The 2013–14 UEFA Champions League was the 59th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 22nd season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.
A total of 76 teams from 52 of the 54 UEFA member associations participated in the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League (the exceptions being Liechtenstein, which do not organise a domestic league, and Gibraltar, which should start participating in the 2014–15 season after being admitted as a UEFA member in May 2013). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:
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 16–53 (except Liechtenstein) each have one team qualify.
The winners of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League are given an additional entry as title holders if they do not qualify for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League through their domestic league (because of the restriction that no association can have more than four teams playing in the Champions League, if the title holders are from the top three associations and finish outside the top four in their domestic league, the title holders' entry comes at the expense of the fourth-placed team of their association). However, this additional entry is not necessary for this season since the title holders qualified for the tournament through their domestic league.
For the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League, the associations were allocated places according to their 2012 UEFA country coefficients, which took into account their performance in European competitions from 2007–08 to 2011–12.
Since the title holders (Bayern Munich) qualified for the Champions League group stage through their domestic league, the group stage spot reserved for the title holders is vacated, and the following changes to the default allocation system are made:
The champions of association 13 (Denmark) are promoted from the third qualifying round to the group stage.
The champions of association 16 (Cyprus) are promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round.
The champions of associations 48 (Northern Ireland) and 49 (Luxembourg) are promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round.
Teams entering in this round
Teams advancing from previous round
First qualifying round
4 champions from associations 50–53
Second qualifying round
32 champions from associations 17–49 (except Liechtenstein)
2 winners from the first qualifying round
Third qualifying round
3 champions from associations 14–16
17 winners from the second qualifying round
9 runners-up from associations 7–15
1 third-placed team from association 6
10 winners from the third qualifying round for champions
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
13 champions from associations 1–13
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
^Turkey (TUR): On 25 June 2013, Fenerbahçe were banned by UEFA from the 2013–14 UEFA club competitions because of the 2011 Turkish sports corruption scandal. They appealed the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and on 18 July 2013 it was ruled that the ban should be temporarily lifted and they should be included in the qualifying round draws of the Champions League, until the final decision to be made before the end of August 2013. Fenerbahçe competed in the Champions League qualifying rounds and lost in the play-off round. On 28 August 2013, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld UEFA's ban, meaning Fenerbahçe were banned from the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League.
^Ukraine (UKR): On 14 August 2013, Metalist Kharkiv were disqualified from the 2013–14 UEFA club competitions because of previous match-fixing. UEFA decided to replace Metalist Kharkiv in the Champions League play-off round with PAOK, who were eliminated by Metalist Kharkiv in the third qualifying round. Metalist Kharkiv made two urgent requests to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for temporary reinstatement until a final decision is reached, but both requests were rejected. On 28 August 2013, the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld UEFA's ban.
The draw for the play-off round was held on 9 August 2013. The first legs were played on 20 and 21 August, and the second legs were played on 27 and 28 August 2013.
On 14 August 2013, Metalist Kharkiv were disqualified from the 2013–14 UEFA club competitions because of previous match-fixing. UEFA decided to replace Metalist Kharkiv in the Champions League play-off round with PAOK, who were eliminated by Metalist Kharkiv in the third qualifying round.
Red Bull Salzburg lodged a protest after being defeated by Fenerbahçe in the third qualifying round, but it was rejected by UEFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Location of teams of the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage. Brown: Group A; Red: Group B; Orange: Group C; Yellow: Group D; Green: Group E; Blue: Group F; Purple: Group G; Pink: Group H.
The draw for the group stage was held in Monaco on 29 August 2013. The 32 teams were allocated into four pots based on their 2013 UEFA club coefficients, with the title holders, Bayern Munich, being placed in Pot 1 automatically. They were drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other.
In each group, teams played against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The matchdays were 17–18 September, 1–2 October, 22–23 October, 5–6 November, 26–27 November, and 10–11 December 2013. The group winners and runners-up advanced to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams entered the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League round of 32.
A total of 18 national associations were represented in the group stage. Austria Wien made their debut appearance in the group stage.
Teams that qualify for the group stage also participate in the newly formed 2013–14 UEFA Youth League, a competition available to players aged 19 or under.
Key to colours in group tables
Group winners and runners-up advanced to the round of 16
In the knockout phase, teams played 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 was as follows:
In the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners were seeded, and the eight group runners-up were unseeded. The seeded teams were drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association could not be drawn against each other.
In the draws for the quarter-finals onwards, there were no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association could be drawn against each other.
The draw for the semi-finals and final (to determine the "home" team for administrative purposes) was held on 11 April 2014. The first legs were played on 22 and 23 April, and the second legs were played on 29 and 30 April 2014.