The 2023/24 Champions League season will get started with the preliminary qualifying round on June 13, just three days after the 2023 final is held in Istanbul.
The road to the 2024 final at Wembley Stadium is a long one with the majority of big hitters not joining the competition until the group stage in September.
The group stage will follow the traditional format of previous competitions with 32 teams split into eight group of four, and the top two finishers progressing into the Round of 16 knockout phase.
The final details of the group stage will be confirmed at the end of August, but every European nation already knows the number of slots it is allotted in the competition.
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When does the 2023/24 Champions League start?
The focus on the Champions League typically kicks in with the start of the 32-team group stage, but the tournament starts two months before that with qualifying.
UEFA has confirmed five qualifying rounds are in place for the 2023/24 edition of the Champions League, with teams entering the competition based on their domestic finish and UEFA ranking.
Below are the full details on each stage of the 2023/24 Champions League, including draw and dates for each round, from the first hurdle all the way to the final.
UEFA Champions League schedule 2023/24
|Stage||Round||Draw Date||Match Dates|
|Qualifying||Preliminary Round||June 13||June 27,|
|Qualifying||First Qualifying Round||June 20||July 11-12,|
|Qualifying||Second Qualifying Round||June 21||Jul 25-26,|
|Qualifying||Third Qualifying Round||July 24||Aug. 8-9,|
|Qualifying||Playoff Round||Aug. 7||Aug. 22-23,|
|Group||Group Stage |
|Aug. 31||Sept. 19 to|
|Knockout||Round of 16||Dec. 18||Feb. 13-21,|
|Knockout||Quarterfinals||March 15||April 9-10,|
|Knockout||Semifinals||March 15||April 30-May 1,|
|Knockout||Final||March 15||June 1, 2024|
Teams in the Champions League group stage draw
The majority of the 32 group stages spots will be decided by domestic finishes during the 2022/23 league seasons with only six slots available via the playoffs in August 2023.
If the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League winner does not qualify for the 2023/24 competition via its domestic league finish, then it is granted an automatic group stage spot to defend its title. The other team guaranteed a spot in the group stage is the 2022/23 Europa League winner, which is rewarded with a spot in the Champions League group stage.
But if either of those Champions League or Europa League winners also qualifies via their domestic league finish, then another team is pre-selected to take any vacated slot (see below).
What follows is the breakdown of the 32 Champions League group stage slots for the 2023/24 competition:
- England (4): Top four Premier League finishers
- Spain (4): Top four La Liga finishers
- Italy (4): Top four Serie A finishers
- Germany (4): Top four Bundesliga finishers
- France (2): Top two Ligue 1 finishers
- Portugal (2): Top two Primeira Liga finishers
- Netherlands (1): Eredivisie champion
- Serbia (1): SuperLiga champion
- Scotland (1): Scottish Premiership champion
- Austria (1): Bundesliga champion
- Champions League 2022/23 winner (1)*
- Europa League 2022/23 winner (1)**
- Six (6) playoff qualifiers determined in Aug. 2023
*If the 2022/23 Champions League winner also qualifies for the competition via its domestic league finish, then its group stage spot is taken by the Ukrainian league champion.
**If the 2022/23 Europa League winner also qualifies for the competition via its domestic league finish, then its group stage spot is taken by the third-place team from France's Ligue 1.