14 Things You Never Knew About The Champions League: The Biggest Sporting Event On The Planet

bastian schweinstiger bayern munich champions league final

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Since the Champions League was rebranded and rebooted in 1992, it’s become the most watched, most lucrative sporting event in the world.It generates $2 billion in revenue, and more people will see Saturday’s final than watched this year’s Super Bowl.

The monstrous soccer tournament is unlike anything we have in the States, which is perhaps why it’s becoming increasingly popular.

The Chelsea-Bayern final just might be the most watched club soccer game in American TV history.

Simply qualifying for the Round of 32 makes each team an estimated ~$60 million in revenue from price money, sponsorships, marketing, and merchandise

Study: Mastercard

A London team has never won the Champions League

Arsenal, Chelsea, and to a lesser extent Tottenham are all European powers.

But for some reason England's biggest city has yet to produce a champion. The same can be said for Rome and Paris.

A conservative estimate of the TV audience from BBC put the viewership at 109 million — bigger than the Super Bowl in 2011

Source: BBC

This year's tournament featured teams from 52 different countries

While the Champions League really gets going in the 32-team group stage, there are preliminary rounds where teams from smaller countries play each other to try and qualify for the big tournament.

Every country from San Marino to Georgia to England is represented.

The most expensive tickets for Saturday's final are $12,000

Source: The Mirror

The tournament makes $2 billion in revenue every year

Source: NYT


Refs have to pass fitness tests and retire when they reach age 45.

Howard Webb (below), looks like an athlete himself.

Source: NYT

125 teams have participated in the Champions League at one point or another

That's more teams than the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL combined.

21 different teams from 10 different countries have won the title

Real Madrid is the all-time leader with nine titles, followed by AC Milan with 7 and Liverpool with 5.

A bunch of teams that won it before are no longer relevant

Ajax, Red Star Belgrade, Nottingham Forest, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord, and Steaua București have won a combined 9 titles.

But those clubs are all either on the fringes of the European scene or fell off the map completely now.

Suspensions happen ALL THE TIME

Four Chelsea players and two Bayern players are suspended for Saturday's final.

They didn't do anything out of bounds -- they just amassed too many yellow/red cards.

It plays a huge role in many of these games.

When the knockout stages come around, the teams are put into groups at random.

The process is boring. But it's impeccably produced and broadcast to the world on TV.

An English manager hasn't won since 1984

English teams have won it 11 times. But an English manager hasn't lifted the trophy since Joe Fagan led Liverpool to the title in 1984.

It has its own terrible anthem

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