UEFA Champions League is the best club competition in the world. It might just be the most difficult one as well. Winning it once is considered to be world-breaking. Talk about defending it. Not all the title-winning teams have successfully defended their crown.
Bayern Munich the recent title-holders are kicked out at the quarters this time. So let’s take a look at how all the Champions have performed in the Champions League the following season. We cover the events after the 1993/94 season.
1993/94 – Olympique Marseille (Did not qualify)
The defending champions were not allowed to this edition. After they were found guilty of match-fixing in the French league, they were banned from entering the UCL. It was the first time defending champions didn’t participate in the following season.
1994/95 – AC Milan (Runners-up) – Beaten by Ajax
Milan fell at the final step of defending their title. They lost 1-0 to Ajax who went unbeaten throughout the tournament and lifted the title.
1995/96 – Ajax (Runners–up) – Beaten by Juventus
Ajax lost to Juventus cruelly on penalties in the final of next season’s edition. After the final was tied 1-1, penalties seperated them and prevented Ajax from defending their crown.
1996/97 – Juventus (Runners-up) – Beaten by Borussia Dortmund
German powerhouses Dortmund routed Juve 3-1 in the final. For the third season running defending champions fell at the final step.
1997/98 – Borussia Dortmund (Semi–finals) – Beaten by Real Madrid
Eventual champions Real Madrid ended Dortmund’s dream at the semis. They were deserved winners 2-0 over two legs.
1998/99 – Real Madrid (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Dynamo Kyiv
It was a shock exit for holders Madrid. Ukrainian fighters Dynamo Kyiv beat them 3-1 ended their title defence.
1999/2000 – Manchester United (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Real Madrid
The treble-winning United were knocked out by eventual champions Real Madrid. It was an edgy affair as Madrid won 3-2 second leg after a dull 0-0 in the first leg.
2000/01 – Real Madrid (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Bayern Munich
The Bavarians beat Madrid 3-1 in semis to dash their defence.
2001/02 – Bayern Munich (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Real Madrid
Real Madrid took revenge by knocking them out in quarters. They went on to the lift the cup themselves.
5 – Bayern München have eliminated five times to Real Madrid, more than any other opponent in #UCL / European Cup ever, four of them in semifinals (1976, 1987, 2001 & 2012). Negra pic.twitter.com/RYEbrtGIxA
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 13, 2018
2002/03 – Real Madrid (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Juventus
Los Blancos fell 3-4 to Juventus as their defence of crown disappeared.
2003/04 – AC Milan (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Deportivo La Coruna
The Spanish side produced one of the best quarterfinal performances to dump holders Milan. After losing 4-1 away in the first leg, they outplayed Milan 4-0 in the reverse fixture.
2004/05 – Porto (Round of 16) – Beaten by Inter Milan
The dragons fell at the first knock-out fixture of the tournament. Inter beat them 4-2 on aggregate.
2005/06 – Liverpool (Round of 16) – Beaten by Benfica
Benfica shocked Liverpool by beating them 3-0.
2006/07 – Barcelona (Round of 16) – Beaten by Liverpool
Champions getting knocked in the ro16 continued for the third season running. Liverpool won 2-2 against Barca on away goals.
2007/08 – AC Milan (Round of 16) – Beaten by Arsenal
The tradition continued for one more season as Arsenal sent Milan packing. Gunners comfortably won the tie 2-0.
2008/09 – Manchester United (Runners up) – Beaten by FC Barcelona
The red devils almost defended their crown. They were stopped by a supreme Barcelona team in the final.
2009/10 – Barcelona (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Inter Milan
Barca fell agonizingly short in the semis. Inter edged them 3-2 and showed them the exit doors.
2010/11 – Inter Milan (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Schalke
Schalke blew away holders Inter in the quarters. A sensational 5-2 home win was followed by a 2-1 away win. Inter left the tournament bruised.
2011/12 – Barcelona (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Chelsea
Chelsea on their way to their first crown showed the door to Barca. They came on top in a tight 3-2 win over the champions.
2012/13 – Chelsea (Group stage) – Knocked out at the group stage
Chelsea created unwanted history by becoming the first champions not to clear the group phase. They were relegated to Europa League after losing out to Juventus and Shaktar Donetsk.
2013/14 – Bayern Munich (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Real Madrid
Real Madrid humbled holder Bayern 5-0 in the semis to set up an all Madrid affair in the final. They ended up winning the title.
2014/15 – Real Madrid (Semi-finals) – Beaten by Juventus
Juventus prevented an El Clasico final by beating Madrid 3-2 on aggregate.
2015/16 – Barcelona (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by Atletico Madrid
Barca lost 3-2 to their Spanish foes Atletico. Atleti went on to set up another Madrid derby in the finals.
2016/17 – Real Madrid (Winners)
For the first time in its modern history, Champions League crown has been defended. European kings Real Madrid did it in some style by dispatching Juventus 4-1 in the final.
2017/18 – Real Madrid (Winners)
It’s them again. Not once but twice. Madrid have again defended their crown by slaying Liverpool 3-1 at the final step. They won the title 3 times in a row.
2018/19 – Real Madrid (Round of 16) – Beaten by Ajax
Madrid finally became mortal as Ajax beat them 5-3. A comeback was needed in the second leg and Ajax did it duly to end the champions’ hopes of defending the crown for the third time.
2019/20 – Liverpool (Round of 16) – Beaten by Atletico Madrid
A Liverpool side high on confidence were gatecrashed by Atletico at Anfield. A famous 3-2 away win sealed the tie 4-2 in Atleti’s favor. The English Champions were knocked out of the Champions League after a hard fought tie, with the 2nd leg even going into extra-time.
2020/21 – Bayern Munich (Quarter-finals) – Beaten by PSG
PSG avenged their loss in the finals of the previous edition by knocking Bayern this time. Le Parisians prevailed on away goals as the tie ended 3-3 after two legs.