Champions League is the most prestigious tournament for European soccer clubs, with teams from across the continent competing to be crowned champions. Here are some lesser-known facts about the competition:
1. The Champions League trophy can only be won three times in a row by one team before it must be returned to UEFA, the governing body of European football.
2. While other tournaments feature group stages and multiple matches, Champions League games are always single-elimination. This means that each time a team faces another, only one will advance further in the competition.
3. The final match of the tournament is known as “the grand finale” and usually takes place at an iconic stadium like Wembley or Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
4. The Champions League winners are rewarded with a large cash prize that is usually shared among the players and staff of the winning team.
5. It takes an average of 17 matches for a team to reach the final, meaning teams have to be well-prepared if they want to stand a chance of winning the competition.
6. Each match in the tournament is supervised by one main referee and two assistant referees, who help make sure that all rules are followed and no foul play occurs during the game.
7. During group stages, teams earn points based on their performance – three points for a win, one point for a draw, and none for a loss. After six rounds of matches, only eight teams will advance to the knockout stages.
8. The Champions League is broadcasted in over 200 countries, reaching millions of viewers worldwide.
9. A new format was introduced in 2018 which means that four teams qualify directly for the group stage and eight more join them through playoffs.
10. The most successful teams in the tournament’s history are Real Madrid and AC Milan, both having won seven titles each since its inception in 1955.
11. UEFA organizes a special ceremony at the end of each season honoring the best players from all participating teams with awards such as “Best Goalkeeper” or “Best Midfielder”.
12. During every Champions League season, two games are designated as the “Derby of the Week” – high-stakes and highly anticipated matches between two rival clubs.
13. UEFA also organizes annual “fan fests” in major cities around Europe, where fans can come together to watch the games on a big screen and celebrate their teams’ successes.
14. The Champions League anthem is played at every match before kick-off and is composed by English composer Tony Britten.
15. The current champions are Liverpool F.C., who won the 2019/2020 season following their resounding victory against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
These 15 secrets give an insight into some of the lesser-known aspects of the Champions League and the level of dedication required to compete in this prestigious tournament. With such a long and illustrious history, it’s no wonder why so many teams strive for glory each season. Who will be crowned champions this year? We’ll have to wait until June 2021 to find out!