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)
78 (total) (from 53 associations)

The 2015–16 UEFA Champions League is 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]

Barcelona are the defending champions after defeating Juventus in the 2014–15 final.

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 78 teams from 53 of the 54 UEFA member associations 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:
    • The winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League, Barcelona, qualified through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Champions League title holders will not be necessary.
    • The winners of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, Sevilla, did not qualify through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Europa League title holders will be necessary.

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 Notes
1 Spain Spain 97.713 4 +1(EL)
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 Notes
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 Notes
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

In the default access list, the Champions League title holders enter the group stage.[8][9] However, since Barcelona already qualified for the group stage (as the champions of the 2014–15 La Liga), the Champions League title holders berth in the group stage is given to the Europa League title holders, Sevilla.[10][11]

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)
  • 12 champions from associations 1–12
  • 6 runners-up from associations 1–6
  • 3 third-placed teams from associations 1–3
  • Europa League title holders
  • 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

Teams

League positions of the previous season shown in parentheses, except Sevilla which qualified as Europa League title holders. (TH: Champions League title holders; EL: Europa League title holders).[12][13]

Group stage
Spain BarcelonaTH (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) Spain Sevilla (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 Lazio (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 CSKA Moscow (2nd) Turkey Fenerbahçe (2nd) Czech Republic Sparta Prague (2nd)
Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň (1st) Netherlands Ajax (2nd) Greece Panathinaikos (2nd)
Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk (2nd) Switzerland Young Boys (2nd)
Second qualifying round
Romania Steaua București (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 Sarajevo (1st) Republic of Ireland Dundalk (1st)
Croatia Dinamo Zagreb (1st) Hungary Videoton (1st) Finland HJK (1st) Luxembourg Fola Esch (1st)
Poland Lech Poznań (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 Rudar Pljevlja (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).[14][8][15]

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,[16][17][18] 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 and second qualifying rounds was held on 22 June 2015.[19] The first legs were played on 30 June and 1 July, and the second legs will be played on 7 July 2015.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Lincoln Red Imps Gibraltar Match 1 Andorra FC Santa Coloma 0–0 7 Jul
Crusaders Northern Ireland Match 2 Estonia Levadia Tallinn 0–0 7 Jul
Pyunik Armenia Match 3 San Marino Folgore 2–1 7 Jul
B36 Tórshavn Faroe Islands Match 4 Wales The New Saints 1–2 7 Jul

Second qualifying round

The first legs will be played on 14 and 15 July, and the second legs will be played on 21 and 22 July 2015.

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Hibernians Malta Match 1 Israel Maccabi Tel Aviv 14 Jul 21 Jul
APOEL Cyprus Match 2 Republic of Macedonia Vardar 14 Jul 21 Jul
Qarabağ Azerbaijan Match 3 Montenegro Rudar Pljevlja 15 Jul 22 Jul
Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Match 4 Poland Lech Poznań 14 Jul 22 Jul
Maribor Slovenia Match 5 Kazakhstan Astana 14 Jul 22 Jul
BATE Borisov Belarus Match 6 Republic of Ireland Dundalk 15 Jul 22 Jul
Ventspils Latvia Match 7[A] Finland HJK 14 Jul 21 Jul
Midtjylland Denmark Match 8 Winners of match 1 14–15 Jul 21–22 Jul
Molde Norway Match 9 Winners of match 3 14–15 Jul 21–22 Jul
Malmö FF Sweden Match 10 Lithuania Žalgiris Vilnius 15 Jul 21 Jul
Celtic Scotland Match 11 Iceland Stjarnan 15 Jul 22 Jul
Trenčín Slovakia Match 12 Romania Steaua București 14 Jul 22 Jul
Partizan Serbia Match 13 Georgia (country) Dila Gori 14 Jul 21 Jul
Ludogorets Razgrad Bulgaria Match 14 Moldova Milsami Orhei 14 Jul 21 Jul
Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Match 15[A] Luxembourg Fola Esch 15 Jul 22 Jul
Skënderbeu Korçë Albania Match 16 Winners of match 2 14–15 Jul 21–22 Jul
Winners of match 4 Match 17 Hungary Videoton 14–15 Jul 21–22 Jul
Notes
  1. ^ a b Order of legs reversed after original draw.

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.

Champions Route

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

Note: UEFA club coefficient (CC) at the end of 2014–15 season, which is used for seeding, is listed in italics.

League Route

Ten teams which enter in this round.

Note: UEFA club coefficient (CC) at the end of 2014–15 season, which is used for seeding, is listed in italics.

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.

Note: UEFA club coefficient (CC) at the end of 2014–15 season, which is used for seeding, is listed in italics.

Group stage

Location of teams that have qualified for the group stage of the 2015–16 UEFA Champions League

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):[20][21]

  • 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 (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.[16][17][18]

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).

Note: UEFA club coefficient (CC) at the end of 2014–15 season, which is used for seeding, is listed in italics.

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

  1. ^ "Milan to host 2016 UEFA Champions League final". UEFA.org. 18 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Added bonus for UEFA Europa League winners". UEFA.org. 24 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "UEFA Access List 2015/18 with explanations" (PDF). Bert Kassies. 
  4. ^ a b c "Regulations of the UEFA Champions League 2015/16 Season" (PDF). UEFA.com. 1 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "How the Europa League winners will enter the Champions League". UEFA.com. 27 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Country coefficients 2013/14". UEFA.com. 
  7. ^ a b "UEFA Country Ranking 2014". Bert Kassies. 
  8. ^ a b "Preliminary Access List 2015/16" (PDF). Bert Kassies. 
  9. ^ "UEFA Champions League Access List 2015/16". UEFA.com. 
  10. ^ "Access list 2015/2016". Bert Kassies. 
  11. ^ "Who is in Champions League and Europa League?". UEFA.com. 7 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "2015/16 UEFA Champions League participants". UEFA.com. 18 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Qualification for European Cup Football 2015/2016". Bert Kassies. 
  14. ^ "2015/16 Champions League: teams, draws, matches". UEFA.com. 
  15. ^ "UEFA European Football Calendar 2015/2016". Bert Kassies. 
  16. ^ a b "Club coefficients". UEFA.com. 
  17. ^ a b "UEFA Team Ranking 2015". Bert Kassies. 
  18. ^ a b "Seeding in the Champions League 2015/2016". Bert Kassies. 
  19. ^ "Qualifying round draws start road to Milan". UEFA.com. 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Champions League: Domestic title winners to receive top-seed status". BBC Sport. 9 October 2014. 
  21. ^ "Champions' bonus for group stage draw". UEFA.com. 24 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Next season's UEFA Champions League seeds". UEFA.com. 18 May 2015. 

External links