TODAY -

Format & History of UEFA Champions League 2010/2011

Mimin Haokip *



The numbers of team that each Association enters the UEFA Champions league is based upon the UEFA coefficients of the members associations. These coefficients are generated by the results of clubs representing each association during the previous six champions' league and UEFA seasons.

The higher associatians coefficients, the more teams represent the associations in this championship, and the fewer Qualifications rounds the associations teams must compete in the numbers of places in the competitions is currently allocated as so it is based on UEFA country ranking rule format for instance the champions of lower rank country domestic league winner are equivalent with those of 3rd-4th finisher in UEFA highest country wise top ranking in Europe.

1. *** Associations ranked 1 to 3 have four positions (teams berth),
2. *** Associations ranked 4 to 6 have three positions,
3. *** Associations ranked 7 to 15 have two positions,
4. *** Associations ranked 16 to lower have one (Quota) of this,

(((22 teams receive automatic Qualifications for the group stage as follows)))

1. ** lst - 3rd ranked teams of associations ranked 1 to 3,
2. ** 1st - 2nd ranked teams of associations ranked 4 to 6,
3. ** 1st ranked teams of associations ranked 7 to 12,
4. ** Champions league holders or 1st ranked teams of associations ranked 13.

The situation with holders of the Champions league has not always been clearly defined. There was controversy when Liverpool won the 2004/2005 but finished outside the top four in the FA premier league. The football associations ruled that Everton, who finished fourth in the premier league, should get the final English place in the 2005/2006 European cup.

UEFA came to agreements that both the Merseyside rivals would be allowed to enter the competitions with Liverpool starting from the 1st Qualifying round and Everton starting from third Qualifying round. This confusion resulted in the current ruling, whereby if the European cup winner fails to finish in one of its national league's Qualifying positions; it will take the lowest placed teams in its associations.

The superseded team will go to the Europe league. 5 of the remaining ten Qualifying places are granted to the winners of a four round qualifying tournament between the remaining 39 or 38 national champions, within which those champions from Associations with higher coefficients receive byes to the later rounds.

The other 5 are granted to the winners of two round Qualifying tournament between the 15 clubs from the associations ranked 1-15, which have Qualified based upon finishing 2nd-4th in their national league. in additions to the sporting criteria, any clubs must be licensed by its national associations to participate in the champions league. To obtain a license, clubs must meet certain stadium, infrastructure and finance requirements.

The tournament consists of several stages. In the present format it begins in mid-July with 3 knock-out Qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams' joint 22 seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are eight groups consisting of four teams each. The 8 group winners and the eight runners-up enter the final knock out phase which end in the final match in May every year.

The teams qualified as group winners will play the 2nd leg of one of two games at home in the round of 16 pre-Quarter and the team pro-gress as runners up from each group will play 1st leg at home. As Advantage being given to the group winner and with the introduction of goals Aggregate. And away goals rules will come into handy playing important part as who go through to the next round.

And during this first phase of group stage out of eight group any teams who remain in 3rd place in each group will again participate in Europe 2nd clubs competition which we better known as 'UEFA Europe league (formerly UEFA cup) from knock out stage. After a winter break of 2 Months. Overall, the title has been won by 21 different clubs. 12 of which have won the title more than once.

The all time record holders Real Madrid have won nine times, including the first five times on the trot. Inter Milan are the current champions now but they are already out of the championship and since the new format were introduce in 1992 no club has managed consecutive wins. Between 1960 and 2004 the winner of this competition qualified for the now defunct intercontinental cup against the winners of the copa-libertadores of South America. Since then the winner automatically Qualifies for the FIFA organised club world cup with other winners of continental club championships. The champion's league prize money is more important than ever before.

Clubs from all over Europe make it into champions league each year for winning or finishing high up in their domestic league level. Each of this football league teams receive massive amounts of prize money and Tv revenue money for being in the champions league. Even just reaching group stage is financially lucrative but the big money comes in later rounds and the television right across Europe.

By Looking back to 2010/2011 season those clubs who make it through to Knock out stage the likes of Dream fairy tale journey of English club Tottenham hotspurs came to an end in the quarter Final then current Defending champion Inter Milan crash out in the hand of 2010/2011 surprise package FCShalke 08. as well as big guns former champion and others like of Arsenal, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Valencia, etc but above all one clubs who miss the bus for a Dream final to be played in world best venue.

The Wembley Stadium. And For The multi-millions spending clubs Chelsea Deja-vu of nightmares continues for the men's in blues as History repeat itself tough. They were beaten Finalist in 2007/2008 and having make it to semi-final on previous four occasions in seven years. As Coach Carlo Ancelotti follows the same dismal unsuccessful footstep and unlucky Fate Like his Predecessors who couldn't break the Chelsea Title Jinx in this prestigious clubs competition in Europe (except 1997/1998 UEFA Cup Winners Cup Triumph).

The Third UEFA-Organized European clubs championship happen to be last silverware in the clubs history and for current Chelsea boss and his Team trophy drought continue for 2010/2011 season. But for the Defending premier League champions. They had to fight till the season gets over and have to win the remainder of the premier League games and salvage some pride and Qualify for next year competition by finishing in Top two in the table and a Automatically berth in champions' League group stage or to Remain in 3rd to 4'th place in the Barclays English premier League table (currently in 2nd positions) before joining other clubs from lower ranked country in Third round champions league Qualifying and a place in 2011/2012 European champions League.

And in the History of UEFA Champions cup (now Champions League) Football lovers around the Globe will not be familiar with the words "Golden era of English Football". During the late seventies and early eighties English Football was a Dominant force in UEFA organizes European clubs championship and was a force to reckon with. Three English clubs (The Trio) Won this prestigious competition on seven occasions in nine years Liverpool (1977, 78, 81, 84). Nottingham forest (1979,1980) Aston villa (1982) but ironically Merseyside triumph in 1984 happen to be last in the UEFA organized under old Format and it took Fifteen years for any English clubs winning these championships bringing the glory days of English football and back on track as.

The mighty Red Devils were crowned Champions in one of the greatest, shocking and surprise comeback match by beating German Giants Bayern Munich in 1998/1999 exciting Final with 2 goals in added injury time goals seal the match and the club's 2nd European title after 31 years long wait and First English clubs after UEFA champions cup became (UEFA champions League) with new Format as League stage being introduce in (1991/1992).

Originally This Tournament was Inaugurated in 1955/56 at the suggestion of French sports Journalists and the Editor of EI-equip Gabriel Hanot as reaction to a Declaration on the part of Wolverhamtontom Wanderers as being "champions of the worlds' by The British press after the successful of European Friend lies in the 1950s. The Tournament was conceived as a continental competition for winners of the European national football League as the European club's cup (European champions cup).

In the 1st edition 1955/56 it was two-leg knock out format where the teams play two matches, one at home and away and the team with highest goal aggregate goes through to the next round of the competition till 1991/1992 it was a knock out basis. With new format it became a League phase stage and the Tournament was renamed the UEFA Champions League, there have been numerous changes to Eligibility for the competition the number of Qualifying rounds to and the group structures.

In 1997/1998 Eligibility was Expanded to runners-up from some Countries according to UEFA's coefficient ranking lists. The Qualification system has been restructured so that national champions from lower ranked countries have to take part one or more Qualifying round before the group stage, while runners up from higher ranks countries enter into later round. upto four clubs from the top-ranks countries given entry to the competition (two club as automatically berth and remaining Qualifying round from 3rd stage).


* Mimin Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express.
The writer is IIM Sports Management Graduate and a Part Time Sports Columnist in TNT (The Northeast Today)
he can be reached at Minmacca(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in
This article was webcasted on May 15, 2011.



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