The UEFA Champions League is back today and all 32 teams will have a dream of lifting the prestigious trophy at Wembley Stadium in June.
This season will be the last time the competition follows its usual format after more than 30 years of historic nights in Europe. Currently, there are eight groups — which sees the top two teams qualify for the knockout stages — followed by a round of 16, quarter-final, semi-final and final.
However, the 'Swiss Model' will be implemented for the 2024/25 season and a number of key changes will be made. Here, football.london provides you with all the information you need on UEFA's new format for the Champions League.
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The new format will see 36 teams participate — compared to the 32 before — meaning there will be more games on the calendar with 189 instead of 125. The group stage will be swapped for a league phase, which will see each team play ten games — five at home and five away.
From the the league, the top eight teams will automatically qualify for the knockout stages, with those finishing ninth to 24th competing in a two-legged play-off for a place in the last-16 and the bottom 12 will exit the tournament and not enter the Europa League.
Two of the additional four slots will be awarded to nations whose clubs achieved the best performance the season before — total points earned divided by the number of sides competing is how they will determine this.
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Another change will see clubs from the same country being able to play eachRead on football.london