Ranked! EVERY team to have won the Champions League, from worst to best
17. Real Madrid (1998)
Real Madrid waited 32 years for this moment, and finally managed to end their drought by beating the two previous winners. Deprioritising La Liga, Jupp Heynckes decided to focus solely on the Champions League, and his team deservedly beat Borussia Dortmund in the semis before surprising Juventus in the final at Amsterdam Arena.
Predrag Mijatovic scored the only goal in what was a rather disappointing affair, and the curse had finally been dealt with. Despite the low-key final, this was a magnificent team, with Fernando Hierro at the back, Clarence Seedorf and Christian Karembeu in midfield and the young Raul calling the shots in attack. However, regaining the crown as champions of Europe was still not enough for Heynckes to keep his job: the German was fired because Madrid only finished fourth in La Liga.
16. Liverpool (2005)
In Rafa Benitez's first season as manager, Liverpool were far from the best team in England - so much so that they finished fifth - but the character they showed in Europe was second to none. The miracle of Istanbul will be remembered forever, as the Reds came back from 3-0 down at half-time to score three themselves in just six minutes against Milan. Jerzy Dudek then produced one of the greatest saves in history from Andriy Shevchenko's effort, and the Pole proved to be the hero in the penalty shootout as well.
Liverpool were a rather tactical side those days, able to outfox Juventus in the quarter-finals, then remained unbreached throughout 180 minutes against Jose Mourinho's Premier-pummeling Chelsea in the semis, beating the Blues with a controversial Luis Garcia goal. They were not always exciting, but the final heroics simply can't be ignored.
15. Juventus (1996)
During the mid-90s Marcello Lippi's Juventus overtook Fabio Capello's Milan as Italy's most dominant team, and the ultimate proof was their Champions League triumph. The Old Lady's most difficult hurdle was in the quarter-finals when they lost 1-0 to Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu, but managed to win 2-0 in the return leg thanks to the brilliant performance of Alessandro Del Piero.
The Golden Boy of Italian football flourished that season, and he was very influential in the final against Ajax at Stadio Olimpico, even though it was decided on penalties. This was a typically well-oiled Serie A machine with Didier Deschamps ably helped in midfield by Paulo Sousa and Antonio Conte – all of whom would later become top coaches.
14. Real Madrid (2000)
After shotgunning through seven managers in four years, Real Madrid found stability under a man they had already twice turned to temporarily. Vicente Del Bosque moulded several sexy signings into a team with a fluid style which won over the hearts of many neutral fans. The most famous moment of that season was the outrageous trick Fernando Redondo performed in order to get past Manchester United's Henning Berg before assisting Raul in the superb 3-2 win at Old Trafford in the quarter-finals.
Raul was unstoppable with 10 goals in the competition that term. Having taken care of the holders, Los Blancos then threw out the 1999 finalists Bayern Munich, before thrashing Valencia 3-0 in the final at Stade de France. Steve McManaman scored and had a great game that night, and that was the Englishman's best season in Spain.
13. Milan (2007)
Some feared that Carlo Ancelotti's Milan could run out of steam after Andriy Shevchenko was sold to Chelsea in 2006, but they actually became more efficient, and saved their best performances for the Champions League knockout stages.
The 2-0 win over Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena was a masterpiece. The 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United at San Siro in the semi-finals was superb, and it followed the dramatic 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford that is remembered as one of the best games in the competition.
Kaka scored three goals against the Red Devils, and the Brazilian maestro was in his prime, helped by Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso in a vibrant midfield. Filippo Inzaghi, one of the greatest strikers in the tournament's history, scored a typical brace against Liverpool in the final.
12. Barcelona (2006)
If 2006/07 belonged to Kaka, 2005/06 was Ronaldinho's time. Frank Rijkaard built his side around the Brazilian's genius, and the Ballon d'Or winner led Barcelona to their first European success since 1992. Ronaldinho scored seven goals in the Champions League that term, while Lionel Messi made his debut in the competition and was infamously fouled by Chelsea's Asier Del Horno in the second round.
The Basque's subsequent dismissal was crucial in that tie, as were the marching orders given to Jens Lehmann early in the final at Stade de France. Arsenal managed to take the lead with 10 men, only for substitute Henrik Larsson to provide two late assists and give Barça a deserved Champions League triumph. But their best was yet to come.
11. Bayern Munich (2001)
Bayern were traumatised by the extraordinarily dramatic defeat by Manchester United in the 1999 final, when they came so close to being crowned winners. Ottmar Hitzfeld, who aspired to lead two German clubs to the Champions League triumph, made his team even stronger, and they prevailed in 2001 with some remarkable achievements in the knockout stages.
Bayern managed to beat both previous holders home and away, overcoming the Red Devils in the quarter-finals and then Real Madrid in the semis. Giovane Elber scored three crucial goals in those matches for a team that also starred Oliver Kahn in goal and was captained by Stefan Effenberg. They might have required a penalty shootout against Valencia in the final, but this was a superb side.
10. Barcelona (2011)
This was Lionel Messi's most productive Champions League season for a title-winning team. The Argentinian genius scored 12 goals in the competition – and none more important than the brace against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu in the semi-finals, including one goal of particularly outrageous quality.
Barcelona were in sparkling form more often than not this season, with Xavi and Andres Iniesta calling the shots in midfield, and David Villa enjoying a positive first season up front. Villa found the net, alongside Pedro and Messi, in the final against Manchester United, when Barcelona dominated Alex Ferguson's team in a 3-1 win at Wembley.
9. Real Madrid (2002)
That was the season when the Galacticos dream of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was supposed to become reality. With Zinedine Zidane joining Raul, Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo, this was an incredibly talented team that scored 27 goals in 12 matches over the two group stages. They also proved to have a lot of character when Bayern Munich scored a pair of late goals in the quarter-final first leg, as Los Blancos were resilient enough to win 2-0 in the away leg and go through.
They proceeded to beat Barcelona 2-0 at the Camp Nou in the semis, then Zidane scored one of the most iconic goals in the Champions League history in the final against Bayer Leverkusen. Sadly for the Spaniards, Perez didn't understand how crucial Claude Makelele was to the team, and the project fell apart a year later when the Frenchman was sold to Chelsea and not replaced.