The UEFA Champions League is well and truly underway, and the matches are coming in thick and fast on SBS. But with so much football (and so little time), it can be tough to stay across everything that’s happening in the world game.
Well, never fear, help is here – our ultimate Champions League cheat sheet makes being an expert easy. Simply trot out a few of these fun facts and handy sayings in front of your football friends, and they’ll never suspect a thing.
“That should’ve been a penalty!”
Showing false outrage is a great way to fool other people into believing you know what’s going on. Any time an attacking player goes down in the opposition box, jump up and say this line. Couple that with a shake of the head, then walk out of the room before anyone can ask follow-up questions.
“Manchester United are playing well, but nothing will ever compare to 1999!”
Back in 1999, the Red Devils completed a famous come-from-behind victory in the dying seconds of the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. With three minutes left on the clock, Manchester United scored twice to win the game 2-1. It remains their most famous victory. Referencing this will immediately impress your pals.
“I don’t think Messi will ever score five goals in one game again... like he did against Bayern Leverkusen in 2012.”
When it comes to being a football fraud, sometimes the devil is in the detail. The more obscure facts you can reference, the less likely your pals will pull you up. It’s a good idea to bring up Barcelona’s mini maestro, Lionel Messi, as he’s one of the most successful footballers of all time. Back in 2012, he became only the second player to score five goals in one Champions League game. Mention this, then sit back and watch your friends nod approvingly.
“Diving is ruining the modern game.”
Tapping into hot topics is another smart strategy when trying to sound football savvy. Diving (or simulation, if you want to be official about it) refers to the moment a player attempts to gain the advantage by pretending they’ve been fouled. Diving is rampant in the Champions League – we’re looking at you, Cristiano Ronaldo – so it’s the perfect time to use this line. The next time a player goes down while you’re watching a match, start ranting about diving – no one will doubt you’re the real deal.
“My favourite Champion’s League goal is Zizou’s volley in the 2002 final.”
Sooner or later, someone will ask you what your favourite Champions League goal is, and failing to answer will raise suspicions. Play it safe and say it was Zinedine Zidane’s strike in the 2002 final against Bayern Leverkusen. It’s commonly accepted as one of the competitions finest goals, a looping left-foot volley that won the game for Real Madrid. Extra points for using Zidane’s nickname, “Zizou”.
“No one will ever match Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring record.”
Real Madrid are the reigning Champions League title holders and much of their modern success can be attributed to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. It’s inevitable he’ll come up in conversation, so you’re going to need some Ronaldo-related facts to fall back on. He currently holds the record for most goals scored in the UEFA Champion’s League – 111 so far – and it doesn’t look like he’ll be caught.
Watch the football on SBS this weekend:
Saturday 9th December
23:00 – 01:50 AEDT
2017-18 Premier League
WEST HAM UNITED v CHELSEA
On SBS / streaming LIVE to The World Game app only
Sunday 10th December
16:00 – 18:30 AEDT
2017-18 W-League Round 7
MELBOURNE CITY v CANBERRA UNITED
On SBS VICELAND / streaming LIVE to The World Game website and app
Watch Bayern Munich v Paris Saint Germain highlights at SBS On Demand: