No sleep, sweaty palms, racing heart….and that’s before kick off

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (June 1, 2017) – As the climax of the UEFA Champions League approaches this weekend, football fans around the globe will be suffering from lack of sleep, sweaty palms and rising heart rates….and that’s before kick-off. New research released today by Nissan – the global automotive sponsor of the UEFA Champions League – shows anticipation ahead of the big game is physically more exciting than kick off itself and even goals.

During an experiment conducted alongside sports science experts Loughborough University, as part of the Nissan Excitement Index, Nissan sent Atletico Madrid fanatic Robbie Dunne to the crunch semi-final second leg match against Real Madrid C.F. and monitored his excitement throughout the build up to the match.

Robbie was fitted with wearable technology to monitor and gather a combined index of data. This included his heart rate, breathing rate and electro-dermal activity, in order to examine the physiological effect of the exciting moments he experienced in the build up to kick off on May 10th 2017.


Resting heart rate: 55 beats per minute / Resting breathing rate: 15 breaths per minute


Key Moment

Heart Rate increase

Breathing Rate increase

Checking team news online



Looking for updates on social media



Arrival outside the stadium



Entering the stadium



Atletico Madrid’s first goal



Atletico Madrid’s second goal



Real Madrid C.F.’s goal



Final whistle



Commenting on his experience Robbie said: “My hopes for the game were slim being 3-0 down, however there was a moment ahead of the game where I saw a video Antoine Greizmann posted on twitter about the greatest comebacks of all time. It made me excited for the team to just get down to business….I couldn’t wait.”

Dr. Dale Esliger from Loughborough University commented: “Whilst we could have hypothesised we would have seen the physical signs of excitement – such as increased breathing and heart rate – during key moments in the semi-final match, what was interesting to see was how key moments in the build up to the game also contributed to those reactions. In a couple of instances these moments even surpassed in the excitement Robbie experienced from things like goals.”

“The most surprising surge happened when he was reviewing pre-match speculation and chatter on social media. As he alludes, the belief and little bit of hope that his team could make an epic comeback and reach the UEFA Champions League Final could have been a key driver of this excitement. Being the exciting, unpredictable game that football sometimes can be it’s easy to understand why this belief led to Robbie’s heart and breathing rate soaring.”

Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Vice President for Marketing Nissan Europe commented: “At Nissan we talk a lot about the notion of excitement and strive to bring as much excitement as possible through our partnership with the UEFA Champions League. Since the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League season we have been working with Loughborough University to understand more about that excitement and the physical impact of it. Nissan understands that match day is the most exciting day of your life as a football fan and on the Road to Cardiff we wanted to be part of every fan’s journey – even if unfortunately like Robbie, they didn’t make it to the Final. These moments and experiences as a football fan are what stay with us and will continue to drive football fan excitement for seasons to come.”

Throughout the build up to the most exciting game of the year, the UEFA Champions League Final, Nissan will be at the heart of action. As well as working alongside their global ambassador and UEFA Champions League finalist Gareth Bale, Nissan will also be delivering the iconic UEFA Champions League trophy to the Principality Stadium. You can follow all of the action on the new Nissan Excitement FC Facebook page and share your own exciting journey in the build-up via #TooExcitedTo.

See Robbie’s journey for yourself here:

No sleep, sweaty palms, racing heart….and that’s before kick off