The UEFA Youth League (originally titled as the UEFA U-19 Champions League) is an association football competition for all under age clubs registered to senior clubs that participate and qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
The eight group-winners and eight runners-up from group stage then participated in a knockout phase. Unlike the UEFA Champions League, the knockout phase had single-leg ties, with the semi-finals and final played at neutral venues.
British media commented that the competition was formed to "limit the growing influence of the NextGen Series".
In April 2014, Barcelona became the first champion, beating Benfica by 3–0 in the final-four held in Nyon.
After a two-year trial period, the UEFA Youth League will become a permanent UEFA competition starting from the 2015–16 season, with the tournament expanded from 32 to 64 teams to allow the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations according to their UEFA country coefficients to also participate. The 32 UEFA Champions League group stage youth teams will retain the group stage format, with the group winners advancing to the round of 16 and the runners-up advancing to the play-offs. The 32 youth domestic champions will play two rounds of two-legged ties, with the eight winners advancing to the play-offs, where they play a single match at home against the Champions League path runners-up. The round of 16 onwards will retain the same format of single-leg ties as before.