2021/22 UEFA Champions League: all you need to know

2021/22 UEFA Champions League: all you need to know

The UEFA Champions League, the annual most expected among football fans tournament, is already in the qualifying stage. It is one of the most prestigious club competition in European football, played by the national league champions.

In its present format, the Champions League began in late June with a preliminary round, three qualifying rounds and a play-off round, all played with 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 ends with the final match.

Automatic qualifiers for 2021/22 UEFA Champions League
Ajax (NED)
Atalanta (ITA)
Atlético (ESP)
Barcelona (ESP)
Bayern (GER)
Beşiktaş (TUR)
Chelsea (ENG, holders)
Club Brugge (BEL)
Dortmund (GER)
Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Inter Milan (ITA)
Juventus (ITA)
Leipzig (GER)
Liverpool (ENG)
LOSC (FRA)
Manchester City (ENG)
Manchester United (ENG)
Milan (ITA)
Paris (FRA)
Porto (POR)
Real Madrid (ESP)
Sevilla (ESP)
Sporting CP (POR)
Villarreal (ESP, UEFA Europa League winners)
Wolfsburg (GER)
Zenit (RUS)

The winner of the Champions League qualifies for the following year’s Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. Spanish clubs have the biggest number of victories (18 wins), followed by England (14 wins) and Italy (12 wins). England has the largest number of winning teams, with five clubs having won the title. Real Madrid is the most successful club in the tournament’s history, having won it 13 times. Chelsea are the reigning champions, having defeated Manchester City 1–0 in the 2021 final match.

Chelsea players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Champions League | Photo by awanireview.com

Dates of 2021/22 UEFA Champions League
Qualifying

22 June 2021: Preliminary round semi-finals
25 June 2021: Preliminary round final
6-7, 13-14 July 2021: First qualifying round
20-21, 27-28 July 2021: Second qualifying round
3-4, 10 August 2021: Third qualifying round
17-18, 24-25 August 2021: Play-offs

Group stage
14-15 September 2021: Matchday 1
28-29 September 2021: Matchday 2
19-20 October 2021: Matchday 3
2-3 November 2021: Matchday 4
23-24 November 2021: Matchday 5
7-8 December 2021: Matchday 6

Knockout phase
15-16, 22-23 February, 8-9, 15-16 March 2022: Round of 16
5-6, 12-13 April 2022: Quarter-finals
26-27 April, 3-4 May 2022: Semi-finals
28 May 2022: Final

The UEFA Champions League second qualifying round starts on 20 and 21 July, with Crvena Zvezda (SRB), Celtic (SCO) and Olympiacos (GRE) among the new entries. The central match is a game PSV Eindhoven (NED) vs Galatasaray (TUR) on 21 July at 21:00 CEST. Watch the games and place a bet online here.

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