2001-2002 European Club Competitions
There are two major European club competitions sanctioned by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The newly devised Champions League is a 72-team tournament made up from UEFA member countries. The teams are ranked 1-72 depending on how they finish in their own domestic leagues. UEFA ranks the quality of the 50 European national football associations (from number one Italy to number 50 Bosnia-Herzegovina) and assigns each association a number weighted by their respective ranking (UEFA calls this number a coefficient). Each team's domestic league finish is then multiplied by the coefficient and the teams are finally ranked (countries can enter a maximum of four teams).
The defending champions Real Madrid (from the UEFA Champions' Cup) and the other 15 highest-ranked teams form Group 1 and are given a direct entry into the League but the remaining 16 teams are determined by dividing teams 17-72 into three groups–Group 2 (teams 17-34), Group 3 (35-52) and Group 4 (53-72). The 22 teams in the lowest Group (Group 4) play two-leg, total goal elimination series. The 11 survivors advance to the Second Qualifying Phase and join the 17 teams from Group 3 to play 14 two-leg, total goal elimination series. The 14 clubs that survive this phase join the 18 teams from Group 2 to play in the Third Qualifying Phase. The winning clubs from the 16 two-leg, total goal elimination series advance to the Champions League for the right to play against the top-ranked 16 teams in Europe.
The 32 teams are separated into eight groups of four and play a round-robin series of home-and-home matches. The eight group winners and eight group runners-up advance to the next round where they are split up into four groups of four. The four group winners and runners-up then advance to the quarterfinals where home-and-home series are played through the semi-finals until ultimately a single championship match for the European club championship is held. Winner Real Madrid plays Liberatadores Cup champion Olimpia of Argentina in the 2002 European/South American Cup in Tokyo.
The updated UEFA Cup, which is basically a combination of the what was known as the Cup Winners' Cup (played between national cup champions) and the old UEFA Cup (sort of a “best of the rest” tournament), is single-elimination throughout and features 121 additional teams plus 24 teams that have been already eliminated from the Champions League.