Curious about the specifics of this year's UEFA Champions League group stage draw? Here's a comprehensive guide on everything from the timing and venue of the event to the teams that participated and what happens next.
The draw for the group stage of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League occurred at 6:00 PM CET on Thursday, August 31.
A total of 32 football clubs participated in the draw, including 26 teams that secured their spots through automatic qualification and six that triumphed in their respective play-off ties. Teams were categorized into four seeding pots. Notably, Newcastle United returned to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2002/03 season.
Representing Countries and TeamsEngland: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle
- Spain: Atlético Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, Sevilla
- Italy: Inter Milan, Lazio, AC Milan, Napoli
- Germany: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Union Berlin
- France: Lens, Paris Saint-Germain
- Portugal: Benfica, Braga, Porto
- Netherlands: Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven
- Austria: Red Bull Salzburg
- Scotland: Celtic
- Serbia: Red Star Belgrade (Crvena zvezda)
- Ukraine: Shakhtar Donetsk
- Belgium: Antwerp
- Switzerland: Young Boys
- Denmark: FC Copenhagen
- Turkey: Galatasaray
How Was the Draw Conducted?
The 32 teams were divided into four pots based on several criteria. Pot 1 consisted of the reigning champions, the winners of the UEFA Europa League, and six domestic league champions. The other pots were filled based on club coefficient rankings. Teams from the same country were not allowed to face each other, and paired clubs from the same nation would play on different days.
- Pot 1: Manchester City, Sevilla, Barcelona, Napoli, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Benfica, Feyenoord
- Pot 2: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Atlético Madrid, RB Leipzig, Porto, Arsenal
- Pot 3: Shakhtar Donetsk, Red Bull Salzburg, AC Milan, Braga, PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Red Star Belgrade, FC Copenhagen
- Pot 4: Young Boys, Real Sociedad, Galatasaray, Celtic, Newcastle United, Union Berlin, Antwerp, Lens
The draw took place at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, marking its return to the venue after a three-year hiatus.
The event was livestreamed on UEFA's official website. You can access it here
The draw sets the stage for the group fixtures, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the round of 16. Teams finishing third in their group will transition to the UEFA Europa League knockout stage play-offs. Fixture dates range from September to December 2023.
Important Dates for Group Matches:
- Matchday 1: September 19-20, 2023
- Matchday 2: October 3-4, 2023
- Matchday 3: October 24-25, 2023
- Matchday 4: November 7-8, 2023
- Matchday 5: November 28-29, 2023
- Matchday 6: December 12-13, 2023
During the draw ceremony, UEFA presented the Men's and Women's Player of the Year awards for the 2022/23 season, along with the Men's and Women's Coach of the Year awards. Miroslav Klose received the 2023 UEFA President's Award from Aleksander Čeferin.
Where Will the Final Take Place?
The final showdown of the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League will occur at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1. Wembley has the distinction of hosting more European Cup finals than any other stadium.