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How Often Has the Champions League Final Been Held in the UK?

The 2024 UEFA Champions League (UCL) final will be held at Wembley on the 1st of June. Wembley is one of the greatest stadiums in Europe and the showpiece is sure to be a thrilling occasion, with a better-than-average chance of one, or possibly even two, English sides making it through to the competition’s finale. Manchester City will be the defending champions but Arsenal and Manchester United, and perhaps even Newcastle United, will all fancy their chances of a decent run in the competition.

Here, we will look back on the previous times that Wembley has hosted this huge clash. We’ll also look at the other finals played in the UK, with a number of venues hosting the Champions League (and European Cup) final over the years.

Chart That Shows the Champions League and European Cup Finals Held in the UK Between 1956 and 2024

3rd June 2017, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Real Madrid 4-1 Juventus 65,842

The most recent UK UCL final came back in the 2016/17 season and was a heavyweight affair. It pitted the side that had won the Champions League the most times against the one that had lost the most finals. There could only really be one result – and there was, a resounding victory for serial Champions League winners Real Madrid. It was 1-1 with half an hour to go but Real showed their class and won with ease in the end in what turned into quite a bad-tempered contest.

25th May 2013, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund 86,298

The last time Wembley hosted this huge fixture it was an all-German affair, for the first time in the competition’s long history. It was closer than the game in Cardiff three years later but the result was the same – the team with a bulging trophy cabinet won, whilst the side with a litany of near misses came up just short once again. This formed part of a treble for Bayern and it was former Chelsea man Arjen Robben who starred in the final, winning Man of the Match.

28th May 2011, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United 87,695

“Home” advantage has not proved of great benefit in this competition and whilst United didn’t have a long journey home, it was one they had to make without the Champions League trophy. They were outclassed by a brilliant Barca side and 3-1 doesn’t even show the extent of the Catalan side’s dominance, although 12 shots on target to United’s one probably does. Wayne Rooney scored a final goal for the Red Devils but it was scant consolation.

28th May 2003, Old Trafford, Manchester

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
AC Milan 0-0 (3-2 on Penalties) Juventus 62,315

These two didn’t do the reputation of Italian football all that much good as they played out a fairly dour 120 minutes of football. There were few chances but the eventual winners probably deserved the win in the end. Andriy Shevchenko scored the winning penalty after five of the first seven were missed!

15th May 2002, Hampden Park, Glasgow

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen 50,499

This was a little bit of a David versus Goliath affair, Real appearing in their 12th UCL final and German outfit Leverkusen their first. The teams rather re-wrote the Bible though as Goliath slayed little Dave with goals from Madrid legends Zinedine Zidane (named Man of the Match) and Raul. It was 1-1 after just 14 minutes but things rather calmed down after that. However, a sumptuous, scorching volley from Zidane, one of the greatest goals in UCL history, just before the break, was a fitting way to win such a huge contest.

20th May 1992, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Barcelona 1-0 (After Extra Time) Sampdoria 70,827

Barca have enjoyed playing at Wembley over the years and claimed victory here thanks to a free-kick from Ronald Koeman. The Dutch maestro landed Barca their first win in the competition in what was the last season of the European Cup before the Champions League rebrand. It was their third final and their team featured Pep Guardiola, with Johan Cruyff in the dugout for the Catalans. Sampa had the late Gianluca Vialli up front and were captained by another future Man City boss, Roberto Mancini.

10th May 1978, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge 92,500

Liverpool defended the trophy they had won 12 months earlier in Rome on home soil, if Liverpudlians view London as home! This was an era where 1-0 was an incredible bet in the showpiece game, that being the score eight times in 10 finals between 1976 and 1985. Future manager and Kop favourite Kenny Dalglish bagged the game’s only goal after 64 minutes in a clash that offered little in the way of entertainment.

12th May 1976, Hampden Park, Glasgow

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Bayern Munich 1-0 Saint-Etienne 54,864

The great Bayern team of the mid-1970s proved too much for French outfit Saint-Etienne as they claimed their third European Cup in a row. They had beaten Real Madrid in the semis and with legends such as captain Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Gerd Muller and keeper Sepp Maier in the team they got the job done in Glasgow in front of 54,864 fans.

2nd June 1971, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Ajax 2-0 Panathinaikos 83,179

This clash saw another iconic team of the era winning the European Cup as part of a trio of victories. For Ajax this was their first of the three, as they would go on to win in 1972 and 1973 as well. They had lost the 1969 showpiece against Milan 4-1 and this was their second final whilst it was the Greek team’s first. Managed by the legendary, pioneering father of Total Football, Rinus Michels, and with Cruyff and Johan Neeskens among their starting XI, Ajax scored at either end of the match to record a comfortable victory.

29th May 1968, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Manchester United 4-1 (After Extra Time) Benfica 92,225

Man United became the first English team to win the European Cup and the second British one (after Celtic a year earlier). In doing so they achieved immortality and also helped bring closure to a club and city that was still grieving from the Munich Air Disaster of 1958. Bobby Charlton scored in the final, twice, after surviving the crash and Matt Busby’s men deserved their thumping extra time win.

Charlton scored the opener before a very strong Benfica side equalised with 11 minutes to go. However, in extra time United blew the Portuguese team away. George Best scored an iconic European Cup goal, Brian Kidd made it three on his 19th birthday and Charlton rounded things off in the 99th minute. Given Benfica had won the competition in 1961 and 1962 and made the final in 1963 and 1965, this really was a superb result.

22nd May 1963, Wembley, London

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
AC Milan 2-1 Benfica 45,715

The first time Wembley, and England, hosted the European Cup final saw Italians Milan deny Benfica a hat-trick of wins. The crowd was just over 45,000 and one of the lowest for the showpiece game as Milan claimed the first win for any Italian club. Benfica legend Eusebio had given Benfica the lead but a brace from Jose Altafini was enough for Milan to seal glory.

18th May 1960, Hampden Park, Glasgow

Champion Score Runner-Up Attendance
Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt 127,621

The first time the finale of this competition came to these shores saw one of the most famous and exciting finals of the UCL’s entire history. This was the fifth edition of the European Cup and Real had won the previous four. They were a splendid, powerful side, packed with stars, though the likes of Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano and Francisco Gento perhaps shone brighter than the rest. As a humungous crowd of over 127,000 watched on, Los Blancos blew the Germans away. Di Stefano got three goals and Puskas got four, and Real clearly angered by Frankfurt having the temerity to take the lead after 18 minutes, an advantage that lasted just two minutes!