UEFA Champions League
Europe Europe
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Competition Overview

The UEFA Champions League, often simply referred to as the Champions League, is the pinnacle of European club football. It is a tournament that pits the continent’s top clubs against each other in a battle for supremacy, glory, and the coveted trophy that has become a symbol of footballing excellence. The Champions League began life in 1955 as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup, commonly known as the European Cup1. It was a straightforward knockout competition open only to the champions of Europe’s domestic leagues. The idea was conceived by French sports journalist Gabriel Hanot, who urged UEFA to create a tournament where Europe’s premier clubs could compete against each other. The first-ever match was played between Sporting CP and Partizan Belgrade, with the latter becoming the first team to score in the competition’s history. Over the years, the competition has been graced by footballing legends and has given us countless memorable moments, from Manchester United’s dramatic late victory in 1999 to Liverpool’s Miracle of Istanbul in 2005. The tournament was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League in 1992, and since then, it has expanded to include multiple entrants from certain countries, reflecting the growing dominance of Europe’s elite leagues. The 32 qualifying teams are drawn into eight groups of four teams and play each other in a double round-robin system. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout phase, which includes the Round of 16, quarterfinals, and semifinals, all played over two legs. The competition culminates in a single-leg final held at a neutral venue, where the winner is crowned the champion of Europe. Starting from the 2024/25 season, the Champions League will undergo a significant format change. The group stage will be replaced by a single league phase where 36 clubs will participate. Teams will play eight matches against eight different opponents, four at home and four away, providing a chance for clubs to face a wider range of opponents and for fans to enjoy more diverse matchups. The Champions League continues to evolve, but its essence remains the same: it is a celebration of excellence in club football, bringing together the best teams, players, and fans for a spectacle that captivates the world. Real Madrid holds the record for the most titles, but every year brings a new opportunity for clubs to etch their names into the annals of football history.

Latest News
Scotland’s main men fail to lead in a ragged capitulation to Germany | Ewan Murray
Guardian, 14 Jun 24
Germany kickstart Euro 2024 in style and pile on the pain for 10-man Scotland
Guardian, 14 Jun 24
Germany 5-1 Scotland: Euro 2024 opening game – live reaction
Guardian, 14 Jun 24
Spain have faith in schoolboy Lamine Yamal to lead way back to glory
Guardian, 14 Jun 24
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