All you need to know about Champions League

The 67th season of Europe’s best football competition, the 30th since it was renamed the UEFA Champions League, runs from 22 June 2021 to 28 May 2022.

Everything you need to know about Champions League:2021/2022 season


Champions League Groups 2021/22 Season

  • Group A: Man City, Paris, Leipzig, Club Brugge
  • Group B: Atletico, Liverpool, Porto, Milan
  • Group C: Sporting, Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas
  • Group D: Inter, Real Madrid, Shaktar, Sheriff
  • Group E: Bayern, barcelona, Benfica, Dinamo Kyiv
  • Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys
  • Group G: Losc, Sevilla, Salzburg, Wolfsburg
  • Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo

The Champions League competition is back following Chelsea lifting the title in 2020/21.

What will also be great to see is the fact that the tournament should be able to have fans back in the stadium with sellout attendances as we finally start to allow fans back in following the pandemic. Here is all you need to know about 2021/2022 season:

When is the group stage? How does qualifying work? Where is the 2022 final?

The 67th season of Europe’s best football competition, the 30th since it was renamed the UEFA Champions League, runs from 22 June 2021 to 28 May 2022.

Who will participate in the group stage?

The 32 teams in the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group stage consists of 26 automatic qualifiers joined by six play-off winners.

Automatic qualifiers
Ajax (NED)
Atalanta (ITA)
Atlético (ESP)
Barcelona (ESP)
Bayern (GER)
Beşiktaş (TUR)
Chelsea (ENG, holders)
Club Brugge (BEL)
Dortmund (GER)
Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Inter Milan (ITA)
Juventus (ITA)
Leipzig (GER)
Liverpool (ENG)
Manchester City (ENG)
Manchester United (ENG)
Milan (ITA)
Paris (FRA)
Porto (POR)
Real Madrid (ESP)
Sevilla (ESP)
Sporting CP (POR)
Villarreal (ESP, UEFA Europa League winners)
Wolfsburg (GER)
Zenit (RUS)

This list is subject to final confirmation from UEFA

How does qualifying work?

In 2020/21, qualifying was truncated following the late finish to the previous campaign, with all ties prior to the play-offs played as single-leg matches. All being well, 2021/22 will see a return to the home and away format from the first qualifying round onwards.

To see who enters in which round, and how eliminated teams transfer to the UEFA Europa League and new UEFA Europa Conference League, consult the

When do matches and draws take place?

22 June 2021: Preliminary round semi-finals
25 June 2021: Preliminary round final
6/7 & 13/14 July 2021: First qualifying round
20/21 & 27/28 July 2021: Second qualifying round
3/4 & 10 August 2021: Third qualifying round
17/18 & 24/25 August 2021: Play-offs

Group stage
14/15 September 2021: Matchday 1
28/29 September 2021: Matchday 2
19/20 October 2021: Matchday 3
2/3 November 2021: Matchday 4
23/24 November 2021: Matchday 5
7/8 December 2021: Matchday 6

Knockout phase
15/16/22/23 February & 8/9/15/16 March 2022: Round of 16
5/6 & 12/13 April 2022: Quarter-finals
26/27 & 3/4 May 2022: Semi-finals
28 May 2022: Final

8 June 2021: Preliminary round
15 June 2021: First qualifying round
16 June 2021: Second qualifying round
19 July 2021: Third qualifying round
2 August 2021: Play-off round
26 August 2021: Group stage
13 December 2021: Round of 16
18 March 2022: Quarter-finals & Semi-finals

All draws start at 12:00 CET except the group stage draw, which begins at 18:00 CET.

Where will the final take place?

The final will take place at the Saint Petersburg Stadium. The distinct venue on Krestovsky Island was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, whose vision was for a spaceship that had landed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. It has been home to Zenit since 2017.


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Mbappe one of the best players to watch this season in Champions League.

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How does the qualifying works ?


Prishtina’s Fadil Vokrri Stadium stages the preliminary round©FFK

Twenty-six of the 32 teams that will contest the 2021/22 group stage are confirmed, and they will be joined by six play-off winners in August. Those six sides will come through one of these qualifying paths:

  • Champions route – this path is for domestic title holders, starting with the four lowest-ranked nations in the preliminary round (played as a knockout mini-tournament in Kosovo). The victors are joined by the next 31 lowest-ranked teams in the first qualifying round, with the next four sides added at the following stage. The ten winners plus another two new entrants then face off in the third qualifying round, with the triumphant six then joined by two more sides in four play-off ties. Excluding the preliminary round, all ties are played over two legs, home and away.
  • League route – there are three rounds in all. Four teams start in the second qualifying round, with the two winners joined by six more sides in the next phase. Four teams reach the play-offs, with two ties determining who makes it through to the group stage. All ties are played over two legs, home and away.

CL First & Second Qualifying Round Draw

The first qualifying round is composed of 32 teams although the second round is split into a champions path and a league path.

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League path

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Champions path Matches August 2021

There will be two new teams entering at this stage:

They will be joined by the winners of the ten champions path second qualifying round fixtures (ties conclude on 31 July/1 August). Read more here

League path

There are six new teams entering at this stage:

They will be joined by the winners of the two league path second qualifying round fixtures (ties conclude on 30 July/1 August).

Who’s already in the group stage?

ESP: Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia
ENG: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur
ITA: Juventus, Napoli, Atalanta, Internazionale Milano
GER: Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen
FRA: Paris Saint-Germain, LOSC Lille, Lyon
RUS: Zenit, Lokomotiv Moskva
POR: Benfica
UKR: Shakhtar Donetsk
BEL: Genk
TUR: Galatasaray
AUT: Salzburg

Champions League group stage draw 

The draw includes 32 clubs, 26 of whom are direct qualified while six qualify via the play-offs.

The teams will be split into four seeding pots. Pot 1 includes of the holders, the  Europa League winners and the champions of the six highest-ranked nations. Pots 2 to 4 are concluded by the club coefficient rankings.

Pot 1 

Liverpool (ENG, holders), Atlético Madrid (ESP), Real Madrid,  Chelsea (ENG UEFA Europa League winners) Barcelona (ESP) Bayern München (GER) Manchester City (ENG)
Juventus (ITA) Paris Saint-Germain (FRA) Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)

Other automatic entrants including coefficients
Borussia Dortmund (GER) 89.000
Porto (POR) 86.000
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) 81.000
Napoli (ITA) 78.000
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG) 67.000
Roma (ITA) 64.000
Liverpool (ENG) 62.000
Schalke (GER) 62.000
Lyon (FRA) 59.500
Monaco (FRA) 57.000
CSKA Moskva (RUS) 45.000
Valencia (ESP) 36.000
Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) 33.000
Club Brugge (BEL) 29.500
Galatasaray (TUR) 29.500
Internazionale Milano (ITA) 16.000
Hoffenheim (GER) 14.285

*Clubs’ coefficients are now decided  or by the sum of all points won in the previous five years either by the association coefficient over the same period – WHICHEVER IS THE HIGHER (under a new system introduced for 2018/19 onward).

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