The UEFA Champions League: The History




UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League

The UEFA Champions League is the biggest and the most coveted competition in club football in Europe and in the World.

The clubs that qualify for the Champions League are divided into 8 groups with 4 teams in each group. All the teams of a group play each other at home and away, and the top two clubs with the maximum points are allowed to then play the knockout rounds. The round of 16 leads to the elimination of 8 teams, after which the quarter finals are played, then the semi finals and at the end of it all, the massive final. The competition takes almost 9 months to complete as the group stage starts in September every year with the final being held in May. Incidentally, the Champions League final is the most watched football match in the world with over a billion viewers.

This competition, known as the European Cup till 1992, was inaugurated in 1955. In the beginning, it constituted of only knock out rounds in which the champion clubs of different countries participated. Due to widespread popularity, the format of the tournament was changed in 1992 when it expanded to include group stages. It was renamed then the UEFA Champions League. Since the inception of the new look of the tournament, no club has managed successive trophies.

Since the competition was born in 1955, only 21 teams have managed to win it. Among those, Spanish giants Real Madrid can be considered to be the most successful club as they have won the competition a record 9 times. The second most successful club is AC Milan with 7 trophies and the 3rd place belongs to English Liverpool who have won the tournament 5 times. The reigning champions are Italian Serie A club Internazionale who beat Bayern Munich in the final in May 2010. The current season is still in the group stages. The final will be held in the Wembley Stadium in London on 28th May 2011.

The UEFA Champions League anthem is simple called ‘Champions League’. It is a Tony Britten rendition of George Frideric Handel’s Zadok the Priest. It includes verses in the three official languages of FIFA: English, German and French. It goes as follows:

Ce Sont les

meilleures equipes

Sie Sind…..

die allerbesten

Mannschaften

The Main Event….

Die Meister….Die Besten

Les Grandes Equipes..

The Champions!

Une Grande Reunion

Eine Grosse

Sportliche

Veranstalung

The Main Event….

Ils Sont

les meilleures..

Sie Sind Die Besten

These Are The Champions….

Die Meister

Die Besten

Les Grandes Equipes…

The CHAMPIONS!

Die Meister

Die Besten

Les Grandes Equipes…

The Champions!

The winner of the Champions League goes on to contest the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Champions League is sponsored by many corporations from around the world. Currently, these include Ford, Heineken, MasterCard, Sony and UniCredit.

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Aastha Dua

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