions League trophies with Los Blancos. His outstanding performance in the Champions League positions him at the helm of the competition's all-time goal scorer chart with 90 goals. Karim Benzema was instrumental in Los Blancos' four back-to-back champions league wins, motivating and inspiring his side throughout his time at the club. His top class performances earned him the coveted UEFA Men's Player of the Year accolade in the 2021/22 season. He has left his legendary club to join Al Ittihad in Saudi Arabia after fourteen years-stay at Santiago Bernabéu.