Things to know about 2023 UEFA Champions league competition


This season’s UEFA Champions League campaign will be the 68th since its inception and the 31st since it was rebranded.

The 2023/2024 UCL season would be the last time a group format is implemented in the competition, as the organisers have set up a certain ‘Swiss’ format to replace the usual Round Robin, which will kick off next season.

This week, football fans will be treated to fixtures among clubs that haven’t been in the tournament for years.

The likes of Newcastle, Royal Antwerp, Real Sociedad, Arsenal and SC Braga will make a return to European football after a long time and will face elite clubs in their respective groups.

Here are some things to know ahead of the competition:

Messi and Ronaldo’s absence

The 2023–2024 campaign will be the first campaign in 18 years to be played without either Messi or Ronaldo. Considered the GOATs’ of the game, both players have had healthy competition in the biggest stage(s) of the competition and won’t be present for the first time since 2004.

Spanish dominance

The UEFA Champions League trophy has been a ‘Spanish thing’ since its inception.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have won the coveted trophy 18 times, with Madrid winning 13 and Barcelona winning 5 times, respectively.

However, there are only 15 in England: Liverpool with 6, Manchester United with 3, Chelsea and Nottingham Forest with 2, and Manchester City and Aston Villa with one each.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s record

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most goals in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 140 goals, and it seems like the record will be his for a while.

Of the current pool of players in the competition, only Robert Lewandowski comes close with 91 goals.

Champions League wins

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Sergio Ramos, Nacho Fernadez, and Daniel Carvajal are the only players in the competition to have won the Champions League five times.

Thomas Muller’s cap

This season’s UCL will see Bayern Munchen’s Thomas Muller as the active player with the most UCL appearances.

This is because of the absence of Ronaldo, Casillas, Messi and Benzema.

Debut meetings

This year, a lot of debut meetings in the competition will take place.

Some of these will be in the day 1 group matches: Newcastle vs AC Milan, Barcelona vs Royal Antwerp, Salzburg vs Benfica, SC Braga vs Napoli, Sevilla vs Rens, Young Boys vs Leipzig, and Manchester City vs Crvena Zverda.

Missing clubs

A few “big” clubs are missing out on the competition this year.

In England, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham did not make it.

In Italy, Juventus fell out after a miserable campaign.

Others are Roma and Villarreal, who have enjoyed some big moments but are missing.

Final Stadium

The 2024 UEFA Champions League final will be the final match of the 2023–24 UEFA Champions League, It will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, England, on 1 June 2024.


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