Who tops the all-time European Cup rankings?

Who are the best teams in the history of Europe's top club competition? Find out here.

Real Madrid remain firmly top of the all-time ranking
Real Madrid remain firmly top of the all-time ranking ©AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to Europe's top club competition, Real Madrid are some way out in front: as well as having won the most trophies, they have played, won, drawn and lost more games than any other side, as well as scoring and conceding more goals.

They have played in 49 editions of the European Cup and UEFA Champions League in total – 11 more than their closest rivals Benfica – and their total of 429 games in the elite competition is fully 90 more than the second-ranked team, Bayern, who have played 339.

Clubs ranked on theoretical points total; + and - indicate movements since December 2018.

Top 30 clubs (1955-2018)

Club Part Titles Pld W D L F A Pts
1. Real Madrid (ESP) 49 13 429 258 74 97 964 463 561
2. Bayern (GER) 35 5 339 195 71 73 680 339 461
3. Barcelona (ESP) 29 5 304 179 69 56 608 293 427
4. Manchester Utd (ENG) 28 3 275 153 66 56 503 257 372
5. Juventus (ITA) 33 2 267 134 67 66 422 259 335
6. AC Milan (ITA) 28 7 249 125 64 60 416 231 314
7. Benfica (POR) 38 2 252 112 58 82 406 288 282
8. Porto (POR) 33 2 239 108 57 74 356 264 273
9. Liverpool (ENG) 23 5 202 112 45 45 378 179 269
10. Ajax (NED) +2 35 4 211 94 58 59 326 233 246
11. Arsenal (ENG) -1 21 0 201 101 43 57 332 218 245
12. Dynamo Kyiv (UKR) -1 35 0 231 97 51 83 330 279 245
13. Celtic (SCO) 33 1 206 96 35 75 308 243 227
14. Inter Milan (ITA) 20 3 172 84 46 42 245 168 214
15. Chelsea (ENG) 15 1 160 80 46 34 274 142 206
16. Anderlecht (BEL) 34 0 200 70 44 86 282 320 184
17. PSV (NED) +1 27 1 175 63 41 71 227 220 167
18. Rangers (SCO) -1 30 0 161 62 40 59 232 218 164
19. Atlético (ESP) 14 0 125 64 33 28 190 110 161
20. Dortmund (GER) +1 17 1 136 66 27 43 237 168 159
21. Lyon (FRA) +1 17 0 136 61 34 41 217 159 156
22. Galatasaray (TUR) -2 25 0 169 57 41 71 212 258 155
23. Crvena zvezda (SRB) +5 24 1 126 62 25 39 240 165 149
24. FCSB (ROU) -1 26 1 145 52 41 52 203 204 145
25. Panathinaikos (GRE) -1 28 0 157 49 45 63 182 214 143
26. Olympiacos (GRE) -1 31 0 160 56 30 74 191 250 142
27. Valencia (ESP) 12 0 120 54 33 33 178 115 141
28. Rosenborg (NOR) +1 24 0 144 53 30 61 208 225 136
29. Sparta Praha (CZE) -3 27 0 142 53 30 59 186 196 136
30. Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) 12 0 102 54 21 27 202 121 129

In the course of all those matches, Madrid have averaged 2.25 goals per game – only Bayern and Barcelona (both 2.00 per game) in the top 30 average anything near as high.

However, their impressive average of 1.08 goals conceded per game is not a record: of the top ten sides, Barcelona (0.96), Juventus (0.97) and Man. United (0.93) have all conceded at a lower rate, while Liverpool (0.89) have the best defensive record of all of the highest fliers.

Eleventh-ranked Arsenal are the highest-ranked side never to have laid hands on the European Cup, while Dynamo Kyiv (12th) are the highest-positioned side never to have played in a European Cup or UEFA Champions League final.

1980 final highlights: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Hamburg
1980 final highlights: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Hamburg

Madrid have averaged a trophy for every 33 games they have played – a better record than any side in the top 30, but not as good as those of 1982 winners Aston Villa (one trophy in 15 games) or Nottingham Forest (two trophies in 20 games – one every ten European Cup matches). Since teams must now play at least 13 games to win a the UEFA Champions League trophy, Forest's record is effectively unbeatable – provided they never qualify for Europe again and snarl up their average.

Upcoming milestones

By the end of the season we could see:
• Bayern's 200th win in the competition (currently on 195)
• Real Madrid's 100th defeat (current total: 97)
• Liverpool's 400th European Cup/#UCL goal (current total: 378)

Last 16 standing

The top five in our list are all in this season's UEFA Champions League round of 16, with seven more sides from the top 30 making it to the knockout phase: Ajax, Atlético, Dortmund, Liverpool, Lyon, Paris and Porto. Of the remaining contenders, Roma (36), Schalke (48) and Manchester City (50) are in the top 50, leaving Tottenham (78) as the lowest-ranked side at this stage for the second year running.

Legend

Pos: position; Part: number of UCL seasons; Pld: played; W: wins; D: draws; L: losses; F: goals for; A: goals against; Pts: theoretical points total

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