long time, soccer matches of international level for clubs interested nobody.National associations have created domestic league for their countries, which concentrated their forces and clubs.And with teams of other countries had friendly matches, usually just to please their fans with new rivals.
idea of ​​creating a European club championship for the first voiced by Gabriel Hanot - journalist of the French sports newspaper.His troubled loud statements in the British press in 1954, who claimed that the team Wolverhampton Wanderers - the most powerful football club in the world.This statement made the British after two confident victories over clubs "Honvéd" and "Spartacus", who were champions of their respective countries.
Ano believed to identify the strongest team require
d two meetings, home and away, and his sack two matches to determine the winner.In 1955, in the newspaper «L'Équipe», he published a possible format of the tournament.His idea quickly Stavan popular among football critics, but the conduct of international tournaments, while engaged in FIFA, which is similar to the tournament for clubs not very interested.
document on the establishment of a new international tournament "European Cup" was signed on April 2, 1955 in Paris.It took 16 delegates from different football clubs, where the whole organization of this tournament, they took upon themselves.The emergence of a new football committee is not very happy to FIFA.So on June 21 the same year, FIFA instructed the UEFA Executive Committee to take hold of this tournament under its control, while keeping all the rules and regulations that have been before.
And September 4, 1955 opening of the new tournament, match "Sporting" Lisbon - "Partizan" Belgrade.According to the regulations in the tournament was attended by 16 teams - champions of their countries, divided into 8 pairs (in the first tournament organizers themselves chose a pair in the draw carried out later) and played two matches (home and away) for departure.If suma score was a draw, the replay was conducted on the territory of another country.
in this format with a few changes to the tournament was held in 1991 when the system was first used of the group stage.In 1992, the tournament has officially changed its name to the "UEFA Champions League" and includes the format of the Cup group stage.
In season 1997-98.the number of participants has been increased.Now, some countries in the tournament could be claimed up to four teams, depending on the country's rating in the table of coefficients.Clubs countries with low ratings can also take part in the tournament, playing qualifiers.In this format, the tournament is held on the date and at the end of each season, held recalculation of coefficients depending on the success of their teams.