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The official Champions League anthem will not be played at Stamford Bridge, Anfield, Ibrox or the Etihad Stadium this week as it is based on the same song played during a royal coronation.
Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Liverpool has been postponed, but both clubs will be able to compete in Europe’s elite competition. Graham Potter’s first match as Chelsea manager will be against RB Salzburg, while Jurgen Klopp’ s men take in Ajax at Anfield in what could be a pivotal match for the Merseysiders.
Erling Haaland will face his former team Borussia Dortmund in what will likely be one of Pep Guardiola’s side’s hardest meetings in their group, while Rangers will be looking to resurrect their European adventure at home to rampant Napoli. However, they will not take to the football pitch accompanied by the backdrop of the Champions League anthem.
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The decision has been made in regards to Queen Elizabeth II’s passing last Thursday. Interestingly, the official Champions League anthem derives from George Frideric Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ tune that was composed in 1727.
Handel’s classic is traditionally played to mark the coronation of a new monarch and was indeed used to crown Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. It will be used when King Charles III is officially crowned and crowned this country’s 40th monarch.
Football fans may not be familiar with Handel’s best work of the 18th century, but Zadok the Priest may ring a few bells. That is because many of the piece’s key aspects were taken and used by Tony Britten, when he composed the Champions League anthem we all know and love today.
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“There's a rising string phase which I pinched from Handel,” Britten has previously admitted. “Then I wrote my old tune.
“It has a kind of Handelian feel to it. But I like to think it's not a total rip-off.” Unfortunately for Britten and football fans who have fallen in love with the iconic anthem, it will not be played out in Britain this week.
Chelsea and Liverpool in particular will be hoping the absence of the aptly named anthem ‘Champions League’ will not prove to be a hoodoo for the respective clubs.
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