The European Football Union (UEFA) changed its format today in its club competitions according to the “Swiss model” from the 2024/2025 season, so 36 teams will play in the Champions League instead of 32, in a unique group in which each club will play at least eight games.
Each club in the Champions League is guaranteed to play eight games against eight different opponents, four games at home and abroad, compared to the current format, in which clubs play six games against three teams in the group stage, at home and away.
Eight games will be played over 10 rounds.
The first eight teams will be directly placed in the knockout phase, and the teams placed from the ninth to the 24th place will play a two-match barrage for placement in the eighth finals.
Similar format changes have been introduced in the Europa League, whose clubs will play eight games in the league, and in the League of Conferences, with six games in the league.
Uefa has also changed the criteria for awarding two additional places for the Champions League. One place will go to the third-ranked club from the fifth strongest league according to Uefa’s ranking, and one place will be awarded to the “champion’s track”, so the state champions will get five places instead of four. previous season.
Uefa stated that all matches will be played during the working week, in order to preserve the calendar of domestic leagues across Europe.
Uefa President Aleksandar Ceferin said that he was convinced that the new format would improve the competitive balance and bring income that could be distributed to clubs, leagues and indoor soccer across Europe.
“Uefa has made it clear today that we are fully committed to respecting the fundamental values of sport and defending the key principle of open competition, with qualifications based on sporting merit, fully in line with values and the European sporting model based on solidarity,” he said.
He added that before making decisions, consultations were held during which the ideas of fans, players, coaches, federations, clubs and leagues were heard, with the aim of finding the best solution for the success and development of European football on the domestic and international scene.
“I am really satisfied that it was a unanimous decision of the Uefa Executive Committee, with the European Club Association, European Leagues and National Federations agreeing with the proposal. It is another proof that European football has never been more united,” Ceferin said.