32 things that you might not know about this year's Champions League teams 6 years ago

32 things that you might not know about this year's Champions League teams

Here's some interesting/mad/funny trivia about the 32 teams in football's greatest club competition...

The Champions League resumes this week, as 32 of Europe's biggest clubs compete for 'Old Big Ears' while current holders Real Madrid are looking to make history by becoming the first team to successfully defend the trophy in its current guise.


Here are 32 interesting bits of trivia that you may not know about the teams participating in this year's tournament.

Atletico Madrid

The last time the Spanish champions won La Liga in '96 their former President Jesus Gil paraded the trophy around the stadium whilst riding an elephant. This is true.

Jesus Gil


The Old Lady were the last team to reach three Champions League finals in a row between 1995 - 98.

Marcelo Lippi's side only managed to win the trophy once though during this period, beating Ajax 4-2 on penalties in '96.


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Despite retiring three years ago, their legendary grey-haired keeper Antonios Nikopolidis is actually only 43. When we saw him for the first time in the mid 90's he looked 43.

Malmö FF

Zlatan Ibrahimovic started his career at the club making 40 league appearances and scoring 18 goals. The Swedes do have European pedigree, they lost the '79 European Cup final to Brain Clough's Nottingham Forest.


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Real Madrid

The holders recently fielded the most expensive line-up in history for their Super Cup victory over Sevilla, with the 11 players costing the club an amazing total of £364million in transfer fees.



When a table-topping clash at Luzern was rescheduled to aaccommodate TV coverage of a Roger Federer tennis final, their fans protested by throwing hundreds of tennis balls onto the pitch

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And Federer is a die-hard Basel fan.



Who remembers the Reds' last Champions League fixture? It was a 2-1 away defeat to Fiorentina in December '09 . Steven Gerrard and Martin Škrtel are the only players that were involved in that game that are still with the club.

UEFA Champions League Final - AC Milan v Liverpool


The Portuguese giants are famously struck by the fabled curse of Bela Guttman, their former manager who was fired in 1962 after demanding a pay rise. Upon leaving he said, “Not in a hundred years from now will Benfica ever win a European Cup.”

52 years later and the club have lost eight European finals.

Zenit Saint Petersburg

Former Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is the man in charge of the Russians and the 36-year-old is earning 8.5 million euros per season, making him one of the highest paid managers in the world.


Bayer Leverkusen

They are the works team of Germany's largest chemical plant Bayer, the company who produce aspirin. A sports club was formed in 1904, hence the title Bayer 04 Leverkusen but a football team was not introduced until three years later.

The club were beaten finalists when Zinedine Zidane did this. A young Dimitar Berbatov was on the bench for the Germans that night.

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The French side reached the final 10 years ago with a team that contained Patrice Evra, Gael Givet, Édouard Cisse, Fernando Morientes, Sébastien Squillaci and Emmanuel Adebayor.


This is Arsenal's 17th consecutive appearance in the group stages but they have exited at the last 16 stage for four consecutive years.


Borussia Dortmund

Amazingly this is the third time in the last four Champions Leagues that the Germans have been paired with Arsenal in the group stages.


Last year's 6-1 pummelling at home by Real Madrid was the club's heaviest European home defeat in their history.

20 years ago Peter Schmeichel did this to one of their fans, who stupidly invaded the pitch

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Their biggest home win was 9-0 against our own Derry City FC.

Adnan Januzaj and Romelu Lukaku are just some of their famous academy's recent graduates.

Bayern Munich

Five years ago the Bavarians were managed by Jurgen Klinsmann and they crashed out of the competition after a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona.

Only three players that featured in the return leg are still with the club; Franck Ribéry, Philipp Lahm and Holger Badstuber.

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Manchester City

The only members of City's squad to have actually won the Champions League are Yaya Toure and Frank Lampard.

Barcelona's midfielder from Ivory Coast

CSKA Moscow

The club have retired the number 12 jersey in honour of the supporters but their first home match against Bayern Munich will be a quiet affair, UEFA handing them a full stadium ban for unfurling a racist banner against Viktoria Plzen.


It's the first time since the 2010/11 season that the Italian giants are playing in Europe's top tournament.

It is now 30 years since they lost this dramatic final to Liverpool.

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Their new manaager and former player Luis Enrique is probably fitter than some players playing in the Champions League.

He competed in the 2005 edition of the New York City Marathon, finished the Amsterdam Marathon in 2006, the Firenze Marathon in 2007 and the Marathon des Sables in 2008.

Luis Enrique Unveiled As New Barcelona Coach

Paris Saint-Germain

Despite their nouveau-riche status, the relatively young Parisian club do have some history when it comes to Europe's elite tournament.

They reached the semi-finals 20 years ago with a team containing the nostalgic names of Bernard Lama, Rai, Vincent Guérin, David Ginola and this man.

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The Dutch giants won the tournament 20 years ago under the stewardship of current Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal.

This was one of the greatest home grown teams that you'll ever see with the likes of; Seedorf, Davids, Kluivert, Van der Sar and the de Boer brothers.


The Cypriots met Real Madrid in the quarter-finals in 2012 and their list of former notable players is quite eclectic.

The list includes the British trio of former Tottenham forward Ian Moores, three-time European Cup winner Terry McDermott and Northern Ireland midfielder Tommy Cassidy.


Five of Chelsea's current squad all played against the Blues in last year's Champions League; Filipe Luis, Thibaut Courtois, Didier Drogba, Diego Costa and Mohamed Salah.

Club Atletico de Madrid v RCD Espanyol - La Liga

Schalke 04

Pope John Paul ll became an honorary member of the club in 1987 after celebrating Mass in their old Stadium, the Parkstadion.

Sporting CP

The list of players produced by their famous academy is frightening; Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Nani, Miguel Veloso, João Moutinho, Simao, Paulo Futre and Ricardo Quaresma are just some of the club's alumni.


The Slovenians knocked out Celtic in the qualifying stages and their Brazilian born striker Marcos Tavares is the club's all-time leading scorer, despite the fact he only joined them in 2008.


It was ten years ago that a certain manager won the Champions League with them.

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Shakhtar Donetsk

The club will be playing their Champions League and domestic games in the western city of Lviv to escape from the Ukraine's strife-torn east. It's a real shame because the Donbass Arena was a fortress for the Ukranian giants.

Athletic Bilbao

Apparently there are only 2.6m Basques in Spain, equivalent to the population of Pittsburgh or Liverpool, and yet the club have never been relegated from La Liga and are now back amonst the European big boys. Amazing.

BATE Borisov

This is the club's third appearance in the Champions League and they are yet to win a match.