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|European Champion Clubs' Cup|
|Awarded for||Winning the UEFA Champions League|
|First awarded||1956 (1967 in its current design)|
|Currently held by||Chelsea|
The European Champion Clubs' Cup, also known as Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens, or simply the European Cup, is a trophy awarded annually by UEFA to the football club that wins the UEFA Champions League. The competition in its older format shared its name with the trophy, being also known as the European Cup, before being renamed for the 1992–93 season onwards.
Several different physical trophies have had the name, as a club was entitled to keep the cup after five wins or three consecutive wins, with a new cup having to be forged for the following season.
The trophy 
Since 2009, Champions League winners have not kept the real trophy, which remains in UEFA's keeping at all times. A full-size replica trophy, the Champions League winners trophy, is awarded to the winning club with their name engraved on it. Winning clubs are also permitted to make replicas of their own; however, they must be clearly marked as such and can be a maximum of eighty percent the size of the actual trophy.
The original European Cup trophy was donated by L'Équipe, a French sports newspaper. This trophy was awarded permanently to Real Madrid in March 1967. At the time, they were the reigning champions, and had won six titles altogether, including the first five competitions from 1956 to 1960. Celtic thus became the first club to win the cup in its current design in 1967.
The replacement trophy, with a somewhat different design from the original, was commissioned by UEFA from Jörg Stadelmann, a jeweller from Bern in Switzerland. At a cost of 10,000 Swiss francs, it was silver, 74 cm high, weighing 11 kg. The trophy bears the title "COUPE DES CLUBS CHAMPIONS EUROPÉENS'". Subsequent replacement trophies have replicated this design. In Spanish, it is nicknamed La Orejona ("big-ears") because of the shape of the handles and for this reason, Luis Omar Tapia, a long-time ESPN UCL announcer made the name "la Orejona" popular on the American continents.
The previous rule, introduced before the 1968–69 season, allowed a club to keep the trophy after five wins or three consecutive wins. At that point, Real Madrid were the only club meeting either qualification, and indeed met both. Once a club had been awarded the trophy, the count was reset to zero. For example, a club with no prior titles which won six titles in a row would have been permanently awarded trophies after the third and sixth wins (each for three-in-a-row) but not after their fifth win. A club whose Champions League title win was not a fifth overall or third consecutive previously kept the real trophy for ten months after their victory and received a scaled-down replica to keep permanently. Since 2009, the real trophy remains with UEFA at all times, but the winning club now receives a full-sized replica with their name engraved on it.
Since 2009, a club that gets three consecutive or five overall wins will get a special mark of recognition, the multiple-winner badge, instead of keeping the original trophy.
Clubs awarded the trophy permanently 
Five clubs have kept the actual trophy under the old rules from the 1968–69 to 2008–09 seasons:
- Real Madrid after six wins, 1956–60 and 1966. They have since won it three more times, in 1998, 2000, and 2002.
- Ajax after their third consecutive win in 1973. They won a fourth in 1995.
- Bayern Munich, after their third consecutive win in 1976. They won a fourth in 2001.
- Milan, after their fifth title in 1994. They have since won it twice more, in 2003 and 2007.
- Liverpool, after their fifth title, in 2005.
Multiple-winner badge 
The multiple-winner badge, or "Badge of Honour", was introduced for the start of the 2000–01 competition for clubs who have been awarded the trophy permanently. The badge itself adorns the left sleeve of the team's shirt during Champions League. It is a navy blue oval on which is an outline of the current trophy in white, overlaid with part of the Champions League starball logo. Above the trophy is the total number of titles held by the club. The badge will still be awarded to clubs winning five overall, or three consecutive titles. From 2012, the badge became grey with a new design.
Title-holder logo 
A separate "title-holder logo" is worn by the reigning Champions League champions in the following season's competition in place of the regular patch worn by the other competing teams. The logo was introduced in 2004–05, with Porto as the defending champions. The distinction between the title-holder logo and the badge of honour can be compared to the distinction between the scudetto (shield) worn by the reigning Serie A champions in Italy, and the stella (star) worn by teams with over 10 Serie A titles in total. However, whereas Juventus sport 2 stars as they have won over 20 titles, there is no provision for multiple UEFA badges of honour, as the count within the badge can be incremented indefinitely. In addition to the logo, the title holders play their home games in the competition with the match ball used in their triumphant final. This rule used until 2010–11 season, when F.C. Internazionale Milano played home games that season with Finale Madrid ball. Since 2011–12 UEFA Champions League, the title holder use the same matchball as 31 other teams do.
The design for the title-holder badge changed for the 2009–10 competition. Without the star ball background, it features a design of the trophy which was used to promote the previous season's final. It has been revamped again in 2010 with a variation of the star design. Chelsea will sport a new design in the 2012–13 competition.
- Real Madrid (6) – 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966
- Benfica (2) – 1961, 1962
- Internazionale (2) – 1964, 1965
- Milan (1) – 1963
- Milan (6) – 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007
- Liverpool (5) – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005
- Ajax (4) – 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995
- Bayern Munich (4) – 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001
- Barcelona (4) – 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011
- Manchester United (3) – 1968, 1999, 2008
- Real Madrid (3) – 1998, 2000, 2002
- Nottingham Forest (2) – 1979, 1980
- Juventus (2) – 1985, 1996
- Porto (2) – 1987, 2004
- Celtic (1) – 1967
- Feyenoord (1) – 1970
- Aston Villa (1) – 1982
- Hamburg (1) – 1983
- Steaua Bucureşti (1) – 1986
- PSV Eindhoven (1) – 1988
- Red Star Belgrade (1) – 1991
- Marseille (1) – 1993
- Borussia Dortmund (1) – 1997
- Internazionale (1) – 2010
- Chelsea (1) – 2012
See also 
- Regulations of the UEFA Champions League (PDF) from UEFA website; Page 4, §2.01 "Cup"
- "Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2008/09, Chapter XI, Article 19 – "UEFA Kit Resolutions", paragraph 14, page 29". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. August 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- Regulations of the UEFA Champions League Page 26, §16.10 "Title-holder logo"
- "Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2008/09, Article 4 – "Trophy" page 5". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. March 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- European Union of Football Associations (May 2009). UEFA Champions League Final 2008/09 Official Programme.
- uefadirect, Issue 42: October 2005, Page 8 "A brand new trophy"
- Baier, Nicolás (21 May 2007). "La gloria al alcance de la mano" (in Spanish). ESPN Deportes. "La Orejona, el codiciado trofeo del fútbol europeo"
- González, Mark (23 May 2007). "AC Milan se tomó una dulce revancha y dejó a Liverpool sin la Champions" (in Spanish). Radio Cooperativa. Retrieved 1 December 2007. "la popular "Orejona", como se le denomina al trofeo"
- "The UEFA Champions League trophy". uefa.com. Union of European Football Associations. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 8 May 2009.
- "Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2009/10, page 7, III Trophies and medals, Article 5, Trophy". UEFA. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Ajax rewarded with 'UEFA Badge of Honour' news article from 23 October 2000
- "AC Milan Asia Official Store website". Acmilanstoreasia.com. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2003–04[dead link]
- Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2004–05[dead link]
- Azmie aka switch image (8 February 2010). "Football teams shirt and kits fan: Barcelona Champions league patch". Switchimageproject.com. Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- "Chelsea FC Megastore website". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
- Picture of the original trophy held by Alfredo Di Stéfano after the 1956 European Cup Final. From Getty Images.