The History of UEFA Champions League
The very first European football tournament was held between the football clubs of Austro-Hungarian Empire which was known as the Challenge Cup. After this tournament, another competition called as Mitropa Cup was held that featured the Central European Clubs in 1927. Later on, an inter-continental tournament between the champion clubs of Europe was held by the name of Coupe des Nations that was organized by a Swiss football clubs called Servette. This tournament was hosted in Geneva and has featured 10 champion clubs from the continent. The Coupe des Nations tournament was won by a Hungarian club, Ujpest.
In 1949, the other Latin European Countries were brought together to form Latin Cup. After the successful tournaments, a Journalist ‘Gabriel Hanot’ proposed to feature a wide European tournament that will includes clubs from all over the continent. After Wolver Hampton Wanderers was hailed as the European Champion football club by Stan Cullis for being winning all the friendly matches in 1950s, Gabriel Hanot was finally able to convince the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to host such a continental tournament. Therefore, UEFA has hosted a European Champion Club’s Cup in 1995 at Paris.
The History of UEFA Champions League
Sixteen football clubs from the continent participated in the first season of 1955-56. These clubs were the following; Real Madrid, Partizan, Milan, PSV Eindhoven, AGF Aarhus, Djurgarden, Hibernian, Anderlect, Gwardia Warszawa, Rot-Weiss Essen, Rapid Wein, Sporting CP, Servette, Saarbrucken, Voros Lobogo and Stade de Reims. The first match of the tournament was held between Sporting CP and Partizan that ended up in a 3-3 draw. The very first goal of this tournament was scored by Baptista Martins of Sporting CP. Hence the tournament went on and the final match of the European tournament was contested by Real Madrid and State de Reims. However, Real Madrid were able to won the match by 4-3 with Hector Rial scoring two goals and one each from Marquitos and Parc des Princes.
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid in the next season of the European tournament successfully defended the trophy at their home stadium in Florentina against Santiago Bernabeu. After the first half of the match remains 0-0, Real Madrid scored two goals in just 6 minutes to defeat the Santiago Bernabeu. In 1958, the European tournament final was held between Milan and Real Madrid. The match remained at 1-1 initially but Francisco Gento scored a second goal for Real Madrid making them the champions again for the third consecutive times. Eintracht Frankfurt became the first German football club to reach the final of the European tournament. The final match of the 1959-60 season has witnessed the most goals scoring of 7-3 in which Real Madrid scored 7 goals against Eintracht Frankfurt and won the trophy. Four of the goals were scored by Ferenc Puskas while three of the goals were scored by Alfredo Di Stefano. Although, Real Madrid still holds the record of winning the European tournament for five consecutive times.
After the passage of several years, the European tournament has adopted the name of UEFA Champions League more officially. The UEFA tournament starts with a total number of 32 football clubs divided into 8 groups. Each team is suppose to play at its own home ground and once on their opponent’s home ground. The winning team and the runner up from each group progress to the next level round.. However, the team placed at third position joins the UEFA Europa League. The winning clubs from the each group faces the runner up from the other group. The tournament operates through the away goals rule. If the two football matches ended up with same aggregate then the team who scored more away goals advances. The group stage begins in September each year and the knockout round begins in February.