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UEFA Women's Champions League

UEFA Women's Champions League

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2020/21 UEFA Women's Champions League competition guide: Broadcast info, participating teams, important dates
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The 2020/21 UEFA Women's Champions League Round of 32 is here. Stay up to date with all the information you need to know about Europe's top international women's club competition using this guide.

 

About UEFA Women's Champions League

The UEFA Women’s Champions League is a tournament where top women’s teams from UEFA-affiliated countries play against each other to determine the best team in Europe. This competition was founded in 2001 initially as the UEFA Women’s Cup before rebranding to its current name in December 2008 in order to mirror its brother competition, the UEFA Champions League.

Due to the development of women’s football since the tournament’s inception, it has undergone a few format changes. UEFA initially handed out 21 byes to the knockout stage with their coefficient system. European football’s governing body gave the champions from their twelve top-ranked associations a spot in the KO stage, while the nine runners-up from the nine top-ranked associations joined them. The remaining 11 spots were handed out in a preliminary round consisting of ten groups. However, a new format was approved in 2019 for the 2021/22 campaign onward.

From the 2021/22 campaign onward, the format is as follows: The top six associations enter three teams, the associations ranked 7–16 enter two clubs, while the remaining associations enter only one side each. Only four teams qualify directly for the group stage and they are the defending champions and the league winners from the nations ranked 1–3 by UEFA coefficient.

Under this format, only 16 teams make the competition proper. They are divided into four groups of four in a double round-robin format. Eight clubs progress from this round to the quarter-finals and they are the four group winners and four runners-up. The knockout stage follows a home-and-away system but the final is a one-off tie.

In earlier editions of the tournament, UEFA hosted the final clash at the same venue where the UEFA Champions League final was played. However, they later decided to give the tournament an identity of its own and as a result, UEFA opted to have the game played at a different venue.

Women’s football has enjoyed tremendous growth since the arrival of the 21st century, especially in the 2000s and 2010s, with the UEFA Women’s Champions League playing a key role. German and French clubs have enjoyed impressive success in this tournament, winning 15 of the first 18 titles.

Some of the biggest names in women’s football have also graced this stage. Ada Hegerberg became the first recipient of the Women’s Ballon d’Or prize in 2018 after guiding Lyon to three consecutive European titles. The following year, she lifted the UWCL for a fourth straight time. Additionally, iconic Brazilian attacker Marta made a splash in this tournament, scoring 46 goals during her time with Umeå IK, Tyresö FF, and FC Rosengård. As a result, viewership numbers have drastically increased since its earlier days, with more and more fans passionately watching the action live via TV broadcasters, live streaming options, and on-demand services.

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