Can a team win the Champions League from the play-off stages?

All 32 places in the UEFA Champions League have been filled with Liverpool, Napoli, and Celtic being among the 10 teams to qualify for the 2017-18 continental competition through the play-off stage. Of course every team’s end goal is to get as far as they can in the league but it has proved to be a little harder for those who qualify through the play-offs. Let’s take a look at how teams have fared since the play-offs were introduced in 2009-10.

So obviously a team that qualifies through the final round is placed with a team in Pot 1 and Pot 2 which is where you find your Real Madrids, and your Borussia Dortmunds. That may explain why out the the 80 teams to qualify through the play-offs only 24 have made it past the Group Stage.

In 2009-10, and 2011-12 five teams made it through to the knockout stages, Lyon made the semi-finals from qualifying in 09-10 and Bayern Munich were defeated by Chelsea in the 2011-12 final.

While in the 2010-11, and 2012-13 only two teams made it through, and in 2015-16 only teams that directly qualified progressed to the knockouts.

The most common finish (other than the Group Stage) is the Round of 16 with 15 of the 24 being eliminated in the second round.

Only six teams have made it through to the Quarter Finals:

  • FC Porto (2014-15)
  • Malaga (2012-13)
  • Benfica (2011-12)
  • APOEL (2011-12)
  • Tottenham (2010-11)
  • Arsenal (2009-10)

Monaco in 2016-17 and the aforementioned Lyon side of 2009-10 have made it to the semi-finals with both teams losing to the runner-ups.

Bayern Munich are the only team to make it through to the final. They finished third in the 2010-11 Bundesliga, their second lowest finish since 1994-95.

Six of the teams that have made it through to the knockout stages have been English which fares well for Liverpool fans who defeated Hoffenheim 6-3 to qualify. The Premier League is strongly represented this year with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Tottenham qualifying. The La Liga has four teams making them the second highest represented league.

Four of those teams have been from Germany but Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund are their only representatives in 2017-18.

Three have been from France and Portugal but Sporting Lisbon were the only team from those two nations to make it through the qualifiers joining Benfica and Porto.

So how will the play-offs team fare in this season’s UEFA Champions League and which team will go the furthest?

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