Photo Credit: goaldentimes.org
By Ahmed Gassas
With the Champions League final approaching on June 6 in Berlin, Germany, we are recounting 10 interesting facts about the UEFA Champions League:
1. The UEFA Champions League was founded in 1955, but the current format has been around since 1992. It was formally known as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup.
2. Real Madrid was the first team to ever win the Champions League in 1955-56. They are also the most successful team in the Champions League, winning the competition a total of 10 times: 1955-56, 1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1959-60, 1965-66, 1997-98, 1999-2000, 2001-02 and 2013-14.
3. Spanish football clubs have won the most competitions in Europe with 14 times. Italy and England come in second with these two countries winning the Champions League a total of 12 times each. Germany has a win of 7. Netherlands, a win of 6 and Portugal, a win of 4. France, Scotland, Romania and Yugoslavia all winning at least once.
4. Out of the 22 teams that were featured in the Champions League final, only two teams have lost more finals than they have won, these being Benfica from Portugal and Juventus from Italy. The pair won two Champions League finals and lost five.
5. Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid are joint all-time top scorers of the Champions League with 77 goals each. Messi can add to his tally as his team is expected to play in the final against Juventus in Berlin.
6. Tony Britten wrote the UEFA Champions League anthem in 1992 when the competition got rebranded. It is an adaption of George Frideric’s Zadok the Priest.
7. The fastest goal scored in the Champions League was by Bayern Munich’s Roy Makkay versus Real Madrid in 2007. The Dutch footballer Makkay scored the goal in just 10.12 seconds.
8. Swansea’s Bafétimbi Gomis scored the fastest Champions League hattrick in 2011 under 8 minutes. The French striker put Lyon through the knockout stages.
9. Lionel Messi scored the greatest number of hattricks in the Champions League with 5. Luiz Adriano of Shakhtar Donetsk is the first player to ever score back-to-back hattricks in the Champions League.
10. This will be the first Champions League Final hosted in Berlin at the Olympiastadion. It is the 60th season of Europe’s premier football tournament.
So tell us whom you’re supporting, let us know in the comments below. #UCLFinal