The 2024/25 Champions League is gearing up for a massive transformation. The changes are set to be even more significant than initially anticipated, and the knockout round will introduce a whole new dynamic compared to previous years. Let’s take a closer look at the new mode of this prestigious competition.
For one last time, the current format of the Champions League will be in play during the coming season. This means 32 teams will be divided into eight groups, followed by knockout matches from the round of 16. Additionally, eight teams will earn a second chance by continuing their journey in the Europa League.
However, UEFA has recently announced groundbreaking alterations that will come into effect in the 2024/25 season. A total of 36 teams will participate in the Champions League finals, and the traditional group stages will be abolished. Instead, these 36 teams will engage in a unified league, where any team can face any other.
2024/25 Champions League New Format
In this new system, each participant will play a single match against eight different opponents. Each team will have four home matches and four away matches, with the opponents determined by a draw.
After the league phase, the top 8 teams from the 36 will automatically qualify for the round of 16. The teams ranked 9th to 16th will compete in knockout round play-offs, consisting of two legs, against the teams ranked 17th to 24th for the remaining 8 spots for the round of 16. Unfortunately, the teams ranked 25th to 36th will be eliminated and will not have a chance to compete in any other European competition.
The changes do not end there. UEFA has also introduced a new concept for the knockout phase – a fixed tournament tree. This means that there will be no more draws to determine match-ups. Instead, the knockout pairings will be based on the final standings of the group stage.
In other words, teams ranked adjacent to each other in the group stage table will form pairs. The first-ranked team will face the second-ranked team, the third will play against the fourth, and so on. These pairings will be distributed across different halves of the tournament, ensuring that the top-ranked team can only meet the second-ranked team in the final, at the earliest. This arrangement allows teams to know their potential opponents in advance and provides a sense of anticipation and strategic planning.
Starting from the 2024/25 Champions League season, all participants will have the opportunity to play a guaranteed eight games from September to January. The matches will continue to take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Notably, on the final day of the league phase, all matches will occur simultaneously.
There is also a special addition to the schedule. Each European Cup competition will have an exclusive week, while the other two competitions take a break. During this week, matches will also be played on Thursdays, adding even more excitement to the tournament.
Champions League 2024/25 Final Venue
Despite these changes, the grand finale will remain unchanged. It will be a single game, lasting 90 minutes, held at a neutral venue. Interestingly, the first final venue for the new 2024/25 Champions League will be the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern Munich, where the climactic showdown will take place in early summer 2025.
The future of the Champions League promises to be filled with suspense, new strategies, and unforgettable matches. Football fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the start of the 2024/25 season, which will mark the beginning of this revolutionary chapter in one of the most prestigious competitions in the world.