1997–98 UEFA Champions League
23 July – 27 August 1997 (qualifying)|
17 September 1997 – 20 May 1998 (competition proper)
24 (group stage)|
Real Madrid (7th title)|
239 (2.81 per match)|
2,868,568 (33,748 per match)|
Alessandro Del Piero|
The 1997–98 UEFA Champions League was the 43rd season of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA's premier club football tournament, and the sixth since its rebranding from the "European Champion Clubs' Cup" or "European Cup". The tournament was won 1–0 by Real Madrid, winning for the first time in 32 years, beating Juventus who were playing in a third consecutive final. It started a run of three victories in five seasons for the Spanish club.
This season was the first to have six groups, as opposed to four in the previous tournament, which meant that only two group runners-up qualified for the quarter finals as opposed to all the second-placed teams. It was also the first to have two qualifying rounds instead of just one. After three years of entering the UEFA Cup, champions of smaller nations returned to the Champions League. For the first time, the runners-up of eight domestic leagues (three teams: Germany (Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund as UEFA Champions League title holder); two teams: England (Newcastle United, Manchester United), France (AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain), Netherlands (Feyenoord, PSV Eindhoven), Italy (Juventus, Parma), Portugal (Porto, Sporting CP), Spain (Barcelona, Real Madrid) and Turkey (Beşiktaş, Galatasaray) were entered into the competition. The runners-up entered the second qualifying round, while the league winners entered directly the group stage (except for Turkey where both winner and runner-up entered the second qualifying round).
Borussia Dortmund, the defending champions, were eliminated in the semi-finals by eventual winners Real Madrid.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Slovakia and the Republic of Macedonia all entered their champions for the first time, while the champion of Yugoslavia returned to this competition for the first time after 1991-92 season and the abolishment of UN ban.
First qualifying round
Second qualifying round
Losing teams qualified for the first round of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup.
Note: Winning teams of the first qualifying round were drawn against teams qualified directly for the second qualifying round. Because of the unequal number of teams (15 and 17), Wüstenrot Salzburg and Sparta Prague had to play against each other.
Location of teams of the 1997–98 UEFA Champions League
Brown: Group A;
Red: Group B;
Orange: Group C;
Yellow: Group D;
Green: Group E;
Blue: Group F.
Bayer Leverkusen, Beşiktaş, Košice, Feyenoord, Lierse, Newcastle United, Olympiacos, Parma, Sparta Prague and Sporting CP made their debut in the group stage.
|Key to colours in group tables|
|Group winners and best two runners-up advance to the quarter-finals|
Ranking of runners-up