Posted June 7, 2018 by Chris in Features

UEFA Anthem and the revolution of the European club competition

UEFA Anthem have proven to be one of the timely innovations that transformed the club competition from a continental showpiece to the biggest prize in club football. The Anthem itself needs no introduction as it sends goose bump to the skins of not just players and fans inside a football stadium but also to club management especially during Uefa matches. The anthem’s popularity have gone to the level at which its chorus is always played before a Uefa champion’s league game kicks off, as well as the start and the end of every television broadcast of the Uefa Champion’s league.

The Anthem was conceived as an idea in 1991 when UEFA tasked its marketing partner Television, Event and Marketing (TEAM) in bring about an innovative approach to the then European cup competition. The move resulted in the change of name of the then European cup to Uefa Champion’s league, its “star ball logo”, house colors and the famous Uefa Anthem by the year 1992. The Anthem have since then remained the heart of the continental showpiece as a strong symbol reflecting excitement, passion and desire in the competition just like the excitement Premier League bets gives to sports lovers.

The Anthem was written by English composer Tony Britten in 1992 was gotten from George Frideric Handel’s anthem Zadok the priest, a tradition music played during coronation ceremony of British monarchs. The Anthem was initially not designed for entertainment with the composer admitting that the song was composed to curb the threat hooliganism was posing to the continental showpiece. The British man in a 2013 newspaper interview revealed how he had borrowed a leave from Three Tenors classical of 1992 world cup in composing the UEFA Anthem. Britten confirmed that he also adopted the rising string of the Handel’s and his own idea in composing the Anthem that is performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Lyrics sung by the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields chorus in London. The British man also confirmed that the song is owned exclusively by UEFA though added that he was entitled to royalties every time it is been used.

The Anthem’s popularity and worldwide could be that it lyrics cut across 3 popular languages in English, French and German. Incidentally these are the UEFA official languages. The song have been said to express the strength of teams in the competition by some football analysts. Other  football analyst have concluded that the anthem aimed at reminded clubs present that the competition is a  gathering of the best teams referred to as champions in a big sport events which aims to bring out the ultimate champion among them.

The songs have also evolved within its 26 years as many vocal sessions have been tried with its constant almost unchangeable lyrics with Andrea Bocelli, Juan Diego Flores, All Angels and a host of popular artistes in the music industry gracing the classical song.

The Anthem is and will remain the real heart of the rebranded Uefa Champions league at its brings a feeling of passion, emotion and desire which have been the reason the continental showpiece remains the best for players plying their trade in Europe with Gareth Bale citing that the song was made him desire to play in the Champions league.


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