EHF Champions League
The EHF Champions League is the most important handball club competition for men's teams in Europe and involves the leading teams from the top European nations. The competition is organised every year by EHF. The official name for the men's competition is the VELUX EHF Champions League, since the VELUX Group began their title sponsorship of the competition in the 2010/11 season.
|Current season, competition or edition:|
2018–19 EHF Champions League
|Founded||1956 (1993 in its new format)|
|Number of teams||28 (Group stage)|
|Level on pyramid||Level 1|
|Current champions|| RK Vardar|
|Most championships|| FC Barcelona|
The EHF coefficient rank decides which teams have access and in which stage they enter.
Eligibility and qualifyingEdit
Each year the EHF publishes a ranking list of its member federations. The first 27 nations are allowed to participate in the tournament with their national champion. The nations ranked first and second receive an additional slot and other nations may apply for additional places.
The EHF Champions League is divided into five stages. Depending on the ranking of their national federation and of the criteria list, teams can enter the competition in either qualification or the group phase.
Groups of four teams are formed. The number of groups can vary each season. Teams from each group play semi-finals and finals, in a single venue over a weekend. The winning team from each group advance to the group phase, while teams from lower ranks continue in the Men's EHF Cup.
Since 2015/16 season four groups are formed with eight teams each in Group A and B and six each in Group C and D. They play each other twice, in home and away matches. The best teams of Group A and B advance directly to the quarter-finals, while teams from 2–6 positions in each group proceed to the Last 16. Only two best teams of each Group C and D continue in the Group Phase knock-out round played in a home and away format, where the winner of Group C meets the second-ranked team of Group D and vice versa. The six winners of the Last 16 stage join the Group A and B winners in the quarter-finals.
The pairings for the Round of 16 are decided by the placement of the teams in the group phase. The two winners of the knock-out round then face the second-ranked teams of Group A and B respectively in the Last 16. The ties are decided on a home and away basis, with the winners over two legs advancing to the quarter-finals.
The pairings for the quarterfinals are also decided by the placement in the group phase. The ties are decided on a home and away basis, with four winners over the two legs advancing to the EHF FINAL4.
The final four participating teams are paired by a draw and play over a single weekend at one venue. Two semi-finals are played on a Saturday, with the third place game and final on the following day.
The current anthem for the EHF Champions League is "Hymn of the Champions", exclusively written by Austrian film composer Roman Kariolou in 2007. Played before every game during the entry ceremony, the piece was performed by the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Hernando.
European Champions Cup (organised by IHF)
EHF Champions League
Records and statisticsEdit
All-time top scorersEdit