It all began as the European Cup in 1955. The Inter Cities Fairs Cup was launched that same year, and while not officially recognised by UEFA today, is widely accepted as the precursor to the UEFA Cup, which is now obviously referred to as the Europa League.
The UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup was also a prestigious continental competition during its lifespan between 1960 and 1999, while the UEFA Super Cup, initially launched in 1973, seems to take on more significance and meaning as the years go by.
Taking those four main competitions into account (and excluding lesser and regional competitions such as the Intertoto Cup, Latin Cup and Anglo-Italian Cup), here’s a look at the 20 clubs who have won the most European trophies over the 65 years of pan-continental contests…
10. Dynamo Kyiv - 3
The Dynamo Kyiv golden side of Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov fell just short in the Champions League in the 1990s, reaching the semi-finals in 1998/99. But in the previous two decades, European silverware had made its way to Kyiv more than once.
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (2): 1974/75, 1985/86
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1975
-. Tottenham - 3
Tottenham couldn’t claim the ultimate European trophy in 2019 when they met domestic rivals Liverpool in the Champions League final, but they can lay claim to being the first English to win a European trophy in the early 1960s. They also later won the first-ever UEFA Cup.
UEFA Cup (2): 1971/72, 1983/84
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1962/63
-. Feyenoord - 3
A year before Ajax and reached the pinnacle of European football, domestic rivals Feyenoord beat them to the punch to become the first Dutch champions of Europe in 1970. Their most recent continental success came with a teenage Robin van Persie in the side.
European Cup (1): 1969/70
UEFA Cup (2): 1973/74, 2001/02
-. Nottingham Forest - 3
Enjoying a meteoric rise under legendary manager Brian Clough in the late 1970s, Nottingham Forest hold the bizarre record of winning more European Cups than national championships. Only two years before conquering Europe, Forest were in England’s second division.
European Cup (2): 1978/79, 1979/80
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1979
9. Parma - 4
Parma emerged as the ultimate and most celebrated cult team of the 1990s, winning three European trophies and the UEFA Super Cup in the space of just seven seasons. Gianfranco Zola, Faustino Asprilla, Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro and Hernan Crespo featured.
UEFA Cup (2): 1994/95, 1998/99
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1992/93
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1993
8. Anderlecht - 5
Belgian football is not known for its domestic strength, but Anderlecht have collected five European trophies over the years. They even played in three consecutive UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup finals in a row in the late 1970s, winning two of them.
UEFA Cup (1): 1982/83
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (2): 1975/76, 1977/78
UEFA Super Cup (2): 1976, 1978
-. Porto - 5
Porto are Portugal’s most successful side in European club competitions. While domestic rivals Benfica were infamously ‘cursed’ in the 1960s and have since lost eight European finals, Porto have a perfect record in the continent’s two biggest finals.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (2): 1986/87, 2003/04
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League (2): 2002/03, 2010/11
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1987
7. Valencia - 6
1978 World Cup winner and top scorer Mario Kempes was part of the Valencia side that beat Arsenal in the 1980 Cup Winners’ Cup final. That side was also managed by a true legend of European competition in the shape of Alfredo Di Stefano.
UEFA Cup (1): 2003/04
Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (2): 1961/62, 1962/63
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1979/80
UEFA Super Cup (2): 1980, 2004
-. Sevilla - 6
Sevilla have won more UEFA Cup/Europa League titles (5) than any other club in the history of the competition, all impressively within the last 15 years. Unai Emery was the man in charge for each of the most recent successes between 2013 and 2016.
UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League (5): 2005/06, 2006/07, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16
UEFA Super Cup (1): 2006
-. Chelsea - 6
The Champions League was the ultimate goal for Chelsea in the years after Roman Abramovich bought the club, although it was ironically as an underdog when they finally won it in 2012. The current era of long-term success really began in the 1990s with Cup Winners’ Cup glory.
UEFA Champions League (1): 2011/12
UEFA Europa League (2): 2012/13, 2018/19
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (2): 1970/71, 1997/98
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1998
-. Manchester United - 6
Manchester United were the first English club to lift the European Cup, doing so in 1968, 10 years after eight players had tragically died as a result of the Munich air disaster. The club completed the full set of European trophies by winning the Europa League in 2017.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (3): 1967/68, 1998/99, 2007/08
UEFA Europa League (1): 2016/17
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1990/91
UEFA Super Cup (1): 1991
-. Inter - 6
Inter remain the only Italian club to have successfully completed the treble, achieving that success when Jose Mourinho steered them to Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League glory in 2009/10. They also won the UEFA Cup three times in the 1990s alone.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (3): 1963/64, 1964/65, 2009/10
UEFA Cup (3): 1990/91, 1993/94, 1997/98
6. Atletico Madrid - 7
Atletico Madrid have enjoyed an impressive resurgence as one of Europe’s top clubs in recent years, winning six of their seven continental trophies to date since 2010. Diego Simeone is the coach who has overseen that rise, even guiding Atleti to two Champions League finals as well.
UEFA Europa League (3): 2009/10, 2011/12, 2017/18
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1961/62
UEFA Super Cup (3): 2010, 2012, 2018
5. Juventus - 8
Despite their eight trophies, Juventus are the great underachievers in European football, having won only two of the nine European Cup/Champions League finals they have played in over the years. They have been more successful in UEFA Cup finals, winning three and losing just one.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (2): 1984/85, 1995/96
UEFA Cup (3): 1976/77, 1989/90, 1992/93
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1983/84
UEFA Super Cup (2): 1984, 1996
-. Ajax - 8
Ajax were so dominant at the height of the Total Football era in the early 1970s that they won three-back-to-back European Cup, orchestrated by coach Rinus Michels and star man Johan Cruyff. The latter delivered the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1987 in only his second season as a coach.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (4): 1970/71, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1994/95
UEFA Cup (1): 1991/92
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1986/87
UEFA Super Cup (2): 1973, 1995
-. Bayern Munich - 8
Bayern Munich became the first German club to win a treble and the seventh in Europe overall when they completed a Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and Champions League set in 2012/13. Bayern were also only the third side to win three European Cups back-to-back.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (5): 1973/74, 1974/75, 1975/76, 2000/01, 2012/13
UEFA Cup (1): 1995/96
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (1): 1966/67
UEFA Super Cup (1): 2013
4. Liverpool - 13
Liverpool joined an elite group last season alongside only two other clubs to have won six or more European Cups/Champions League titles. It was UEFA Cup triumphs in the 1970s that paved for the way for success in the elite competition later in the decade.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (6): 1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1983/84, 2004/05, 2018/19
UEFA Cup (3): 1972/73, 1975/76, 2000/01
UEFA Super Cup (4): 1977, 2001, 2005, 2019
3. AC Milan - 14
AC Milan were Italy’s very first European champions in the early 1960s, while they were also the last club to retain it for a 26-year period after back-to-back wins in 1989 and 1990. But Milan are denied the full trophy set because they have never won the UEFA Cup/Europa League.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (7): 1962/63, 1968/69, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1993/94, 2002/03, 2006/07
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (2): 1967/68, 1972/73
UEFA Super Cup (5): 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007
2. Barcelona - 17
Barcelona didn’t actually win their first European Cup until as late as 1992. Even then, it was another 14 years before the next title followed. The Catalans enjoyed their very earliest European success in the Inter Cities Fairs Cup tournaments in the 1950s and 1960s.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (5): 1991/92, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (4): 1978/79, 1981/82, 1988/89, 1996/97
UEFA Super Cup (5): 1992, 1997, 2009, 2011, 2015
Inter Cities Fairs Cup (3): 1955-58, 1958-60, 1965/66
1. Real Madrid - 19
No other club even comes close to Real Madrid when it comes to European Cup/Champions League successes. Los Blancos won five in a row straight off the bat when the competition was created in 1955 and later went on to dominate during the 2010s as well.
European Cup/UEFA Champions League (13): 1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1959/60, 1965/66, 1997/98, 1999/00, 2001/02, 2013/14, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18
UEFA Cup (2): 1984/85, 1985/86
UEFA Super Cup (4): 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017