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The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club football competition in Europe, and is played for by the top teams from across the domestic leagues. Depending on the strength of the individual league there can be one, two, three or four representatives.
The Champions League began in 1992 and is a rebranding of the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, commonly known as the European Cup).
The UEFA Champions League is the most popular club competition in the world, with the final being the most watched annual sporting event. The 2013 Champions League final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich drew a television audience of 360 million.
With those kind of viewing figures it is unsurprising that Champions League betting markets are also very popular with football and betting fans all over the world. Bettors can choose anything from outright winners to the hundreds of in-play markets relating to each and every game of the competition.
The Champions League preliminary rounds begin in June when most European leagues have only just begun their off-season. Although bookmakers will offer prices on these matches it is later in the competition – when the bigger clubs enter – that the television viewers and figures bet on the games goes up.
Betting on the winner of the Champions League is very popular, and one bettor from Staffordshire was able to turn a £2.50 stake into £157,000. His accumulator bet covered a series of matches including Manchester United winning the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich – which they famously did in stoppage time.