The Champions League anthem will not resonate in stadiums and lounges for the foreseeable future. The coronavirus pandemic has seen the first European competition take a back seat and only time will tell how the last knockout games of the 2019/20 season will be played. But let’s ignore the speculation about one-legged matches or extravagance of tournaments in Istanbul for a second and think about why we love the Champions League in the first place.
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Return videos have been around recently with so many isolated or stranded people, so it’s inevitable that legendary European teams will be featured. Some people would say that Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona is the biggest we have ever seen, while others would point to the quintessential AC Milan and Real Madrid teams over the years.
Greatest ever Champions League winners
But whichever team you liked the most, you can’t deny the pleasure of opening a debate on the best teams in the Champions League in history. And here at GIVEMESPORT, we love the support of Tier Maker to settle this kind of quarrel and we decided to filter each winner of the Champions League in our level system.
So yes, it’s every team that has won since 1992 – with the exception of Real Madrid’s hat-trick winners, which we have put together into one – and you can see how we ranked them below.
With players like Didier Deschamps, Abedi Pele and Rudi Voller shining in this remarkable team, which violated one of the greatest defenses of football in the final, this Marseille team is legendary.
So why does it end at the bottom of our ranking? Well, because one wonders if the French side, the only club in his country to have won the competition, should have been stripped of the title.
Manchester United (1998/99)
Look, overeating doesn’t mean bad by any stretch of the imagination, every team on this list has won the Champions League and that makes them fantastic on that basis alone. Either way, the warnings aside. The Milan team in 1994 was wildly overestimated for the fact that it wiped out Barcelona 4-0 in the final, which while powerfully impressive was grossly unrepresentative of their napping football.
As for United, they deserve to be announced in the history books for winning the three major trophies, but things get much less impressive when you take their Champions League victory in isolation.
FC Porto (2003/04)
It goes without saying that you are making your own luck in sports. So this category is for teams that have tapped into their underdog minds, which is a big compliment depending on how you look at it.
Liverpool wasn’t quite vintage when it triumphed in 2005 – it was a team that finished fifth in the Premier League, after all – and their semi-final victory over Chelsea remains controversial. And although we can never deny their incredible character in the final, Milan should have seen the game either by parking the bus or by pulling harder on Andriy Shevchenko.
Sorry real fans, but the two Guardiola teams that won the Champions League in Barcelona were worthy of a level alone and we just couldn’t separate this majestic pair of teams. Admittedly, the 2009 Barça team brought their luck in the semifinal with Chelsea, but their 4-0 erasure from Bayern and their 2-0 victory over United in the final have been posted for history books.
Messi led an unstoppable offensive trident with Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry, while the triumvirate of midfielder Xavi, Andres Iniesta, and Sergio Busquets is arguably the largest ever assembled. Two years later and many of these players were still present, although we would argue that the new partners of Messi de Pedro and David Villa made the attack even more consistent than in 2009. It would, therefore, be fair to say that the League of champions has seen more remarkable winning teams over the years and it is incredibly difficult to separate them when they are all so brilliant.
And whether or not you agree that Chelsea 2012 is above 1999 United or any other decision, let us reassure you by saying that the 24 teams have achieved something that many legends have not managed to do. We simply divided one of the most esteemed levels in all of the football into much smaller levels. Think of it as selecting the best from the best.
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