EHF Champions League
|Current season, competition or edition:
2014–15 EHF Champions League
|Founded||1955 (1993 in its new format)|
|Number of teams||24 (Group stage)
|Level on pyramid||Level 1|
|Current champions|| Flensburg-Handewitt
|Most championships|| FC Barcelona
The EHF Champions League is the most important handball club competition for men's teams in Europe and involves the leading teams from the top European nations. The competition is organised every year by EHF. The official name for the men's competition is the VELUX EHF Champions League, since the VELUX Group began their title sponsorship of the competition in the 2010/11 season.
The EHF coefficient rank decides which teams have access and in which stage they enter.
Each year the EHF publishes a ranking list of its member federations. The first 27 nations are allowed to participate in the tournament with their national champion. The nations ranked first and second receive an additional slot and other nations may apply for additional places.
The VELUX EHF Champions League is divided into five stages. Depending on the ranking of their national federation, teams can enter the competition in either qualification or the group phase. The defending champion along with the champions from the highest ranked nations start in the group phase whereas lower ranked nations need to go through the qualification tournaments.
Three groups of four teams are formed. Teams from each group play semi-finals and finals, in a single venue over a weekend. The winning team from each group advance to the group phase.
The teams qualified from the qualification tournament are joined by the defending champion and the national champions of the highest ranked federations. Four groups of six teams are formed. They play each other twice, in home and away matches. The best four teams from each group advance to the Last 16.
The pairings for this round are decided in a draw. The 16 teams are placed in pots corresponding with their final group phase placing with teams finishing first in their group paired with fourth placed teams and second placed facing third placed teams. The ties are decided on a home and away basis, with the winners over two legs advancing to the quarter-finals.
The pairings for this round are decided in a draw. The ties are decided on a home and away basis, with four winners over the two legs advancing to the VELUX EHF FINAL4.
The four participating teams are paired with a draw and play over a single weekend at one venue, the 20,000 capacity Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. Two semi-finals will be played on a Saturday, with the third place game and final on the following day.
Records and statistics