Some of the most iconic arenas in Europe have had packed houses to witness club football’s biggest stage.

The UEFA Champions League is considered the pinnacle of European football. Go around asking a footballer what his dream would be, chances are more than half of them would be dreaming to play in as many UCL finals and to win it the most times. The stage that sets European football’s creme-de-la-creme against each other in a bid to be crowned the best in Europe has produced scores of magical moments and legendary players on show for audiences to admire. It is also the competition that separates the best from the rest.

The biggest stage in club football demands the biggest audience and the best spectacle for viewers. Some of the best stadiums in Europe have been witness to the UCL finals and some of them have been host to it more than the rest. Here, we take a look at the five stadiums that have hosted the most number of UEFA Champions League finals.

5. San Siro – Milan

The beautiful San Siro stadium has been the venue of the Champions League on four occasions. The stadium has a total capacity of close to 76,000 and has always been a packed house for all the finals. It is the Italian stadium with the most Champions League finals appearances as well.

The stadium has hosted 1964-65, 1969-70, 2000-01 and the 2015-16 finals. Out of the four, two finals were decided on penalties, 2000-01 and 2015-16, and were won by current European champions Bayern Munich and record-holders Real Madrid respectively. The 2015-16 triumph started Real Madrid’s run of three consecutive continental wins. The 1964-65 final won by Inter Milan is only the second occasion when a team won the showpiece event at their home stadium.

4. Ernst-Happel Stadion – Vienna

The Ernst-Happel Stadion in the beautiful city of Vienna was renamed from “Pratenstadion” to honour the Austrian footballer and coach Ernst Happel. Happel achieved some great feats in his managerial career. He is among a list of five coaches including Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Jupp Heyneckes to have won the European Cup with two different clubs (Feyenoord – 1969/70 and Hamburger SV – 1982-83).

The stadium, which has a capacity of 50,865 has hosted four finals (1963-64, 1986-87, 1989-90 and 1994-95). It was the stadium where Inter Milan and Porto won their first-ever continental title in their illustrious histories. The stadium played host to 1989-90 final which saw the all-conquering AC Milan side managed by the legendary manager Arrigo Sacchi when Milan became the last side before Real Madrid to win consecutive European finals.

Apart from the Champions League, the stadium has been an illustrious host to the UEFA Euros in 2008 where it hosted the opening match and the final of the tournament.

3. Heysel Stadium – Brussels

The Heysel Stadium in Brussels has also hosted four finals. The ground used to always seat more than its capacity of 50,093 seats. Real Madrid will have fond memories of the ground as they won two of their thirteen trophies at this ground(1957-58 and 1965-66). The other victors on the ground include Bayern Munich in 1973-74 which began their journey of adding two more continental titles and Juventus in 1984-85.

The 1984-85 final is infamous for stampede and riots between Juventus and Liverpool fans which caused the death of 39 people with 14 Liverpool fans accused and convicted of manslaughter. They were imprisoned for three years and English clubs were banned from European competitions for the next five years.

That was the last time that the Heysel Stadium has ever hosted a Champions League final. It hosts the football games of the Belgian National Football Team.

2. Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid

Santiago Bernabeu is no doubt among the most captivating stadiums in the world. The home of the record holders has hosted the four UCL finals, including the second-ever edition which was won by the home team Real Madrid as part of their sweep of the first five championships.

The 81,044 strong arena can be imposing to view and raucous in noise when filled to the brim. The stadium hosted 1957-58, 1968-69, 1979-80 and the 2009-10 UCL finals. The 2009-10 final is of particular importance as Italian serial winners Inter Milan saw off Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final to win their first-ever treble. They became (then) only the second team to complete a European treble in the Champions League era.

1. Wembley Stadium – London

There are a few stadiums in the world that can challenge the marvel of the Wembley Stadium. The national stadium of England has hosted the most number of finals of the biggest prize in club football. Wembley, in total, has hosted the finals seven times.

The stadium has hosted the final in both its old and new versions. As part of the old Wembley Stadium, five finals were played in the stadium (then 82,000 strong). In its new variant, the stadium has hosted the 2011 and 2013 UCL finals respectively won by FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Munich. The latter completed their treble with their final win over Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona are the most successful in finals at the Wembley, winning on both occasions that they have participated in.

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