UEFA Youth League
|Number of teams||64|
|Current champions||Real Madrid (1st title)|
|Most successful club(s)|| Barcelona|
(2 titles each)
|Television broadcasters||List of broadcasters|
|2020–21 UEFA Youth League|
The UEFA Youth League is an annual club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2013. In its current format, it is contested by the youth (under-19) teams of the clubs competing in the UEFA Champions League group stage, plus the domestic youth champions of the best-ranked national associations.
The semi-finals and final matches have been traditionally played at the Colovray Stadium in Nyon, Switzerland. The winners are awarded the Lennart Johansson Trophy, named in honour of the former UEFA president.
The most successful teams are Barcelona and Chelsea with two trophies each. Chelsea won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016, while Barcelona won the inaugural season of the competition and clinched their second trophy in 2018. The current champions are Spanish side Real Madrid, who beat Benfica 3–2 in the 2020 final.
In May 2010, UEFA organised a match, referred to as the "UEFA Under-18 Challenge", between the under-18 teams of Bayern Munich and Internazionale, three days prior to the UEFA Champions League Final between the respective senior sides. Internazionale won the match 2–0 with two goals from Denis Alibec. The match was part of "UEFA Grassroots Day", and acted as an inspiration for the UEFA Youth League.
The teams in the first tournament, 2013–14 UEFA Youth League, played a group stage with the same composition and calendar as the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League group stage, and was held on a 'trial basis'.
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.
After a two-year trial period, the UEFA Youth League became 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 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 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 retain the same format of single-leg ties as before.
|2016–17||Red Bull Salzburg||2–1||Benfica||Barcelona|
|Red Bull Salzburg|
|2020–21||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe|
- By clubs
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Chelsea||2||2||2015, 2016||2018, 2019|
|Red Bull Salzburg||1||0||2017||—|
|Benfica||0||3||—||2014, 2017, 2020|
- By countries
|Country||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Spain||3||0||2014, 2018, 2020||—|
|England||2||2||2015, 2016||2018, 2019|
|Portugal||1||3||2019||2014, 2017, 2020|
Up to four matches per week (total 39 matches per-season) are streamed through UEFA.tv channel in the unsold markets with highlights available in all territories.
|United States||TBA (English)|
- "Young stars take centre stage". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- "Inter take Under-18 honours". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 19 May 2010. Archived from the original on 23 May 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
- "UEFA Youth League club competition launched". UEFA.org. Union of European Football Associations. 7 December 2012. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
- Herbert, Ian (17 September 2013). "Comment: Brilliant NextGen series sadly sidelined in favour of Uefa Youth Cup". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- Twomey, Liam (14 April 2014). "NextGen eyes comeback as Uefa Youth League celebrates finale". goal.com. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "UEFA Youth League retained and expanded". UEFA.org. 18 September 2014.
- "Where to watch the UEFA Youth League". UEFA. Retrieved 2019-11-29.
- "TUDN Announces Three-Year Extension with UEFA to Remain Exclusive Spanish-Language Broadcast Partner in the U.S." Univision. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2020-08-11.