2015–16 UEFA Champions League

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2015–16 UEFA Champions League
Scudo2009.jpg
The San Siro in Milan will host the final.
Tournament details
Dates 30 June – 26 August 2015 (qualifying)
15 September 2015 – 28 May 2016 (competition proper)
Teams 32 (group stage)
77 or 78 (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.

The 2016 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the San Siro in Milan, Italy.[1]

Format changes

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):[2]

  • 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 or the Europa League title holders are from the top three ranked associations (but not both from the same one) and finish outside the top four of their domestic league, the fourth-placed team of their association will not be prevented from participating in the tournament. However, if both the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders are from the same top three ranked association and finish outside the top four of their domestic league, the fourth-placed team of their association will be moved to the Europa League.[3]

Association team allocation

A total of 77 or 78 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:[4]

  • 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. Because a maximum of five teams from one association can enter the UEFA Champions League, if both the Champions League title holders and the Europa League title holders are from the same top three ranked association and finish outside the top four of their domestic league, the fourth-placed team of their association will be moved to the Europa League.[5] For this season:

Association ranking

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.[6][7]

Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Champions League, as noted below:

  • (EL) – Additional berth for Europa League title holders
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

The table below shows the default access list.[8][9][10]

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 (Champions Route)
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 (League Route)
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 (Champions Route)
  • 5 winners from the play-off round (League Route)
Knockout phase
(16 teams)
  • 8 group winners from the group stage
  • 8 group runners-up from the group stage

The access list above is provisional, as changes will be made depending on whether the Champions League and Europa League title holders qualify for the tournament via their domestic leagues. The Champions League title holders always enter directly into the group stage. The Europa League title holders also enter directly into the group stage if either they or the Champions League title holders qualify for the group stage via their domestic leagues (if both teams qualify for the group stage via their domestic leagues, the champions of association 13 enter directly into the group stage). Otherwise, the Europa League title holders enter directly the play-off round, with the route they enter depending on the Champions League title holders:

  • League Route: If the Champions League title holders have qualified for any round of the League Route, or have not qualified for the tournament via their domestic league and are from the associations 1–12 in the access list.
  • Champions Route: If the Champions League title holders have qualified for any round of the Champions Route, or have not qualified for the tournament via their domestic league and are from the associations 13–54 in the access list.

The final access list will then be adjusted accordingly, with teams entering either earlier or later into the competition in order to ensure that the group stage consists of 32 teams and the play-off round consists of 20 teams. UEFA has published a detailed document outlining several possible qualification scenarios,[3] which are also covered in the regulations (Article 3.07).[4]

Teams

League positions of the previous season shown in parentheses (CL: Champions League title holders; EL: Europa League title holders).[11]

Group stage
Spain Barcelona (1st) Germany Bayern Munich (1st) Portugal Porto (2nd) Belgium Gent (1st)
Spain Real Madrid (2nd) Germany Wolfsburg (2nd) France Paris Saint-Germain (1st) Turkey Galatasaray (1st)
Spain Atlético Madrid (3rd) Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach (3rd) France Lyon (2nd) Greece Olympiacos (1st)
England Chelsea (1st) Italy Juventus (1st) Russia Zenit Saint Petersburg (1st) (EL)
England Manchester City (2nd) Italy Roma (2nd) Netherlands PSV Eindhoven (1st)
England Arsenal (3rd) Portugal Benfica (1st) Ukraine Dynamo Kyiv (1st)
Play-off round
Champions Route League Route
Spain Valencia (4th) Germany Bayer Leverkusen (4th) Portugal Sporting CP (3rd)
England Manchester United (4th) Italy (3rd)
Third qualifying round
Champions Route League Route
Switzerland Basel (1st) France Monaco (3rd) Belgium Club Brugge (2nd) Austria Rapid Wien (2nd)
Austria Red Bull Salzburg (1st) Russia (2nd) Turkey Fenerbahçe (2nd) Czech Republic Sparta Prague (2nd)
Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň (1st) Netherlands Ajax (2nd) Greece (2nd)
Ukraine (2nd) Switzerland Young Boys (2nd)
Second qualifying round
Romania (1st) Sweden Malmö FF (1st) Azerbaijan Qarabağ (1st) Albania Skënderbeu Korçë (1st)
Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv (1st) Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad (1st) Georgia (country) Dila Gori (1st) Lithuania Žalgiris Vilnius (1st)
Cyprus APOEL (1st) Norway Molde (1st) Kazakhstan Astana (1st) Republic of Macedonia Vardar (1st)
Denmark Midtjylland (1st) Serbia Partizan (1st) Bosnia and Herzegovina (1st) Republic of Ireland Dundalk (1st)
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb (1st) Hungary Videoton (1st) Finland HJK (1st) Luxembourg Fola Esch (1st)
Poland (1st) Slovenia Maribor (1st) Iceland Stjarnan (1st) Malta Hibernians (1st)
Belarus BATE Borisov (1st) Slovakia Trenčín (1st) Latvia Ventspils (1st)
Scotland Celtic (1st) Moldova Milsami Orhei (1st) Montenegro (1st)
First qualifying round
Northern Ireland Crusaders (1st) Armenia Pyunik (1st) Faroe Islands B36 Tórshavn (1st) Andorra FC Santa Coloma (1st)
Wales The New Saints (1st) Estonia Levadia Tallinn (1st) San Marino Folgore (1st) Gibraltar Lincoln Red Imps (1st)

Round and draw dates

The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws held at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).[12][8][13]

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 San Siro, Milan

Qualifying rounds

In the qualifying rounds and the play-off round, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients,[14][15][16] and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties. Teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other.

First qualifying round

The draw for the first qualifying round will be held on 22 June 2015. The first legs will be played on 30 June and 1 July, and the second legs will be played on 7 and 8 July 2015.

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

Second qualifying round

The draw for the second qualifying round will be held on 22 June 2015. The first legs will be played on 14 and 15 July, and the second legs will be played on 21 and 22 July 2015.

A total of 34 teams are expected to 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

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.

The draw for the third qualifying round will be held on 17 July 2015. The first legs will be played on 28 and 29 July, and the second legs will be played on 4 and 5 August 2015.

A total of 30 teams are expected to 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

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.

The draw for the play-off round will be held on 7 August 2015. The first legs will be played on 18 and 19 August, and the second legs will be played on 25 and 26 August 2015.

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.

Group stage

The draw for the group stage will be held in Monaco on 27 August 2015. The 32 teams are drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association cannot be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams are seeded into four pots based on the following principles (introduced starting this season):[17][18]

  • Pot 1 contains the title holders and the champions of the top seven associations based on their 2014 UEFA country coefficients.[6][7] As the title holders (either Juventus or Barcelona) are one of the champions of the top seven associations, the champions of the association ranked eighth are also seeded into Pot 1 (regulations Article 13.05).[4]
  • Pot 2, 3 and 4 contain the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2015 UEFA club coefficients.[14][15][16]

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. The matchdays are 15–16 September, 29–30 September, 20–21 October, 3–4 November, 24–25 November, and 8–9 December 2015.

The youth teams of the clubs that qualify for the group stage also participate in the 2015–16 UEFA Youth League, where they are joined by the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations.

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).

Teams in Pot 1 by regulations[19]
Teams in other pots

Knockout phase

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.

Round of 16

The draw for the round of 16 will be held on 14 December 2015. The first legs will be played on 16, 17, 23 and 24 February, and the second legs will be played on 8, 9, 15 and 16 March 2016.

Quarter-finals

The draw for the quarter-finals will be held on 18 March 2016. The first legs will be played on 5 and 6 April, and the second legs will be played on 12 and 13 April 2016.

Semi-finals

The draw for the semi-finals will be held on 15 April 2016. The first legs will be played on 26 and 27 April, and the second legs will be played on 3 and 4 May 2016.

Final

The final will be played on 28 May 2016 at the San Siro in Milan, Italy. The "home" team (for administrative purposes) will be determined by an additional draw held after the semi-final draw.

See also

References

External links