UEFA Champions League: Europe’s Premier Club Football Competition

 

UEFA Champions League: Europe's Premier Club Football Competition

The UEFA Champions League is going on. It is one of the most popular European championships followed by club football competitions in the world. This is a competition that determines the top club teams in Europe. The clubs that won this tournament can be said to be the best in the world, and the level of soccer is said to exceed that of the World Cup, which is held once every four years.

It is organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). This Champions League brings top football clubs from across Europe. It was stated in the 1955 as European Champion Clubs’ Cup but in 1992, it was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League with the introduction of a group stage followed by knockout rounds. Day by day, the tournament has grown in popularity worldwide. Today, it is the most popular football tournament in the world.

It is held every year from September to May of the following year, and the 2023 final will be held on June 11th. Domestic league champion clubs and top clubs from each European country participate, and the venue for the finals changes every year.

How are participating clubs decided for the UEFA Champions League?

The participating clubs in the UEFA Champions League are determined through a combination of criteria based on their performance. This process generally works like this-

  • Domestic League Performance: The primary method to qualify for the Champions League is by their performance in their domestic Leagues. In most European countries, the top clubs always qualify for the Champions League. The number of spots for each country is determined by the UEFA only by the UEFA coefficient ranking,
  • Champions League Winners and Runners-Up: The winner of the previous edition of the UEFA Champions League already qualify for the next season’s tournament. Moreover, the runners-up of Champions League and winner of the UEFA Europa League also get spots in the Champions League group stage.
  • Qualifying Rounds: A certain number of sports in the Champions League is allocated to the clubs that must go through qualifying rounds to secure their place in the group stage. These stops are awarded to the club with a lower UEFA coefficient ranking but earned qualification for European competitions.
  • UEFA Fair Play Ranking: There is also a small number of spots for the club that demonstrate exemplary behaviour on and off the field. The club who receive a high fair play score.
  • Relegation And Promotion: Clubs that fail to qualify for the Champions League through domestic league performance, also have a chance to earn qualification in subsequent seasons. 

Let’s understand in depth

32 clubs can participate in this BIG tournament. Participation in next year’s CL will be determined by the ranking results of each country’s league matches. Therefore, we would like to introduce how the participation slots are structured.

  1. Top 4 clubs (16 clubs) from countries ranked 1st to 4th in the UEFA rankings
  2. Top 2 clubs (4 clubs) from countries ranked 5th to 6th in the UEFA rankings
  3. Top 1 club (4 clubs) from a country ranked 7th to 10th in the UEFA rankings
  4. UEFA Champions League previous year winning club (1 club)
  5. UEFA Europa League previous year’s winning club (1 club)

At this point, 26 clubs will qualify for the tournament. For the remaining six teams, the clubs that make it through the winning team qualifiers (the winning clubs in each country ranked 11th or lower in the UEFA rankings) and the top team qualifiers (clubs ranked 2nd or 3rd from 5th to 15th in the UEFA rankings) will be eligible to participate.

How will the tournament proceed?

In the group stage, the 32 clubs will be divided into 4 clubs x 8 groups and will compete in two round-robin rounds in a home-and-away format, with the top two or more clubs in each group advancing to the final tournament. This is where CL gets interesting!

The final tournament will also be held in a home-and-away format, with the winner determined by the total score of the two games.

If the scores are tied, the club with the most away goals (number of points scored in away matches) wins. So even if you lose the first game, if you win the second game and win the combined score of the two games, you can advance to the next stage.

If the total score of the two games is the same and the away goals are the same, there will be 15 minutes of overtime in each half, and if the score is still not decided, it will be a penalty shootout.

The final match will be a 90-minute one-shot match. If the match cannot be decided, there will be overtime and a penalty shootout.

Champions League Winning Amount or Prize Money

The total prize money for the 2022-23 season is approximately €2 billion. The winning team can earn up to 85.14 million euros in prize money, depending on the results of the group stage. The huge prize money that can be earned by advancing through the competition is one of the reasons why many clubs aim to qualify for and win the Champions League. It has become.

  • Participation in group league: 15.64 million euros
  • Group stage victory: 2.8 million euros
  • Group stage draw: 930,000 euros
  • Advance to the round of 16: 9.6 million euros
  • Advance to the quarterfinals: 10.6 million euros
  • Advance to semi-finals: 12.5 million euros
  • Advance to finals: 15.5 million euros
  • Victory: 4.5 million euros

If you win the Champions League, you will receive a trophy called the Big Year along with the prize money. You can also qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup, where the champions of six continents compete to become the world’s number one. Not only will they receive a huge prize money of up to 85.14 million euros, but they will also receive the honour of being the “strongest club in European football.”

Spain’s Real Madrid is the strongest club, who wins the most in the UEFA Champions League in history. They have won 14 times since their first victory.

 

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