UEFA Champions League 2019-20: A Look at Teams, Formats & Schedule
The UEFA Champions League is back. Europe’s showpiece football competition will get underway on Tuesday, 17 September.
A little more than three months ago, Liverpool were crowned champions for the sixth time when they beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final in Madrid.
Already looking in good touch in the Premier League, Liverpool will look to become only the second team, after Real Madrid, to successfully defend their Champions League title.
The final will be held at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium on 30 May 2020.
Apart from Liverpool, Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid will look to mend their ways this season. Both sides have brought in reinforcements and will look to make good use of them.
Barcelona, who would have loved to have Neymar back, will be desperate to make amends after their semi-final exist last season. The Catalans lost 0-4 to Liverpool at Anfield after winning the first leg 3-0. Their new recruit, 16-year-old Ansu Fati, is already making headlines for Barcelona and looks to be a good addition to the existing stable.
After making a Round of 16 exit in the previous season – their first in the last 10 years – Real Madrid can only do better. Eden Hazard and 19-year-old Brazilian forward Rodrigo will look to turn the tide for the Los Blancos, who have failed to recover since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the talismanic coach Zinedine Zidane back at the helm, Madrid will hope to add a 14th European crown to their trophy cabinet.
Speaking about Ronaldo, his team Juventus would have expected to bridge the gap between them and the Champions League Trophy with the inclusion of the Portuguese superstar last season. But that wasn’t the case.
The best they could manage was a quarter-final loss to Ajax. This season they will once again resume their quest for the elusive first Champions League trophy since 1996.
Meanwhile, for Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain, their domestic success and the big financial back-up, haven’t translated into continental success. This season also the English champion and the French champion will look to break the Champions League jinx.
England, Spain, Italy and Germany have four teams each in the Champions League.
So, from the Premier League, we have defending champions Liverpool, English champions Manchester City, Europa league winners Chelsea and last year finalists Tottenham Hotspur
Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia represent La Liga.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen make up the Bundesliga contingent.
Serie A is represented by Juventus, Napoli, Inter Milan and Atalanta.
From Ligue 1, we have Paris Saint-Germain, Lille and Lyon. Meanwhile, Club Brugge and Genk represents Belgium and Zenit St Petersburg and Lokomotiv Moscow are the Russian teams in the competition.
The remaining teams in this season are Galatasaray, Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiacos, Red Star Belgrade, Ajax, Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, Slavia Prague and Benfica.
Like the past season, the group stage will include all the 32 teams, divided into eight groups of four. Teams in the same group will play each other twice – at home and away. The top two from each group will advance to the Round of 16. Meanwhile, the third ranked team move into the Europa League.
Teams from the same country won’t be playing each other until the quarterfinals.
Same format for the quarterfinals and the semi-finals before the final is played in Istanbul on 30 May 2020.
Records & Numbers
- Real Madrid have won the European Cup/Champion League a record 13 times.
- Real Madrid’s first five titles came during the first five editions of the competition, when it was called the European Cup.
- Real Madrid is the only side to complete a hat-trick of titles. They have achieved the feat not once but twice. First from 1956 to 1958 and very recently from 2016 to 2018.
- As a nation, Spain with 18 titles has won the European title for the most number of times.
- With 177 appearances, goalkeeper Iker Casillas has played the most number of Champions League matches. He made 150 appearances for Real Madrid and 27 for Porto.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is second on the list with 162 appearances. He has played for three clubs till now – Manchester United (52), Real Madrid (101), and Juventus (9).
- Ronaldo is the leading goal scorer in the competition with 126 goals from 162 appearances.
- Lionel Messi is second on the list with 112 goals from 135 appearances.
- Ronaldo has scored the most number of goals in a single season of the competition. In fact, he occupies the second and the third spot on the list also. In the 2013-14 season he scored 17 goals. One season later in 2015-16 he scored 16 goals. In his last season with Real Madrid, in 2017-18, he scored 15 goals.
Season Schedule for UEFA Champions League
- 17-18 September 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 1
- 1-2 October 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 2
- 22-23 October 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 3
- 5-6 November 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 4
- 26-27 November 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 5
- 10-11 December 2019: Group Stage – Match Day 6
- 16 December: Round of 16 Draw
- 18/19/25/26 February 2019: Round of 16 - First Leg
- 10/11/17/18 March 2019: Round of 16 - Second Leg
- 20 March 2019: Quarterfinal & Semifinal Draw
- 7-8 April 2019: Quarterfinals - First Leg
- 14-15 April 2019: Quarterfinals - Second Leg
- 28-29 April 2019: Semifinals - First Leg
- 5-6 May 2019: Semifinals – Second Leg
- 30 May 2019: Final
When & Where to Watch
The Group Stage, Round of 16, Quarterfinal and Semifinal matches will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday with telecast beginning from 10:25 PM IST.
The matches will be telecasted on Sony TEN 2 HD & Sony TEN 2.
The matches will also be live streamed on the SonyLIV app.