How many champions league has manchester united won ? The UEFA Champions League is the ultimate club competition in European football and Manchester United have won the trophy three times
United first played in the European Cup in 1956. The decision did not go down well with the Football League due to the fear that it would affect the quality of domestic competitions. This was quickly quashed as the competition helped raise standards in the English game.
The Reds’ first match in the competition was a 10-0 win against Belgian champions Anderlecht. Matt Busby’s men reached the semi-finals in both 1956/57 and 1957/58 seasons, but the club’s involvement in the 1957/58 competition, however, will be forever linked to the Munich Air Disaster. United’s draw in Belgrade and subsequent semi-final defeat against AC Milan were overshadowed by the tragic death of eight United players.
From tragedy came hope as Sir Matt Busby built a new team. Another semi-final in 1965/66 was followed by the club’s first European Cup success in 1967/68 when goals from Bobby Charlton (two), George Best and Brian Kidd at Wembley gave England its first European Cup winning side against Benfica.
The club had to wait a long 26 years to compete in the competition again, now expanded and renamed the Champions League. United reached the semi-finals in 1997 before winning the Cup for a second time in 1999. The final in Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium looked all but lost as United trailed 1-0 going into the three minutes of added time at the end of the match. Goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Bayern devastated and United’s 50,000-strong throng of supporters in ecstacy. Sir Alex Ferguson had finally emulated the achievement of Sir Matt Busby.
European glory proved elusive for United in the following seasons. Their defence of the trophy in 1999/00 was ended by a 3-2 home defeat by eventual winners Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, while two semi-final appearances (2001/02 against Bayer Leverkusen and 2006/07 against AC Milan) ultimately ended in elimination despite United holding the lead in both ties.
In May 2008, in Moscow, the Reds sealed their third European Cup triumph – 50 years after the Munich Air Disaster and 40 years since the club’s first win in ’68 – with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Chelsea. Ryan Giggs, making his 759th appearance in a red shirt, thus breaking Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time record, scored what turned out to be United’s winning penalty. Edwin van der Sar confirmed United as Kings of Europe with his subsequent penalty save from Nicolas Anelka and sealed a historic double for the Reds.
Further final appearances followed in 2009 and 2011 where the Reds would find Barcelona impossible to beat, first in Rome and then at Wembley. Three runs to the final of Europe’s premier club competition in four years was a record to be proud of, however.
Manchester United’s history in the Champions League: Titles, finals & record in Europe
The Red Devils have been a force to be reckoned with over the past few decades, but what is their record in Europe?
Manchester United are one of the most successful clubs in Europe, having lifted a record 20 Premier League titles and multiple Champions League trophies.
The Red Devils have been the dominant force in England for most of the 21st century, though their success has slowed down since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down from his post in 2013, with United having not won a Premier League title since.
Still, though, Manchester United are one of the most decorated clubs not just in Europe, but the world. They have been the best English team on home soil for the better part of the last couple of decades, but are they the most successful club in England overall? Depends on who you ask.
How many Champions League titles have Man Utd won?
Man Utd have won the Champions League (including European Cup, since its 1992 rebrand) on three occasions.
They lifted their first trophy in 1968 in a 4-1 victory over Benfica in the final under the management of Sir Matt Busby. Bobby Charlton opened the scoring for the Red Devils and scored twice, followed by decisive strikes from George Best and Brian Kidd.
Their next Champions League trophy came in 1999 in the epic final against Bayern Munich at Barcelona’s home of Camp Nou. Man Utd, consisting of a side that included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, staged a brilliant comeback in the closing stages of the game with the help of ‘super subs’ Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The German side scored in the sixth minute to give themselves an early 1-0 lead, but it wasn’t until the late double cameo by the heroic substitutes that the Red Devils managed to turn the game around. Both scored in stoppage time to clinch a 2-1 victory in the dying seconds of the game to earn Ferguson’s first Champions League title.
The Scot won his second Champions League trophy in 2009 in a final victory over Premier League rivals Chelsea via a penalty shootout. The game ended 1-1 in Moscow with Cristiano Ronaldo’s early strike cancelled out by Frank Lampard’s equaliser in the 45th minute, forcing extra time and a penalties.
Ronaldo missed his spot-kick but the crucial, ultimately decisive miss was made by Chelsea captain John Terry, who slipped during his penalty to hand the trophy over to the Old Trafford outfit for the third time.
With three Champions League trophies, they are still two titles behind that of northern England rivals Liverpool, who have won the competition five times (a record for an English side).
How many Champions League finals have Man Utd reached?
Man Utd have reached the European Cup/Champions League final on five occasions, losing twice. They reached the final of the competition in 1968, 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
The first three times they reached the finals, they won the competition, with their losses in 2009 in 2011 both coming against Barcelona.
In 2009, a year after they lifted the trophy in Moscow, Man Utd beat the likes of Inter, Porto and Arsenal in the knockout phases to secure a place in the final against the Liga giants. The Catalan side, however, won 2-0 in the final in Rome thanks to goals by Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.
Two years later, the two teams met once again in the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley Stadium in London. It was the third Champions League final in four seasons for the Red Devils, but they lost to Barcelona once again – this time in a 3-1 defeat.
Wayne Rooney scored in the first half to equalise 1-1 after Pedro’s opener, but strikes by Messi and David Villa in the second half clinched the victory for the Spanish side.
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