The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious and popular club competition in European football, where the best teams from different countries compete for the ultimate glory.
If you are new to football, you might have some questions like: how do these teams qualify for the tournament?
And what are the different paths they can take to reach the group stage? In this blog post, we will discuss who Qualifies for the UEFA Champions League.
How does the UEFA Champions League work?
The UEFA Champions League has 32 teams in the group stage, which are divided into eight groups of four. The teams play each other twice, home and away, and the top two teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. The knockout stage consists of four rounds: round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final.
The 32 teams in the group stage are composed of 26 automatic entrants and six qualifiers. The automatic entrants are the champions of the top six ranked associations according to the UEFA coefficient: Spain, England, Germany, Italy, France, and Portugal.
They are joined by the runners-up of the top four ranked associations: Spain, England, Germany, and Italy. The remaining automatic entrants are the champions of the associations ranked from seventh to tenth: Russia, Belgium, Ukraine, and Turkey.
Who Qualifies for the UEFA Champions League?
The six qualifiers are determined by two separate paths: the champion’s path and the league’s path. The champion’s path is for the champions of the associations ranked from eleventh to 55th, excluding Liechtenstein, which does not have a domestic league.
The league path is for the third-placed teams of the associations ranked from fifth to sixth: France and Portugal; and the fourth-placed teams of the associations ranked from first to fourth: Spain, England, Germany, and Italy.
The champion’s path has four qualifying rounds: preliminary round, first qualifying round, second qualifying round, and third qualifying round. The preliminary round is a mini-tournament with four teams, where the winner advances to the first qualifying round.
The first qualifying round has 34 teams, where 17 winners advance to the second qualifying round. The second qualifying round has 20 teams, where ten winners advance to the third qualifying round. The third qualifying round has 12 teams, where six winners advance to the play-off round.
The league path has two qualifying rounds: the third qualifying round and the play-off round. The third qualifying round has eight teams, where four winners advance to the play-off round.
The play-off round has 12 teams: six from the champions path and six from the league path. The winners of this round qualify for the group stage.
The draw for each qualifying round is based on seeding, which is determined by the UEFA coefficient of each team. The teams are divided into two pots: seeded and unseeded.
The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. The teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
When are the qualifying rounds in the UEFA Champions League played?
The qualifying rounds are played in August and September, while the group stage starts in October and ends in December. The knockout stage starts in February and ends in May, with the final being held at a neutral venue.
Which teams qualify for the Champions League?
The teams that qualify for the Champions League are the teams finishing in the top four in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga.
This will grant them their place in the group stage of the Champions League, with two automatic spots granted to clubs in France and Portugal. The league winners from the Netherlands, Austria, Serbia, and Scotland also make it through.
The UEFA Champions League is a highly competitive and exciting tournament that showcases the best of European football. It is a dream for every club and player to participate in it and win it.
To qualify for it, they have to overcome many challenges and prove themselves against other strong teams. It is a journey that requires skill, determination, and passion.