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The UEFA Champions League was formed as the European Cup in 1955. In 1992 the format of the competition was expanded and re-branded as the UEFA Champions League. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, contested by top-division European clubs.
Since the 1990s, the competition has included a group stage, allowing the runner-up clubs from some nations' top-level leagues to compete. Whilst most nations only enter the winner of their national league, Europe's strongest national leagues can now potentially enter up to 5 teams in the competition.
32 teams take part in the competition proper. 22 teams are qualified in advance, and the remaining 10 places are taken by teams that qualify through the knock-out and play-off rounds starting mid-July.
The final 32 teams are drawn into 8 groups of four teams who play each team in their group twice. The group winners and runners-up of the group phase then proceed to the final knock-out rounds of the tournament. The final takes place in May or early June.
Since the tournament began in 1955, 22 teams have won the European Cup or Champions League. 12 of these have won on multiple occasions. Real Madrid are the most successful team, having won 14 times and been runners-up in 4 other years. The winners of the cup have come from 10 nations. The most successful nation in the tournament is Spain with 19 wins, followed by England with 15 wins. England is also the country that has provided the highest number of winning clubs and the highest number of finalists, 6 and 9 respectively.
The final has involved 2 teams from the same country on 8 occasions. Since 1992 the record for making it to consecutive finals is held jointly by 2 teams, Milan and Juventus, with 3 finals each.
Real Madrid are the only team in the UEFA Champions League era to defend their title successfully.
Each season over £1 billion in bets are placed on the Champions League. It is one of the most popular betting events in the world, beaten only by the Super Bowl.
Betting on the outright winner of the tournament is popular, but a variety of other bets can be placed. It is possible to place bets on which teams reach the final, which teams will place as winner and runner-up and the winner's nationality. Bets can be placed on the final taking place between 2 teams from the same country.
You can bet on each group's winner and individual matches in the group stages.
It is also popular to place bets on the tournament's highest goal scorer.
The Champions League has broadcast partners all over the world. In the UK matches can be watched on TNT Sport (Formerly BT Sport) and in the Republic of Ireland on RTE, Virgin and Livescore.
In the US it can be watched on Paramount+ and in Canada on DAZN.