2015–16 UEFA Champions League

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2015–16 UEFA Champions League
Tournament details
Dates Provisional dates:
30 June – 26 August 2015 (qualifying)
15 September 2015 – 28 May 2016 (competition proper)
Teams 32 (group stage)
77 or 78 or 79 (total) (from 53 associations)

The 2015–16 UEFA Champions League will be the 61st season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 24th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

Format changes[edit]

The UEFA Executive Committee held in May 2013 approved the following changes to the UEFA Champions League starting from the 2015–16 season (for the three-year cycle until the 2017–18 season):[1]

  • The winners of the previous season's UEFA Europa League will qualify for the UEFA Champions League. They will enter at least the play-off round, and will enter the group stage if the berth reserved for the Champions League title holders is not used.
  • The previous limit of a maximum of four teams per association will be increased to five, meaning that if the Champions League title holders finish outside the top four of their domestic league (if the winner is from the one of the top three ranked associations), the fourth-placed team of their association will not be prevented from participating in the tournament.

Association team allocation[edit]

A total of 77, 78 or 79 teams from 53 of the 54 UEFA member associations are expected to participate in the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League (the exception being Liechtenstein, which do not organise a domestic league). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:[2]

  • Associations 1–3 each have four teams qualify.
  • Associations 4–6 each have three teams qualify.
  • Associations 7–15 each have two teams qualify.
  • Associations 16–54 (except Liechtenstein) each have one team qualify.
  • The winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League and 2014–15 UEFA Europa League are each given an additional entry if they do not qualify for the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League through their domestic league.

Association ranking[edit]

For the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2014 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2009–10 to 2013–14.[4][5]

Rank Association Coeff. Teams
1 Spain Spain 97.713 4
2 England England 84.748
3 Germany Germany 81.641
4 Italy Italy 66.938 3
5 Portugal Portugal 62.299
6 France France 56.500
7 Russia Russia 46.998 2
8 Netherlands Netherlands 44.312
9 Ukraine Ukraine 40.966
10 Belgium Belgium 36.300
11 Turkey Turkey 34.200
12 Greece Greece 33.600
13 Switzerland Switzerland 33.225
14 Austria Austria 30.925
15 Czech Republic Czech Republic 29.350
16 Romania Romania 27.257 1
17 Israel Israel 26.875
18 Cyprus Cyprus 23.250
Rank Association Coeff. Teams
19 Denmark Denmark 21.300 1
20 Croatia Croatia 19.625
21 Poland Poland 18.875
22 Belarus Belarus 18.625
23 Scotland Scotland 16.566
24 Sweden Sweden 16.325
25 Bulgaria Bulgaria 15.625
26 Norway Norway 14.275
27 Serbia Serbia 14.125
28 Hungary Hungary 11.625
29 Slovenia Slovenia 11.000
30 Slovakia Slovakia 11.000
31 Moldova Moldova 10.375
32 Azerbaijan Azerbaijan 10.375
33 Georgia (country) Georgia 9.875
34 Kazakhstan Kazakhstan 8.250
35 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.500
36 Finland Finland 7.175
Rank Association Coeff. Teams
37 Iceland Iceland 6.750 1
38 Latvia Latvia 6.250
39 Montenegro Montenegro 6.000
40 Albania Albania 5.500
41 Lithuania Lithuania 5.250
42 Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 5.250
43 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 5.125
44 Luxembourg Luxembourg 4.875
45 Malta Malta 4.833
46 Liechtenstein Liechtenstein 4.500 0
47 Northern Ireland Northern Ireland 3.625 1
48 Wales Wales 3.000
49 Armenia Armenia 2.875
50 Estonia Estonia 2.875
51 Faroe Islands Faroe Islands 2.125
52 San Marino San Marino 0.999
53 Andorra Andorra 0.833
54 Gibraltar Gibraltar 0.000

Distribution[edit]

The table below shows the default access list.[3] Changes will need to be made in the following cases:

  • If both the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders have qualified for the group stage through domestic performance, the champions of association 13 are promoted from the third qualifying round to the group stage, the champions of association 16 are promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round, and the champions of associations 47 and 48 are promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round.
  • If the Champions League title holders have qualified for the group stage through domestic performance while the Europa League title holders have not, the Europa League title holders enter the group stage through the berth vacated by the Champions League title holders. In cases where the Europa League title holders have qualified for any of the earlier rounds through domestic performance, their berth is vacated, and teams of the highest-ranked associations are promoted accordingly.
  • If both the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders have not qualified for the group stage through domestic performance, the Europa League title holders enter the play-off round. The section (Champions Route or League Route) the Europa League title holders enter depends on whether they are league champions or not. In either case, changes to the access list will have to be made by moving teams of the lowest-ranked associations to an earlier round (unless in the case where the Europa League title holders have also qualified for the play-off round through domestic performance). For example, if the Europa League title holders enter the play-off round via the League Route, then the third-placed teams of associations 4 and 5 will enter the third qualifying round instead of the play-off round.
Teams entering in this round Teams advancing from previous round
First qualifying round
(8 teams)
  • 8 champions from associations 47–54
Second qualifying round
(34 teams)
  • 30 champions from associations 16–46 (except Liechtenstein)
  • 4 winners from the first qualifying round
Third qualifying round Champions Route
(20 teams)
  • 3 champions from associations 13–15
  • 17 winners from the second qualifying round
League Route
(10 teams)
  • 9 runners-up from associations 7–15
  • 1 third-placed team from association 6
Play-off round Champions Route
(10 teams)
  • 10 winners from the third qualifying round for champions
League Route
(10 teams)
  • 2 third-placed teams from associations 4–5
  • 3 fourth-placed teams from associations 1–3
  • 5 winners from the third qualifying round for non-champions
Group stage
(32 teams)
  • Champions League title holders
  • 12 champions from associations 1–12
  • 6 runners-up from associations 1–6
  • 3 third-placed teams from associations 1–3
  • 5 winners from the play-off round for champions
  • 5 winners from the play-off round for non-champions
Knockout phase
(16 teams)
  • 8 group winners from the group stage
  • 8 group runners-up from the group stage

Teams[edit]

League positions of the previous season shown in parentheses (CL: Champions League title holders; EL: Europa League title holders).

Group stage
(CL) England (3rd) Portugal (1st) Ukraine (1st)
Spain (1st) Germany (1st) Portugal (2nd) Belgium (1st)
Spain (2nd) Germany (2nd) France (1st) Turkey (1st)
Spain (3rd) Germany (3rd) France (2nd) Greece (1st)
England (1st) Italy (1st) Russia (1st)
England (2nd) Italy (2nd) Netherlands (1st)
Play-off round
Champions Route League Route
Spain (4th) Germany (4th) Portugal (3rd)
England (4th) Italy (3rd)
Third qualifying round
Champions Route League Route
Switzerland (1st) France (3rd) Belgium (2nd) Austria (2nd)
Austria (1st) Russia (2nd) Turkey (2nd) Czech Republic (2nd)
Czech Republic (1st) Netherlands (2nd) Greece (2nd)
Ukraine (2nd) Switzerland (2nd)
Second qualifying round
Romania (1st) Sweden (1st) Azerbaijan (1st) Albania (1st)
Israel (1st) Bulgaria (1st) Georgia (country) (1st) Lithuania (1st)
Cyprus (1st) Norway (1st) Kazakhstan (1st) Republic of Macedonia (1st)
Denmark (1st) Serbia (1st) Bosnia and Herzegovina (1st) Republic of Ireland (1st)
Croatia (1st) Hungary (1st) Finland (1st) Luxembourg (1st)
Poland (1st) Slovenia (1st) Iceland (1st) Malta (1st)
Belarus (1st) Slovakia (1st) Latvia (1st)
Scotland (1st) Moldova (1st) Montenegro (1st)
First qualifying round
Northern Ireland (1st) Armenia (1st) Faroe Islands (1st) Andorra (1st)
Wales (1st) Estonia (1st) San Marino (1st) Gibraltar (1st)

Round and draw dates[edit]

The tentative schedule of the competition, to be officially confirmed, is as follows (all draws held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).[3]

Phase Round Draw date First leg Second leg
Qualifying First qualifying round 22 June 2015 30 June–1 July 2015 7–8 July 2015
Second qualifying round 14–15 July 2015 21–22 July 2015
Third qualifying round 17 July 2015 28–29 July 2015 4–5 August 2015
Play-off Play-off round 7 August 2015 18–19 August 2015 25–26 August 2015
Group stage Matchday 1 27 August 2015
(Monaco)
15–16 September 2015
Matchday 2 29–30 September 2015
Matchday 3 20–21 October 2015
Matchday 4 3–4 November 2015
Matchday 5 24–25 November 2015
Matchday 6 8–9 December 2015
Knockout phase Round of 16 14 December 2015 16–17 & 23–24 February 2016 8–9 & 15–16 March 2016
Quarter-finals 18 March 2016 5–6 April 2016 12–13 April 2016
Semi-finals 15 April 2016 26–27 April 2016 3–4 May 2016
Final 28 May 2016 at venue TBA

Qualifying rounds[edit]

In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients,[6][7] and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

First qualifying round[edit]

A total of eight teams play in the first qualifying round.

Second qualifying round[edit]

A total of 34 teams play in the second qualifying round: 30 teams which enter in this round, and the four winners of the first qualifying round.

Third qualifying round[edit]

The third qualifying round is split into two separate sections: Champions Route (for league champions) and League Route (for league non-champions). The losing teams in both sections enter the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League play-off round.

A total of 30 teams play in the third qualifying round:

Champions Route

Three teams which enter in this round, and the 17 winners of the second qualifying round.

League Route

Ten teams which enter in this round.

Play-off round[edit]

The play-off round is split into two separate sections: Champions Route (for league champions) and League Route (for league non-champions). The losing teams in both sections enter the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League group stage.

A total of 20 teams play in the play-off round:

Champions Route

The ten Champions Route winners of the third qualifying round.

League Route

Five teams which enter in this round, and the five League Route winners of the third qualifying round.

NOTE: The winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League enter the play-off round if both they and the winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League have not qualified for the group stage through domestic performance. The section (Champions Route or League Route) the Europa League title holders enter depends on whether they are league champions or not. In either case, changes to the access list will have to be made by moving teams of the lowest-ranked associations to an earlier round (unless in the case where the Europa League title holders have also qualified for the play-off round through domestic performance). For example, if the Europa League title holders enter the play-off round via the League Route, then the third-placed teams of associations 4 and 5 will enter the third qualifying round instead of the play-off round.

Group stage[edit]

A total of 32 teams play in the group stage: 22 teams which enter in this stage, and the 10 winners of the play-off round (5 from Champions Route, 5 from League Route).

The 32 teams are allocated into four pots based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients,[6][7] with the title holders being placed in Pot 1 automatically. They are drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

In each group, teams play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advance to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams enter the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Knockout phase[edit]

In the knockout phase, teams play against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final. The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows:

  • In the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners are seeded, and the eight group runners-up are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
  • In the draws for the quarter-finals onwards, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]