2005–06 UEFA Champions League
13 September 2005 – 17 May 2006 (competition proper)|
32 (group stage)|
Barcelona (2nd title)|
294 (2.35 per match)|
The 2005–06 UEFA Champions League was the 51st season of UEFA's premier European club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League and the 14th since it was rebranded from the European Cup in 1992. 74 teams from 50 football associations took part, starting with the first qualifying round played on 12 July 2005.
The tournament ended with a final between Arsenal and Barcelona at Stade de France, Paris, on 17 May 2006. Barcelona won 2–1 with Juliano Belletti scoring a late winner. Arsenal had taken the lead through a Sol Campbell header in the 37th minute, despite Jens Lehmann being sent off in the 18th minute. Samuel Eto'o brought Barcelona back on level terms in the 76th minute before Belletti scored the winner five minutes later.
The defending champions Liverpool were eliminated by Benfica in the first knockout round.
First qualifying round
Title-holders Liverpool, as well as 23 league champions from countries ranked 27 or lower on the 2004 UEFA ranking, were drawn against each other and played two matches, home and away, with the winners advancing to the second qualifying round. Though they finished fifth in the Premier League in 2004–05 (usually only four English teams are allowed in), Liverpool were granted a special exemption by UEFA as the holders, whereby they were placed into the first qualification round.
Second qualifying round
The 12 winners from the first qualifying round, 10 champions from countries ranked 17–26, and six second–placed teams from countries ranked 10–15 were drawn against each other and played two matches, home and away, with the winners advancing to the third qualifying round.
Third qualifying round
The 14 winners from the second qualifying round, six champions from countries ranked 11–16, three second–placed teams from countries ranked 7–9, six third–placed teams from countries ranked 1–6, and three fourth–placed teams from countries ranked 1–3 were drawn to play 2 matches, home and away, with the winners advancing to the group stage and losers advancing to the first round of the UEFA Cup.
Location of teams of the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League
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 6 second-placed teams from countries ranked 1–6 were drawn into 8 groups of 4 teams each. Normally two teams from the same association cannot be drawn in the same group. However, because of the abnormal qualification of Liverpool as title holders despite not having finished in the top four of the English league, Liverpool were not given "country protection" in the draw for the group stages. In the event they were drawn in the same group as Chelsea.
The top 2 teams in each group advanced to the Champions League knock-out stage, while the third-placed teams advanced to the Round of 32 in the UEFA Cup.
Tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
- Points earned in head-to-head matches between the tied teams.
- Total goals scored in head-to-head matches between the tied teams.
- Away goals scored in head-to-head matches between the tied teams.
- Cumulative goal difference in all group matches.
- Total goals scored in all group matches.
- Higher UEFA coefficient going into the competition.
Real Betis, Villarreal, Udinese, Thun and Artmedia made their debut appearance in the group stage.
First knockout round
Statistics exclude qualifying rounds.