UEFA Champions League Format

Many football fans have nothing to do with the format of football competitions, but the nerds mean it everything. Some football followers are interested in the format of the league and want to know how the events work to keep on chatting on the platforms and make predictions while sitting in the company of their friends.

So in this guide I am going to tell you how the UEFA Champions League Works and what this league system’s format is.

What is the format of UEFA Champions League

The Qualification Process

The UEFA Champions League begins with a double round-robin group stage of 32 teams, which is preceded by two qualifying “streams” for clubs that do not get direct access to the competition proper since the 2009-10 season. Teams who qualified by becoming league champions and those that qualified by placing second or third in their national championship are separated into two streams.

The number of clubs each association enters into the UEFA Champions League is determined by the member associations’ UEFA coefficients. The results of each association’s clubs throughout the last five Champions League and UEFA Cup/Europa League seasons are used to calculate these coefficients. The higher an association’s coefficient, the more teams it sends to the Champions League and the fewer qualification rounds its teams must participate in.

Four of the remaining six qualifying spots are awarded to the winners of a six-round qualifying competition among the remaining 43 or 44 national champions, with byes to subsequent rounds for champions from associations with better ratings. The remaining two are awarded to the winners of a three-round qualification competition between 10-11 clubs from associations rated 5-6 through 15, who qualified by placing second or third in their respective national league.

A club must be allowed by its national association in order to play in the Champions League, in addition to meeting sporting requirements. The team must fulfill specific stadium, infrastructural, and financial conditions in order to get a license.

After participating in all three qualifying rounds, Liverpool and Artmedia Bratislava became the first clubs to advance to the Champions League group stage in 2005-06. Real Madrid and Barcelona have qualified for the group stage the most times, with 25 appearances each, followed by FC Porto and Bayern Munich on 24.

How the group stage and knockout phase works

The real event begins with a group stage of 32 teams divided into eight groups of four. The draw to decide which teams go into each group is seeded based on clubs’ performance in UEFA tournaments, and no group may include more than one club from the same country.

Each team plays six group stage games, hosting and traveling to the other three teams in its group. The winner team and runner-up from each group advance to the next round. In the UEFA Europa League, the third-placed team will play.

The winner team from one group faces the runner-up from another group in the following level, the final 16, and clubs from the same association are not matched against each other. The draw is purely random after the quarter-finals, with no association protection.

The group stage runs from September to December, with the knock-out stage beginning in February. With the exception of the final, the knock-out ties are played in a two-legged format. The UEFA Champions League Final is usually held in the last two weeks of May or early June, as it has been in three straight odd-numbered years since 2015.

The competition was postponed for five months during the 2019-20 season owing to the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, the tournament’s structure was temporarily altered, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals being played as single match knockout games at neutral sites in Lisbon, Portugal in the summer, with the final taking place on August 23.

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