Real Madrid are by far the most successful club in the European Cup history, having won the prestigious trophy a total of 13 times. Their closest rivals in terms of titles are AC Milan, who have won the Champions League totally seven times, most recent one was in 2007 when they competed against Liverpool.
Real Madrid’s European dominance
Real Madrid have dominated the Champions League in recent time and brought home the trophy four out of five times between 2013 and 2018. They failed only once during the 2015 season when they were defeated by Juventus in the semi-finals, with longtime rivals Barcelona ultimately winning the trophy. Having won the trophy in 2018, there were high expectation for the reigning champions in the future. However, in the 2019 season, the European giants were defeated by underdogs team, Ajax, in the quarter final stage of the competition, marking their earliest elimination from Europe during the last nine years.
The Champions League is big business
The total income of the UEFA Champions League was worth over 2.1 billion euros in the 2017/18, a significant increase from the revenue of just under 1.1 billion euros in the 2009/10 season. With the club competition growing to be one of the most popular in the world, the rights to broadcast the games are unsurprisingly worth a remarkable amount of money. In the 2017/18 season, the competition generated total revenue of over 1.7 billion euros from broadcasting rights only and an additional 390 million euros in commercial rights. While soccer still has a long way to go to achieve the popularity of traditional sports such as American Football and basketball in the United States, it is obvious that interest in the sport is growing significantly and rapidly. A total of two million U.S. viewers tuned into the Champions League final in 2018, an increase from 1.7 million in 2016.