It is all in the name with this League. Only the top Football teams of Europe qualify for the Champions League and just getting into it, let alone going on to win, is an honour. It features the elite, the cream of the Football crop, playing against one another.
- The Union of European Football Associations Champions League was founded in 1995 but the format it currently enjoys has been around since 1992. It was known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup before now.
- Real Madrid was the first-ever Champions League winner in 1955-56.
- Spain’s Football Clubs have won the most competitions in Europe, with a total of 23 from Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Sevilla. Italy and England tie for second place, with a total of 12 wins each and Germany has seven, so it places third.
- Of the 22 teams that have featured in the Champions League final, only two have lost more games than they have won. The first was Portugal’s Benefica and the second Juventus, from Italy. This pair has won two Champions League finals and lost five.
- Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona, and Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid are the joint Top Scorers of All Time in the Champions League, with 77 goals each.
- Before each game of the tournament, an anthem called Champions League written by Tony Britten is played. This celebrates and honours the fact that The Beautiful Game brings together so many different people. Britten adapted Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel to create this song and the chorus features the three official languages. These are Engish, French, and German.
- The fastest-ever goal scored in the Champions League was accomplished by Roy Makaay, aka Rudolphus Antonius Makaay, currently a Dutch football manager and formerly of Bayern Munich. He managed this feat in a game against Real Madrid in 2007, scoring the goal in just 10.12 seconds!
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- Bafétimbi Gomis from Swansea holds the title of Fastest Champions League Hat-Trick thanks to his scoring one in less than eight minutes in 2011. The striker from France is the reason Lyon got through the knockout stages.
- Real Madrid has won the Champions League tournament 13 times. Only 22 clubs have managed to win since it kicked off in 1955.
- Lionel Messi has scored the most hat-tricks in the Champions League, with a total of five.
- Luiz Adriano, from Shakhtar Donetsk, is the first-ever player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the League.
- The UEFA Champions League additionally lends its name to a Foundation for Children dedicated to helping young people the world over by giving them access to the magic of Football. This publicly governed body operates under the rule of Swiss Law and makes it possible for children to practice Football and learn life skills that will help them make the best of their situations.