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What you need to know about the UEFA Champions League 2023/2024 season



The 2023-24 season of the UEFA Champions League will be the 68th since its creation and the 31st since its rebranding.

The current format will be the last to be used in Europe’s finest competition, since the organisers have decided to use a ‘Swiss’ style instead of the traditional Round Robin, which will begin next season.

This week, football fans will be treated to games between clubs that haven’t played in years. Newcastle, Royal Antwerp, Real Sociedad, and SC Braga will make their long-awaited comeback to European football and will face premier clubs in their respective groups.

However, there are a few things you should be aware of ahead of the campaign.

The absence of Messi and Ronaldo
The 2023-2024 season will be the first in 18 years that will not feature 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 this time since 2004. Messi and Ronaldo are currently inspiring their teams to victories at Inter Miami and Al-Nassr, respectively.

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 clean record
Cristiano Ronaldo has the most goals in the UEFA Champions League history, with 140, and he appears to be safe. Only Roberto Lewandowski, who is currently playing this season, comes close with 91 goals.

Champions League triumphs

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

Cap of Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich will be the only active player with the most UCL appearances this season. The absence of Ronaldo, Casillas, Messi, Benzema, and Xavi makes this conceivable. Other active players supporting him are Sergio Ramos and Toni Kroos.

The longevity of Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s qualification for the 2023/2024 UCL campaign extends their reign as the most-capped team in the competition’s history. Benfica (40), Ajax (36), Dynamo Kiev (35), Juventus (32), Bayern Munchen (35), Anderlecht (30), Celtic (29), Olympiacos and Crvena (27), Barcelona, and Galatasaray (26).

Debut meetings
There will be a lot of first-time competition meets this year. Newcastle will face AC Milan, Barcelona will face Royal Antwerp, Salzburg will face Benfica, SC Braga will face Napoli, Sevilla will face Rens, Young Boys will face Leipzig, and Manchester City will face Crvena Zverda.

Clubs are missing.
Unfortunately, a few “big” clubs are dropping out of the tournament after many profitable years. Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur did not make the cut. In Italy, Juventus split after a disastrous season. Roma and Villarreal are two other teams that have had some huge moments but are now missing.

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