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The start of the final group stage of the Champions League



The 32nd season of the Champions League and the 69th of the elite European club competition

The elite club football dance will take place for the last time this autumn with the classic group work that we have known for the last 32 years. Starting with the 2024/25 season, 36 clubs will play in the Champions League, which will compete against each other according to the Swiss system.

The matches Milan – Newcastle and Young Boys – RB Leipzig will begin the last traditional group stage of the Champions League, where 32 clubs are divided into eight groups with four clubs each.

An additional place for the English and Italians

The golden hen of European football will expand next year and bring a changed competition system. Two of the four new cities will belong to the best countries of the past seasons, thus satisfying the appetites of the strongest leagues and clubs. If the reform were already in force, it would be directly qualified for the Champions League Liverpool and Atalanta, while Marseille would avoid qualification. Judging by the points won, the English Premier League and the Italian Serie A hope for additional places in the Champions League.

Eight groups of four clubs is the system that is being phased out, and will be replaced by the Swiss system of four clubs, where at least the club will play a total of eight instead of six games before the knockout stages.  Photo: EPA

Eight matches with eight different opponents

Above all, there will be a different competition system and schedule, which will be inspired by the Swiss system for determining opponents in chess. Due to schedules and logistics, it is a customized system where all opponents are determined at the beginning of the season. The 36 clubs will be divided into four groups based on UEFA points. Each club will then play eight matches, two against opponents from each group, i.e. eight matches against eight different opponents.

In the elimination matches, the tennis system follows

After eight rounds, all 36 clubs will be ranked in the overall ranking from 1st to 36th place, after which elimination battles will follow, following the example of tennis. The first eight clubs will be free in the round of 16 and will be directly placed in the round of 16. In the latter, for example, the first seed will face the winner of the pair between the 16th and 17th clubs.

Since the first and second seed will not be able to meet before the final, every match will be decided, which was the key purpose of the reform, emphasizes UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin. Whether the new format of Europe’s elite club competition will be sufficiently understandable and, in particular, if it will bring a revival of group work, will be judged next December, when the first Swiss system in the Champions League comes to an end.

Wembley this year’s final destination

The renovated Wembley will host the third final of the Champions League next year on June 1, after 2011 and 2013. Originally, it was supposed to be played in London as early as 2020, but the pandemic brought relocation and changes.  Photo: Reuters

This year’s Champions League is the 32nd under this name and at the same time the 69th season of the elite European club competition under the auspices of UEFA.

  • first round: September 19 and 20
  • second round: 3rd and 4th round
  • third round: October 24 and 25
  • fourth round: November 7 and 8
  • fifth round: November 28 and 29
  • sixth round: December 12 and 13
  • Round of 16: 13, 14, 20 and 21 February and 5, 6, 12 and 13 March 2024
  • quarter-finals: 9 and 10 and 16 and 17 April
  • semi-finals: 30 April and 1 May and 7 and 8 May
  • final in London at Wembley Stadium: Saturday 1 June 2024.

A ticket for the new club WC 2025 to the champion

The winner of the Champions League, the last in its current form, will be awarded the right to play in the group stage of the Champions League in the 2024/25 season, to play in the European Super Cup and to play at the 32-man Club World Cup in 2025 in the United States.

The Slovenian share in the new season is quite modest. Captain of Slovenia Jan Oblak will defend the goal of Atletico Madrid in Group E. Meanwhile, RB Leipzig has two Slovenian footballers, but only one representative: Kevin Kampl and the first attacker Benjamin Šeško they play in Group G, which also includes defending champion Manchester City.

Source: Rtvslo

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