This page is part of © FOTW Flags Of The World website

UEFA Champions League

Last modified: 2022-07-16 by zachary harden
Keywords: uefa champions league | champions league |
Links: FOTW homepage | search | disclaimer and copyright | write us | mirrors

[UEFA EURO 2016 Flag]
source; image by Zachary Harden, 28 June 2021



The UEFA Champions League (usually referred to as simply the Champions League or historically as the European Cup) is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe.
Esteban Rivera, 15 March, 2009

Since its inception back in 1955, the purpose of the competition was to have a truly continental tournament where the champions of each top tier football league in Europe would compete to be the greatest in a season. Initially, "proposals for the creation of a new super-league competition for European clubs started in 1968 by then UEFA general secretary Hans Bangerter to replace the European Champions Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup and form the "European Football League Championship", a unique club competition combining group and knockout matches, a novelty at the time. Despite that project, in that year UEFA approved to expand the clubs' access to its competitions creating a third seasonal tournament: the UEFA Cup, whose inaugural season took place three years later. The idea for a unique pan-European club competition gained force in the 1970s and drew legal traction in the late of the following decade." Again, for the upcoming 1988-1989 European Cup, then AC Milan's President Silvio Berlusconi (who also owns a media conglomerate) proposed to a type of European super league, where true traditional teams (eighteen clubs, chosen on merit, history and fanbase: three teams from England, Germany, Italy and Spain; two from France and the Netherlands, and one each from Portugal and Scotland) could compete against each other, an idea seconded by Real Madrid and Glasgow Rangers' Campbell Ogilvie (although slightly different to that of Berlusconi) based on knockout phases since the mid 1950s – that would be more attractive for international television broadcasters, according to Gerhard Aigner (UEFA’s general secretary from 1989 to 2003), would be able to allow the teams to earn more income, and would give them more possibilities to progress through it for "economic and management guarantees". It would run parallel to the then three European competitions since the 1991–92 season, but the project was abandoned in 1991 after UEFA announced sporting sanctions sine die for the involved clubs, reformed the European Champions Cup introducing a group stage in that season, increasing the overall number of matches, and rebranding it as the Champions League in 1992 for commercial and media purposes, mainly a triangular partnership between football, broadcasters and the sponsors, since according to Aigner: "TEAM had all the ideas on how to centralise the rights and brand the competition — we just changed the statutes so they could do it."
Esteban Rivera, 11 July 2022

Flags and logos used

[UEFA Champions League]
1997-2012 logo flag version; image by Zoltan Horvath, 4 September, 2010

The flag for this competition is a navy blue horizontal flag with the logo ( in the middle.
The image above is based on an original picture taken on November 10, 2008, outside Stamford Bridge, home ground of English Premier League club Chelsea F.C.
For additional information please see UEFA Champions League (official website):
Esteban Rivera, 15 March, 2009

The original logo (and flag) date back as early as 1991, (when) "UEFA asked its commercial partner, Television Event and Media Marketing (TEAM), to help "brand" the Champions League. This resulted in the anthem, "house colours" of black and white or silver and a logo, and the "starball". The starball was created by Design Bridge , a London-based firm selected by TEAM after a competition. Rod Petrie, Creative Director at Design Bridge commissioned Phil Clements and according to him "I started doodling away and the idea of the starball just came to me. I was thinking of the EU flag and something simple and eye-catching that would stand out on a Tango-style football. It took about 10 minutes. I took it to a proper logo artist to see if they could sharpen it up a bit but they didn’t really do much to it". The design is simple, eight stars encompassed in a circle seen within the greatest stadiums. It was created by Phil Clements. The eight stars derived from the eight teams competing against each other according to the (then) new format. There were 50 designs by 50 different designers which made it to the headquarters of Uefa to be judged by the panel, headed by Managing Director of TEAM, Craig Thompson, as he recalls: "The stars representing the best players, the ball representing the sport". TEAM gives particular attention to detail in how the colours and starball are depicted at matches. According to TEAM, "Irrespective of whether you are a spectator in Moscow or Milan, you will always see the same stadium dressing materials, the same opening ceremony featuring the 'starball' centre circle ceremony, and hear the same UEFA Champions League Anthem. The change was also due to the format competition, so for the 1991-92 season, UEFA replaced the quarter-finals with two groups of four teams that guaranteed them six games each, followed by a final between the two group winners. This was the final year in which the tournament was to be called by its original name, (UEFA) European Cup, and for the next tournament, the 1992-1993 iteration onward would be renamed to the UEFA Champions League.

Also, a rebrand was done in 2018, adding background colors, such as magenta and cyan to the flag. The identity was developed in collaboration with UEFA's marketing partner, Team Marketing AG, and the London-based creative agency DesignStudio. Additionally, another rebranding of the logo was done in 2021. At first, they look very similar, but when looking closer, the ratio of the different elements has been changed. The 'League' part is bigger, the UEFA logo is bolder. Also, it changed its typeface from ITC Novarese Pro Bold into a sturdy Sans with sharp edges, as well as enlarging the word "league". Sources: ,
Esteban Rivera, 11 July 2022