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UEFA Champions League news: Latest updates, transfers, injuries and rumours

UEFA Champions League: The Ultimate Guide

If you are a fan of European club football, you must have heard of the UEFA Champions League. It is the most prestigious and popular tournament in the world, featuring the best teams and players from across the continent. But what exactly is the Champions League, how does it work, and who are the current and past champions? In this article, we will answer all these questions and more, giving you a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about the UEFA Champions League.

What is the UEFA Champions League?

The UEFA Champions League, or simply the Champions League, is an annual club association football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and contested by top-division European clubs, deciding the competition winners through a round robin group stage to qualify for a double-legged knockout format, and a single leg final.

uefa champions league


History and format of the competition

The Champions League was introduced in 1955 as the Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens (French for European Champion Clubs' Cup), and commonly known as the European Cup. It was initially a straight knockout tournament open only to the champions of Europe's domestic leagues, with its winner reckoned as the European club champion.

The competition took on its current name in 1992, adding a round-robin group stage in 1991 and allowing multiple entrants from certain countries since the 199798 season. It has since been expanded, and while most of Europe's national leagues can still only enter their champion, the strongest leagues now provide up to four teams.

In its present format, the Champions League begins in late June with a preliminary round, three qualifying rounds and a play-off round, all played over two legs. The six surviving teams enter the group stage, joining 26 teams qualified in advance. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The eight group winners and eight runners-up proceed to the knockout phase that culminates with the final match in late May or early June.

How to qualify for the Champions League

The qualification for the Champions League is based on the UEFA coefficient ranking system, which takes into account the performance of each national association and club in UEFA competitions over a five-year period.

The coefficient ranking determines how many places each association gets in the Champions League, ranging from one to four. The champions of the associations ranked 1st to 4th get direct entry to the group stage, along with the runners-up of the associations ranked 1st to 3rd, and the third-placed teams of the associations ranked 1st to 2nd. The fourth-placed teams of these associations enter the play-off round.

The champions of the associations ranked 5th to 6th also get direct entry to the group stage, along with three more teams determined by a series of play-offs involving teams from associations ranked 7th to 15th. The champions of the associations ranked 7th to 10th enter the third qualifying round, while those ranked 11th to 15th enter the second qualifying round. The champions of the associations ranked 16th to 55th (except Liechtenstein) enter the first qualifying round.

The remaining six places in the group stage are reserved for two winners of the previous season's UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, and four more teams determined by a series of play-offs involving teams that finished third in their domestic leagues and were not eligible for automatic qualification.

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The benefits of playing in the Champions League

Playing in the Champions League is not only a matter of prestige and glory, but also a source of significant financial and sporting benefits for the participating clubs.

According to UEFA, the total prize money for the 2022-23 Champions League season is 2.32 billion, which is distributed among the clubs based on their performance and market pool share. The market pool share is calculated according to the value of the television market in each country. The prize money for each stage is as follows:


Prize money (per club)

Preliminary round


First qualifying round


Second qualifying round


Third qualifying round

480,000 (only for clubs eliminated)

Play-off round

5 million (only for clubs eliminated)

Group stage participation

15.64 million

Group stage performance bonus

2.8 million per win, 930,000 per draw

Round of 16

9.6 million


10.6 million


12.5 million

Final (runner-up)

15.5 million

Final (winner)

19.5 million

In addition to the prize money, the clubs also benefit from the increased exposure and reputation that comes with playing in the Champions League, which can help them attract more fans, sponsors, and players. Moreover, the clubs can also improve their UEFA coefficient ranking by performing well in the Champions League, which can give them a better chance of qualifying for future editions of the competition.

Who are the current and past champions of the Champions League?

The Champions League has seen many memorable moments and legendary teams over its history, but who are the current and past champions of the competition? Let's take a look at the recent and all-time winners of the Champions League.

The 2022-23 Champions League season

The 2022-23 Champions League season is still underway, with 32 teams competing in the group stage that started on 13 September 2022 and will end on 7 December 2022. The knockout stage will begin on 14 February 2023 and will conclude with the final on 27 May 2023 at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The group stage draw and fixtures

The group stage draw was held on 25 August 2022 at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The 32 teams were divided into four pots based on their coefficient rankings and drawn into eight groups of four teams each. The teams will play each other twice, home and away, in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group will advance to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams will enter the Europa League round of 32. The fourth-placed teams will be eliminated from European competition.

The groups are as follows:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DVillarreal (Spain)Liverpool (England)Borussia Dortmund (Germany)Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)Ajax (Netherlands)Sporting CP (Portugal)Juventus (Italy)Milan (Italy)Anderlecht (Bel gium)Atalanta (Italy)Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine)Red Star Belgrade (Serbia)Galatasaray (Turkey)Young Boys (Switzerland)Malmö FF (Sweden)

Group EGroup FGroup GGroup HBayern Munich (Germany)Paris Saint-Germ

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