Italy has joined Spain as the most successful country in the history of the European Champion Clubs' Cup after AC Milan defeated Liverpool FC 2-1 in Athens last night to move Serie A on to eleven victories in total.
Spain reached that mark last year in Paris when FC Barcelona came from behind to beat Arsenal FC 2-1 and add their second crown to the nine won by their great rivals Real Madrid CF, a collection including successes in the first five editions of club football's blue-riband event. Madrid stand alone as the most-titled team in the competition, although the Rossoneri are within two triumphs of that tally after Filippo Inzaghi's first-half strike saw off Liverpool in the Greek capital. FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus are the other Italian sides to have reigned in Europe, each on two occasions.
Liverpool remain on five victories - their last coming so memorably against Milan in Istanbul in 2005 - as the third-best team in the tournament annals. English clubs also stay stuck on ten wins, although supporters can take pride from being the only nation to have produced four European champions with Manchester United FC (2), Nottingham Forest FC (2) and Aston Villa FC also savouring glory.
Next in the honours' list are the Netherlands and Germany, their six triumphs fuelled by the successes of four-time winners AFC Ajax and FC Bayern München. Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven have also been continental kings while Hamburger SV – here in Athens in 1983 – and BV Borussia Dortmund have prevailed once apiece for the Bundesliga. Portuguese sides have been the toast of Europe on four occasions, twice each for SL Benfica and FC Porto, while Scotland, Romania, Yugoslavia and France have all provided one winner.
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