The continental tournament has produced many iconic matches of the sport over the years.
The UEFA Champions League is no doubt the premier competition in the European footballing calendar. Featuring the creme-de-la-creme of European football, the UEFA Champions League demands the utmost best from the players in their quest to usurp the others in order to be crowned Europe’s finest.
Since its inception in 1955 as the European Champion’s Club Cup or simply the European Cup, the tournament was rebranded as the modern and more boisterous equivalent as the ‘UEFA Champions League’ and has gone on to see legends of the game past and present pull off the jerseys of many famous clubs and provide plenty of wonderful action. From great goals to multiple titles, to jaw-dropping comebacks, the tournament has shown it all to us in different shades.
Winning the UEFA Champions League is considered the utmost honor but there have been certain teams who have been on the unlucky side of defeat more than the others. Today we rank the top five clubs with most losses in the Champions League finals.
5. Atletico Madrid – Three times
Atletico Madrid have been one of modern football’s best tales of resurgence. A team that were considered capable of pulling an upset, with shrewd business and a committed manager and squad, they have managed to become one of the most feared teams in Europe.
Under current coach Diego Simeone Atletico have become a force to be reckoned with and just not another pushover club. But the Rojiblancos have had one eluding piece of silverware in their cabinet which has been the Champions League due to their failure to overcome the final stage. They are yet to win a title having lost once way back in 1974 to a Franz Beckenbauer led Bayern Munich and lost two close finals to city rivals Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016.
4. AC Milan – Four times
AC Milan are the second most successful team in the history of the Champions League having won the cup on seven occasions only behind Real Madrid (13). But they have also been on the receiving end of the result having lost in four major finals.
Their penalty shootout loss to Liverpool in 2005 Champions League final particularly stands as a haunting nightmare for the Rossoneri as they blew a 3-0 half-time lead to grant Liverpool a miraculous comeback and the inspired Reds then went on to famously win with Andriy Shevchenko missing the crucial penalty.
They had previously lost in the Champions League finals in 1958, 1993 and 1995 to Real Madrid, Marseille and Ajax respectively.
3. Bayern Munich – Five times
Bayern Munich have had an equal share of success and defeat on the biggest stage in European club football with five cups and five defeats featuring equally in the highs and lows.
The Bavarians won their first ever title in 1974 and lost for the first time in the 1982 final to Aston Villa and lost two finals in three years once in 2010 against Inter Milan and then missing out on a glorious opportunity to win the title at home when they lost to Chelsea in the decisive penalty shootout.
Despite their near misses, Bayern have amassed serious numbers in the Champions League being only second to Real Madrid in the all-time Champions League statistics in terms of points amassed (during the group stage), most matches played and most seasons participated in (36).
2. SL Benfica – Five times
Benfica nudge ahead of Bayern in the list because of fewer titles won. The Portuguese club have been a bright spot in the UEFA Champions League but apart from the initial years in the competition have failed to punch above their weight.
As Aguias (The Eagles) have participated in 39 editions till date and won back-to-back titles in the early 60s under the guidance of Eusebio, however, have since lost in five finals thrice in the 60s and then once in 1988 against PSV Eindhoven and in 1990 to AC Milan.
Despite producing some great talents, Benfica have struggled to make a mark on the Champions League ever since and have had only defeat to show for their efforts.
1. Juventus FC – Seven times
Juventus have been one of the end of agony the most number of times in UEFA Champions League history. The Bianconeri have featured in seven finals where they had to contend with the runners-up medal.
Despite being the record holders of the Serie A by some distance (33 to AC Milan’s 18 in second), the Old Lady has somehow found the going tough in continental football with the Turin based side winning only two UEFA Champions League titles in 1985 and 1996.
Juventus have had the service of some of football’s finest among their ranks and will hope that the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo’s experience and passion for the competition can help them end their voodoo in the tournament and not leave them hanging again in the final moments.