How does the UEFA Champions League work?: Its setting and stages How does the UEFA Champions League work?: Its setting and stages

How does the UEFA Champions League work?: Its setting and stages


The UEFA Champions League is among sport’s most renowned competitions. In this article, you will learn all you have to know about the event that has been taking place since 1955. This league is a tournament scheduled and conducted by the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). It is a soccer competition in which 32 teams play in 5 stages for the title of the greatest club in Europe. The first league has been played each year since the competition was first staged in the 1955-56 season.

What has happened in the championship from 1955?

Only 16 clubs competed in the initial competition, which was named as the European Cup till 1992. It consisted of 4 elimination stages. Real Madrid beat Reims 4-3 to clinch the title and claim the trophy for the first time.

The competition was extended to 32 teams (with an added stage) in 1960, but the remainder of the structure remained the same. The event was renamed the UEFA Champions League in 1992 and the opening stage was eliminated in favour of a group stage format.

The 32 squads were divided into 8 groups. 8 groups of 4 teams were formed, with every team facing the other 3 teams in their corresponding group. These face offs are held in a double round-robin style. Each group’s winning team plus runner-up team progressed to the next phase of 16. This is where the squads would then proceed to the knockout round.

What criteria are used to choose the teams?

UEFA credentials are used to determine the amount of clubs every association advances into the UEFA Champions League. The outcomes of teams chosen to reflect every association throughout the last 5 Champions League and Europa League editions are used to calculate these scores. The better an association’s rating, the higher number of teams it will send to the League and the lesser no of qualification stages its teams will have to play in.

The 2 qualifying “streams” for squads who do not earn direct entrance to the league were first made available to them in the 2009-10 edition. For clubs accepted by merit of winning a domestic league, the 2 streams are further separated into 2 groups: one for teams who finished 2nd through 4th in their domestic league, and another for teams that won the domestic league. Each qualifying stream qualifies 5 teams for the group phase.

The remaining 22 squads qualified by default, either as defending UEL champions, reigning UCL champions or through their individual local competitions. The top 12 rated UEFA national associations are guaranteed a place in the group stage, with more slots being awarded to the greater the coefficient ranking a league has.

When the 32 teams have qualified, what happens?

The 32 squads are divided into 4 “pots,” with the exception that clubs representing the same association cannot be pitted against one another. The squads were sorted into 4 pots before the draw depending on the relevant criteria:

Pot 1 comprises of –

  • The titleholders from the Champions League
  • The titleholders from Europa League
  • The top 6 associations’ champions (depending on their UEFA rankings)

In case the Europa League or Champions League champions were from one of the top 6 champions of the associations, then the champions ranked 7th, and potentially 8th of the association are placed in Pot 1.

Pots 2, 3, and 4 comprise of – The residual clubs are placed in, according to their respective UEFA club coefficients of 2018.

After that, a team is selected out of every pot until 8 groups of 4 teams are formed.

What is the procedure for the group stage? 


The group stage is a double round-robin concept in which the 32 teams participate. The champions and the runners-up in each group proceed to the next phase of 16, which is the initial stage of the playoff phase. The squads are classified according to their point totals. If you win, you get three points; if you tie, you get one point; and if you lose, you receive no points. The following tie-breaking rules are implemented if the teams are equal on points:

  • the highest number of points scored in the group stage matches between the two sides involved.
  • The sides in contention had a better goal disparity in their group stage matches.
  • a greater number of goals achieved in the group stage matches between the two sides.
  • In the group stage matches, the sides in question had a higher amount of goals produced away from home.

If the sides in contention still have an identical rating after applying criterion 1 to 4, then criterion 1 to 4 are repeated only to the contests between the teams left to establish their final rankings. 

If no decision has been reached, the below mentioned criteria are used in the order provided to the 2 or more squads who are still tied.

  • better goal differential across the board in all group stage games.
  • More goals recorded throughout all group stage games.
  • More away goals achieved in all group stage games.
  • a greater amount of victories over all group stage games.
  • In all group stage games, the have a greater number of away victories.
  • Overall reduced disciplinary points received depending exclusively on red and yellow yellow cards
    • yellow card = 1 point
    • red card = 3 points
    • dismissal for 2 yellow cards = 3 points in one match
  • Greater club rating or coefficient.

What is the procedure for the knockout round?

Draw stage

  • The first round of Sixteen is decided by a draw. The Sixteen surviving clubs are divided into 2 pots of 8, with one including the group winners respectively and the other one comprising the runners-up from the group phase.
  • A team is selected from every pot to decide the pairings, with the exception that a preceding round champion and runner-up out of the same grouping cannot be chosen together once again, and teams from a single domestic league cannot face each other.
  • Teams are not divided into different pots in the quarterfinals and semifinals draw. To be effective, any surviving clubs can be brought together irrespective of their group phase placement, whether they were the group winners or runners-up or even if they are from the same domestic league.
  • Because the quarterfinal as well as semifinal drawings are performed simultaneously well before quarterfinals, the quarterfinal victors are unknown at the outset of the semifinal draw.

Legs and Tiebreakers in the Knockout Phase


For every round during the knockout stage, aside from the finals, 2 clubs are chosen to face each other. The clubs compete in 2 games – one at home and one away. A “leg” is the name given to each match. In the round of Sixteen, the group victors will host the 2nd leg. The side with the most goals after both legs progresses to the subsequent stage.

The away-goals criteria is used if the overall score is equal. As a result, the team with the most goals scored away from the home across the 2 legs progresses. In the event that away goals are identical, then the game will go into an additional time of 30 minutes. After the extra time, the away-goals criteria is used once more. As a result, if goals achieved during additional time and the overall score remains the same, the visitor team progresses due to the higher number of away goals produced.

In the event that no goals are achieved during the added time, the game goes to penalty kicks to determine the winner. In such a shootout, the side with the most penalties in a five-minute period wins. Players rotate their players until one side is able to score a penalty, in case no side is able to score a goal in the first 5 attempts.

The final match is held as a single encounter at a neutral place. Hence, additional time is played in the final, as long as the game is still tied at the conclusion of normal time play. A draw at the end of extra time will be settled by penalty kicks.

Betting on UEFA Champions League

This tournament’s popularity is hardly surprising, as all of the major football betting casinos around the world have dedicated lengthy sections to it. The sheer magnitude of the competition is a factor why online betting on Champions League is so in demand. With clubs from all across Europe coming together, there’s been numerous unexpected shocks over the seasons, allowing bettors to profit handsomely.

There are several methods to place bets on the tournament, from forecasting the group phase/stage game winners to estimating the overall champion, potential semifinalists, and many more. Because of this, even the sports betting markets in the different leagues varied slightly.

To get the most of this, you’ll need a thorough understanding of how the soccer season is unfolding in Europe’s many leagues, as well as knowledge of the various teams, their prior results, and so on. There are many useful guides on football betting and Champions League to aid you in your trip, where you may understand how to recognise the various betting chances and succeed.

How does the UEFA Champions League work?: Its setting and stages
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Post Name : How does the UEFA Champions League work?: Its setting and stages

Posted On : 28/06/2021

Author : Cameron Riddell