What is the origin and meaning of UCL music and why do some fans boo it? September 6, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer

The Champions League is back this week which also means the return of football’s most iconic anthem.

UEFA’s epic chant that precedes every game of their most prized tournament is one beloved by both players and fans alike.

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The dream of every footballer is to hear the anthem before a game

The classic ´Theeeeeee Chaaaammpioooooonsss’ that rings out has been synonymous with Europe’s best heavyweight showdowns.

While it reaches those supporters watching at home, it is not available to buy or download legally meaning tuning into games is the way to listen.

Champions League anthem: What is the origin and meaning?

The UEFA Champions League anthem has no official title but has been the soundtrack to the competition since it’s rebrand in 1992.

English composer Tony Britten, a graduate of the Royal College of Music, was commissioned to write the piece.

Britten took heavy inspiration from George Frideric Handel’s Zadok the Priest for the three minute anthem, which has two short verses and the chorus.

He told the Croydon Advertiser in 2013: “I had a commercials agent and they approached me to write something anthemic and because it was just after The Three Tenors at the World Cup in Italy so classical music was all the rage.

Lionel Messi claimed the song reminds him how special the Champions League is

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Lionel Messi claimed the song reminds him how special the Champions League is


“Hooliganism was a major, major problem and UEFA wanted to take the game into a completely different area altogether.

“There’s a rising string phase which I pinched from Handel and then I wrote my own tune. It has a kind of Handelian feel to it but I like to think it’s not a total rip-off.”

The iconic recording is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields Chorus, both of which are based in London.

The lyrics are in UEFA’s three official languages: English, French, and German. Here they are with translation…

Ce sont les meilleures equipes (They are the best teams)
Es sind die allerbesten Mannschaften (They are the best teams)
The main event

Die Meister (The master)
Die Besten (The best)
Les grandes equipes (The great teams)
The champions

Une grande reunion (A big meeting)
Eine grosse sportliche Veranstaltung (A great sporting event)
The main event

Die Meister (The master)
Die Besten (The best)
Les grandes equipes (The great teams)
The champions

Ils sont les meilleurs (They are the best)
Sie sind die Besten (They are the best)
These are the champions

Die Meister (The master)
Die Besten (The best)
Les grandes equipes (The great teams)
The champions

Manchester City have a deep mistrust of UEFA

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Manchester City have a deep mistrust of UEFA

Champions League anthem: Why do some fans boo it?

In recent years, the public show of dissent of hissing the tune has increased at the likes of Barcelona and Manchester City.

Both clubs’ fans are keen to express their dissatisfaction at UEFA sanctions with Man City’s grievances stretching back to 2011/12.

Porto fans racially abused then-City striker Mario Balotelli and received a 20,000 euros fine – 10,000 LESS than the Etihad club were docked for being less than a minute late to restart the second-half when the two sides met again the following month.

A £49million Financial Fair Play fine accrued in 2014 which also restricted the club’s future spending as well as a limited Champions League squad size only exacerbated tensions.

Later that year, City played a group game at CSKA Moscow – who were forced to play behind closed doors as punishment for persistent racial abuse.

Yet UEFA included the ban to involve City fans, many of whom had already made the trip to Russia to support their team.

City fans have publicly voiced their anger at UEFA’s sanctions in the past

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City fans have publicly voiced their anger at UEFA’s sanctions in the past

Pep Guardiola has spoken about the booing in the past, expressing his hope that the attitudes will soon change.

“I think the last time there were less boos,” Guardiola said via the Independent. “My feeling is now the people are starting to enjoy this competition. They are feeling like we can do it together.”

It is yet to be seen whether City fans will continue to hiss the anthem this year – but one person who won’t be is new boy Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian lives for the big European nights under the lights and even made the tune his ringtone.

He told TV2 last year: “That’s my alarm tone. I wake up to it every day. It’s the last song I’d get tired of.”

“I wake up to it. So I always get a perfect start to the day.”

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