It is one of the more remarkable pieces of football trivia: no team has ever won back-to-back titles in the UEFA Champions League era. Real Madrid are now just one game away.
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If Real Madrid – who reached the final at Atlético's expense on Wednesday – are to lift the trophy in Cardiff on 3 June they will spoil one of the more remarkable pieces of football trivia: no team has won back-to-back titles in the UEFA Champions League era (1992/93 onwards).
Four clubs defending the trophy have made it all the way to the final, only to come off second best:
1994/95: AC Milan lost 1-0 v Ajax
1995/96: Ajax lost 4-2 on penalties v Juventus
1996/97: Juventus lost 3-1 v Dortmund
2009/10: Manchester United lost 3-1 v Barcelona
It was a very different story in the early days of the competition: Madrid won the first five editions! Seven other sides also successfully defended their title pre-1992/93: Benfica, Internazionale Milano, Ajax (twice), Bayern (twice), Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and AC Milan.
European Cup era: 13/37
UEFA Champions League era: 0/24
How holders have fared*
|2004/05||Porto||round of 16|
|2005/06||Liverpool||round of 16|
|2006/07||Barcelona||round of 16|
|2007/08||AC Milan||round of 16|
*Marseille were barred from entering in 1993/94