The Premier League should be over for Manchester City this year. Liverpool’s too far away. If Pep Guardiola’s team are looking to secure another big title this year, the only thing left is the Champions League. However, the last sixteen will be a tough one, but it promises to be a top game. The good news? You can watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City for free — it’s possible. However, a little trick is necessary.

How to watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City for free

Here is a summary of how you can watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City live (the order is important):

  • Get a good VPN[North VPN] works great
  • Connect to a server in Switzerland
  • Open Zattoo Switzerland and register (you have to do this via a server in Switzerland!)
  • Watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City on 26/02/2020 — it will be broadcast on SRF2
  • Have fun!

There is a catch however. You will have Swiss-German commentary. If you don’t mind that, it’s a great way to watch the game live.

NordVPN for UEFA Champions League

SRF has the rights to broadcast the top match of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday and will continue to do so for the next few years. But the top match is decided by the channel and it doesn’t necessarily have to involve your team. However, there are almost no more bad matches in the last sixteen of the Champions League.

Real Madrid vs Manchester City live on SRF2
Real Madrid vs Manchester City live on SRF2

You need a VPN and have to register with Zattoo via a server in Switzerland because the streaming provider uses so-called geoblocking. If you don’t have an IP address from Switzerland, the provider SRF won’t let you in.

As mentioned, it is critical that you register with Zattoo Switzerland. NordVPN is more than fast enough to stream Zattoo. If you’re interested, you can read my speed test. In SD, streaming via Zattoo is already possible from 3 MB/s.

Why do you need a good VPN?

VPN providers with few servers often can’t bypass the geoblocking of streaming providers. NordVPN has proven over and over that is capable of doing so. The VPN provider operates more than 5000 servers worldwide and that’s important.

Streaming providers like Netflix or BBC iPlayer fight VPNs and put servers on blacklists again and again. The more servers or IP addresses a VPN provider has, the more likely it is that it will be possible to bypass geographical blocks.

Do other VPNs work for Real Madrid vs Manchester City?

Yes, they do. I don’t know exactly how many other VPNs work, but with Surfshark (unlimited connections)* you unlock Zattoo Switzerland as well. Surfshark currently costs less than 2 Euro per month if you take out a long-term subscription. It is the most affordable VPN you can trust at the moment.

Surfshark awesome value

I know it works because I tested it myself on Android TV. I don’t like the NordVPN app on Android TV, but I like the Surfshark app. But the Linux client of NordVPN is much better. With it and a Raspberry Pi you can quickly build a powerful VPN router.

By the way, the best thing about such a VPN router is that you can control the bandwidth usage of streaming apps. With the small, free additional program wondershaper I determine the maximum bandwidth myself. Such a VPN router has even more advantages. You can use it to place devices behind a VPN for which there is no native client. A good example at this point is a Chromecast.

Chelsea vs Bayern Munich re-live just before

On Tuesday Chelsea vs Bayern is on and to my knowledge you can’t watch it on free TV. But you could make a great football Wednesday. Before Real vs City, the top game will be shown as a replay. SRF calls it re-live and on 26/02/2020 Chelsea against Bayern will be shown in full length.

Maybe you will manage not to find out the result and then the replay would even have a certain tension.

Do you like Rugby?

I also love watching rugby. The BBC and itv very often broadcast prominent tournaments like the Six Nations on public television. Both channels are on Zattoo Switzerland as well.

Often the two channels share the rights and the matches are broadcast alternately. You just have to check who broadcasts which game and when.

Is it legal to watch Real Madrid – Manchester City like this?

It’s definitely a grey area and depends on the laws of the country you are in. In any case, it is most likely a violation of the streaming provider’s terms and conditions. If he catches you, he might kick you out. I am not aware of any such case. But it’s no drama either, just sign up again. I don’t see any problems if you watch Real Madrid vs Manchester City on free TV as described here.

I find it alarming that football disappears completely behind paywalls. Public order my ass, it’s all about money. If at some point there is no possibility anymore to watch good games on free TV, I won’t take part in this nonsense anymore.

By the way, VPNs are legal in most countries. This is true for the technology VPN, but that doesn’t give you the freedom to do illegal things with it! NordVPN and Surfshark both support torrent downloads. But that doesn’t make it legal to download copyrighted content. You must be aware of that.

But there are also countries where VPN technology as such is prohibited. North Korea is an example. In China, as you know, there is the Great Firewall. But VPNs are not forbidden in China. However, you are only allowed to use one that is officially registered. But that is monitored and is therefore obsolete. Good VPNs like NordVPN can still crack the Great Firewall of China because they have Stealth Servers.

Further advantages of VPNs

A VPN is of course not only suitable for streaming football matches like Real Madrid vs Manchester City. It also protects you using public hotspots or unknown Wi-Fi. You have certainly used such a service before in a café, an Airbnb, hotel, train or bus. Even in airplanes you get Internet now and some airlines recommend VPNs in their in-flight magazines.

In short, you encrypt your internet traffic and people within the same network cannot see what you are doing. This also applies if you use a VPN at home. Then the internet provider or the nosy government has no insight into your internet activities. If you are interested in the topic VPN, I” explain in detail in this post.

Once the tunnel is established, your IP address changes and your ISP can no longer see what you are doing.
Once the tunnel is established, your IP address changes and your ISP can no longer see what you are doing.

NordVPN and Surfshark have a lot in common

If you use Windows, Android or iOS and want to watch some Champions League games via SRF, then Surfshark and NordVPN are not that different. Surfshark is more affordable and allows unlimited simultaneous connections. With NordVPN you get 6 simultaneous connections (that’s enough), but the provider is more established and known for its ability to bypass geoblocking like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. During my test, both worked with Zattoo Switzerland and therefore SRF.

When it comes to Linux as operating system, NordVPN is clearly ahead of the game for me. The Linux client can do much more, including CyberSec (blocks advertising, malware and phishing). Furthermore, the Linux app offers access to the WireGuard servers, and they are faster. But they are available in fewer countries.

You can test both providers because they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, both Surfshark and NordVPN are outside the 5/9/14-Eyes alliance and have a zero-logs policy. So, what you do on the internet is not recorded.

In terms of security, NordVPN is currently converting its servers so that the operating system runs completely in RAM. Should a server be seized, it must be turned off and RAM only works with power, right?

Both providers have no limitations in terms of bandwidth. This is useful if you are a Torrent fan. Surfshark allows torrenting on all servers and NordVPN has certain servers (many) where you can share files via P2P. The Torrent technology is legal by the way — at least in most countries.

NordVPN for Real vs City