03: The Champions

In 1992 the European Cup was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League. Along with changes to the competitions format, including the introduction of a group stage, UEFA called for a complete design overhaul and commissioned the marketing company, TEAM (Television Event And Media) to carry out the rebrand. It was the process that gave us the distinctive “star ball” logo - and the now iconic Champions League anthem.

Tony Britten, a composer and filmmaker was given the task of producing a piece of music worthy of Europe's most prestigious football competition. UEFA were intent on a classical piece, taking inspiration from George Frederic Handel’s Coronation Anthem, Zadok the Priest.

Britten used the first few bars of Handel’s rising string phrase, adapting them into a full three minute orchestral composition, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Next came the lyrics, which were sung by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Britten employed a linguist to translate numerous superlatives into English, French and German - the three official languages of UEFA.

Since its introduction the anthem has become synonymous with the competition and is now loved all over the world by fans and players alike.


  • Champions League anthem courtesy of UEFA