Sunday, October 1, 2023

The current Champions League, last applause: here is the (thriller) format we will discover in 2024-2025

Four additional qualified teams

From 32, the format will increase to 36 teams. How will these four additional teams be chosen? The two countries with the best results on the European scene during the current season will be rewarded with two places, the other two will be for France (fifth in the UEFA coefficient in 2023), as well as for the champion of the ninth country in the UEFA ranking of 2023. (l ‘Scotland), which therefore no longer has to go through roadblocks.

Specifically, the eight usual groups will disappear and the first phase will be played based on a single classification where all will not face each other. After the draw, each team will face eight different clubs (four at home and four away).

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The top eight will then advance to the round of 16, while the teams ranked ninth through 24th will compete in a tiebreaker to determine the remaining eight qualifiers for the knockout phase. The others, classified above 25th place, will be eliminated.

100 more games in the first round

The format may seem a little crazy at first glance, but it will add a good dose of suspense and uncertainty (the rankings will change wildly every day) to a first phase that sometimes seems too scripted in advance.

In total, each team will play (at least) two more games (always on Tuesday and Wednesday) than with the current format, during the first round. And in total for the competition there will be 189 games instead of the current 125. A blessing for the broadcasters but also for the clubs (thanks to ticket sales) “We are convinced that the chosen formula is harmonious, will improve the balance of the competitions and will guarantee solid income that can be redistributed while increasing the attractiveness and popularity of our club competitions,” said UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin. The Europa League and the Conference League will also have a format inspired by this new C1, the first final of which will take place at the Allianz Arena in Munich.

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And the Belgian clubs in all this? There will be one… or two in the first phase as the 2023-2024 Belgian champion will qualify directly. The vice champion must go through the third qualifying round (and the tiebreaker) to join him among the 36 chosen.

You understood everything? If not, you have one year left to study the subject.

Times of National
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