The UEFA Champions League is a glorious soccer tournament that is the highlight of the year. Pubs and local bars fill up with enthusiastic fans who enjoy sharing a cold one as well as their love for the game. For both men and women, the league brings a lot of joy, allowing them to converge at social joints to watch soccer.

How the League Began

The UEFA Champions league, or UCL, as it is commonly known, has been around for over half a century. It started in 1955 (64 years old now), and since then, it has gotten better year after year. The 1930 Coupe de Nations or Nations Cup was the first ever tournament that tried to bring together top teams in Europe to play in one big tournament. This event was hosted by a Swiss club called Servette, in Geneva. About 10 of the best European teams were chosen to participate in this ground-breaking event.

Gabriel Hanot, who was the editor of L’Équipe then, heard of the success of this tournament and proposed to UEFA that there be a similarevent that would be open to all European teams. This idea was approved, and the first European Champion Clubs’ Cup was held in 1955. A total of 16 teams were invited to participate. Real Madrid showed great promise and went on to win in the finals, making it the first club to win the league. They managed to defend their title the following year, beating Florentina in the finals.

To qualify for the league, there were two criteria used, the first one being that a team had to have won a previous championship. The second one was that 4 of the top clubs in national leagues were taken. For example, in England they would take the teams that were in the top 4 of the English Premier league. This criteria still applies today, with an additional criterion being winning the UEFA Europa League.