Founded in 1955, the UEFA Champions League is one of the most popular and most watched sports events in the world. It also one of the oldest sports events held out there. Conducted by the top football leagues, the event brings together millions of fans from all around the globe together every year. If you are looking for some cool and interesting UEFA Champions League facts, then you have come to the right place. This includes some facts that you might not have known before. Read on to boost your knowledge about the UEFA Champions League.
1. The tournament’s most successful team
Real Madrid C.F. currently holds the title of the UEFA Champions League winner. It is also the most successful team of the tournament. They recently won against Liverpool 3–1 in 2018 finals adding to their 13 victories in the tournament. The club is also the first team in the UCL era to own the title for three years consecutively. AC Milan follows Real Madrid with 7 wins, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool with 5 victories. Real Madrid is also the first team to have won the title in the first UEFA tournament, i.e for the year 1955-56.
2. The tournament’s anthem
Although the UEFA Champions League was founded in 1955, the tournament’s format we know today was adapted in 1992. Popular British composer Tony Britten wrote the anthem for the UEFA tournament, which is labelled as “Champions League”. The anthem is an adaption of George Frideric’s Zadok the Priest. The original version of the anthem is 3 minutes long. The anthem has never been released commercially either. The Champions League anthem comprises of two brief verses, which comprise of the three official UEFA languages, namely French, German and English.
3. The fastest goal scored in UEFA Champions League’s history
In 2007, Roy Makaay scored the fastest goal in UCL’s history. He scored a goal in around 10 seconds against Real Madrid for Bayern Munich. Paolo Maldini in 2005 scored the second fastest goal of the tournament in a final. He took only 51 seconds to score the goal.
4. About the UEFA trophy
The original UCL trophy is awarded to the title winning team every year, however if a team wins the title for three times in a row or for five years, they get to have a replica of the original trophy. So far, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Milan and Ajax are the only six clubs of the tournament to enjoy the honor. An interesting fact about the UCL trophy is that it weighs approximately 7,5 kilograms, which means it equals to about 17 footballs ⚽.
5. The hat tricks scored ⚽⚽⚽
Swansea’s Bafétimbi Gomis is known to have scored the fastest hat trick of the UCL in the 2011 tournament in just below 8 minutes. The popular Lionel Messi is known to have scored the most hat tricks in the Champions League, and has scored 5 hat tricks in total. Luiz Adriano of Shakhtar Donetsk is the first player to score consecutive hat tricks in the Champions League.
No player has been able to score a hat trick in the UEFA final but Daniele Massaro, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Hernán Crespo, Filippo Inzaghi, Diego Milito and Cristiano Ronaldo all have managed to score 2 goals in a row for their respective teams.
6. Two prominent football players in UCL
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored goals consecutively in the finals for Manchester United in 2008, and Real Madrid in 2014 and 2017. He is the first player to score goals in three UCL finals. He is also the only player so far who has scored a goal in UCL final for two different teams. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the top scorers of UEFA Champions League.
7. The banned clubs
UEFA Champions League banned english teams to play in the tournament for years between 1986 and 1991 due to hooliganism problems and stadium disasters this allowed PSV Eindhoven, Red Star Belgrade and Steaua Bucharest to win the UEFA title after a long time since the english team had been holding the title for a decade.
8. The most number of victories by countries
Spanish teams have 18 wins, which make them the highest scoring teams of UCL. England and Italy enjoy a total of 12 titles.
The english winning teams include Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, and Aston Villa.
From 22 teams, Portugal Benfica and Italy Juventus are the only two teams of the tournament to lost more finals than they have won. The two teams have LOST 5 finals and WON only 2.
9. The player with most wins
Clarence Seedorf is prominently known as the only player of the UCL to score victories for three different wins. He has contributed in winning the trophy for Ajax in 1995, Real Madrid in 1998 and Milan in two years 2003 and 2008.
10. The most watched football tournament
The UEFA Champions League is the most widely watched sports event ever by fans and viewers from all around the world. The 2012-2013 final between Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich has recorded to be watched in 200 countries by more than 360 million Television viewers. The final had most viewers from Germany which were recorded to be more than 23,78 million.
Some additional facts
Addition to the above mentioned facts; currently, the mega event is officially sponsored by popular titles that include Heineken, Nissan, PepsiCo, Mastercard and Gazprom. Santander last year announced to be one of the newest partner for the mega European club soccer's premier tournament. UCL is backed by plenty of clothing giants as well. UEFA has prolonged its partnership with Adidas last year for three more years. The German brand will be the ball supplier for 2018 to 2021 cycle, it has held its contribution in the UEFA Champions League since 2001.
Football fans from around the world travel to witness the thrilling and exhilarating matches of the UEFA tournament every year.