The 2000–01 UEFA Champions League was the 46th season of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA's premier European club football tournament, and the ninth since it was rebranded from the "European Champion Clubs' Cup" or "European Cup". The competition was won by Bayern Munich (first title since 1976), who beat Valencia 5–4 on penalties after a 1–1 draw after extra time. It was their first UEFA Champions League title, and their fourth European Cup title overall, it was Valencia's second consecutive final defeat, losing to Real Madrid in the previous season. The knockout phase saw Bayern eliminate the preceding two Champions League winners, Manchester United and Real Madrid, winning all four games in the process. Valencia, meanwhile, defeated English sides Arsenal and Leeds United in the knockout phase en route to the final.
The title holders Real Madrid finished 5th in domestic league. As a result, La Liga 4th-placed team Zaragoza were demoted to UEFA Cup and their Champions League Third qualifying round spot was vacated. The following changes to the default access list are made:
The champions of association 16 (Switzerland) are promoted from the second qualifying round to the third qualifying round.
The champions of associations 27 and 28 (Israel and Slovenia) 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 (20 teams)
20 champions from associations 29–49 (except Liechtenstein)
Second qualifying round (28 teams)
12 champions from associations 17–28
6 runners-up from associations 10–15
10 winners from the first qualifying round
Third qualifying round (32 teams)
7 champions from associations 10–16
3 runners-up from associations 7–9
6 third place finishers from associations 1–6
2 fourth place finishers from associations 1–3 (except Spain)
Location of teams of the 2000–01 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. The top two teams in each group advanced to the second group stage, and the third placed team in each group advanced to round 3 of the 2000–01 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.