The 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League was the 45th season of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA's premier European club football tournament, and the eighth season since its rebranding from the "European Champion Clubs' Cup" or "European Cup". The competition was won by Real Madrid, who clinched a historic eighth title win by beating fellow La Liga side, Valencia in the final. The final was hosted in the Stade de France in Paris, the city where the original roots of the competition had begun nearly 50 years earlier.
The competition was dominated by the Spanish teams, with three of the four semi-finalists coming from Spain, namely Real Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. The final between Real Madrid and Valencia marked the first time that both finalists in the competition had come from the same country.
The 1999–2000 edition of the Champions League featured a whole different format to the competition. An additional qualifying round was introduced to generate two group stages, firstly with 32 teams – eight groups of four – who played six matches each to reduce the competition to 16 teams for the second group stage, with the eight third-placed teams moving to the UEFA Cup third round. At the end of the second group stage, eight teams remained to contest the knock-out stage.
A total of 71 teams participated in the 1999–2000 Champions League, from 47 of 51 UEFA associations. Liechtenstein (who don't have their own league) as well as Andorra and San Marino did not participate. Additionally, Bosnia and Herzegovina were not admitted due to having no nation-wide champion.
Below is the qualification scheme for the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League:
Associations 1–3 each have four teams qualify
Associations 4–6 each have three teams qualify
Associations 7–15 each have two teams qualify
Associations 16–48 each have one team qualify (except Liechtenstein)
The title holders (Manchester United) qualified for the Champions League group stage through their domestic league, thus the group stage spot reserved for the title holders was vacated. Additionally, Bosnia and Herzegovina was not admitted. Due to these factors, the following changes to the default access list are made:
The champions of association 10 (Norway) are promoted from the third qualifying round to the group stage.
The champions of association 16 (Switzerland) are promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round.
The champions of associations 27, 28 and 29 (Israel, Slovenia and Belarus) are promoted from the first qualifying round to the second qualifying round.
Teams entering in this round
Teams advancing from previous round
First qualifying round (18 teams)
18 champions from associations 30–48 (except Liechtenstein)
^Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH): Clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina not admitted to Champions League as a final tournament between the winners of 1998–99 First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina regional groups was cancelled and nation-wide champion was not determined.
Location of teams of the 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League first group stage. Brown: Group A; Red: Group B; Orange: Group C; Yellow: Group D; Green: Group E; Blue: Group F; Purple: Group G; Pink: Group H.
16 winners from the third qualifying round, 10 champions from countries ranked 1–10, and six second-placed teams from countries ranked 1–6 were drawn into eight groups of four teams each. Compared to the two previous seasons, three associations (England, France, The Netherlands) were allowed three teams – the league winner and runner-up from each nation qualified for the first group stage, and the third-placed teams qualified for the third qualifying round – and three associations were allowed four teams (Germany, Italy, Spain) – the league winner and runner-up from each nation qualified for the first group stage, and the third- and fourth-placed teams qualified for the third qualifying round. Eight additional associations were still allowed two teams (Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Portugal: league winner in group stage; Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Turkey, Russia: league winner in third qualifying round). The top two teams in each group advanced to the Champions League second group stage, while the third-placed teams advanced to round three of the UEFA Cup.
Eight winners and eight runners-up from the first group stage were drawn into four groups of four teams each, each containing two group winners and two runners-up. Teams from the same country or from the same first-round group could not be drawn together. The top two teams in each group advanced to the quarter-finals.