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Berlin final captures the world's imagination

The UEFA Champions League final captivated hundreds of millions of supporters across the globe as fans watched the action and shared their views on social media.

The UEFA Champions League is more popular than ever
The UEFA Champions League is more popular than ever ©AFP/Getty Images

The eyes of the world were focused on the Olympiastadion on Saturday, a massive global audience on TV and social media confirming the UEFA Champions League final's status as the world's most watched annual sporting event.

An estimated global TV audience of 180 million in over 200 territories tuned in to see FC Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 in Berlin. Neymar completed the scoring seven minutes into added time at the Olympiastadion to secure a fifth European crown for Barcelona and a second treble in six years.

Some 28 million people had 76 million Facebook interactions related to the final, facilitated by the platform's implementation of a live event page where fans could follow the story of the final. Neymar was the most discussed player on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

UEFA creates content which encourages people to watch, celebrate and discuss the UEFA Champions League via its own and managed platforms. The UEFA Champions League section on UEFA.com attracted 104 million visits this season, 2 million on the day of the final – both significant increases on last year.

With over 45.6 million likes, the UEFA Champions League Facebook page is the world's most popular league or association page on the platform – enjoying more than half a billion engagements (likes, shares or comments) over the course of a season when overall page likes increased by 30%.

On Twitter, @ChampionsLeague enjoyed 51% growth over the season – almost 2 million mentions of #UCLfinal no doubt helping with this, coupled to the trophy and club crest hashflags created specially by Twitter for the event. A Spanish account, @LigadeCampeones, has also enjoyed a successful launch along with the official UEFA Champions League Instagram account, which saw 500,000 people engaging with some of the best photography from Berlin.

Saturday marked the 15th and final matchday of the season (play-offs included), with each proving hugely appealing for fans, generating average TV audiences in excess of 145 million during live match broadcasts.