January 17, 2023 12:35 AM
Last modified date: January 23, 2023 12:41 PM
Alex Lawes

A breakdown of UEFA Champions League semi-finalists

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After a longer break than usual between the group stages and the knockouts due to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League knockouts begin in mid-February.

It has felt as though each season has seen the level of football go up as teams become more sophisticated in their methods, both on and off the pitch. From the ridiculous semi-final comebacks by Tottenham and Liverpool in 2019 to Real Madrid’s repeated insistence on not knowing when they are beaten in 2022, the drama is always high.

The chaotic nature of the knockouts is what has brought a lot of attention in recent seasons but the crème tends to still rise to the top. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Juventus, with 32 European cups between them, are the teams to have reached both the most knockout phases and played in the most knockout matches in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite that supposed hegemony, it is interesting to note that it is rare for one league or country to ever completely dominate a UEFA Champions League campaign. In fact, there has never been an instance in which four teams from one league have all made it to the semi-finals.

The dominant force in German football is and has been Bayern Munich. The Bavarians skew pretty much all UEFA Champions League statistics so they are slightly more favourable to German clubs. One statistic in particular that has been dominated by Bayern is the biggest margin of victory in a knockout match with six of the eight biggest wins coming courtesy of Bayern Munich, all since 2008.

As seen above, though, they have never been a part of a three-team German contingent in the semi-finals of the competition. In fact, only five clubs from the Bundesliga have ever reached the final four and Bayern account for 12 of the 18 times that it has happened.

England has had the most different semi-finalists since the 1992/93 UEFA Champions League campaign but the Spanish La Liga takes the crown for having the most amount of times a team from its league has reached the semis.

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