In this short football language post, we explain the meaning of the phrase, ‘Old Big Ears’. This is a phrase used to talk about a famous trophy. If you have questions or comments, email us at: You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

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Football Language: Old Big Ears

This is the nickname for the Cup that is awarded to the Champions League winners, formerly the old European Cup. The handles of the trophy are very large and curve up making the shape of ears, hence the name Old Big Ears. Before 2009, if a club had won Old Big Ears five times, they got to keep the original and a new one was made. Now, the original is always kept by UEFA and a replica, that’s a copy, is given to the winning team.

Example: For the Blaugrana (Barcelona), it has been a joyride over the last decade in which they have lifted the ‘Big Ears’ (as the Champions League trophy is famously called by fans) three times.  (New York Times 6 June 2015).

Related Vocabulary

Check out our glossary of footballing phrases here. If you have any suggestions or questions, contact us at

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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