It’s that time of the year again when 16 football (soccer) clubs across Europe come together to battle for bragging rights for top club on the European continent. This year will be just as exciting as previous years with top contender Real Madrid looking to be the first club to win successive tournaments.
The first legs of the Champions League Round of 16 knockout phase begins on February 17, 2015 with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) up against Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk versus Bayern Munich. The teams will battle each other until the final two standing compete on June 6, 2015 at Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany.
Here are some facts about this year’s Champions League:
- In order to participate, clubs must comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.
- This is the first year where a club from Gibraltar, the Lincoln Red Imps, has competed.
- Ukrainian and Russian clubs will not be drawn against each other due to political conflict as mandated by the UEFA emergency panel.
- Israeli teams were prohibited hosting any UEFA matches due to the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2014.
- All yellow card bookings expire at completion of the quarter-final round.
- Vanishing Spray used in the 2014 World Cup for marking 10 yard distances on free kicks will be used in the Champions League.
Presented below for your visual enjoyment is an infographic from guaranteetickets.com, which includes additional facts about the teams in the round of 16!