UEFA Youth League: season guide

All you need to know about the 2019/20 season, the competition’s seventh year.

Porto will defend their title this season
UEFA via Sportsfile

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PATH

The 32 youth teams of the clubs which qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage are in this path, with the groups decided by the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.

The 26 teams already assured of a place in the draw will be joined by the six winners of the UEFA Champions League play-offs, which end on 27 and 28 August.

Confirmed participants 
Liverpool (ENG, UEFA Champions League holders)
Chelsea (ENG, UEFA Europa League winners)
Barcelona (ESP)
Manchester City (ENG)
Juventus (ITA)
Bayern München (GER)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Zenit (RUS)
Real Madrid (ESP)
Atlético Madrid (ESP)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Napoli (ITA)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)
Benfica (POR)
Lyon (FRA)
Bayer Leverkusen (GER)
Salzburg (AUT)
Valencia (ESP)
Internazionale Milano (ITA)
Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS)
Genk (BEL)
Galatasaray (TUR)
RB Leipzig (GER)
Atalanta (ITA)
LOSC Lille (FRA)

• Among the contenders in this path are two-time winners Barcelona and Chelsea, as well as 2016/17 champions Salzburg. Holders Porto could also come through UEFA Champions League qualifying.

• Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern München, Benfica, Juventus, Manchester City, Paris and Real Madrid all keep up their records of entering all seven editions of this competition (along with domestic champions path hopefuls Ajax and Porto – the current UEFA Youth League holders – who both could yet reach the group stage through the UEFA Champions League path).

• Barcelona have played a record 53 games in this competition but Chelsea have scored more goals than anyone else (142).

2019 Youth League final highlights: Porto 3-1 Chelsea
2019 Youth League final highlights: Porto 3-1 Chelsea

DOMESTIC CHAMPIONS PATH

The domestic youth champions of the 32 best-ranked associations in the 2018 UEFA association coefficient rankings (the same rankings used to decide access to the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League) are in this path. The 31st-ranked association, Liechtenstein, have no domestic youth competition, so their place is taken by Moldova, ranked 33rd.

• A vacancy in this path (from a club being eligible for the UEFA Champions League path, for example Atalanta, Borussia Dortmund, Lokomotiv Moskva, Genk, Galatasaray and Salzburg) is filled by the domestic youth champions of the next best-ranked association (in those cases Albania, Iceland, Hungary, North Macedonia, Finland and Republic of Ireland).

• A maximum of six clubs could transfer to the UEFA Champions League path if their senior side reaches the UEFA Champions League group stage through the play-offs. For each club that transfers to the UEFA Champions League path, the vacancy will be filled by a club from the next best-ranked association: in order Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

Confirmed participants 
Real Zaragoza (ESP)
Derby County (ENG)
Rennes (FRA)
Porto (POR)
Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)
Young Boys (SUI)*
Slavia Praha (CZE)*
Ajax (NED)*
PAOK (GRE)
GNK Dinamo (CRO)*
Midtjylland (DEN)
Maccabi Petah Tikva (ISR)
APOEL (CYP)*
Viitorul (ROU)
Korona Kielce (POL)
Elfsborg (SWE)
Gabala (AZE)
Ludogorets (BUL)
Brodarac (SRB)
Rangers (SCO)
FC Minsk (BLR)
Astana (KAZ)
Sogndal (NOR)
Domžale (SVN)
Slovan Bratislava (SVK)
Sheriff Tiraspol (MDA)
Shkëndija (ALB)
ÍA Akranes (ISL)
MTK Budapest (HUN)
Shkëndija (MKD)
Honka (FIN)
Bohemians (IRL)

*Could transfer to UEFA Champions League path

COMPETITION SYSTEM

Champions League path

The 32 clubs entering via the UEFA Champions League will compete in groups with the same make-up and fixture list as the senior competition.

• The eight group winners will progress straight to the round of 16.

• The eight runners-up will go into the play-offs.

Domestic champions path

The 32 teams will compete in two knockout rounds of home-and-away ties. There will be no seeding.

• The eight teams remaining after the second round will go into the play-offs.

Play-offs

The eight domestic champions path survivors will be drawn at home to the eight UEFA Champions League path runners-up in one-off ties to decide the eight remaining round of 16 berths.

Knockout phase and final

The knockout phase, starting with the round of 16, will consist of single-leg ties.

• The semi-finals and the final will be played on 17 and 20 April respectively at the Colovray Stadium opposite UEFA's Swiss headquarters in Nyon.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

• Players are eligible to play in the competition if they were born on or after 1 January 2001.

• Additionally, up to five players born on or after 1 January 2000 may be included on the squad list of 40 players, provided the player has been eligible to play for the club concerned without interruption for the two years immediately preceding 17 September 2019, or has been eligible to play for the club concerned for two of the three years immediately preceding 17 September 2019 and registered with a maximum of one other club from the same association for an uninterrupted period of up to one year for the other one.

More information can be found in the competition's official regulations.

SEASON CALENDAR

Pre-season draws
UEFA Champions League group stage draw: 18:00CET, 29 August, Monaco
Domestic champions path draw (both rounds): 14:00CET, 3 September, Nyon

Autumn matches
UEFA Champions League path matchday one: 17/18 September
UEFA Champions League path matchday two: 1/2 October
Domestic champions path round one, first leg: 2 October
UEFA Champions League path matchday three: 22/23 October
Domestic champions path round one, second leg: 23 October
UEFA Champions League path matchday four: 5/6 November
Domestic champions path round two, first leg: 6 November
UEFA Champions League path matchday five: 26/27 November
Domestic champions path round two, second leg: 27 November
UEFA Champions League path matchday six: 10/11 December

Knockout dates

Play-off draw: 16 December
Play-offs: 11/12 February
Knockout draw (round of 16 onwards): 14 February
Round of 16: 3/4 March
Quarter-finals: 17/18 March
Semi-final: 17 April, Nyon
Final: 20 April, Nyon

Top