Real Madrid stand the chance of becoming the first team since 1976 to win a third European Cup in a row next season – in the past, that would have meant keeping the original trophy permanently.

A rule introduced in 1968/69 stipulated that the cup became the property of any club who won the competition five times or three years in a row [after which they began a new cycle at zero]. However, the regulation [article 11.1] was changed ahead of 2008/09 and now reads…

“The original trophy, which is used for the official presentation ceremony at the final and at other official events approved by UEFA, remains in UEFA’s keeping and ownership at all times. A full-size replica trophy, the UEFA Champions League winners’ trophy, is awarded to the winning club.”

Under the old system, five clubs were presented with the main trophy used at the time and therefore have original European Cups in their possession.

Real Madrid – awarded the original trophy [old design] in 1967.

Ajax [third title in a row, 1973]

Bayern München [third title in a row, 1976]

AC Milan [fifth title, 1994]

Liverpool [fifth title, 2005]

Barcelona’s fifth title [2015] and Real Madrid’s fifth title since 1967 [2016] occurred after the regulation change. Clubs who win a fifth title or three in a row for the first time now receive a badge of honour to be worn on their sleeve containing their number of victories – Barcelona in 2015 joining Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern, Liverpool and Ajax as recipients.

Most European Cup/UEFA Champions League wins:

Real Madrid 12

AC Milan 7

Barcelona, Bayern München, Liverpool 5

Most consecutive European Cup/UEFA Champions League wins:

Real Madrid 5 [1956–1960]

Ajax 3 [1971–1973]

Bayern München 3 [1974–1976]