Author: Anton Johan
This weekend English Premier League club Chelsea must take on German Bundesliga
club Bayern Munich in the epic 2012 Champions League Final, which is scheduled
for Saturday (May 19) at Allianz Arena in Munich.
Given the fact Bayern Munich
will have the support of tens of thousands of screaming fans, it's probably not
surprising the home team are laid as the overwhelming favourites at top UK land
and online sportsbook, William Hill.
UEFA Champions League Final Odds at Will Hill
Bayern Munich - 4/5
Chelsea - 7/2
But have you ever stopped to wonder just how the UEFA Champions League came
about? If you have, then here's a little history on this titan of European
UEFA Champions League History
The first inter-European nation football tournament was called the Challenge
Cup, and was inaugurated in 1927, attracting a host of clubs from Central
European countries. Three years later the Coupe des Nations (Nations Cup) was
initiated by Swiss football club Servette FC, which saw 10 European champions
compete against each other. It was won that year by Hungarian club, ┌jpest FC.
Then in 1949, Latin European countries formed a football tournament known as the
Latin Cup, and just a few years later football fans across Europe started
calling for a tournament open to all countries on the continent, as well as the
UK. And so in 1955 the European Champion Clubs' Cup was born, which attracted 16
The final of that first European Champion Clubs' Cup was played in France
between local side Stade Reims and Spanish side Real Madrid, the latter winning
4-3. In fact, Real would go on to win the following four finals as well, until
their streak ended in the 1960-61 European Champion Clubs' Cup. Interestingly,
their five consecutive wins still holds the record to this day.
Over time the European Champion Clubs' Cup was renamed the UEFA Champions
League, and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting football tournaments in the
world. A total of 76 teams take part each year, which are then whittled down to
32 in the group stage. Real Madrid has won this tournament a record nine times.
Bayern Munich and Chelsea Champions League Records
As to how this year's UEFA Champions League Finalists have fared in this
tournament over the years, Bayern Munich have won it four times (in 1974, 1975,
1976 and 2001) and have also been runners-up four times. But they will be eager
to chalk up their first UEFA Champions League win in 11 years, and with the
support of their home crowd, many football fans expect them to do just that.
Chelsea, however, have never won the UEFA Champions League, although they
finished as runners-up in 2008. As such, there is much at stake for the club
from London, as well as for its owner, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who
is champing at the bit to add this elusive piece of silverware to Chelsea's
trophy cabinet. So what ever the outcome, expect a very tough game on Saturday.
Posted by Anton Johan at 14:26 on 17 May 2012