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UEFA.com has put its Christmas calculator to good use and crunched some numbers to discover that Nottingham Forest have the best games-played-to-trophies-won ratio in European Cup history – in fact, there is a good chance their record will never be bettered.

Forest only featured in three campaigns in Europe’s top club competition, lifting the trophy in their first two seasons – 1978/79 and 1979/80 – before going out in the first round of the third, 1980/81. That all means they have been crowned European champions twice despite having played just 20 games in the competition. That’s one European Cup for every ten matches played.

Top ten: European Cup games-to-trophies-won


1980 final highlights: Forest 1-0 Hamburg

Nottingham Forest: 10 – two trophies in 20 games
Aston Villa: 15 – one trophy in 15 games
Real Madrid: 34.6 – 12 trophies in 416 games
AC Milan: 35.5 – seven trophies in 249 games
Liverpool: 37.8 – five trophies in 189 games
Hamburg: 43 – one trophy in 43 games
Ajax: 49.75 – four trophies in 199 games
Inter Milan: 55.3 – three trophies in 166 games
Barcelona: 58.8 – five trophies in 294 games
Bayern: 65.4 – five trophies in 327 games

Since teams must now play at least 13 fixtures to win a UEFA Champions League trophy, Forest’s record is effectively unbeatable provided they never qualify for Europe again, in which case their average would be certain to increase. Forest and second-ranked Aston Villa both currently play in England’s second tier.

Arsenal hold the dubious honour of having played the most games (201) without ever having won the competition.


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