Champions League betting is a huge business, as the competition is UEFA’s blue ribbon event with Europe’s elite battling it out for the trophy once known as the European Cup.
Sides like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Benfica, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan, etc, etc, all regularly compete for the Europe’s top prize every season.
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Champions League History
The original name of the competition was the European Cup. It was first played for in the season of 1955/56, and was won by Real Madrid, who beat Reims 4-3 in Paris.
Real Madrid went on to win the first 5 European Cups, until Benfica stopped the run in 1960/61. To this day, Real are the most successful club in the history of the competition.
In the season of 1992/93, UEFA opened up the tournament to allow more than just the national champions into the competition.
In doing so, the name changed from the European Cup, to the Champions League (or UCL). It is the same trophy that is played for though.
This was done in an attempt to appease the bigger clubs in Europe, who were threatening a break away Super League.
This has made the cup far harder to win, as now instead of just facing one team from each nation, you can now face four teams from countries such as Spain, England and Germany.
This means that rather than just having to potentially face one of Real Madrid or Barcelona in the draw, you now have both in there.
Likewise with the English Premier League teams, where you can now have Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool (for example), rather than just one of those 4 clubs.
Champions League Qualification
The current qualification format for the Champions League is done through domestic leagues, winning the champions league, or winning the Europa League.
Some sides go directly into the group format (for example league winners of major European Leagues, like the Premier League), while some sides have to play preliminary qualifiers.
A typical example of a side who would have to go through the qualifying process, would be the 4th placed team from the Premier League, or La Liga.
Champions League Group Stages
Once qualification is completed, the competition proper starts. This is made up of 32 teams in 8 groups of 4 teams, labelled A to H.
All teams play each other in their group, in round robin format. This is done at both home and away (6 matches each in total).
Champions League Knock-Out Stages
The top 2 from each group then go into the Round of 16, the first of the knock out stages. This is then followed by Quarter Finals, Semi-Finals, and the Final to decide the Champions of Europe.
Popular Champions League betting markets are Outright Winner, Group Winner Betting, Top Tournament Goalscorer, and Match Betting.
In the group stages there are 8 matches on a Tuesday, and another 8 matches of a Wednesday, allowing Acca Insurance offers to come into play.