The UEFA Champions League is a long-running, prestigious championship organized season after season by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). It is a series of events that features the best of European football, and not only the national teams of individual countries but individual teams from each one. But this wasn't always the case. This is one of the 5 things you didn't know about the UEFA Champions League: until 1992, it didn't exist. Its predecessor, European Champion Clubs’ Cup or simply "European Cup", was similar to the FIFA World Cup, only reserved for European national teams. Things changed, though, allowing clubs to make it to the competition, making the championship more exciting for the fans. But let us take a look at other facts that you might not have known about the UEFA Champions League.

Anthem

The UEFA Champions League has an anthem, called "Champions League", composed by Tony Britten. The anthem is an adaptation of George Frideric Handel's "Zadok the Priest" (Coronation Anthem), performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Starting his career as a theater musical director, Britten moved on to film and television - he is known for his work on big screen productions like Robocop, Once Upon a Time in the North and others. The anthem is played before every match and every television broadcast of the matches. It has never been released commercially.

Referees

UEFA international referees have an age limit of 45. After reaching this age, they have to step down. This rule has been introduced to ensure the highest level of fitness possible. Before even being considered as an international level referee, the refs need to pass a fitness test. An international referee is initially placed in Category 4 of the five experience-based categories established by UEFA. Refs from Spain, Germany, Italy, England, and France are placed directly into Category 3, though, due to their high-level football leagues. Each referee is evaluated twice every season and their level is revised - but they can't be promoted to the "Elite" category from any other, only from Category 1.

The trophy

There is only one UEFA Champions League trophy, and it is always in the possession of the League. To get a full-sized replica of the trophy, a club has to win the championship five times in a row. Only a handful of teams has managed such a feat - Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan, Liverpool, and Barcelona. Spanish clubs have managed to accumulate the highest number of wins in the history of the competition - 15 - followed by England and Italy with 12 each.