Champions League: Ranking every winner of the competition from worst to best

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Paris Saint-Germain face Bayern Munich in a mouth-watering Champions League final tonight.

The individual brilliance of PSG versus the incredible team of Bayern.

The German side are favourites and, if they were to win, they would surely go down as one of the best sides in Champions League history.

But where would they rank in the list of teams that have won the Champions League since the competition’s rebrand?

Well, FourFourTwo have ranked every side to have won it since the competition began in 1993.

Let’s take a look at the list:

27. Marseille (1993)

The first ever Champions League winners. But the victory is shrouded in controversy after owner Bernard Tapie tried fixing a league match in Ligue 1 so his side could avoid injury ahead of the Champions League final.

They beat Milan 1-0 in the final.

26. Chelsea (2012)

Beating Bayern Munich in their own backyard on penalties - it was a great way for Chelsea to win their first ever Champions League.

But Roberto Di Matteo’s side were battered by Bayern, being outshot 35-9 in attempts on the night. There have been far better Chelsea sides.

25. Milan (2003)

Probably the worst Champions League ever as Milan and Juventus drew 0-0 before Carlo Ancelotti’s side won on penalties.

24. Porto (2004)

Jose Mourinho’s produced wonders to win the Champions League with this Porto side. But they were fortunate to beat Manchester United in the quarters, unconvincingly beat Deportivo La Coruna 1-0 in the semi-final before their 3-0 win over Monaco in the final.

23. Milan (1994)

Fabio Capello’s side were underdogs in their final against Barcelona but won 4-0. Don’t let that final performance make you think this was an entertaining Milan side, though. They scored six goals in their six group stage games and netted just 36 times in 34 matches on the way to winning Serie A.

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22. Manchester United (2008)

Despite having Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, United scored just eight goals in seven knockout matches. If it wasn’t for John Terry’s slip in Moscow, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side wouldn’t have won the competition.

21. Inter (2010)

You know what you’re getting with a Mourinho side. Just 32% possession in the final against Bayern Munich but a Diego Milito brace sealed victory.

20. Real Madrid (2016)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s 16 goals during the 2015/16 Champions League campaign helped Zinedine Zidane’s side win the first of three consecutive titles. They needed penalties to overcome Atletico Madrid this time.

19. Borussia Dortmund (1997)

Ottmar Hitzfeld's side beat heavy favourites and holders Juventus 3-1 in Munich with Lars Ricken scoring a brilliant lob just 16 seconds after coming on as a substitute.

18. Real Madrid (1998)

After 32 years of hurt, Real Madrid finally won the European Cup again as they beat Juventus in the final. Predrag Mijatovic scored the only goal of the game for Jupp Heynckes’ side.

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17. Liverpool (2005)

Who can forget the miracle of Istanbul?

In truth, Rafa Benitez’s side weren’t great and finished fifth in the Premier League during the 2004/05 season. But they deserve credit for coming back from 3-0 down at half-time against a Milan side featuring the likes of Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka and Andriy Shevchenko.

16. Juventus (1996)

Juve had a midfield featuring Didier Deschamps, Paulo Sousa and Antonio Conte - three men who would go on to become successful managers. They beat Ajax on penalties in the final led by a young Alessandro Del Piero.

15. Real Madrid (2000)

Englishman Steve McManaman scored in the final as they beat Valencia 3-0. Who can forget Fernando Redondo’s assist against Manchester United in the quarters?

14. Liverpool (2019)

Liverpool scraped through their group with three defeats in their three away games in the group. But they eased past Bayern Munich and Porto before producing THAT incredible comeback against Barcelona in the semi-final. They then beat Spurs 2-0 in the final in Madrid.

13. Milan (2007)

Carlo Ancelotti's side got revenge on Liverpool two years after Istanbul. They probably weren’t as good as they were in 2005 but Filippo Inzaghi’s brace was enough to beat the Reds.

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12. Barcelona (2006)

One year earlier, Barca narrowly edged out ten-men Arsenal in Paris. It wasn’t a vintage Barcelona side but Ronaldinho, Deco and Samuel Eto’o were the stars.

11. Bayern Munich (2001)

The German forgot all about 1999 (more on that later) by beating Manchester United in the quarters and then holders Real Madrid in the semi-final. They then beat Valencia on penalties in the final.

10. Barcelona (2011)

A certain Lionel managed 12 goals this campaign, including a brilliant brace against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the semi-finals. Then they absolutely dominated Manchester United at Wembley, winning 3-1 with Xavi and Andres Iniesta pulling the strings.

9. Real Madrid (2002)

THAT Zidane goal vs Bayer Leverkusen in the final. Need we say more?

8. Real Madrid (2014)

Ronaldo scored SEVENTEEN goals during the 2013/14 Champions League campaign to help his side land la decima. They needed Sergio Ramos’ injury-time goal in the final to eventually get the better of Atletico Madrid, though.

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7. Ajax (1995)

Just take a look at some of the news in Louis van Gaal’s side: Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Jari Litmanen, Finidi George and Marc Overmars. An 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert also scored in the final as they beat a much-fancied AC Milan.

6. Real Madrid (2017)

Ronaldo proved he was the Champions League king with five goals over the two quarter-final ties against Bayern Munich, a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the semi-final and a further two in a 4-1 victory over Juventus in the final.

5. Real Madrid (2018)

One year later, Real made it three in a row thanks to Gareth Bale’s incredible overhead kick and Loris Karius’ errors. They had beaten  PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich to reach the final and Zidane decided leading his side to there Champions Leagues was the perfect time to bow out. For a little while anyway…

4. Barcelona (2015)

Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar were pretty much unstoppable. Incidentally, they beat the champions of England (Manchester City), the champions of France (PSG) and the champions of Germany (Bayern Munich) before beating the champions of Italy (Juventus) in the final. 

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3. Bayern Munich (2013)

When you beat Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate in the semi-final, you must be a pretty decent side. Jupp Heynckes’ side certainly were, even if they did need a late Arjen Robben goal to beat Borussia Dortmund late on at Wembley.

2. Manchester United (1999)

The treble winners.

Those two late Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goals sealed the most dramatic victory in the competition’s history against Bayern Munich. It’s also worth remembering Fergie’s side were without Roy Keane and Paul Scholes.

1. Barcelona (2009)

The greatest Champions League-winning side in the competition’s history are Barcelona’s 2009 team.

Guardiola in charge, Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets in midfield with Eto’o, Thierry Henry and Messi.

En route to their win, they overcame Bayern in the quarters and Chelsea - very controversially - in the semis. But they completely dominated United in Rome with Eto’o and Messi scoring in a 2-0 win.

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