4 things you should know about Europe premier club competition

Check out these four facts you never know about the UEFA Champions League

 

The UEFA Champions League proper returned yesterday as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and a host of other clubs began their quests for glory.

Before this evening's games, these are five things you should know about the Europe premier club competition.

1. Theme Song

TheUEFA Champions League anthem is to football fans one of the 'greatest songs ever'. What fans of the UCL do not know is that the anthem, officially titled simply as 'Champions League', was written by Tony Britten after he was commission by UEFA in 1992.

The song was performed by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

The chorus contains the three official languages used by UEFA: English, German, and French.

What we hear at the beginning of every UCL game is just the chorus. Check below this article for the full song which is about three minutes long.

The anthem has never been released commercially in its original version.

2. The Trophy

The UCL trophy is often called 'The Big Ears' in different languages because of the shape of the handles.

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.

3. Top 5 most capped UCL players

Barcelona legend Xavi is the player with the highest appearances in the UCL. The former Barca midfielder has 151 appearances in the UCL.

Another Spaniard, Iker Casillas who now plays for Porto has 150 appearances. Most of Casillas' appearances were as a Real Madrid player.

Real Madrid legend Raul, who is also from Spain, is number three with 142, former Manchester United forward, Ryan Giggs, is fourth with 141 while Clarence Seedorf with 125 for Real Madrid, Ajax, Inter Milan and AC Milan is fifth.

4. Country with the highest wins

Spain has produced most winners in competition's 58 year history. 13 times.  Real Madrid and Barcelona are the only teams to have won it.

Italy is second with 13 winners with three teams, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

England has produced 5 winners- Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Chelsea, winning a total of 12 times.

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