UEFA Champions League song, official theme, anthem, lyrics, name and downloads

The UEFA Champions League anthem is one of the most recognizable tunes in sport.

Its lyrics and tones can evoke both football nostalgia for memorable moments past and the promise of future drama to come.

Simply titled “Champions League”, the song is written with lyrics from multiple languages ​​across Europe and played in the stadium before the start of every UEFA Champions League match.

“The official anthem is now almost as iconic as the trophy,” indicates the official site organizers of the Champions League and the European body UEFA.

MORE: Which teams are qualified for the 2022-23 Champions League?

Who wrote the Champions League song? When did it start?

The official UEFA Champions League anthem was written in 1992 by English composer Tony Britten.

According to UEFA, the European Confederacy commissioned Britten to compose a hymn based on a 1727 song by George Frideric Handel called Zadok the Priest, which was originally written for the coronation of King George II. Zadok the Priest has been played before the anointing at the coronation of every British monarch since its composition and has become a British patriotic symbol.

“There is a phase of rising strings which I plucked in Handel, then I wrote my own melody”, says Britton in 2018 during an interview with a local publication in his home town of Croydon. “It has a sort of Handelian feel to it, but I like to think it’s not a total rip-off.”

UEFA explains that the song was meant to piggyback on the Three Tenors’ popularity following their performance ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final in Rome, Italy. A recording of the performance, watched by around 800 million people, became the best-selling classical album all time.

The recording of the Champions League song known today was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields Chorus.

What language is the Champions League anthem in?

The lyrics of the Champions League anthem are composed of mixed phrases taken from the three official languages ​​of UEFA: English, French and German.

Each verse has a line in each language, with the lyrics highlighting the “top teams”, clearly the tournament’s main dividing point. It’s a nod to the annual qualification process which only sees the best clubs from the various leagues compete in the Champions League.

As languages ​​like Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are not technically official languages ​​of the governing body, they are not featured.

MORE: Which are the most successful English teams in the Champions League?

Champions League song lyrics

They are the best teams
Es sind die allerbesten Mannschaften (These are the best teams)
The main event

Die Meister (The Master)
Die Besten (the best)
The big teams (The biggest teams)
The Champions

A big meeting
Eine grosse sportliche Veranstaltung (A big sporting event)
The main event

Die Meister (The Master)
Die Besten (the best)
The big teams (The biggest teams)
The Champions

They are the best (They are the best)
Sie sind die Besten (They are the best)
They are the champions

Die Meister (The Master)
Die Besten (the best)
The big teams (The biggest teams)
The Champions

UEFA Champions League songs download availability

from UEFA official site explains that the song “cannot be legally purchased or downloaded from any website”. Despite this, it is available for purchase and download at itunes store for $0.99.

The song is available on both Apple Music and Spotify with a subscription, and it has over 25 million plays on Spotify.

Why are fans whistling the Champions League anthem?

While many fans are relishing the opportunity to listen to the Champions League anthem, some groups of supporters are instead taking the opportunity to voice their concerns about the competition, organizers or other related issues.

Why Man City fans are booing the Champions League anthem

Man City fans boo the Champions League anthem in every game the club plays. Supporters are challenging a situation from 2011 when Man City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Porto supporters.

Not only was UEFA’s action to fine Porto €20,000 far too lenient, but a month later City were fined €30,000 for coming back with 30 seconds left. late on the pitch for the second half of a Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon.

Dissatisfied City fans, understandably dismayed by the disparity between the two penalties, have since expressed their frustration during the Champions League anthem.

City fans were even more furious when, in 2014, UEFA punished CSKA Moscow for racial slur. The punishment, handed down just three weeks before City played an away game against the Russian club, included a closed stadium. This left many supporters in the city with tickets, flights and hotels already booked. City fans showed up anyway, hoping to get in, and were turned away, despite the fact that some CSKA Moscow fans were able to enter the stadium with different colors. UEFA did not penalize CSKA Moscow further for circumventing the sanction.

“I’m not just disappointed, I’m furious,” said Man City midfielder Yaya Toure at the time.

Things got even worse for City fans when the exact opposite happened two years later. In December 2016, Man City were due to face Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League. Dynamo Kyiv were serving a stadium ban for the game, but three weeks before the scheduled game UEFA overturned the ban, leaving many Man City fans with too little time to book a trip.

Man City boss Pep Guardiola said in 2019 that he understands why Man City fans are booing the anthem, but hopes supporters have started to appreciate the competition more lately.

Why Barcelona fans are booing the Champions League anthem

Like Man City fans, Barcelona fans also boo the Champions League anthem on occasion.

Barcelona is located in the Spanish autonomous community of Catalonia, which has seen growing support for independence over the past two decades. In 2016, the club sought to support this movement by distributing 30,000 Estelada flags to supporters entering the game.

Political demonstrations during matches are banned by UEFA, and as the governing body considers the push for Catalan independence to be a “separatist movement”, the club was fined €25,000.

When it happened again later that year in a game against Bayer Leverkusen, UEFA again fined the club, this time for an increased total of €33,000.

Liverpool fans boo Champions League anthem in 2022 final

With a delayed kick-off to the 2022 Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool in Saint-Denis, France, Liverpool fans were mostly in place by the time the game started half- hour later than expected.

Still, much of the fan base was frustrated with the disorganization surrounding the pre-match logistical setup around the Stade de France. According to UEFA, major crowd problems caused by an organizational failure were reported, with kick-off twice delayed due to “security concerns” and “late arrival of supporters”.

Videos and images shared on social media showed fans struggling to enter the stadium, forced to navigate dangerous lines, closed gates and even tear gas in some circumstances.

With the game finally due to start 37 minutes late, the anthem was played as the players emerged from the tunnel, and Liverpool fans booed the melody to express their frustration.

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