Mon 18 April 2022 | 7:30

Top 10 Champions League Runner-ups in History

Undeniably the most important trophy a club can achieve is UEFA Champions League, in addition to the necessity of being qualified domestically for the Champions League teams, the competition is a unique event. In this article, we grant you a new look at the Champions League history.

Generally referred to as the UEFA Champions League, the elite European competition is held every year between elite European clubs that have been qualified domestically to become UEFA Champions League teams. The most important club event is that its huge history gets deepened every year with its huge UEFA Champions League winners list.

Champions League was founded in 1955 and was called the European Champion Clubs' Cup. In 1992, it took its current name and a new format was used in the competitions. until now,65 seasons have taken place. Through these years,22 clubs have won the Champions League. Real Madrid is the record holder for the most victories in the UCL with 13 league title wins. By nation, Spain is the most titled country with 18 titles.

Champions League finals are the most-watched matches and have more views than any other match in the season. Champions League is no exception. Every year many people watch the UCL final to see who will take the trophy home. During the seasons, some final matches were not that good and their memory faded away after a couple of years but, of course, there have been some amazing finals as well. Some clubs had to fight their whole way through like a war, and sides that almost made it.

Always there is a bitter end for one side, sometimes even a bitter end to some of the best generations of a club as we look at the ultimate most/almost UEFA Champions League winners list, where some clubs who many believed had the right to win the greatest European football achievement were doomed by chance or just, the game. We cover that and many more in the top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history as you read further.

All You Need to Know About Top 10 Champions League Runner-ups in History

Noticing some of the most fortunate clubs who reached the glorious competition's finals but were unfortunate enough to lose the final game. Here’s the stunning UEFA Champions League history in a new view, where you read the astounding stories of the best second-placed teams in the competition, the worst of the best, in our list of the top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history.

10. Atlético Madrid - 2014 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Austria Wien, Porto, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea

  • Finals Opponent:

     Real Madrid

  • Key Players:

     David Villa, Diego Costa, Koke, Diego Godin, Thibaut Courtois, Felipe Luis

The first entry in our list of the

top 10 Champions league runner-ups in history

is Diego Simeone’s 2014 Atletico, a fearsome side that was unique in the Champions League history, as historic was their final match against Real Madrid, the bitter end.

Atlético Madrid, who a week prior to the final had won their first La Liga title since 1996, reached their second European Cup final 40 years after their first ever. Atlético Madrid's only previous European Cup final in 1974 ended in defeat to Bayern Munich after a replay. The only previous Madrid derby matches in European competitions were in the 1958–59 European Cup semi-finals, where Real Madrid defeated Atlético Madrid 2–1 in a replay, after a 2–2 aggregate draw.

However, to reach the final, Atletico first had to pass over Zenit Saint Petersburg, Porto, and Austria Wien to become Group G winners. Then a 5-1 aggregate victory over Milan paved their path to the quarter-finals of the tournament, where they face Barcelona. A tight victory over their domestic rivals secured them a place in the semi-finals of the tournament. After defeating 2012 champions Chelsea 3–1 on aggregate, they went on to face their arch-rivals, Real Madrid, at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon at the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final.

Derbies by themselves are very important for a nation or even around the world. Now imagine having a derby in the Champions League. It is impressive, right? Especially if that match was one of the best champions league finals ever. The match took place on Saturday, 24 May 2014, at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal. nearly 60000 attendants were present that night to see who will be the next champion.


took the lead in the first half when Godín scored a header in the 38th minute. In the first half Real really tried to score the equalizer and they did....in the 93rd minute of the game! Ramos saved Real when he left his position and with a header.

The match went to extra time. But unlike many games, it didn't go on penalties. Real managed to score 3 more goals in the extra time. The first one by Bale with a header, the second one by Marcelo with a shot inside the box, and the last one by Ronaldo from the penalty spot. The whistle was blown and Real achieved a 4-1 victory against its city rival. Real Madrid's comeback was one of the greatest comebacks of all time and of course, it will be placed in The best champions league finals ever list as well.

9. Manchester United – 2011 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Bursaspor, Rangers, Valencia, Marseille, Chelsea, Schalke 04

  • Finals Opponent:


  • Key Players:

     Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Nemanja Vidic, Edwin van der Sar

Manchester United was an always-present side in the final stages of the Champions League during Alex Ferguson’s area, winning two trophies, they were always among the favorite

Champions League teams

to win the title. However, their most bitter end was perhaps at the 2011 Champions League final.

Winning Group C of the tournament with 4 victories and two draws against Valencia, Rangers, and Bursaspur, a 2-1 victory over Marseille paved the Red Devils' path to the quarter-finals of the tournament. Rooney led Manchester United to the semi-finals dominating their domestic rivals, Chelsea. United won both two legs as they faced Schalke 04 in the semi-finals. A 6-1 victory on aggregate over the Germans was Ferguson's sign of domination, as they faced Barcelona in the final.

The original Wembley Stadium hosted five European Cup finals prior to 2011. The 1968 and 1978 finals were both won by English sides: Manchester United beat Benfica 4–1 in 1968 and Liverpool defeated Club Brugge 1–0 in 1978. Benfica also lost in 1963 final, beaten 2–1 by A.C. Milan, while Ajax won the first of three consecutive European Cups at Wembley in 1971, beating Panathinaikos 2–0. In the 1992 final, Spanish club Barcelona defeated Italian side Sampdoria 1–0 in the final match played like the European Cup before the following season's introduction of the current Champions League format.

The final match is told to be one of the top Champions League Finals of all time. United had won three Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Benfica, Barcelona had won Sampdoria, Arsenal, and United. Be that as it may Manchester United defeated Barcelona 1–0 at the semi-final stage, on the way to earning their third title in 2008. Barca was showing up in the last match of UCL for the 3rd time in 6 years while Red Devils were for the 3rd time in 4 years. Once again History rehashed itself at Wembley as Manchester United was left pursuing Barcelona's shadow in a European Cup Final, with Pep Guardiola's team exhibiting a new masterclass in earning the UEFA Champions League with a merited 3-1 triumph. Man United proceeded to a half-time break in the wake of Wayne Rooney's equalizer, yet after the interim needed to fight against rival's genius, as Lionel Messi and David Villa both carved their names on the scoresheet.

Sir Alex Ferguson

's team was vivacious all through yet, at last, had no response to Barcelona's unparalleled gameplay.

Man United and Barca got their way to the finals by defeating Schalke 04 and Real Madrid. The match took place on 28 May 2011 at Wembley Stadium in London with almost 88000 participants. It's also worth mentioning that the same team contested 2009 final held in Rome which Barcelona won 2–0. In the first half, Barcelona had 68% of possession and outplayed United. in the 27th minute, Xavi played in Pedro and he struck from inside the penalty box and made Barca took the lead. However, United equalized seven minutes later when Rooney scored. In the second half, Barca's dominance continued. Barca had some big chances to regain the lead but United players prevent that with their effort. Nevertheless, Barca scored the second goal. In the 54th minute when Messi received the ball and fired home from 20 yards out, It wasn't a draw no more.

Speaking of Messi, Unfortunately for Manchester United, the 2010/11 Champions League final was one of Lionel Messi's most iconic matches of all time. He was announced both UEFA Man of the Match and Fans' Man of the Match that night. Later, Barca took away all of the hope from Manchester when David Villa scored the third goal in the 69th minute. This final was pretty entertaining and is one of the greatest Champions League Finals ever. Both clubs played well but Barca was on a whole another level with Pep Guardiola.

8. Barcelona – 1994 Champions League 

  • Route to Final:

     Dynamo Kyiv, Austria Wien, Galatasaray, Monaco, Spartak Moscow, Porto

  • Finals Opponent:


  • Key Players:

     Romario, Hristo Stoichkov, Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman

The next in our list of the top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history is


's golden generation of Barcelona, who first passed who dominated all way through the finals facing Dynamo Kyiv and Austria Wien in the first round, then topping Group A over Monaco, Spartak Moscow, and Galatasaray, and winning the semi-finals of the tournament against Porto.

Barcelona were favorites to win their second European Cup/UEFA Champions League in three years, having just won La Liga for the fourth year in a row. Milan's preparation before the final was in disarray: legendary striker Marco van Basten was still out with a long-term injury, and £13 million young sensation Gianluigi Lentini (then the world's most expensive footballer) was also injured; sweeper and captain, Franco Baresi was suspended, as was defender Alessandro Costacurta; and UEFA regulations at the time that limited teams to fielding a maximum of three non-nationals meant that coach Fabio Capello was forced to leave out Florin Răducioiu, Jean-Pierre Papin and Brian Laudrup. On Barcelona's side, the rule saw Johan Cruyff choosing not to pick Michael Laudrup in his squad for the final which caused Capello to the state after the game: "Laudrup was the guy I feared but Cruyff left him out, and that was his mistake".

Many believe the final match is proof of the fact that Italian football, especially A.C. Milan, was unstoppable in the '90s. When everybody thought Barca will win easily, Milan scored 4 goals against Barca, put everybody in shock, and took the League trophy to Italy. The match took place in Athens, Greece in OAKA Spiros Louis stadium. It was on May 18, 1994. In the first half, Milan scored 2 goals. One was at the 22nd minute and the other was at the 45th minute which both were scored by Daniele Massaro. In the second half, Milan scored 2 more goals. The first one was by Savićević in the 47th minute just after the restart of the game and the second goal was scored by Marcel Desailly at the 58th minute.

Many scholars have named Milan's performance as the greatest ever by a team in UEFA Champions League history.The funny thing is that some newspapers in Spain said it was going to be an easy match for Barca to win. Milan nearly humiliated Barcelona but it wasn't shocking because Milan was top of the game at the time.

7. Borussia Dortmund – 2013 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Ajax, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malaga, Real Madrid

  • Finals Opponent: 

    Bayern Munich

  • Key Players: 

    Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan, Mats Hummels

The 2013 Champions League Final was the first time in the history of the Champions League (and European Cup) that the final was contested between two German sides. There were three previous Champions League finals between two clubs from the same country: 2000 (Spain), 2003 (Italy), and 2008 (England).

However, Borussia Dortmund wasn’t unfamiliar to the

UEFA Champions League winners list

as they won the trophy once back in 1997. For Dortmund, this was their second Champions League final, with them winning their first title in 1997. The next season as defending champions, they defeated Bayern in their only previous meetings in European competitions, winning 1–0 on aggregate in the 1997–98 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, before being eliminated 2–0 on aggregate in the semi-finals by Real Madrid, managed at the time by Jupp Heynckes. The press has used terms like 'power shift' and 'changing of the guard' after Dortmund and Bayern eliminated Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, in the Champions League semi-finals.

There has been a heated rivalry between Bayern and Dortmund, known in Germany as Der Klassiker, which became prevalent during the 1990s. In 2011–12, Dortmund won the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal with Bayern finishing runners-up in both competitions; Dortmund clinched the league title in a home match where bananas were tossed at Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. In 2012–13, Bayern bested Dortmund for both trophies, as well as the DFL-Supercup. Just before Dortmund's Champions League semi-final, it was announced that one of their homegrown stars, Mario Götze, would make a €37 million transfer to Bayern for the upcoming 2013–14 season, a move that some felt would have put more distance between wealthy Bayern and the rest of the Bundesliga.

The final match took place in 2013 and it was the first time that the finalists of the Champions League were both German. There were three previous Champions League finals between two clubs from the same country: 2000 (Spain), 2003 (Italy), and 2008 (England). The match took place in May 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. After 60 minutes, the first goal was scored by Mandžukić on the Bayern side.8 minutes after


made a comeback when İlkay Gündoğan scored a goal from the penalty spot and made the ball past thorough Manuel Neuer. Dortmund gained hope again and both teams try their best to overcome one another to win the trophy. But unfortunately, one succeeded.

With a minute left in normal time, the Dutch forward Arjan Robben burst past the defense shot a low shot past the onrushing Weidenfeller with his left foot from eight yards, and scored the winning goal. One week later, Bayern Munich won the DFB-Pokal and, had already won the 2012–13 Bundesliga. The club completed the continental treble. As a result of their win, Bayern qualified to play against Chelsea, the winners of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League, in the 2013 UEFA Super Cup, and also earned the right to enter the semi-finals of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup as the UEFA representative. Bayern eventually won both competitions.

6. Liverpool – 2007 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Galatasaray, Bordeaux, PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea

  • Finals Opponent: 


  • Key Players:

     Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso, John Arne Riise, Peter Crouch, Dirk Kuyt

The next in our list of the

top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history

is Liverpool’s 2007 side, who faced Milan in the finals. To be fair, the final match was the ultimate chance of revenge for Milan over their bitter defeat to Liverpool in 2005, no matter how better Liverpool had become related to the team that lifted the trophy in 2005.

Liverpool gained entry to the competition after finishing third in the 2005–06 FA Premier League. As a result of that league position, Liverpool entered the Champions League in the third qualifying round, where their opponents were Maccabi Haifa of Israel. Liverpool won the first leg 2–1 at their home ground Anfield and a 1–1 draw in the away leg in Israel ensured Liverpool progressed to the group stage of the competition. Liverpool was drawn in Group C alongside French team Bordeaux, Dutch team PSV and Galatasaray of Turkey. After six games including four wins, one draw, and one defeat, Liverpool finished top of the group with 13 points to qualify for the knockout stage.

Liverpool were drawn against defending champions Barcelona in the first knockout round. Before the first leg in Barcelona, there had been a training ground fracas between Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise. Coincidentally, it was Bellamy and Riise who secured a 2–1 victory for Liverpool, completing a comeback after Deco had given Barcelona the lead. The second leg at Anfield was won 1–0 by Barcelona, however, Liverpool progressed to the quarter-finals on the away goals rule, having scored more goals away from home than their opponents. Crushing PSV in the semi-finals 4-0 on aggregate, they won Chelsea in the penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals of the tournament to face Milan.

The first half saw both sides have numerous attempts to take the lead, however, it was Milan who finally broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime. Xabi Alonso fouled Kaka and Andrea Pirlo took a shot at the goal. The shot deflected off of Filippo Inzaghi, wrong-footing 'keeper Pepe Reina and putting Milan 1-0 up. Replay footage however showed that the ball struck Inzaghi on the arm, which was missed by the match officials. Milan's first goal shared similarities with their first goal from 2005 final. In both finals, Milan took the lead via an Andrea Pirlo free-kick that was awarded for a foul on playmaker Kaka.

In the second half, Liverpool had some chances to draw level however in the 82nd minute, after Liverpool replaced the defensive Javier Mascherano for striker Peter Crouch, Kaka was afforded the space to bear down on the Liverpool goal. He put Inzaghi through on goal who slotted past Reina to put Milan 2-0 up and on their way to the championship. Dirk Kuyt pulled a goal back in the 89th minute with a header from a corner, however, replays suggested Kuyt was in an offside position when he scored. Milan however saw the game through and held on to win 2-1.

5. Bayern Munich – 1999 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Brondby, Barcelona, Manchester United, Kaiserslautern, Dynamo Kyiv

  • Finals Opponent: 

    Manchester United

  • Key Players:

     Lothar Matthaus, Stefan Effenberg, Mario Basler, Mehmet Scholl, Hasan Salihamidzic

The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final is one of The best champions league finals ever because the whole match was drowned in excitement. even the last minutes of it. The match took place in Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on 26 May 1999. This game was again included a great comeback which is why it's among The best champions league finals ever. 

In the group stage,

Manchester United

and Bayern Munich were drawn together in Group D, along with Spanish champions Barcelona and Danish champions Brøndby, in what was soon known as the "group of death". United and Bayern found themselves bottom of the group after the first round of matches, in which Bayern lost 2–1 away to Brøndby after surrendering a 1–0 lead in the last three minutes. United, meanwhile, played out a 3–3 draw at home to Barcelona after twice giving up the lead. The first group stage meeting between United and Bayern took place at the Olympiastadion on matchday 2 and finished in a 2–2 draw; Élber opened the scoring for Bayern before goals from Dwight Yorke and Paul Scholes gave United the lead, only for a Teddy Sheringham own goal – brought about by an error by Peter Schmeichel – to level the scores in the 89th minute. Matchdays 3 and 4 saw double-headers, with Manchester United taking on Brøndby and Bayern Munich playing Barcelona. Manchester United beat Brøndby 6–2 in their first match at Parken Stadium in Copenhagen. With Bayern beating Brøndby 2–0 at home, the German side moved on 10 points and took the top spot in the group going into the final round of matches, one point ahead of United. Qualification for the quarter-finals was only guaranteed for the group winners, meaning that both United and Bayern had to play for victory in their final match against each other at Old Trafford. United took the lead just before half-time through a Roy Keane strike from just outside the penalty area; however, Hasan Salihamidžić equalized for Bayern in the 55th minute and the game finished as a 1–1 draw. The result meant that Bayern finished as group winners, but United's points total was enough to see them go through as one of the two group runners-up with the best record.

In the quarter-finals, Bayern Munich was drawn against Group F winners and fellow German side Kaiserslautern, they won 6–0 on aggregate. and then a semi-finals victory over Dynamo Kyiv send Bayern to the finals of the tournament.

The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final was an association football match between Manchester United of England and Bayern Munich of Germany, played at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on 26 May 1999.

Injury time goals from Manchester United's Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær canceled out Mario Basler's early goal for Bayern to give Manchester United a 2–1 win and left Bayern Munich in shock. This game is, to this date, one of the most final matches in the football world.

Next season, they got beaten again, this time in the semi-finals by Real Madrid, the eventual champions. But in the year 2000, Bayern bounced back again and after finishing both group stages as the group winner, made it to the quarter-finals.

There, they were able to revenge their previous loss in the final against Manchester United as they won the game 3-1 on an aggregate and another 3-1 on aggregate revengeful win against Real Madrid, which eliminated them last season. Finally, Bayern saw themselves in the final against Valencia.

After a hard-fought match and 120 minutes of game time in San Siro stadium, it was the penalties that decided the winner as Bayern won 5–4 in a penalty shoot-out, for their first UEFA Champions League championship.

Bayern took the lead in the 6th minute of the game when Basler placed a low free-kick around the United. Bayern had the lead till the 91st minute of the game when Sheringham scored a goal. following that, Solskjær scored another goal and Man United won The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final.

4. Chelsea – 2008 Champions League

  • Route to Final:

     Valencia, Rosenborg, Schalke 04, Olympiacos, Fenerbahce, Liverpool

  • Finals Opponent: 

    Manchester United

  • Key Players: 

    Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Michael Ballack, Claude Makelele, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech

The next in our list of the top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history is Avram Grant’s Chelsea.

In the group stage, Chelsea was drawn into Group B, along with Schalke 04 of Germany, Rosenborg of Norway, and Spanish club Valencia. Chelsea's first match in the group was against Rosenborg at Stamford Bridge, where they were held to a 1–1 draw. Two days later, manager José Mourinho left Chelsea by mutual consent and was replaced by their director of football, former Israel national team coach Avram Grant. Despite that, victories over Valencia, Schalke, and Rosenborg sent them to face Olympiacos in the knockout stage before facing Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals. Chelsea faced fellow English club Liverpool in the semi-finals. This was the fourth year in succession that these teams had met in the Champions League, following semi-final meetings in 2004–05 and 2006–07, and two group stage matches in 2005–06. The first leg at Anfield was a 1–1 draw, in which Chelsea got a 95th-minute equalizer through a John Arne Riise own goal after Dirk Kuyt had put Liverpool 1–0 up just before half-time. Chelsea won the second leg 3–2 after extra time, with two goals from Didier Drogba and one from Lampard sending the Blues through to the first Champions League final in their history.

The final match was played at the Luzhniki Stadium, in Moscow, Russia, to determine the winner of the 2007–08 UEFA Champions League. The final was contested by Manchester United and Chelsea, making it an all-English club final for the first time in the history of the competition.

Manchester United went into the Champions League final as champions of England for the 17th time and undefeated in the 2007–08 Champions League.


came second in the league, finishing with two fewer points than United, and had lost just one Champions League game, the quarter-final first leg away to Fenerbahçe. In the Premier League games between the two sides in the 2007–08 season, United won 2–0 at Old Trafford in Avram Grant's first game in charge of Chelsea on 23 September 2007, while Chelsea won 2–1 at Stamford Bridge in the return game on 26 April 2008. Chelsea also won the last cup game between the two – a 1–0 extra-time win in the FA Cup Final in May 2007.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after a fairly cagey 26 minutes. An interchange of passes between Paul Scholes and Wes Brown after a throw-in on the right flank gave Brown time to pick out a cross for Ronaldo, who directed his header past Petr Čech. Chelsea almost equalized in the 33rd minute when Frank Lampard's cross was headed back into the six-yard box by Didier Drogba. Chelsea survived the pressure and equalized in the dying minutes of the first half. The goal followed from a long-range shot by Michael Essien, being deflected first off by Nemanja Vidić and then Rio Ferdinand. The ball's change in direction caused Edwin van der Sar to lose his footing, leaving Lampard, who had made the run from deep, with a simple finish. At the end of the first half Manchester Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson confronted match referee Ľuboš Micheľ, "jabbing out an angry finger and spitting out a few choice words".

Lampard's equalizer coming at the end of the first half led to a transformed Chelsea in the second half. Chelsea kept United on the back foot for long periods. The game moved into extra time, and the thrilling pace was maintained throughout. Didier Drogba received a red card for a slap on Nemanja Vidić, becoming only the second player in history to be sent off in a European Cup Final – the first being Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann in 2006.

Rio Ferdinand won the toss of the coin and opted for United to go first in the shoot-out. The game was won by Manchester United 6–5 on penalties.

3. Valencia – 2001 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Tirol Innsbruck, Heerenveen, Olympiacos, Lyon, Panathinaikos, Sturm Graz, Manchester United, Arsenal, Leeds United

  • Finals Opponent: 

    Bayern Munich

  • Key Players: 

    Gaizka Mendieta, Pablo Aimar, Santiago Canizares, Didier Deschamps


started the 1999–00 season by winning another title, the Spanish Super Cup, beating FC Barcelona. Valencia finished third in the league, four points behind the champions Deportivo de La Coruña and level on points with second placed Barça. But the biggest success was in the UEFA Champions League; for the first time in its history, Valencia reached the European Cup final. However, in the final played in Paris on 24 May 2000, Real Madrid beat Valencia 3–0. It was also Claudio López's farewell, as he had agreed to sign for the Italian side Lazio, also leaving was Farinós for Internazionale and Gerard for Barcelona. The notable signings of that summer were John Carew, Rubén Baraja, Roberto Ayala, Vicente Rodríguez, and the Brazilian left back Fábio Aurélio. Also bought that season was Pablo Aimar in January. Baraja, Aimar, Vicente, and Ayala would soon become a staple of Valencia's dominance of the early 2000s in La Liga. Valencia started the next campaign on the right foot and was top of the league after 10 games. After the Christmas break, however, Valencia started to pay for the top demand that such an absorbing competition like the Champions League requires. After passing the two mini-league phases, Héctor Cúper's team eliminated Arsenal in the quarter-finals and Leeds United in the semi-finals, and got ready to face Bayern Munich in the big final; Valencia had reached two European Cup finals in a row. 

This time, the final was to be played in Milan at the San Siro on 23 May. Gaizka Mendieta gave Valencia the lead by scoring from the penalty spot right at the start of the match. Goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares then stopped a penalty from Mehmet Scholl, but Stefan Effenberg drew level after the break thanks to another penalty. After extra time, it went to penalties.

Valencia took the lead early on as Paulo Sérgio put the first kick of the shoot-out over the bar before Mendieta sent Oliver Kahn the wrong way. Hasan Salihamidžić, John Carew, and Alexander Zickler then traded penalty goals before Kahn saved Zlatko Zahovič's kick to tie the scores at 2–2 after three kicks each. The next kick from Patrik Andersson was also saved by Cañizares, and then Kahn stretched out a hand to tip Amedeo Carboni's shot onto the crossbar. Both Rubén Baraja and Stefan Effenberg then scored to take the shoot-out to sudden death. Bixente Lizarazu and Kily González both scored their clubs' sixth kicks of the penalty shoot-out, and then Thomas Linke scored for Bayern to set Mauricio Pellegrino up for the game-deciding kick. Kahn guessed the right direction and saved Pellegrino's kick, winning the cup for Bayern Munich. Kahn also won the UEFA Fair Play Award for consoling his heartbroken rival, Valencia's Santiago Cañizares after the penalty shoot-out.

2. Arsenal – 2006 Champions League

  • Route to Final: 

    Sparta Prague, Thun, Ajax, Real Madrid, Juventus, Villarreal

  • Finals Opponent: 


  • Key Players: 

    Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell

According to Arsenal

Champions League history

, they managed to reach the Champions League final in 2005–06, becoming the first club from London to ever reach the final. Before that, they had been unable to extend beyond the quarter-finals. The final match was against Barcelona.

Both Arsenal and Barcelona entered the competition in the group stages: Arsenal by finishing second in the 2004–05 FA Premier League, and Barcelona by winning La Liga. Arsenal won Group B over Sparta Prague, Thun, and Ajax with 16 points before eliminating Real Madrid in the first knockout round. Victories over Juventus and Villarreal sent Arsenal to the first Champions League final of its history.

Arsenal had not conceded a Champions League goal since they went to Ajax in the second round of the group stage. Ten consecutive clean sheets — a record for Uefa’s club competitions — were achieved despite starting the last six games without a recognized left-back.

Arsenal’s starting XI for the final looked more robust than it had all season. The patchwork defense that had carried them this far was gone, with Ashley Cole returning at left-back and a renewed Sol Campbell reclaiming his place at centre-half.

Their opponents in the final were


. Frank Rijkaard’s team had easily won La Liga, finishing 12 points clear of Madrid. They had already eliminated Mourinho’s Chelsea, as well as Benfica and Milan, in the knockout rounds. A front two of Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto’o had combined for 12 goals and eight assists in the tournament so far.

They played with 10 men for 72 minutes after Jens Lehmann was sent off in the early stages then took the lead eight minutes before the break when Sol Campbell nodded home a free-kick. 

For much of the second half, it seemed like this impossible mission would be accomplished. Barca had all the pressure but Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg had chances to finish the argument.

However, 14 minutes from time, Samuel Eto'o struck home from an acute angle on one side, and soon afterward substitute Juliano Belletti fired home in similar circumstances on the other. There would be no way back.

1. Milan – 2005 Champions League

  • Route to Final:

     Celtic, Shakhtar Donetsk, Barcelona, Manchester United, Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven

  • Finals Opponent: 


  • Key Players:

     Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Kaka, Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Jaap Stam, Cafu, Dida

Finally, at top of our list of the

top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history

is one of the most decorated European clubs in the Champions League history, AC Milan, who seemingly were at their finest form the history through their European dominance. However, they fell to Istanbul’s miracle in the end.

After defeating PSV Eindhoven and Chelsea in the semi-finals, Milan and Liverpool faced each other to see who will be the winner of the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League. The match took place at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul with almost 70000 participants. The main reason that this match is among The best champions league finals ever is that Liverpool made a shocking comeback that night. In the first minute of the match, Milan's captain Maldini scored a goal in an Andrea Pirlo free-kick and made Milan took the lead. That wasn't enough for Milan and within the first half of the game, they scored 2 more goals. Both of the goals were scored by Crespo one in 39th and another in the 44th minute.

When the second half started, no one would expect Liverpool would succeed in preventing Milan to win the world cup. Nevertheless, Liverpool managed to score 3 goals within 6 minutes. one by Gerrard, one by Šmicer, and one by Alonso. The match went into penalties when no one scored any goal in the extra time. What's interesting is the fact that Liverpool and Milan had each won their last European Cups after winning penalty shoot-outs. The first two Milan penalties went out. Serginho and Pirlo were behind the ball. On the other side, Liverpool scored both of their penalties. Finally, Liverpool won the trophy when Liverpool's goalkeeper Dudek blocked Shevchenko's ball with his right hand.

Now that you read the top 10 Champions League runner-ups in history, you might also like these articles that were previously written in Sportmob. 

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source: SportMob

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The World Cup Bus