The Champions is a 2018 animated web video series, created by Andy Haynes, produced by Bleacher Report and directed by Adam and Craig Malamut, the sibling creators behind Game of Zones and Gridiron Heights. As opposed to the Malamuts' first series' mashup of the National Basketball Association and Game of Thrones and their second series' rapid-fire sketch comedy about the National Football League, The Champions takes the players and managers of the UEFA Champions League and sets them in a Reality Show setting, putting them in a Big Fancy House where they live together day-to-day when they're not playing football. Of course, this being a reality show, antics and rivalries flare up, often involving real life rivalries and controversies between clubs and players, putting a humorous spin on the grudges.
New episodes of the series are posted on Bleacher Report's B/R Football subchannel (usually on the Monday before Champions League gamedays), and on Reddit here. A complete list of episodes can be found here.
The Champions provides examples of:
- Accidental Misnaming:
- Cristiano Ronaldo constantly mistakes Gonzalo Higuaín for Karim Benzema.
- Neymar tries to convince his teammates that he loves Paris Saint-Germain and doesn't want to leave anymore... but then, he calls the team "Paris Saint-Germany".
- Affectionate Parody: Several.
- Of Fight Club: A second season episode reveals that Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone runs 'Fightlético', an underground fight club in the basement of the Champions House, and its ranks include some of the Champions League's most notorious bad boys, such as Sergio Ramos, Luis Suárez and Atlético's own Diego Costa.Simeone: The first rule of Fightlético is: You do not talk about Fightlético... unless a streaming service offers you a lot of money.
- Of The Great British Bake Off: The four English teams engage in a baking competition on an episode, with unemployed coaches Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho serving as judges.
- Of Queer Eye: An episode has Antoine Griezmann, Dani Alves, Neymar, Paul Pogba and Mario Ballotelli become the "Flair Five" and help Luka Modric refresh his style. Hilarity Ensues.
- Itself a parody of the Eurovision Song Contest, the UEFAvision episode has Harry Kane doing his best Miley Cyrus impression:Kane: [sings while sitting on top of a wrecking ball] I came in like a cooockereeeeellll— [camera cuts away right before a loud CRASH]
- Of Fight Club: A second season episode reveals that Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone runs 'Fightlético', an underground fight club in the basement of the Champions House, and its ranks include some of the Champions League's most notorious bad boys, such as Sergio Ramos, Luis Suárez and Atlético's own Diego Costa.
- The Ageless: Parodied with veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon when several Juventus members shut themselves in the panic room during the chaos of the season 3 finale:
- Air Quotes: After Jurgen Klopp's tirade from losing another Liverpool player due to injury, Klopp is asked by the producers about what happened. He responds by sarcastically commenting, complete with air quotes that apparently he's "unhinged", that you can't "yell" at the staircase, and "therapy would be good for him".
- Always Someone Better: Antoine Griezmann tends to suffer from this. Best summed up in season 2, in this dialogue with his then-coach Diego Simeone:Simeone: [walking with Griezmann across a gallery of portraits of several football icons] Look, you're great, Antoine. Your hair deserves to be up there with the legends. But do you?
Griezmann: Why not? I'm just as good as Ronaldo and Messi!
Simeone: At what?
Griezmann: I won the World Cup!
Simeone: [slaps him] Mbappé won the World Cup!
- Armor-Piercing Question: Cristiano Ronaldo bluntly asks Zlatan if it's his destiny to win the Champions League, then why hasn't he won it by now? Neymar further drives the point home that Zlatan has played for all the big European teams, and couldn't even win at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi pointing out that they won after they sold him. Even his dojo masters, or more specifically his mirror reflections point out that Zlatan hasn't even played in a UCL final.
- Art Evolution: Starting with season 3, there's a more consistent level of detail applied to the drawings of the characters, particularly those that played minor or side roles in the first two seasons. While there isn't as much a difference for players and managers who were already regular fixtures (e.g. Messi, Ronaldo, Kane, Ramos, Klopp) the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Thibaut Courtois and Andrea Pirlo show up in the later two seasons with much more detailed and expressive faces than their first appearances.
- As Himself: Kate Abdo, the then-host for Turner Sports' coverage of the Champions League, voices her cartoon self in the season 1 finale.
- Badass Baritone: Being the resident Big Guy in Atlético de Madrid, Diego Costa also gets a deep voice to match this portrayal.
- Badly Battered Babysitter: In the Season 5 premiere, it's shown that Lionel Messi has difficulty sleeping thanks in part to Pedri, Sergiño Dest, and Ansu Fati shaking his bed in the morning, begging him to take them to breakfast. After Messi tiredly asks why he has to carry them everywhere, Antoine Griezmann offers to carry them, which they take him up on, knocking him down in the process. Later on, while sleeping in PSG's beds, Messi gets a barrage of texts from Barcelona including one of Pedri crying.
- When Jamie Vardy tours Europa House with the young Champions League footballers, he brings them to Arsenal's room. They are horrified to see what looks like blood on the walls and on their kits, though Vardy assures them that it's just their away jerseys and he was pointing out that their rooms are incredibly small.
- During Jose Mourinhos anger management seminar, he invites Antonio Conte to stand up, then proceeds to insult him on multiple fronts, including not matching his achievements at Chelsea or Inter Milan, buying old and useless players, match fixing, and of course his hairpiece. Conte explodes in anger, predictably. Jurgen Klopp asks if this is an anger management exercise, which Mourinho responds it isnt, but its a good idea.
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: Cristiano Ronaldo does this to himself when discussing retirement with Andrea Pirlo:Ronaldo: So- so what, am I going to have to, like, retire someday?
Pirlo: Not yet. You still have a few years with the Old Lady.
Ronaldo: What do you mean, "old lady"?!... Ah, Georgina is 25...
Pirlo: I mean Juventus.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment:
- When Cristiano Ronaldo gifts the UEFA Nations League trophy to João Félix, this dialogue happens:Félix: Oh man, I don't deserve this. I think it should go to our best player.
Ronaldo: Ah, thank you. But, you know, I already have too many trophies.
Félix: Oh, no, I meant Bernardo. [points at Bernardo Silva, who was just entering the house]
- When he realizes that his plan to motivate Christian Pulisic by promising him a future job as a spy has spun out of control, Frank Lampard decides it's time to "call in the big guns". So he gives José Mourinho a ring... to ask him for Zlatan Ibrahimovic's number.
- When Cristiano Ronaldo gifts the UEFA Nations League trophy to João Félix, this dialogue happens:
- Barrier-Busting Blow: When José Mourinho slams the door of Manchester United's room in Zinedine Zidane's face in episode 3, Zidane headbutts the door so hard his head breaks through it.
- Belly Buttonless: Virgil van Dijk apparently has no belly button. Dejan Lovran deduces that it's because he's a clone, which is confirmed when he stumbles upon Liverpool's laboratory. After the Virgil clones capture Dejan, his clone shows up to assure the Zenit players that he's done with the clone conspiracy theory. Malcolm takes notice that the clone doesn't have a belly button, which his teammates dismiss as Lovran being a weirdo.
- Berserk Button:
- Crystal Palace to Eric Cantona - Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the unwitting recipient of a flying kick after saying he heard Lionel Messi clear as Crystal Palace.
- Mentioning Marco Materazzi to Zinedine Zidane sends him into a head-butting rampage, as Jurgen Klopp learns the hard way.
- Big Bad: Sergio Ramos plays the Bond villain for Frank Lampard's fake spy mission for Christian Pulisic. As he lampshades, "Who else? No, seriously, who else would be the bad guy?"
- Big Damn Heroes: In the season 3 finale, Sergio Ramos starts charging at João Félix, who is injured and trapped under the debris, only to be cut off by Félix's Atlético de Madrid teammate Diego Costa, who then proceeds to carry him to safety on his shoulder while striking down other players coming at them.
- Big Eater: In the panic room, Gonzalo Higuaín scarfs down a year's worth of food reserves in one sitting.
- Big Fancy House: As the intro to each episode shows, Chateau du Champions is a huge property that includes a full-size football pitch, a large garden that one can easily get lost in (as at least two groups led by Harry Kane can attest to), a helicopter landing pad, a pool in the shape of the Champions League trophy, a very fancy entrance foyer and a mess hall large enough for all of the residents. Each of the 32 teams also has their own room that are living quarters for their players and managers (as well as any additional residents they bring along, like Barcelona's child trainees, Dortmund's ultras that form their room's Yellow Wall, and Paris-Saint Germain housing both Neymar's entourage and Mauro Icardi's wife).
- Big Friendly Dog: Lionel Messi's dog Hulk makes a couple appearances and while he's already rather large compared to his master◊ in Real Life, the series has the hound stand as tall as Messi and Messi is able to ride on him as a mount.
- Big "NO!"
- Black Comedy Burst: The season 4 Christmas Episode ends with a shot of the dome around the Champions House... just at the same time as Santa Claus's sleigh crashes into it.Santa Claus: Ho ho— OOOOOOH! [after the crash, the reindeer and the sleigh fall into the sea around the dome]
- Blame Game: The eighth episode of the first season is a murder mystery centered around Neymar, who is found dead after a Lights Off, Somebody Dies situation. The players are quick to point the finger at each other until Thomas Mueller finally deduces that Neymar was playing dead to avoid having to listen to Harry Kane talk about his wife.
- Blood Knight: Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos is known for his aggressive defending, which has led to him racking up a record number of red cards in his career, and the series implies in different instances that a reason for it is that he enjoys tackling opponents.
- Take, for example, his reaction to someone sliding a red card (actually an invite to Liverpool's victory party) under the door of Real Madrid's dorm in season 3:Ramos: Ugh, red card this early in the morning? I didn't realize the refs could see into my dreams.
- Parodied later in the same episode, when he is not enjoying the party and begs a referee to send him off.
- In the season 3 finale, during the chaos caused by the meteor impact, he says "In chaos, everything is legal", laughs mischievously while tearing up a red card, and starts charging at the injured João Félix before Diego Costa intercepts him.
- Take, for example, his reaction to someone sliding a red card (actually an invite to Liverpool's victory party) under the door of Real Madrid's dorm in season 3:
- Bookcase Passage: The entrance to 'Fightlético' is one of these:Diego Simeone: Ah, the book no one reads... [pulls "Goalkeeping Essentials" by Loris Karius]
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
- In season 1 episode 2, Philippe Coutinho uses this to describe the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry:Coutinho: Without The Joker, there's no Batman. Without Frazier, there's no Ali. Without Russian sports, there's no anti-doping agency. These things need each other!
- And in season 3 episode 3, Cristiano Ronaldo on the sycophancy of the people in his life:Ronaldo: You know, to be honest, I don't have many people in my life who say the truth. So they will all just say, "Ronaldo, you are so great", "Ronaldo, you are the best", "Ronaldo, you are not guilty", you know, things like that.
- In season 1 episode 2, Philippe Coutinho uses this to describe the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry:
- Brick Joke
- In episode 3, José Mourinho sets up a mandatory party to prove everything is going well at Manchester United, and demands Alexis Sánchez play the piano. In the season 3 premiere, when Manchester United have been evicted from the Champions House and Chelsea take over their room, Olivier Giroud finds Alexis still there playing the piano.
- During Barcelona's trip to the pottery shop, Gerard Pique's scuplture is a Latin Grammy as a gift to his girlfriend Shakira. Fast forward to UEFAvision, and Barcelona brings in Shakira herself as an additional performer for their entry in the musical competition.
- In the second episode of season 2, when the players of the Spanish teams are partying together, Ivan Rakitic asks Antoine Griezmann if he wants to drink red or white wine, to which he responds, "Hmmmm. That is a tough choice", a graphic of "The Decision" flashes on the screen... and we don't get back to Griezmann until after the credits, when he finally chooses the red, but everyone's already gone by then.
- Butt-Monkey: Manchester United gets this treatment as a whole throughout the series, whether it is through the dysfunction with manager Jose Mourinho and his players (particularly Paul Pogba) in season 1, or their general incompetence and eventual expulsion in season 2 even after Mourinho is sacked. Their appearance in the season 3 finale takes further kicks at the team, with Chelsea players rejecting their offer for a ride out of the ravaged, destroyed mansion and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer driving United's bus into a ditch immediately afterward. Even after Galactic VAR undoes the damage from the meteor strike, the bus is still stuck in the ditch much to the amusement of Pep Guardiola, Harry Kane and José Mourinho.
- By Wall That Is Holey: Harry Kane and Dele Alli have a wall fall around them in the season 3 finale, but get out of it unharmed because they were right in front of the open window.
- The Cameo: In addition to Shakira's appearance noted in Brick Joke, Drake also shows up at UEFAvision to peform for Atletico Madrid as a favor to Antoine Griezmann. Once his part of the performance is over, however:
- Cassandra Truth: Even though most of his theories turn out to be correct, Dejan Lovren is written off as a weirdo by his Zenit teammates.Malcom: It's always something with this guy. First he said there's a secret fight club in the basement, [an UFO manned by Gareth Bale can be seen through the window] then Gareth Bale's an alien, and now this?!
- Neymar greets other players with "What's good, my man?".
- Christmas Carolers: Harry Kane, David Luiz (in clown makeup), Jamie Vardy (holding a Red Bull), and a clearly unamused Jose Mourinho playing the triangle carol at the Champions league mansion before being shooed away by Cristiano Ronaldo. Later on, at the Christmas feast, they are presented a turkey by Marcus Rashford outside the window.
- Christmas Episode: The season 4 finale is the series' first, with Robert Lewandowski being gifted a Ballon d'Or by his Bayern Munich teammates devolving into arguments among the rest of the Champions League Mansion's residents over who deserves the honor more, with the whole thing eventually escalating into a parody of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
- Clone Army: Dejan Lovran discovers that Liverpool has a secret laboratory with an army of Virgil van Dijk clones, explaining why he is able to run at perfect health while recovering from injury and not breaking a sweat.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Jurgen Klopp lets one loose after one of his players falls down the stairs and injures himself.
- Comically Missing the Point: Zlatan Ibrahimovic unveils his plan to get AC Milan, or more specifically, himself back into the Champions League Mansion before the 2021-22 Champions League, building a room worthy of the greatest team in Italian history. Daniel Maldini first guesses Juventus, then Gianluigi Donnarumma follows with Inter. Finally, Rafael Leao guesses Napoli when Diego Maradona was there, leading to Zlatan facepalming.
- Consolation Prize: After Jose Mourinho refuses to try any of the English teams' culinary creations and subsequently places every team in 4th, Mauricio Pochettino begs him to consider giving Harry Kane something since "his ankle has been through so much". Mourinho grudgingly relents, awarding Kane the Most Excellent Order of the Baking Empire. His Tottenham teammates celebrate as the other teams leave, before Son Heung-Min asks "So... how are we supposed to beat Liverpool on the pitch?"
- Conspicuous Consumption:
- In the season 3 premiere, Cristiano Ronaldo is shown arriving at the house in what appears to be a luxury car, but then the camera pans away and reveals he's driving... a giant tow truck, which he is using to carry all his luxury cars.
- Implied about Soviet Union officials when Andriy Pyatov explains the origin of Goaltron. Apparently, it was originally meant to boot the Chernobyl reactor core into space, and by the time they decided to abort the plan (on the grounds that it was a stupid idea), they had already built the damn thing.
- Conspiracy Theorist: Dejan Lovren is of the tinfoil hat wearing variety. Surprisingly he's been right about a number of his conspiracies including the underground fight club, Gareth Bale being an alien, and Liverpool having a secret laboratory with Virgil van Dijk clones. However, his theory that the dome around the mansion is only a projection is disproved when he crashes a rocket into it.
- Cool Crown: Bayern Munich's Alphonso Davies owns and wears a huge crown, as a part of his self-appointed title as King of TikTok.
- Creepy Twins: Parodied by Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as the guardians of the club's hidden cloning lab.
- Crying at Your Birthday Party: Leo Messi receives a barrage of texts from the Barca Group Chat wondering where he is. One text shows a picture of Pedri crying while celebrating his 18th birthday ostensibly because Messi wasn't there, with the preceding text saying "Look what you did to Pedri".
- Dark Horse Victory: After Atalanta surprisingly made it out of the group stage in the 2019-20 season (their very first Champions League appearance), one of their animated counterparts points out how unexpected this was, even to the players, in the annual knockout stage draw short:Papu Gómez: Sorry, I didn't prepare anything. After losing our first three games, I honestly didn't think we'd make it.
- A Day in the Limelight
- The goalies get theirs on the fifth episode of season 3, with its first act set in a Goalkeepers Union meeting and the Champions debuts of the likes of Keylor Navas, Andriy Pyatov (the very first appearance by a Shaktar Donetsk player) and Wojciech Szczęsny. The only non-goalkeeper featured in the episode is Thomas Müller (and if you pay attention, Kyle Walker).
- After getting teased in the season 1 finale, season 4 episode 3 finally takes a look at Europa League House, where Leicester City's Jamie Vardy shows around some of the younger players of the Champions League Mansion to get them to appreciate what they've got.
- Denser and Wackier: While the show has always relied on wacky hijinks for comedy, season 4 turns up the wackiness with longer episodes and more surreal elements such as the many horrors in Europa House or the existence of a Clone Army of Virgil van Dijks.
- Did Not Do the Bloody Research: After moving to Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund, Christian Pulisic tries a bit too hard to fit in in England:Pulisic: Ugh, Liverpool! Such bloody wankers, am I right?
Frank Lampard: [facepalms]
- Didn't Think This Through: Marcelo is forced to admit a few problems in the "Beyond Ballon d'Ome" concept:Gerard Piqué: [talking to Marcelo while dodging attacks from Paulo Dybala] Why did you call it Beyond Ballon d'Ome when all the important stuff happens inside the Ballon d'Ome?
[cut to Confession Cam]
Marcelo: Yeah, I guess I got carried away with all the cool costumes and production design and didn't really think the rest of this concept through.
- Disguised in Drag: Frank Lampard dresses up as Queen Elizabeth as part of his fake spy mission for Christian Pulisic.
- Ditto Aliens: Though their details are obscured by the bright light in their ship, the alien race that Gareth Bale belongs to share, at minimum, the same general silhouette.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- In the season 3 premiere, Luka Modric shows off the mansion's kitchen to new Real Madrid teammate Luka Jovic. One of the appliances he shows off is a flour dispenser shaped like Diego Maradona....where the flour is dispensed through the nose, after pressing on one of it's nostrils.
- In the Season 5 premiere, Lionel Messi has trouble sleeping in the Barcelona beds and decides to try out the other beds in the Champions mansion, namely Manchester City and PSG, at the insistence of Pep Guardiola and Neymar.
- The Door Slams You: In the season 3 premiere, new Atlético signing João Félix stops in the hall for a second too long and Cristiano Ronaldo, who arrives immediately afterwards, hits him when opening the door.Ronaldo: Ooh, sorry, I didn't see you. You must have been in my shadow.
- Dynamic Entry: Mario Balotelli makes his entrance in the sixth episode by ramming a car through the wall of the theater Luka Modric is making his speech to children.
- Dreaming of a White Christmas: While fighting in The Thunderdome, Angel Di Maria notices that it's snowing in the Champions League dome. Initially the players all stop to admire the snowfall, that is until Thomas Muller determines that the snow in question is actually asbestos from the ceiling, putting a damper on the festivities.
- Dystopia: Played for Laughs in the closing moments of the season 4 premiere, where the mansion devolves into chaos after the drone carrying the players and managers luxury items crashes into the cornfield. As Serge Gnabry points out, "We were only gone 90 minutes!".
- Eagleland: The series is more than happy to take its shots at American soccer, with American players typically portrayed as 'Murica the Boorish and generally poking fun at the failure of the US men's national team.
- Christian Pulisic, at both Dortmund and Chelsea, is generally a naive dope who finds himself in over his head trying to fit in, and pissing off his European teammates as a result. It's not until he becomes a regular scorer for Chelsea that he gains the trust of manager Frank Lampard. Pulisic's hometown is also made fun of on the fourth episode:Pulisic: Marco, please! They have a chocolate fountain... just like home!
Marco Reus: As your captain, I say [his hair pops out of his head for a moment] NEIN!
[Pulisic retreats to the bathroom, crying]
Mario Götze: He has a chocolate fountain... in his home?
Pulisic: [still inside the bathroom] Yes, I'm from Hershey! It's weird there!
- In the 2019 knockout stage draw short, Schalke's Weston McKennie shows off his basic understanding of how the Champions League works:McKennie: Yo, I'm so amped for the soccer playoffs!
- Season 3 introduces Brad Guzan, star goalkeeper for MLS's Atlanta United who seems to be only around to make jokes between the similar spellings of Atlanta and Atalanta. Surprisingly, he is a member of the Goalkeepers Union, one of two non-Champions League keepers in their ranks along with Manchester United's David de Gea.
- Pulisic's first appearance shows him reading "The Encyclopedia of USMNT Success." It's quickly revealed that the "encyclopedia" is little more than a sheet of paper.
- Major League Soccer gets made fun of pretty hard in the first episode of season 2, via a commercial that retired star Andrea Pirlo shows to Cristiano Ronaldo:[a clip plays of Bastian Schweinsteiger taking a free kick, then holding his back in pain]
Narrator: Are you an aging soccer— er, sorry, football star in Europe? Come join MLS!
[The MLS logo is shown, with the league's name changed to Murica League Soccer]
Narrator: Where you can score three goals a game...
[Wayne Rooney is shown scoring a goal while using a walker]
Narrator: ...make hundred of millions of dollars...
[in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, crowds of people pass by Zlatan Ibrahimovic while he looks disappointed]
Narrator: ...and you won't get bothered on the street because no one will recognize you!
[clips play of David Beckham riding a jet ski in Inter Miami FC gear, followed by Zlatan running and kicking an airborne ball]
Narrator: [Rattling Off Legal] Note: the US dollar may be worth less than euros and pounds. In MLS, you may be forced to play defense and take commercial flights. Also, everyone has guns.
David Beckham: Come on over, it's actually more challenging than you think, believe me!
Disclaimer: For careers lasting longer than 4 years, please consult your agent.
- Christian Pulisic, at both Dortmund and Chelsea, is generally a naive dope who finds himself in over his head trying to fit in, and pissing off his European teammates as a result. It's not until he becomes a regular scorer for Chelsea that he gains the trust of manager Frank Lampard. Pulisic's hometown is also made fun of on the fourth episode:
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He may be a foul-collecting, bite-happy, human-eating nuisance, but Luis Suárez will not tolerate bad words about his mother, as Diego Costa finds out the hard way after a fight between the two in Fightlético:Costa: Good fight, man.
Suarez: Good fight.
[Costa whispers into Suarez's ear]
Suarez: What did you say about mi madre? [tackles Costa]
- Even Evil Has Standards: In the intro taglines for Season 5, Episode 2, Sergio Ramos says that he may be evil, but he's not "Super League" evil.
- Exact Words: During the season 1 reunion episode, Kate Abdo's question for Real Madrid is worded ambiguously, and a certain cross town rival jumps at the chance to steal the spotlight:Abdo: Okay, so I want to shift gears now to...Real. With Ronaldo gone, who would you say is the best player in Madrid?
[Beat as the Real players think about it]
Antoine Griezmann: Moi.
[Cut to Griezmann, who is sitting with Atletico Madrid teammate Diego Costa]
Diego Costa: We run Madrid now. Who needs Galácticos when you have Galácti-Costa?
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In season 2, when Diego Costa recalls why he and the rest of Atletico Madrid kept the mansion's underground fight club a secret from Antoine Griezmann:
- Expressive Hair: Marco Reus's hair jumps out of his head for a moment when he's irate at Christian Pulisic wanting to attend Bayern's Oktoberfest party.
- Extra Digits: Shaktar Donetsk goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has six fingers on each hand. It's implied to be the result of a nuclear radiation-induced mutation from his time playing for Pripyat Roentgens.
- Face of a Thug: Jamie Vardy may look like a psychopath and chug Red Bulls excessively, but he insists its to help young Champions League players appreciate what they have in the Champions League Mansion.
- For the Evulz: Atlético de Madrid is portrayed as a bad boy club, with manager Diego Simeone running an underground fight club in the Champions House's basement and notorious players like Diego Costa and Luis Suárez in their roster. This is further exemplified in the 2021 Knockout Stage short with Simeone loudly proclaiming that it's time for chaos before letting out an Evil Laugh with Costa and Suarez joining him. There is also some lampshading from Suárez in the Season 5 Premiere taglines.Suárez: The best thing about playing for Atlético Madrid... is now I don't even have to pretend to be nice!
- Foreign Cuss Word: On two separate occasions, German players are heard saying "Scheisse!".note The second time is an Oh, Crap! moment for Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen when they realize they let the meteor they were supposed to stop hit the Earth.
- Fortune Teller: As part of Jamie Vardy's motivational technique, Brendan Rodgers (and his "envelope of doom") reveals the (mis)fortunes of Phil Foden, Ansu Fati, and Jadon Sancho in the Europa House sauna that never gets hot. Rodgers goes a bit too far forcing Vardy to get him to stop by splashing his energy drink on him.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Marco Reus and Mario Gotze look for Christian Pulisic, Reus determines that Pulisic, like every American, would be at the weisswurst breakfast station after breakfast. If you look carefully in the background, fellow American Weston Mckennie is also there.
- Friendly Enemy: Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp coach rival teams (Manchester City and Liverpool, respectively), but they mostly seem to be on good terms with each other.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Gareth Bale is this to Real Madrid, with season 2 episode 2 focusing on his isolation from the rest of his teammates. A large part of this divison is Bale's focus on getting a good night's sleep and golfing in his spare time compared to his teammates' regular partying with the other Spanish teams, which earns him derision and suspicion from the other Real players:
- Freudian Slip: Thomas Mueller fires off a bunch when he begins investigating Neymar's murder. Romelu Lukaku picked a bad time to be standing near the door to the room:Mueller: Room, lock the doors to the Romelu. [Lukaku tries to close the door, then stops] I mean, Romelu, Lukaku the doors. I mean....never mind.
- Funny Background Event: During UEFAvision, Borussia Dortmund hit the stage with a heavy metal number. Christian Pulisic, who had requested to not take part in the performance on the grounds that he was leaving for Chelsea, has to go with it anyway. The result? In the background, in a blink-and-you'll miss it moment, as soon as Mario Götze starts screaming "Wall of Noise!" into the mic, Pulisic is literally sent flying off the stage by the power of the music.
- David Luiz appears multiple times in the background in full clown makeup in the Europa House episode.
- Fun with Acronyms: Due to sleeping with his hat-trick balls,note and because he keeps adding more to his collection, Erling Haaland is becoming worried that he might contract an STD... that is, a Sweet Transfer Deal.
- Gilligan Cut: Happens as Jürgen Klopp talks about Liverpool's upcoming victory ball to the Confession Cam.Klopp: I can say from experience, it's usually not very fun for the losers. But this year's different, because everybody loves Liverpool! I can feel the excitement all over the house!
[consecutive cuts to Harry Kane, Philippe Coutinho and Cristiano Ronaldo reading the invitation card]
Kane: [bleeped-out curse]
Coutinho: [sad sigh]
Ronaldo: Ugh! [shreds the card in pieces with his abs]
- Glass Smack and Slide: Dejan Lovren's attempt to prove that the dome covering the Champions League Mansion is a fake projection by Bill Gates leads to him crashing a rocket into it. He slides down ass backwards and upside down.
- Gratuitous German: Marco Reus's speech is peppered with German words during his debut on episode 4:
- Groin Attack: During the Paintball Episode, Kevin gets hit in "De Groin-ye!"
- Group Hug: Robert Lewandowski admits that despite 100% deserving the Ballon D'Or, he'd rather share it with everyone in the Champions League mansion because of how hard 2020 has been. After an initial pause, with Lewandowski looking downcast, he's embraced by Paulo Dybala, then Cristiano Ronaldo, then Neymar before everyone present rushes in for a hug. The hug is so massive that it forms a human Christmas Tree, with Lewandowski holding the Ballon D'Or at the top.
- Grumpy Bear: Jose Mourinho is a humorless grump who believes the only acceptable strategy of football is slow and defensive, constantly demands respect from his players, opposing players and fellow managers for his countless achievements and in general is no fun to be around.Mourinho: What are they doing?
Marouane Fellaini: They seem to be playing a game, but they have these upside down frowns and they are making sounds like "ha ha ha."
Mourinho: It's called "smiling and having fun." It's overrated, don't get any ideas.
- Hand Puppet: Messi, and later Modric, let their football speak for itself. As in, they employ football-shaped puppets to say out loud their most politically incorrect thoughts.Messi: I am very happy for Luka [Modric] that he won the Ballon d'Or.
Messi's puppet: But mainly that Ronaldo didn't win! Ha ha ha!
- Hand Puppet Mockery: Leo Messi uses his hand puppet to project out loud his most unsavory thoughts and opinions, including taunting rival players. For example, coming back from a party with the other La Liga teams, the puppet takes a swipe at Real Madrid's recent performance: "Now you are just like your season: totally wasted!". The season 1 finale has Luka Modric reveal his own hand puppet, which leads to a comedic trading of insults between them.
- Hell Hotel: Europa House. As Eden Hazard and Jamie Vardy point out, it's not so bad, but it's not so good either. The lightbulbs are incandescent, the free breakfast buffet has no eggs, the exercise room only has one elliptical, the Stadio Olympic sized swimming pool has no towels, the rooms are too small, and the sauna never gets hot. Also David Luiz and Brendan Rodgers haunt the hotel.
- Hero of Another Story: The closing moments of the season 1 finale reveal that the Europa League teams live in another house not far from the Champions House. As Eden Hazard declares to a horrified Mauro Icardi, "it's not so bad, but also not so good". It's still enough of a downgrade that when Manchester United offers the now-promoted Chelsea shelter in Europa House during the chaos of the meteor strike, the Chelsea players reject the offer with manager Frank Lampard noting they'd rather take their chances in the devastated mansion.
- Human Aliens: After an entire episode featuring throwaway lines that would come off as red herrings, season 2 episode 2 reveals that Gareth Bale actually is the member of an very human-like alien species to the point that all their members share the same shape as him.
- Humongous Mecha: The fifth episode of season 3 introduces us to Goaltron, a Soviet-built giant robot goalkeeper that has spent three decades hidden under a football pitch in Ukraine, in the abandoned town of Pripyat, near Chernobyl. Five people are needed to pilot it.Andriy Pyatov: Gentlemen, meet ze gigantsky mega vratar. Also known as Goaltron.
Wojciech Szczęsny: Goaltron?
Pyatov: After the meltdown at Chernobyl, the Soviet apparatchiks proposed a secret plan to send giant goalie robot to boot the reactor core into space. But the plan was ultimately deemed too stupid, and Goaltron was stored away indefinitely.
- Hypocritical Humor
- Towards the end of Liverpool's victory ball in the second episode of season 3, which has been every bit the "insufferable Liverpool wankfest" Raheem Sterling expected it to be, Pep Guardiola snaps at Jurgen Klopp's joke about Manchester City's overspending and rubs in his face that Man City are the reigning Premier League champions while Liverpool hasn't won that title in over 30 years. Klopp responds by chiding Guardiola and Manchester City for being "self-absorbed," despite he and his own team spending most of the evening being exactly that. As if to further illustrate the hypocrisy, the camera pans away to reveal that everybody but Liverpool and Manchester City have already left the party.
- While he is pleading his case to lead the team of goalkeepers to stop the meteor headed toward Earth, Manuel Neuer is interrupted by a member of Goalkeepers Union who points out Neuer's advanced age, history of injuries and how time eventually catches even the best players. The hypocrisy is the goalkeeper saying this is Gianluigi Buffon, whose still-active career has lasted almost a decade longer than Neuer's career.
- After Robert Lewandowski is given the Ballon d'Or as a Christmas present from his Bayern teammates, other players start asking for other awards they think they should have received. Neymar says he wants a Nobel Peace Prize... right before punching Memphis Depay.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Luis Suarez, unsurprisingly, reveals himself to be one of these after the mansion gets wiped out by a meteor and Gonzalo Higuain eats all the emergency supplies. In a bit of Black Comedy, his first target is Giorgio Chiellini, the player he bit at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. When Galactic VAR reverses the meteor strike and undoes all the fallout from it, Chiellini is resurrected to Suarez's shock, all but confirming that Suarez actually succeeded in devouring him.Suarez: Looks like all the food is gone. You know what this means...IT'S OKAY TO EAT PEOPLE!
- Impact Silhouette: After Jurgen Klopp gets Zinedine Zidane to go on a headbutting frenzy by mentioning Marco Materazzi, Zidane headbutts through three walls, leaving his impact in his wake.
- It's All About Me:
- Neymar's most obvious fault; the man is ridiculously self-centered to the detriment and irritation of his Paris-Saint Germain teammates. This blows up in season 3, episode 4, which aired after a summer where in Real Life Neymar almost transferred out of the club, but stayed much to the annoyance of PSG supporters.Neymar: Wow, you guys are, like, really ungrateful.
Edinson Cavani: Are you being serious?
Neymar: Have you even thanked me once for taking all the penalties for you over the past two years?
Cavani: I want to take the penalties! See, this is the thing - you are only worried about what Neymar wants! You don't care about the team!
- José Mourinho is constantly commanding respect for his accolades, and gets jealous when Jürgen Klopp replaces him as Pep Guardiola's main rival, as demonstrated by this Confession Cam during the Paintball Episode:Mourinho: They are not real rivals, I am Pep's only true competition. He and this German hack had a fling back in Bundesliga and now everyone wants to act like they are great adversaries. It is a disrespect to all of Manchester and the history of the Derby, but even more important than that, it is a disrespect to me.
- Neymar's most obvious fault; the man is ridiculously self-centered to the detriment and irritation of his Paris-Saint Germain teammates. This blows up in season 3, episode 4, which aired after a summer where in Real Life Neymar almost transferred out of the club, but stayed much to the annoyance of PSG supporters.
- I Am Not Spock: In-universe example. In the season 1 finale, Dan Stevens, standing in for Harry Kane, breaks character and takes exception to being called Matthew Crawley.
- Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Parodied and subverted at once during Christian Pulisic's spy mission, as the yacht where the villain hides features a massive sign reading "THIS WAY TO THE EVIL LAIR".
- Ma'am Shock: Or more appropriately, "Legend Shock" for Cristiano Ronaldo when Kylian Mbappe asks him to sign a infant onesie that Mbappé wore as a baby, and then call Ronaldo a legend after that:
- Magicians Are Wizards: Despite his Stage Magician act (playing off his nickname of "the Little Magician"), Philippe Coutinho possesses actual magical powers. Unfortunately for Mohamed Salah and Sergio Ramos, they find this out the hard way when Coutinho's teleporting box trick backfires and the two are fused together at the shoulder. To reverse it they need the help of a more powerful wizard... Ronaldinho.
- The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: When Zlatan goes to visit his dojo masters, it is revealed that they are a three fold mirror who converse with him.
- Money, Dear Boy: Two in-universe examples.
- First, Tyga's justification for why he agreed to be a part of Luka Modric's entourage:
- And at the start of season 3, why Matthijs de Ligt joined Juventus:de Ligt: It was a good run at Ajax, but I'm very excited to join Juventus because, um, well...mainly, they're paying me a lot of money.
- Multinational Team: Par for the course when it comes to the elite of Euro Footy, most of the teams depicted on the show feature players from multiple nationalities. For instance, players appearing on the show during their real-life time as Real Madrid players include Sergio Ramos, Isco, Lucas Vázquez, Nacho (all four Spanish), Karim Benzema (French), Marcelo, Vinicius Jr. (both Brazilian), Gareth Bale (Welsh), Luka Modric (Croatian), Luka Jovic (Bosnian Serb) and Thibaut Courtois (Belgian).
- Musical Episode: The season 2 finale features the players (save for defending champion Real Madrid, whose players have hosting duties) competing in UEFAvision, a blatant parody of the Eurovision Song Contest.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: How the Galactic VAR referee introduces himself to the goalkeepers in Goaltron: "Attention, keepers of the Champions League... and De Gea."
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Iker Casillas goes for it during the 2019 knockout stage short.Casillas: My name is Iker Casillas. You benched me, Mourinho. Prepare to die.
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Christian Pulisic is seen practicing his "Pulisic, Christian Pulisic" introduction in front of the mirror during his spy phase on season 4.
- Never My Fault: During one of the intros, Jürgen Klopp comments that every time Liverpool gets a bad result, he takes a hard look in the mirror... and blames essentially everything and everyone but himself and his players.
- Non-Ironic Clown: Arsenal's David Luiz has a part time gig as a clown:Luiz: I do birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, and I've even done some football games.
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Zig-zagged in the first teaser for season 4, in which the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on football and the show itself are briefly discussed:[dramatic background music plays as the camera pans over a deserted city, showing Goaltron abandoned on a football pitch and multiple shops, including Eric Cantona's café, closed down and blocked with wood panels, which have graffiti painted all over them]
Lionel Messi: [somber tone] This pandemic really has changed everything...
[the music suddenly cuts out]
Messi's puppet: But not for us! We built a big dome over the f[bleep]ing mansion!
- Not So Stoic: While his fellow young players are scared stiff at the not-as-nice accomodations of Europa League House, Dortmund's Jadon Sancho is unmoved by it all. This facade falls apart when he meets Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, who puts further fear into Sancho by predicting his football future...in Major League Soccer.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The closing moments of the second episode of season 4 hint that Christian Pulisic's spy antics were him deliberately putting on a show to prevent Frank Lampard from ever knowing he really is an agent of the Queen's Secret Service.
- Older Than They Look: Julian Nagelsmann, then-manager of 1899 Hoffenheim, has to deal with this when trying to enter Bayern Munich's Oktoberfest party:Nagelsmann: [being stopped by Manuel Neuer at the door] Oh, come on, let me through! My whole team is in there!
Manuel Neuer: Sorry, I have to see ID for anyone who looks 16 or younger.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: Loris Karius's fumbled throw against Karim Benzema on the 2018 Champions League final seems to have sentenced him to perpetual infamy. The book that activates the Bookcase Passage to Diego Simeone's secret fight club is "Goalkeeping Essentials", written by him, and Simeone himself calls it "the book no one reads". Later on, Jürgen Klopp implies that it was that incident that convinced Liverpool's owners to spend a lot of money in signing Alisson to replace him, and in the season finale we get this dialogue after the goalies fail to stop the meteor from hitting Earth:Manuel Neuer: So, uh... should we... head back?
Alisson: We can't go back, we blew it! We'll be a bunch of... Loris Kariuses down there.
- One Steve Limit: Parodied in the season 3 premiere, where Luka Modric notes in addition to taking new Real Madrid signee Luka Jovic under his wing, that he also inducted him into his society of "Lukas of Real Madrid" - featuring himself, Jovic and former Real basketball/current NBA star Luka Doncic.
- Out of Focus: Addressed in the season 1 finale, as host Kate Abdo acknowledges that since there are so many players in the Champions House, the show can't feature them all consistently. She then brings in one of the players that had not appeared during the season, Galatasaray's Selçuk İnan, for a quick interview.
- Paintball Episode: The fifth episode features Pep Guardiola taking the Manchester City players paintballing... and the other three English teams crashing the game.
- Parodies for Dummies: In the series premiere, Cristiano Ronaldo explains a few of the things he has done to prepare for his move to Italy upon joining Juventus, including "reading up on local politics". At this point he shows a book titled "Right Wing Populism for Stunads". The back cover of the book also features an alleged review from Benito Mussolini that claims "This book helped me get all the trains running on time".
- Please Subscribe to Our Channel: Starting with season 2, the videos end with players urging the viewer to subscribe to B/R Football. Season 4 sees Lionel Messi's football puppet do the promotional spots instead. Of note is the season 3 episode 4 spot, where Raheem Sterling gets to instead promote the channel's new interactive game:
- Pokémon Speak: Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne speaks like this most of the time.Pep Guardiola: Ha, yes! All my prayers have been answered!
De Bruyne: [confused] Kevin?
Guardiola: Don't you see? Everything is destroyed! Man City will be the last team to ever win the Premier League title!
De Bruyne: [smiles thinking about it] Mmm... Kevin...
- Rage Breaking Point: After dealing with Pep Guardiola, then Mauricio Pochettino going overboard to get him to sleep in their respective team's beds, as well as both of them arguing, and Barcelona panickedly texting him, Lionel Messi snaps and (through his puppet) angrily tells off Pep and Poch for trying to buy him without asking what he wants.Messi's Puppet: SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU THINK YOU CAN BUY US WITH YOUR EXPENSIVE SHEETS AND YOUR FANCY MACAROONS!? It's not about the money!Messi: -It's a little bit about the money.Messi's Puppet: Okay, it's a little bit about the money, but what about what Messi wants? Did you even think to ask him!?
- Raging Stiffie: Upon the revelation that he was one of many Dortmund players who had jumped ship to Bayern Munich, Mario Gotze shows off a picture of himself and Pep Guardiola, with Gotze sporting a very noticable bulge. The 2019 knockout stage short has Gotze sporting another one, although his black shorts and the black background mostly hides it.Gotze: What can I say? I was young and I needed to "Pep" my cherry.
- Reality Ensues: In season 4, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the show to turn the Champions House into a bubble (and a literal bubble at that, by building a massive dome over the property) to avoid spread of the disease while filming, therefore limiting residents strictly to players and managers, which means former non-footballing side characters like Neymar's entourage are no longer allowed in.
- Renaissance Man: Paul Pogba tries to portray himself as one on the season 1 Reunion Show to defuse José Mourinho's comments about his supposed lack of focus.Kate Abdo: So, I have to start by asking, how are things between you and Paul?
Mourinho: Paul and I are good. Last week we even made eye contact. He knows what I think of him; he is very talented, I just want him to focus.
Pogba: I am very focused. I am focused on football. I am focused on my rap career. I am focused on my shoe deal. I am focused on my hair. Commercials. I'm focused on all of it.
- Reunion Show: Being a spoof on reality shows, the season 1 finale is a parody of these, featuring Turner Sports' Kate Abdo hosting a get together of the players and managers from the season.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Luis Suárez shows off some rhyming skills when jumping into the Blame Game on Neymar's murder:Suárez: And who is the biggest backstabber of them all?
[Cut to Mauro Icardi, who turns around from the snack table]
Mauro Icardi: Uh...John Terry?
Suárez: MAURO ICARDI! If he can take a man's wife, he can take a man's life! ...And he does it with a knife! ....And he causes all the strife!
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand:
- Neymar's apparent disconnect from the rest of the Paris Saint-Germain roster, particularly fellow striker Edinson Cavani, is highlighted on several occasions.
- In the 2019 last 16 draw short, Neymar cuts in Cavani's line:Cavani: You better watch out for—
Neymar: [running into the frame] You better watch out for PSG!
Both: You better watch out for PSG!
- And again during UEFAvision. While Cavani, Kylian Mbappé and Gianluigi Buffon play a rock song, Neymar shows up to the stage in full mime gear and starts miming, when he was presumably supposed to be the vocalist.Sergio Ramos: And that was PSG demonstrating why teamwork is important.
- In the 2019 last 16 draw short, Neymar cuts in Cavani's line:
- The goalkeepers driving Goaltron have different ideas on how to face the meteor that they have to stop. Especially Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Manuel Neuer, who are handling the robot's head together, yet can't seem to agree on pretty much anything. Unsurprisingly, this causes the mission to fail, as the meteor passes right between Goaltron's legs and destroys the Champions House.
- Neymar's apparent disconnect from the rest of the Paris Saint-Germain roster, particularly fellow striker Edinson Cavani, is highlighted on several occasions.
- Ring Ring Crunch: How Sergio Ramos wakes up at the beginning of the Season 5 premiere: Outside of his room there is a mountain of broken clocks.
- Sarcasm Mode: The Chelsea players who act as hostages for Christian Pulisic's fake spy mission, especially when he cuts them down directly into the pool of gold paint.
- Scare 'Em Straight: This is the whole point of the tour of the Europa House some of the young players are given in season 4, as they seem to be getting too complacent in the Champions House and the veterans decide they need to be shown what could happen to them if they rest on their laurels.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: This is Marouane Fellaini's reaction upon seeing Neymar's dead body in the eighth episode.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Implied in the season 4 premiere, where we see that at the entrance checkpoint there is a sign telling that Manchester City is banned from the house, but after being handed a bag full of money by Pep Guardiola, the guard promptly ignores the ban and removes the sign. This is a reference to Manchester City being banned from the Champions League for two years and the ban later being overruled in Real Life.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
- Implied in Ajax's UEFAvision performance, where Dusan Tadic, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong's act is credited as "Ajax ft. the Barcelona Juniors", and after quickly recounting the team's elimination against Tottenham in the semi-finals, the players say "Now it's transfer time!". The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue at the end of the episode confirms that, indeed, De Ligt and De Jong are gone from Ajax.
- Just an episode earlier, the news that Antoine Griezmann would be leaving Atlético for Barcelona was also written into the show. After picking a fight with Cristiano Ronaldo and getting him to back away, this happens:Diego Simeone: Wow. You are... shameless.
Griezmann: [is bare-chested after taking his shirt off earlier to taunt Ronaldo, the camera zooms into his face] I am a legend. And legends need trophies! [the camera zooms back out and a Barcelona shirt has magically appeared on Griezmann's torso] OK, byeeeeeeeee! [walks out of the room]
- In season 4, after some of the young players are caught trying to dig a contraband tunnel under the dome, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata decide to arrange a tour of the Europa House for them. Mason Greenwood, having already resided there for a season with Manchester United, promptly bails out on the rest of rulebreakers.Mata: Time you see how the other half lives... on a tour of Europa House.
Greenwood: No! I can't go back! You can't make me! [runs off in a panic]
- Self-Applied Nickname: Thomas Muller loves to remind everyone of the nickname for himself, "Raumdeuter", as well as both its meanings.Mueller: Because I am Thomas Muller, the Raumdeuter, as known as the Space Investigator.
Christian Pulisic: I thought it was "space interpreter."
Mueller: Well, there's no proper English translation but really, both are valid. It's very cool, actually.
- Shared Universe: Gridiron Heights and The Champions apparently are based in the same universe, as evidenced by a Freeze-Frame Bonus in the Hardwood Hills episode of the former, where the Champions League Mansion is listed on the map as the stop after Hardwood Hills.
- In the first episode, Cristiano Ronaldo's idea of "traditional Italian clothing" is revealed to be a Mario costume.
- During Barcelona's trip to the pottery shop, Malcom creates a model of Ivan Rakitic that's just Son Goku. Gerard Pique notes that "the likeness is uncanny."
- To show off his American accent trick, Kyle Walker calls himself "Kyle Walker, Texas Ranger."
- As part of Luka Modric's "Flair Five" makeover, Paul Pogba tries different hairstyles on him. One of them is "The Rachel".
- At the season 1 Reunion Show, Dan Stevens plays Harry Kane for the second time, until host Kate Abdo identifies him as "Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey". Stevens corrects her saying he's the actor who played Matthew Crawley, and then points out that he also appeared in the third Night at the Museum movie as Sir Lancelot.
- When Neymar interrupts a Paris Saint-Germain game film study to show off a YouTube highlight of one of his goals, one of the related videos is an episode of Game of Zones. Fittingly, the thumbnail features Jimmy Butler.
- Jamie Vardy uses a lot of references to The Shining while attempting to scare Jadon Sancho and the other young Champions League players straight. When Sancho laughs off the scare attempts, Vardy asks him if he finds him funny like a clown.
- During the season 4 finale, the fight in "Beyond Ballon d'Ome" is hosted by Marcelo in full Aunty Entity costume.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Implied with Harry Kane and his wife, who he never seems to stop talking about with his fellow players to their annoyance. It drives Neymar to pull a Faking the Dead stunt just so he wouldn't have to listen to Kane anymore.Jesse Lingard: Oh man, this is more boring than hearing Harry Kane tell us about how much he misses his wife.
- Sitcom Archnemesis:
- Mirroring their own real life rivalry, Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba are constantly at odds with each other throughout season 1. Even when an unemployed Mourinho shows up to judge the Great British Baking Derby in season 2, he's not above needling at his former player:Mourinho: In fourth and last place, you [points at Liverpool], you [points at Manchester City], you [points at Tottenham], and [points at Manchester United and Pogba in particular] especially you, Paul! You should all be disappointed!
- Ronaldinho serves as this to Sergio Ramos. When Philippe Coutinho offers the former's card as a potential solution to separating his accidental fusion of the latter with Mohamed Salah, a shaken Ramos immediately recognizes the title despite Ronaldinho's name not being on it. Then, when the two fused players meet the legend:Salah: We would be most grateful if you could separate us.
Ronaldinho: If there is anyone in this whole world who knows about getting separation from Sergio Ramos, it's me, baby!
[Ramos sarcastically laughs in response]
Ronaldinho: Ah, but the good news is that this curse is a lot like Sergio.
[Ramos gives a glare back]
Ronaldinho: It's very easy to break through!
[Ramos gets up and tries to attack him, only to get held back by Salah]
- Mirroring their own real life rivalry, Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba are constantly at odds with each other throughout season 1. Even when an unemployed Mourinho shows up to judge the Great British Baking Derby in season 2, he's not above needling at his former player:
- Smoking Is Cool: Maurizio Sarri is always seen lighting up or smoking a cigarette. He's even smoking when he's unceremoniously dumped out of the mansion via trash compactor by Andrea Pirlo in the season 4 premier.Sarri: Hit the "subscribe" button to support our show and get notified about new episodes. That way you can be addicted to our videos and not [smokes his cigarette, then begins coughing and hacking] cigarettes!
- Snowball Lie: Frank Lampard's motivational technique for Christian Pulisic. Initially he tells him that if Pulisic plays well this season he'll recommend him for the British Secret Service. After Pulisic takes being a secret agent way too seriously, Lampard creates a fake spy mission in the hopes that it will tire Christian out and make him want to give up espionage, to the point where he recruits Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Luis Suarez, and Sergio Ramos, as well as Pulisic's Chelsea teammates to play roles. After bungling through the fake mission and "saving" "Queen Elizabeth" (actually Lampard in drag), Pulisic insists he wants to do even more spy work, to which Lampard admits that he's sent Pulisic on a downward spiral of self delusion and that the only way to fix this is to create an even bigger lie. Lampard/Elizabeth then tells Pulisic that his next mission is to go deep undercover as a Chelsea footballer, and under no circumstances is he to tell anyone he's a spy. Pulisic, being the naive dope he is, completely buys it.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Thomas Müller explaining the situation to his Bayern teammates in the season 4 premiere:Müller: Allow me to interpret. Our delivery box has crashed into the cornfield, now we are all without our luxury items, and as a direct result, people are losing their shit!
- Speaking Like Totally Teen: Robert Lewandowski speaks like this when hanging out with the younger players on Bayern Munich, much to their exasperation.Serge Gnabry: It's not that we don't... like Lewandowski. I mean, on the pitch he's amazing. But off the pitch... can't he just hang out with players his own age?
- Squee!: Christian Pulisic's reaction to getting a spy mission from Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an excited "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, oh my Goooood!"
- Stealth Hi/Bye: During Jose Mourinho's party for his Manchester United team, one of his predecessors makes a quick visit:[David Moyes enters the room]
Marouane Fellaini: Oh hey, David Moyes is here!
Moyes: Goodbye! [leaves]
Fellaini: Aw, and he's gone.
- Stealth Insult: During the Champions House's Oktoberfest party, Arjen Robben tries to hand Mario Gotze an invite to the afterparty that will be taking place in his bar. Marco Reus, who is in a foul mood because Christian Pulisic went to the party despite him telling him not to (knowing that Bayern often use the party to poach players from other Bundesliga squads), drags away Gotze while responding "We don't go to dive bars!"
- Stealth Pun: In season 2 episode 2, if you look very closely, the bowl of nachos in the La Liga Lounge has a label next to it reading "José Ignacio Fernández Iglesias"... which is the full name of the Real Madrid player best known simply as "Nacho".
- The Stoic: Lionel Messi. As he says in his appearance in the first episode's intro, his football speaks for itself. Literally, as the most talkative part of him is his football-shaped Hand Puppet:Messi: Happiest day of my life? When my son was born...winning my fifth Ballon d'Or...
[Messi thinks, then brings up his puppet]
Messi's puppet: Neymar leaving Barcelona!
- String Theory/The Big Board: Dejan Lovran puts one together to figure out how Virgil van Dijk is able to run effortlessly on a treadmill despite being injured and what's behind the secret door that he came out of. As Lovran remarks after completing it, "Now THIS... Is a very good string map!"
- Sudden Morbid Monologue: While at (an already awkward) dinner, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are interrupted by Eric Cantona, who is taking their order. Cantona proceeds to deliver an incredibly unsettling monologue that unnerves both Messi and Ronaldo, who share terrified glances at each other until Cantona finishes.
- Take That!:
- At the beginning of Liverpool's victory ball in season 3, Jürgen Klopp has some fun at the expense of other teams, and even a former Liverpool player:Klopp: The festivities are about to begin, so please take your seats.
[Cut to Tottenham's table, which has no cutlery]
Dele Alli: What's this, we've got no silverware?
[Klopp giggles, while Mauricio Pochettino sheds a tear]
Klopp: Barcelona! We didn't mean to put you front and center, but unfortunately, all the corners were taken too quickly!
[Laughter, as Lionel Messi raises a finger at Klopp under his Hand Puppet]
Klopp: Before we begin, I want to thank a special person, without whom we would not be here today, Mr. Loris Karius.
[Karius suddenly turns upon hearing his name, inadvertently dropping a meatball right onto Karim Benzema's dish]
Klopp: Thank you for showing our American overlords the importance of spending a lot of money on a competent keeper. [Points at Alisson, who shrugs as Karius glares back at them.]
- Argentina's national team and its reputation for choking in big stages also gets a few barbs aimed at it.Luis Suárez: Man, I haven't seen Leo [Messi] this frustrated since... after every single international tournament.
- Similarly, the consistent failure of the US men's national team to come anywhere near the success of the women's squad is frequently mocked. The "Complete Encyclopaedia" of their success is only a sheet of paper, and Christian Pulisic's early appearances in the show are mostly used to take further digs at them:Pulisic: I am so pumped to join Chelsea, because I was in danger of actually winning things at Dortmund, and that would go against everything the US men's national team believes in!
- Manchester City's UEFAvision song takes some swipes at their cross-town rival's misfortunes:Sergio Agüero: [sings] So Manchester's blue
So glad we're not Man U
Funny how Alexis forgot how to score
They didn't make top four
- At the beginning of Liverpool's victory ball in season 3, Jürgen Klopp has some fun at the expense of other teams, and even a former Liverpool player:
- The Thunderdome: Marcelo proposes this to determine who rightfully deserves Robert Lewandowski's Ballon D'or. Initially the rules are "9 men enter, one man leaves" but after everyone involved expresses confusion about the rules, as well as the fact that the ceremony is called "Beyond Ballon D'ome" when the action is in the thunder dome, Marcelo admits he focused a bit too much on the costumes and production design at the expense of the rules.
- Toilet Humor:
- During the opening scene of the sixth episode, Sergio Ramos is shown emerging from a bathroom stall labeled "Kaka". When the camera pans to show an arriving Marcelo, it reveals one of the nearby urinals is labeled "Pepe".
- In season 2 episode 4, Diego Simeone advises to Antoine Griezmann, "Let's go somewhere that doesn't smell like a Porto-potty" while they're in the bathroom. As they leave, cut to a nearby stall in the same bathroom, where poor Pepe, on a toilet in full Porto gear, looks on sadly (while reading "Everyone Pepes", at that).
- Too Much Information: Implied in the crew's reaction to Ryan Giggs's cheating confession during one of the intros:Giggs: You think Icardi's a dog? I shagged me brother's missus!
[the background music stops with a Record Needle Scratch, the studio lights turn back on]
Producer: Alright, that's all we need! Thank you for coming, Mr. Giggs!
- Tuxedo and Martini: Christian Pulisic acts like a secret agent on Frank Lampard's orders with a fake promise that he'll be part of the queen's Secret Service. He buys into it a little too much, leading to Lampard creating a fake mission involving the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergio Ramos, and Luis Suarez in order to try and get Pulisic to tone it down. As it turns out, Pulisic is actually a secret agent for the queen under deep cover as a Chelsea football player.
- Twinkle Smile: Exaggerated with Roberto Firmino, whose choppers are shiny enough for Philippe Coutinho to use them as a spotlight during his magic show in the seventh episode.
- Unconventional Learning Experience: Invoked by Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata in order to get the younger Champions League players to appreciate what they have at the Champions League mansion, by way of sending them to Europa House, with a Red Bull-chugging Jamie Vardy serving as their tour guide.
- Under the Mistletoe: At the season 4 Christmas Episode, Cristiano Ronaldo finds the mistletoe right next to the front door of the house and whips out a mirror to smooch himself.note
- The Unintelligible: Harry Kane, whose dialogue is largely stuttered and slurred, to the point that the producers have occasionally resorted to hiring Dan Stevens to play him.Kane: [to his cellphone] Hello lads! Meet me in the backyard for a smashing good time.
[cut to the garden, where a group of players from the other English teams are taking a stroll]
Mohamed Salah: Why did Harry Kane text us to... "cheese him in the backyard for a crashing wood crime?"
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Parodied to mock Neymar's tendency to dive and feign injuries, as rolling on the ground while clutching his foot seems to be his favorite way to move around the Champions House. In fact, his very first scene has him jump out of an ambulance and roll over all the way to Lionel Messi, then stand next to him without a problem as they take a selfie (or more accurately, Neymar takes a selfie also featuring a very small fraction of Messi's head).
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
- During the season 3 finale, in the aftermath of the meteor impact that has wrecked the Champions House, two Red Star Belgrade players are warming up in the middle of the debris like it's no big deal.Marko Marin: I don't see what everyone is complaining about.
Ben: Yeah, feels like a home game.
- Earlier in the same episode, this is Dele Alli's reaction to the devastated mansion around him:Harry Kane: Dele! Everything is in shambles!
Alli: Yeah, yeah, I get it. We just gotta take it one match at a time, I suppose.
Kane: No, Dele, look!
[the camera pans over the destruction]
Alli: Oh. I guess this is a little worse than normal.
- During the season 3 finale, in the aftermath of the meteor impact that has wrecked the Champions House, two Red Star Belgrade players are warming up in the middle of the debris like it's no big deal.
- Useless Without Cellphones: When Robert Lewandowski breaks the cell phones of his younger teammates while in the middle of the mansion's cornfield, they complain that they now are unable to find their way back to the mansion. Their anger at Lewandowski, ironically enough, motivates him to use old-fashioned pathfinding techniques to find their way back home.
- Verbal Backspace:
- As Cristiano Ronaldo is reassuring João Félix after their The Door Slams You incident described above, one of his reassurances is immediately undercut by another arriving star:Ronaldo: You just be the best João Félix that you can be. Because there will never be anyone who can match my skills or my amount of troph-
[cut to Lionel Messi pulling a luggage cart full of his trophies, waving at Ronaldo]
Ronaldo: [as he waves back] ...my... good looks.
- José Mourinho seems to be growing too used to having his teams turn against him:Mourinho: I apologize for being late. I lost the dressing room-- I mean, I lost my way to the dressing room.
- As Cristiano Ronaldo is reassuring João Félix after their The Door Slams You incident described above, one of his reassurances is immediately undercut by another arriving star:
- Very Special Episode: The final two episodes of season 3 deal with the goalkeepers of the Champions League (and David de Gea and Brad Guzan) being tasked with saving the Earth from getting hit by a meteor. They fail and the meteor wipes out the mansion, causing chaos amongst the other residents. However, thanks to the intervention of Galactic VAR, the meteor strike is disallowed and all fallout from its impact is reversed.
- Visual Pun:
- While decorating the Champions League house's Christmas tree, Angel Di Maria puts a miniature version of himself at the top.
- Upon arriving at the Champions House to carry out his plan to move AC Milan in, Zlatan Ibrahimovic parks his Ferrari close to several Fiats, a reference to a comment he made about being "a Ferrari among Fiats" in his MLS days.
- The Voice: The producer of the in-universe show the series takes place in shows up as a disembodied voice throughout. He's often found giving directions to players and managers in the intro taglines, as well as asking questions during the interview segments.
- Voiceover Letter: When Lionel Messi drops off his gift for Cristiano Ronaldo, his voice reads the letter left with it as well:
- Waxing Lyrical: During the pottery class in episode 2, Gerard Piqué is making a Latin Grammy for girlfriend Shakira, which allows a little wordplay with one of her songs.Ousmane Dembelé: When are you going to give it to her?
Piqué: Whenever, wherever.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The season 2 finale ends with one of these:[over a shot of Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong and Dusan Tadic partying on a couch] Ajax captured the hearts of millions with their run to the semi-finals of the Champions League. This was the last image taken of the squad before everybody was sold.
[over a shot of Chelsea players boarding a bus to the Europa League final, with Eden Hazard sneaking out the bus' back door] Chelsea escaped the Europa League House. And Eden Hazard escaped Chelsea.
[over a shot of Manchester United players loading up a moving truck driven by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] Manchester United were evicted from the Champions League Mansion. They vowed to return in 2022 with all new cast members.
[over a shot of Jose Mourinho struggling to open the Champions League Mansion's gate] José Mourinho has found that getting back into the Mansion is much harder than he anticipated.
[over a shot of Neymar about to give Kylian Mbappé a tattoo, both wearing sunglasses and smoking] Neymar continues to be a bad role model to the young and impressionable Mbappé.
[over the shot of Mbappé asking Cristiano Ronaldo for his autograph, but with Lucas Moura now in the background] While no one was paying attention, Lucas Moura got really good at football. He should have been in the show more, but we followed his lead and waited until the last minute.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Played for Laughs. During the intro to an episode, new Juventus player Matthijs de Light appears and starts saying, "Ever since I was a young boy, I dreamed of playing for Juv—" before a robotic voiceover cuts in and completes the sentence with "Piemonte Calcio".
- You Are Number 6: Played for Laughs. Zlatan Ibrahimovic can't even bother to learn his AC Milan teammates' names, instead referring to them by their shirt numbers.Ibrahimovic: 27,note 99,note put the statue over there. 79,note you come with me, bring the sledgehammer.
- You Meddling Kids: This is Neymar's reaction to Thomas Muller figuring out his Faking the Dead plan in the eighth episode:Neymar: And I would've gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you pesky Germans and your technical quality!
[Neymar curls up, hurls himself out a window and continues rolling out into the night]
Neymar: I shall flop againnnnnnnnnnnnn!
- Younger Than They Look: Retired Juventus legend Andrea Pirlo is noted to be "suffering" from advanced aging, according to Cristano Ronaldo. In Pirlo's own words, he was "50 years old since [he] was 25."
When the storms are talking
And the shadows get burned
Let me be your lifeline reach
When the night is ice thin
When the clouds are blacker
Baby come hold on to me
I could be your champion
I could be your champion...