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2020/21 UEFA Champions League: all you need to know

What are the match dates? Where is the 2021 final?

The UEFA Champions League trophy
The UEFA Champions League trophy ©UEFA.com

Who are the holders?

Bayern returned to the 2020/21 competition as holders having beaten Paris in the final in Lisbon to become European champions for a sixth time.

What are the changes?

With 2019/20 only ending on 23 August, the principal change to the 2020/21 calendar was that everything is now a little later. Qualifying, which had been due to begin on 23 June, kicked off on 8 August, with the group stage draw on 1 October and the competition proper getting under way on 20 October. The knockout stages will be unchanged from the original schedule.

The UEFA Executive Committee decided on 24 September that five substitutions will be allowed for the remainder of the season. Consequently, the number of players allowed on the match sheet will be increased to 23.

When will matches take place?

Qualifying
08/08/2020–11/08/2020 Preliminary round
18/08/2020–19/08/2020 First qualifying round
25/08/2020–26/08/2020 Second qualifying round
15/09/2020–16/09/2020 Third qualifying round
22/09/2020–30/09/2020 Play-offs

Group stage
20/10/2020–21/10/2020 Matchday 1
27/10/2020–28/10/2020 Matchday 2
03/11/2020–04/11/2020 Matchday 3
24/11/2020–25/11/2020 Matchday 4
01/12/2020–02/12/2020 Matchday 5
08/12/2020–09/12/2020 Matchday 6

Knockout stages
16/02/2021–17/03/2021 Round of 16
06/04/2021–14/04/2021 Quarter-finals
27/04/2021–05/05/2021 Semi-finals
29/05/2021 Final, Estádio do Dragão, Porto

Where will the final take place?

Previous finals in Portugal
Previous finals in Portugal

The final will take place at the Estádio do Dragão, home of FC Porto. One of Portugal's most iconic stadiums, the venue staged the 2019 UEFA Nations League decider and was built for UEFA EURO 2004.

The final was originally intended to take place at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium. However, COVID-19 restrictions meant that on 13 May 2021, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to change the venues.

When are the draws?

17/07/2020: Preliminary round draw
09/08/2020: First qualifying round draw
10/08/2020: Second qualifying round draw
31/08/2020: Third qualifying round draw
01/09/2020: Play-off draw
01/10/2020: Group stage draw (RTS studios, Geneva, Switzerland)
14/12/2020: Round of 16 draw
19/03/2021: Quarter-final and semi-final draws

All draws take place at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland unless otherwise stated.