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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 sounds can evoke both football nostalgia of past memorable moments and the promise of future drama.

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

“The official anthem is now almost as iconic as the trophy,” according to the official website of the organizers of the Champions League and the European organization UEFA.

MORE: Which teams qualify for Champions League 2022-23?

Who wrote the Champions League song? when did it start

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

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

“There’s a rising string phase that I nicked Handel and then I wrote my own tune,” Britten said in a 2018 interview with a local publication in his hometown of Croydon. “It has a sort of Handel feel to it, but I like to think it’s not a total rip-off.”

UEFA states that the song was intended to piggyback on the popularity of the three tenors after their performance ahead of the 1990 FIFA World Cup final in Rome, Italy. A recording of the performance, seen by approximately 800 million people, became the best-selling classical album of all time.

The now familiar recording of the Champions League song 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 consist of mixed sentences from the three official UEFA languages: English, French and German.

Each verse has a line in each language, with the lyrics emphasizing the “best teams”, clearly the main breaking point of the tournament. It’s a nod to the annual qualifying process where only the top clubs in the different leagues take part in the Champions League.

As languages ​​such as Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish are not technically official languages ​​of the governing body, they are not listed.

MORE: What are England’s most successful teams in the Champions League?

Champions League lyrics

Ce sont les meilleures équipes (These are the best teams)
They are the best teams
The main event

The Masters (The Master)
The best (The best)
Les grandes équipes (The Greatest Teams)
The master

Une grande réunion (A great meeting)
A major sporting event
The main event

The Masters (The Master)
The best (The best)
Les grandes équipes (The Greatest Teams)
The master

Ils sont les meilleurs (You are the best)
You are the best (You are the best)
These are the champions

The Masters (The Master)
The best (The best)
Les grandes équipes (The Greatest Teams)
The master

Download availability of UEFA Champions League songs

UEFA’s official website states that the song “cannot be purchased from any website or legally downloaded”. Despite this, it can be purchased and downloaded from the iTunes store for $0.99.

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

Why do fans whistle the Champions League anthem?

While many fans enjoy the opportunity to hear the Champions League anthem, some supporters instead take the opportunity to voice their concerns to the competition, the organizers or other various related issues.

Why Man City fans are booing the Champions League anthem

Man City fans are known to boo the Champions League anthem in every game the club plays. Fans are struggling with a situation from 2011 when Man City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused by Porto fans.

Not only was the €20,000 fine imposed on Porto by UEFA deemed far too light, but just a month later City were fined €30,000 for failing in the second half of a Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon was back on the pitch 30 seconds late.

Disaffected City supporters, understandably appalled by the disparity between the two penalties, have since vented their frustration during the Champions League anthem.

The city’s fans were even more furious when UEFA fined CSKA Moscow for racist abuse in 2014. The penalty, imposed just three weeks before City’s scheduled away game against the Russian club, included a closed stadium. This left numerous supporters of the city with tickets, flights and hotels already booked. City fans showed up anyway hoping to get in and were turned away, although some CSKA Moscow fans were able to enter the stadium in different colors. UEFA did not further fine CSKA Moscow for evading the penalty.

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

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

Man City boss Pep Guardiola said back in 2019 he understands why Man City fans are booing the anthem but hopes fans have started to enjoy the competition more of late.

Why Barcelona fans are booing the Champions League anthem

Like Man City fans, Barcelona fans occasionally boo the Champions League anthem.

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

Political displays during matches are banned by UEFA, and as the governing body views Catalonia’s quest for independence as a “separatist movement”, the club have been fined €25,000.

When it happened again later that year during a game against Bayer Leverkusen, UEFA again fined the club a total of €33,000.

Liverpool fans boo Champions League anthem at 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 attendance when the game started half an hour later than scheduled.

Still, much of the fan base was frustrated by the disorganization surrounding the pre-game logistical setup around the Stade de France. There were reports of significant problems with crowds caused by an organizational failure, with kick-off twice postponed due to “security concerns” and “delayed arrival of fans”, according to UEFA.

Videos and images shared on social media showed fans struggling to enter the stadium, being forced to navigate dangerous lines, closed gates and the possibility of tear gas.

When the game was finally due to start 37 minutes late, the anthem was played as the players exited the tunnel and Liverpool fans reverberantly booed the tune to express their frustration.

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