Home » CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: UEFA DETAILS NEW FORMAT, WITH THE END OF THE GROUP STAGE

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: UEFA DETAILS NEW FORMAT, WITH THE END OF THE GROUP STAGE

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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: UEFA DETAILS NEW FORMAT, WITH THE END OF THE GROUP STAGE

This Monday, UEFA detailed the new format of the Champions League, to be implemented from next season. The traditional group stage with 32 teams will be replaced by a league format stage with 36 clubs. Each of them will play eight matches at this stage – with opponents to be defined through draw. The teams will be divided into four pots according to specific criteria. Each participant will face two teams from each pot, with half of the games played as home teams and the other half as visitors.

This gives clubs the opportunity to test themselves against a wider range of opponents and increases the likelihood of fans seeing top teams face each other more often and earlier in the competition. It will also result in more competitive games for all clubs. — Said UEFA, in an official statement.

The eight clubs that have the best campaigns in this league phase will guarantee a direct place in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Teams placed between 9th and 24th will go to a play-off worth eight places in the round of 16. Those classified between 25th and 36th position are eliminated directly.

From the round of 16 onwards, the current design will continue: the teams will face each other in round-trip games, in a knockout format — whoever has the highest aggregate score will qualify, with no tiebreaker criteria for goals scored away from home. The final will continue to be played in a single match at a neutral venue.

— UEFA has clearly demonstrated that we are fully committed to respecting the fundamental values ​​of sport and defending the fundamental principle of open competitions, with qualification based on sporting merit, fully in line with the values ​​and the European sporting model based on solidarity — said Aleksander Čeferin, president of UEFA.

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A nova Champions:

  • The 36 clubs will be divided into four pots.
  • The first phase will be in a league format, without groups. Each club will play eight games, against two clubs from each of the four pots: four matches at home, four away.
  • The first eight advance directly to the round of 16. Teams from ninth to 24th make a play-off. The rest will be eliminated from all tournaments.
  • From the round of 16 onwards, the model remains the same: round-trip games, with a single match final and neutral venue
  • The distribution of the four extra places

The new league phase will have 36 teams competing, instead of the 32 that until the current season competed in the group stage. But where do the four extra places come from? UEFA guarantees that 32 places will continue as usual, with the traditional classifications for national championships. The remaining vacancies will be distributed as follows:

  • First place: This place will go to the club ranked third in the federation championship that occupies fifth place on the access list, which is determined by the UEFA coefficient ranking.
  • Second place: This place will be granted to a national champion, increasing from four to five the number of national champion clubs that will participate in the Champions League qualifying phase, which will have four qualifying rounds.
  • Vacancies three and four: These places will go to the associations with the best collective performance of their clubs in the previous season (i.e. the association’s club coefficient in the previous season). Each of these two federations will gain an automatic place in the league stage in addition to the usual places.
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Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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