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Saison

Qualification:
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79 teams from 54 of the 55 UEFA member countries qualify for the competition (Liechtenstein does not enter a team, as it doesn't have its own domestic championship).
The countries are ranked according to their performance in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League in the 5 seasons from 2012/2013 to 2016/2017 and an UEFA Country Ranking is compiled.
- the countries, placed 1st-4th in the UEFA Country ranking, enter 4 teams each in the competition;
- the countries, placed 5th-6th in the UEFA Country ranking , enter 3 teams each in the competition;
- the countries, placed 7th-15th in the UEFA Country ranking, enter 2 teams each in the competition;
- the countries, placed 16th-55rd in the UEFA Country ranking, enter 1 team each in the competition.

Last season's UEFA Champions League winner is automatically qualified, even if it does not qualify through its domestic championship (the spot is not used this season, as Real Madrid qualifies through its domestic championship).
Last season's UEFA Europa League winner is automatically qualified, even if it does not qualify through its domestic championship. However, a country cannot have more than 5 teams in the competition (the spot is not used this season, as Atlético Madrid qualifies through its domestic championship).

The participating teams are ranked according to their performance in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League in the 5 seasons from 2013/2014 to 2017/2018 and an UEFA Team Ranking is compiled.

The 31 champions from the countries, placed 20th-51st (Liechtenstein, 32nd; does not enter a team) in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the 1st Qualifying Round.
The 4 champions from the countries, placed 16th-19th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the 2nd Qualifying Round - champions.
The 4 2nd placed teams from the countries, placed 12th-15th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the 2nd Qualifying Round - non-champions.
The 2 champions from the countries, placed 14th-15th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the 3rd Qualifying Round - champions.
The 5 2nd placed teams from the countries, placed 7th-11th and the 3rd placed team from the country, placed 6th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the 3rd Qualifying Round - non-champions.
The 2 champions from the countries, placed 12th-13th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the Play-offs - champions.
The 11 champions from the countries, placed 1st-11th in the UEFA Country Ranking; the 6 2nd placed teams from the countries, placed 1st-6th in the UEFA Country Ranking; the 5 3rd placed teams from the countries, placed 1st-5th in the UEFA Country Ranking and the 4 4th placed teams from the countries, placed 1st-4th in the UEFA Country Ranking enter the competition directly at the Group stage.


Qualifying stage:
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Preliminary Round - Semi-finals:
All Preliminary Round matches are played as a mini-tournament, hosted by one of the participating teams.
4 teams are drawn into 2 pairs
Winners are decided over one leg, with extra time and penalties if score is level after regular time.

Prelminary Round - Final:
2 teams from the Preliminary Round - Semi-finals are distributed into 1 pair.
Winner is decided over one leg, with extra time and penalties if score is level after regular time.

1st Qualifying Round:
1 team from the Preliminary Round and 31 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 16 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 16 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 16 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

2nd Qualifying Round - champions:
16 teams from the 1st Qualifying Round and the 4 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 10 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 10 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 10 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Since the draw is conducted before the end of the 1st Qualifying Round, the coefficient of the team with the higher UEFA Team Ranking of the two teams, involved in each of the ties from the 1st Qualifying Round, is used for determining the seeded teams in the draw.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

2nd Qualifying Round - non-champions:
4 teams are drawn into 2 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 2 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 2 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

3rd Qualifying Round - champions:
10 teams from the 2nd Qualifying Round and the 2 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 6 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 6 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 6 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Since the draw is conducted before the end of the 2nd Qualifying Round, the coefficient of the team with the higher UEFA Team Ranking of the two teams, involved in each of the ties from the 2nd Qualifying Round, is used for determining the seeded teams in the draw.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

3rd Qualifying Round - non-champions:
2 teams from the 2nd Qualifying Round and the 6 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 4 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 4 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 4 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Since the draw is conducted before the end of the 2nd Qualifying Round, the coefficient of the team with the higher UEFA Team Ranking of the two teams, involved in each of the ties from the 2nd Qualifying Round, is used for determining the seeded teams in the draw.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

Play-offs - champions:
6 teams from the 3rd Qualifying Round - champions and the 2 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 4 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 4 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 4 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Since the draw is conducted before the end of the 2nd Qualifying Round, the coefficient of the team with the higher UEFA Team Ranking of the two teams, involved in each of the ties from the 2nd Qualifying Round, is used for determining the seeded teams in the draw.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

Play-offs - non-champions:
4 teams from the 3rd Qualifying Round are drawn into 2 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 2 teams with the better UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the other 2 teams.
Teams from Pot 1 are drawn against teams from Pot 2.
Since the draw is conducted before the end of the 2nd Qualifying Round, the coefficient of the team with the higher UEFA Team Ranking of the two teams, involved in each of the ties from the 2nd Qualifying Round, is used for determining the seeded teams in the draw.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

Tie-breakers for the knockout matches:
1. aggregate score from the two legs, 2. away goals, 3. extra time, 4. penalties.

Qualification for the Group stage:
the four Play-offs - champions winners: qualify for the Group stage
the two Play-offs - non-champions winners: qualify for the Group stage

Qualification for Europa League:
the sixteen 1st Qualifying Round and three Preliminary Round losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round
the ten 2nd Qualifying Round - champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round
the two 2nd Qualifying Round - non-champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round
the six 3rd Qualifying Round - champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League Play-offs
the four 3rd Qualifying Round - non-champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa Group stage
the four Play-offs - champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League Group stage
the two Play-offs - non-champions losers: qualify for the UEFA Europa League Group stage


Group stage:
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Format:
6 teams from the Qualifying stage and the 26 teams that enter the competition at this stage are drawn into 8 groups of 4 teams each (Groups A-H).
Teams are seeded into 4 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: last season's UEFA Champions League winner and the 7 champions of the 7 countries with the best UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 2: the best 8 teams in the UEFA Team Ranking out of the remaining teams;
Pot 3: the next best 8 teams in the UEFA Team Ranking;
Pot 4: the 8 teams with the worst UEFA Team Ranking.
Each group consists of one team from each of the four pots.
Teams from the same country cannot be drawn into the same group.
Each team plays the others from its own group twice - home and away - for a total of 6 games each, over 6 game weeks.

Scoring points:
3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss.

Table order:
1. points won; 2. points in head-to-head matches; 3. goal difference in hth matches; 4. goals scored in hth matches; 5. away goals in hth matches; 6. total goal difference; 7. total goals scored; 8. better UEFA Team Ranking.

Qualification for the Knockout stage:
1-2 place of each group: qualify for the Knockout stage

Qualification for Europa League:
3 place of each group: qualify for the UEFA Europa League 16th Finals


Knockout stage:
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Format:
16 teams from the Group stage contest the UEFA Champions League winner in a knockout format.

8th Finals:
16 teams are drawn into 8 pairs.
Teams are seeded into 2 pots, as follows:
Pot 1: the 8 group winners;
Pot 2: the 8 group runners-up.
Teams from the same country cannot be drawn against each other.
Teams from the same Group stage group cannot be drawn against each other.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Pot 1 teams host the second legs.

Quarter-finals:
8 teams are drawn into 4 pairs.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

Semi-finals:
4 teams are drawn into 2 pairs.
Winners are decided over two legs.
Hosting is determined by the draw.

Tie-breakers for the knockout matches over two legs:
1. aggregate score from the two legs, 2. away goals, 3. extra time, 4. penalties.

Final:
The two Semi-finals winners meet each other with the winner becoming UEFA Champions League winner.
Winner is decided over one leg, with extra time and penalties if score is level after regular time.
The match is played at a neutral venue.

Qualification for FIFA competitions:
winner: FIFA Club World Cup

Qualification for UEFA competitions:
winner: UEFA Super Cup
winner: UEFA Champions League