Just how exactly does this UCL tournament work?
Here you find the UEFA Champions League dissected in every aspect.
|UEFA Champions League: All You Need To Know||
Quick guide to the Champions League:
The draw of the teams in Nyon, Switzerland along with prestigious trophy.
The tournament consists of several stages. In the present format, it begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams join 22 seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are eight groups of four teams each. The eight group winners and eight runners-up enter the final knockout phase, which culminates with the final match in May. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Tournament again explained and expanded on:
The tournament proper begins with a group stage of 32 teams, divided into eight groups. Seeding is used whilst making the draw for this stage, whilst teams from the same country may not be drawn into groups together. Groups of 4 teams usually represented by letters such as "Group A or Group B" are the eight groups. Each team meets the others in its group home and away in a round-robin format. The winning team and the runners-up from each group then progress to the next round. The third-placed team enters the UEFA Europa League.
For this stage, the winning team from one group plays against the runners-up from another group, and teams from the same association may not be drawn against each other. From the quarter-finals onwards, the draw is entirely random, with association protection. The tournament uses the away goals rule: if the aggregate score of the two games is tied, then the team who scored more goals at their opponent's stadium advances.
The group stage is played through the autumn, whilst the knock-out stage starts after a winter break. The knock-out ties are played in a two-legged format, with the exception of the final. This is typically held in the final two weeks of May.
Rules and Laws of the game:
UEFA Champions League referees standing before the anthem. The 6th official cannot be seen as he is on the touchline manning the substitutions board.
As with any normal association football match, the rules are the same played with 2 halves of 45 minutes each. The only exception is the refereeing. In the UCL, there are 6 referees to completely ensure that the game is played fair and up to standards. A normal football match would only have 4, but the UCL implements 2 more additional referees to watch the goal lines of each goal. This is to avoid any controversy and in order to "ensure that the Laws of the Game are upheld, informing the referee of incidents of any kind that he may otherwise have missed, particularly in key areas of the field like the penalty area and its surroundings," but only informing the referee of their observings through a wireless communication system. Their positioning gives a good view to assist the referee in "ghost goal"-type incidents.
Aside from wanting to compete in the Champions League for the glory and fame, clubs also compete to earn prize money. This can help boost their revenue and make the more financially stable. This section explains what they earn from being in the competition.
As of 2010–11, UEFA awards €2.1 million to each team in the play-off round. For reaching the group stage, UEFA awards €3.9 million, plus €550,000 per group match played. A win in the group is awarded €800,000 and a draw is worth €400,000. In addition, UEFA pays teams reaching the first knockout round €3 million, each quarter-finalist €3.3 million, €4.2 million for each semi-finalist, €5.6 million for the runners-up and €9 million for the winners.
Adidas is a secondary sponsor and supplies the official match ball, as they do for all other UEFA competitions. Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer is also a secondary sponsor as the official Champions League video game.
As you can see, Champions League usually takes uses the stars as a their trademark logo or symbol. This is because only champions can play in this prestigious tournament, and champions are stars. This is the main reason why the Champions League using the symbol of stars as their logo.
Road to the Final:
In matches in the three qualifying rounds and the play-off stage, clubs play two matches against each other on a home-and-away basis. The club which scores the greater aggregate of goals qualifies for the next round, with away goals and then penalties used to determine the winner in the event of a draw.
The ten winners in the play-off round ties – five from the best-placed path and five from the champions path – join 22 automatic entrants in the 32-team group stage. The clubs are split into eight groups of four teams, who play home and away against each of their pool opponents between September and December to decide which two teams from each section advance to the first knockout round. The third-place finishers in each group enter the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
From the last 16 until the semi-finals, clubs play two matches against each other on a home-and-away basis with the same rules as the qualifying and play-off rounds applied. In the last 16, group winners play runners-up other than teams from their own pool or nation, while from the quarter-finals on the draw is free.
The final is decided by a single match, which this season will be played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 25 May 2013.
Fanmade model on the usual participants of the UCL.
Of course, not everyone can play in the UEFA CL. First of all the club must be in Europe, and besides from that, further qualifications must be met. Getting into such a prestigious tournament is no easy task!
The number of teams that each association enters into the UEFA Champions League is based upon the UEFA coefficients of the member associations or the different football leagues from different countries. These coefficients are generated by how well the clubs have done in the tournament during the past. The higher an association's coefficient, the more teams represent the association in the Champions League, and the fewer qualification rounds the association's teams must compete in.
In addition to sporting criteria, any club must be licensed by its national association to participate in the Champions league. To obtain a license, the club must meet certain stadium, infrastructure, and finance requirements.
Officiating: How the referees are chosen
In cooperation with the UEFA Refereeing Unit, the UEFA Referee Committee is responsible for appointing referees to matches. Referees are appointed based on previous matches, marks, performances, and fitness levels. To discourage bias, the Champions League takes nationality into account. No referee may be of the same origins as any club in his or her respecting groups. Referee appointments, suggested by the UEFA Refereeing Unit, are sent to the UEFA Referee Committee to be discussed and/or revised. After a consensus is made, the name of the appointed referee remains confidential up to two days before the match for the purpose of minimizing public influence.
Since 1990, a UEFA international referee cannot exceed the age of 45 years. After turning 45, a referee must step down at the end of his season. The age limit was established to ensure an elite level of fitness. Today, UEFA Champions League referees are required to pass a fitness test to even be considered at the international level.
The UEFA Champions League being the most prestigious football league in Europe has many sponsors. Some of the main sponsors are: