UEFA Champions League: The Biggest Club Football Competition in the World

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Introduction The UEFA Champions League is the premier club football competition in Europe, and one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world. The competition features the top clubs from the various European leagues, and is contested in a group stage and knockout format.

History The Champions League was first held in 1955 under the name of the European Cup. It was renamed the UEFA Champions League in 1992, and the format of the competition was changed to include a group stage.

Format The Champions League is currently contested by 32 teams. The teams are divided into eight groups of four, and each team plays the other teams in their group home and away. The top two teams from each group qualify for the knockout stage.

Knockout stage The knockout stage consists of two-legged ties, with the aggregate winner of each tie progressing to the next round. The knockout stage concludes with the final, which is played at a different stadium each year.

Most successful teams Real Madrid are the most successful team in the Champions League, having won the competition a record 14 times. AC Milan are second with seven titles, followed by Bayern Munich with six titles.

All-time leading scorers Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, with 140 goals. Lionel Messi is second with 129 goals, followed by Robert Lewandowski with 89 goals.

Most appearances Iker Casillas is the player with the most appearances in the Champions League, with 181. Cristiano Ronaldo is second with 180 appearances, followed by Lionel Messi with 161 appearances.