The UEFA Champions League comprises three qualifying rounds, a play-off round, a group stage and four knockout rounds.
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 the Olympiastadion, Berlin on Saturday 6 June 2015.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, can be found in the official competition regulations.
UEFA capacity: 74,244
Tenants: Hertha BSC Berlin
Opened: 1 August 1936
• The venue, located in western Berlin, was built for the 1936 Olympics and opened at the start of the Games. Designed by local architect Werner March, it originally accommodated 100,000 spectators.
• It has been the home of Hertha Berlin since 1963, when the Bundesliga was founded, and was the biggest stadium used during the 1974 FIFA World Cup, staging three matches.
• The ground underwent extensive renovations between 2000 and 2004 ahead of the 2006 World Cup, when the Olympiastadion held four group games – the quarter-final between Germany and Argentina, and the final between Italy and France.
• Germany have played more than 30 matches at the Olympiastadion, perhaps most notably the 1972 UEFA European Championship quarter-final against England. After a 3-1 win at Wembley, a 0-0 draw was enough for eventual champions West Germany to progress. In October 2012 it witnessed a less happy occasion for Germany as Sweden came from four down to draw 4-4 in a World Cup qualifier.
• The German Cup final has taken place at the Olympiastadion since 1985, but it is a multi-sport arena. It was once home to American football team Berlin Thunder, and in 2009 the running track and infield hosted the 2009 IAAF World Championships in athletics.
2014/15 UEFA Champions League access list
|Association||League Route||Champions Route||Group stage|
|1||Spain||N4||CH RU (N3)|
|2||England||N4||CH RU N3|
|3||Germany||N4||CH RU N3|
|34||Bosnia and Herzegovina||CH|
|36||Republic of Ireland||CH|
|42||Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia||CH|
Q1: First qualifying round
Q2: Second qualifying round
Q3: Third qualifying round
PO: Play-off round
TH: The holders
N3: Third-placed side
N4: Fourth-place side
*Moved forward a stage as title holders Real Madrid CF already qualified via the Liga
**Liechtenstein do not have a league system and therefore do not supply UEFA Champions League representative(s)
Last updated: 27 May 2014
©UEFA.com 1998-2015. All rights reserved.