The new format of the biggest club competition is being studied and is expected to affect some of the main football championships in Europe.
2024 is expected to be the first year of a Champions League very different. The format is still being debated within UEFA but an increase in the number of teams in the biggest club competition is expected.
Several sources point to a total of 36 clubs represented in the tournament, instead of the current 32. There may be a shift from eight to six groups, with six teams each. That is, a minimum of 10 games for each team that reaches the group stage.
More games in Europe, less games in national championships. The possibility was again commented on, this time publicly, by the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Luis Rubiales said on Cadena SER radio: “National leagues should be reduced or changed in format”.
UEFA has long advocated the idea that every national league should have, maximum 18 teams. However, among the five most highly rated championships, only the Bundesliga in Germany meets this limit. The first national divisions of England, Spain, Italy and France each have 20 participants. Portugal also complies, with 18 teams in the I League.
The Portuguese league can also benefit from this new Champions League because the fifth place in the UEFA table should have four representatives in the race: three in the group stage, one in play-off. Portugal and France have been fighting for this fifth place in recent years.
This change planned by UEFA comes in response to the possible creation of the European Super League, pointed to 2022.
The new European football calendar will also take into account another change: the Club World Cup will now have 24 teams and, in principle, almost a month in length.
Nuno Teixeira, ZAP //