If you have ever wondered how many Champions League games are played per season, you are in the right place to get the right information.
The UEFA Champions League is a football club competition conducted yearly by UEFA – the football governing body in Europe. It is the most renowned and distinguished club football competition in Europe where the best teams compete for the grand prize.
In this post, we shall be dwelling on the number of games played in the Champions League per season.
Number Of Games In The Champions League in Summary
For a better and simpler understanding of the number of matches each team plays in the Champions League, below is a table that summarizes it.
|Number Of Games Played
|Round of 16
From the table above, it can be denoted that there are a total of 125 matches in a Champions League season.
In total, there are 125 Champions League games per season. But did we arrive at 125? Read on.
(For reference sake, find out how many Premier League matches are played per season.)
Number Of Games In The Champions League – The Breakdown
Now that we know the number of Champions League matches in a season, let’s now look at the number of matches each team plays in the competition.
Originally, the competition will begin with 32 teams whereby the teams will be divided into 8 groups (Group A to Group H). This stage of the tournament is referred to as the Group Stage with 4 teams in each group.
Each team in the groups will play each other twice (home and away). Therefore, teams will play 6 matches in the group stage.
To calculate the total number of games to be played in the group stage, recall there are 32 teams which will result in 16 matches per week and with each team playing 6 times in the group stage, the total number of group stage games will be 96 after multiplying 16 by 6.
After the group stage games are completed, the top 2 teams in each of the 8 groups will qualify for the next round in the Knockout Stage known as the Round of 16.
This stage will consist of 16 teams, hence the name “Round of 16”. 8 matches will be conducted with each match being played twice. Therefore, there shall be a total of 16 matches in the Round of 16 of the Champions League.
The winners of the Round of 16 games will qualify for the Quarter Finals. Left with 8 teams, the 4 matches will be played twice as well resulting in 8 matches in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League.
Getting to the final stages of the game, the 4 winners of the Quarter Finals will meet in the Semi-Final, both matches to be played twice making it 4 matches in the Champions League Semi-Finals.
The last stage will get to see the last 2 teams of the competition that will slug it out for the grand prize. There will only be one match in this stage as the winner of the competition will be determined.
Number Of Matches In The UCL Per Team
Every team that makes it to the Champions League plays a number of games, depending on the stage at which they are eliminated.
As stated earlier, all 32 teams will play 6 group-stage matches. Teams that get to qualify for the first stage in the knockout stages the Round of 16 will play 2 more matches making it a total of 8 games so far in the season.
Teams that go further to the Quarter Finals will also play 2 more matches which now makes it a total of 10 games.
Semi Final qualifications add an extra 2 games which is now 12 and the two teams that make it all the way to the Final of the Champions League will play 13 games in the season.
How Do Clubs Qualify For The Champions League?
Having seen the number of games played, let’s now take a brief overview of how teams can qualify to partake in the competition.
Since the UEFA Champions League is strictly reserved for only European teams, then the competition will only see European teams play in it.
There are two ways in which teams can qualify for the Champions League: the first of which is finishing in the domestic league’s qualifying spot. It could be the top 4, top 3 top 2, depending on the league’s UEFA coefficient rankings.
The other way of qualifying is by winning one of the Europa League or Champions League of the previous season. This method automatically qualifies the team for the next season’s Champions League even without finishing in the league’s qualifying spots.
The UEFA Champions League has evolved in terms of format and matches played in the season.
The competition, formerly called the European Cup, began in 1955 with 16 teams participating in it. It was renamed the Champions League in 1992 and has developed over the years.
As of now, there are 125 matches played in a Champions League season but a new format will begin in the 2024/25 season which will see 127 matches played per season.