The most coveted trophy at the professional soccer club level, the UEFA Champions League features the best of the best top-division sides from Europe each year. Founded in 1955 and rebranded as the Champions League we know it today, the tournament includes 32 teams divided into eight groups which compete in a qualification double-knockout stage format. Real Madrid has been dominant over the last 16 years, winning the Champions League four times since 2000. [-]
Real Madrid, which has an all-time leading 11 Champions League, captured the 2016 crown after defeating La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in the final. Serie A powerhouse AC Milan is next on the Champions League’s all-time wins list with seven titles, followed by Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Liverpool all sitting at five championships apiece.
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who also played with Manchester United, is the Champions League’s all-time scoring leader with 93 goals in 127 matches. Ronaldo sits 10 goals ahead of Barcelona star Lionel Messi, who is second in all-time scoring with 83 goals in 106 matches.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas has made the most Champions League appearances with 156, followed by former teammate Xavi who’s made 151 showings in the tournament.
It’s paramount to keep track of which teams score on the road as the tournament uses a away goals format as tiebreakers in the knockout stage if the aggregate of the two games remains a draw. [-]
This is an important thing to remember before placing a bet on the Champions League.
The final, which is one game winner takes all, will be played on June 3, 2017 at the National Stadium of Wales.
When looking at the Champions League standings, expect to see a handful of teams usually at the top. [-]
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are always Champions League contenders even before the competition begins.
Expect much of the same for the 2016-17 edition, with Bayern Munich, PSG and even Juventus possibily making a title run.
Be sure to keep track of where your team sits in the standings before placing your wager.
Twenty-two sides have already secured a spot in the Champions League group stage, including three-time titleholders Barcelona as well as Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Other clubs included into group play include FC Porto, Manchester City Arsenal among others.
Barcelona is the early favorite — at +275 — to win the Champions League outright, according to Bet365.com’s early line. Bayern Munich — the 2013 champions — is at +400 to win it all, followed by Ronaldo and Real Madrid at +450.
Along with Messi, Barcelona boasts a potent offense that also includes Brazilian forward Neymar, who recently inked a five-year extension to stay with the La Liga powerhouse. Throw striker Luis Suarez into the mix, and Barca have a deadly trio that can carry them to a sixth Champions League crown.
Ready to bet on the Champions League? Here are a few online sportsbook options to help make your betting decisions easier.