The Champions League is a football tournament that oozes glamour, skill and the biggest stars in the world. But whether you are rooting for Barcelona or Bronby, there is money to be made by betting on Europe’s premier club competition.
On this page we will bring you the best betting offers and promotions from the biggest and most trusted bookmakers around, and there’s also a host of stats, facts and information about the Champions League itself. Also check out our Ante Post Champions League betting tips.
Latest Champions League Betting Tips, Offers and News
Champions League History, Facts, Stats and Odds
The Uefa Champions League is a 32-team tournament involving sides from all over the continent. Some of the sides automatically qualify for the group stage via their domestic league position in which they finished the year before while others have to go through an extra qualification process if they didn’t finish quite as handsomely in the league.
To win the tournament is widely considered the greatest achievement in club football and the knockout stages of the competition in particular make for gripping viewing towards the end of the season.
The 2013/14 champions were Real Madrid as they finally achieved ‘La Decima’, their 10th European Cup title, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at the fore. They then added an 12th title in 2017 to win it for the third time in four years and became the first side to retain the cup in its modern format.
A Brief History of the Champions League
The Champions League was born in 1992, replacing the European Cup which had been running since 1955. While the European Cup allowed just one side per country to compete, the Champions League allowed multiple entrants from certain countries to enter and introduced a group stage as the first round of the competition.
To compete in the Champions League is enormously beneficial for both the history of a club and also the finances. The TV money involved is now so much larger than it has been as the size of football clubs increase globally, so much so that in a number of domestic leagues around Europe, the ‘race for the Champions League’ is almost on a par with winning the league and relegation.
The final of the competition is played on different neutral soil on every single occasion and the furore and attention it gets seems to increase every time. For example the 2009 final between Barcelona and Manchester United attracted a viewership of 109 million people, surpassing the Super Bowl for the first time, and in 2013, when the game was contested between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley, it was the most viewed sporting event of the year worldwide. The tournament is televised in over 70 countries and commentated on in over 40 different languages; a feat which in itself would have been technologically impossible when the competition began in 1992.
Champions League Stats and Facts
Spain are by far the most successful nation in terms of producing Champions League winners. Real Madrid have won the title six times, including the 2016/17 trophy, (since its renaming from the European Cup in 1992) and Barcelona on four occasions. Including European Cups, Real have 12 and Barcelona five.
AC Milan have won the modern competition three times and seven in total. In terms of English clubs, they have had three winners of the Champions League. Liverpool have won it once, in an incredible final at Istanbul in 2005 when they came back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to win on penalties, and reached a further final. Chelsea have the same record of one successful final and one defeat. Manchester United however have reached four finals, winning two and losing two.
In the European Cup era, there have also been wins for Nottingham Forest. Under the legendary Brian Clough they were European champions in 1979 and 1980. English dominance continued, with Villa also winning it in 1982.
Leeds United and Arsenal have both made the final before but are yet to taste success. Leeds lost the 1975 final to Bayern Munich. The Gunners went down to Barcelona in 2006.
European minnows HJK Helsinki are responsible for the largest Champions League winning margin, beating Bangor City 10-0 in the 2011/12 Second Qualifying Round. Liverpool famously beat Besiktas 8-0 in the 2007/08 Group Stages while Bayern Munich beat Basel 7-0 in the Round of 16 in 2012. Another famous thrashing is Manchester United’s 7-1 demolition of Roma in 2006/07 while the biggest winning margin in a final is AC Milan’s 4-0 defeat of Barcelona in 1993/94.
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs had made the most appearances in the history of the Champions League with an impressive 151 outings in the competition. He has since been overtaken by Iker Casillas (164), Xavi (151) and Raul (142).
Cristiano Ronaldo may yet beat those records. His appearance against Juve in the 2016-17 final was his 139th.
The Portuguese supremo already has the scoring record and by some distance. His 105 goals in 140 Champions League games see him well clear of Messi, who has 94. Raul has 71 and then there is some way back to Ruud van Nistelrooy who has 56.
Betting on the Champions League
In any given season it is no surprise to see the same teams at the top of the betting to win the Champions League: Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Throw in Juventus, PSG and perhaps some of the English sides and you’ve pretty much got the winner.
But betting on the outright winner is just one among a plethora of Champions League betting options. With upwards of 100 markets for each of the group games, and other bets based around specific groups, the countries of the teams involved, the top scorer in a given group or in the tournament… well, the list goes on and on.
In short, betting on the Champions League is almost as varied and potentially exciting as betting on the Premier League. With so many top-class games you are generally spoiled for choice, and there is always value to be had if you think before you bet.
For instance betting on a low-scoring match often pays dividends in a final group game between two sides who’ve already qualified. Backing Cristiano Ronaldo to score seems to pay off rather regularly too. But really if you study the stats and make informed rather than rash picks for your bets, you have a very good chance of making a decent profit when betting on the Champions League.