The UEFA Champions League (usually referred to as simply the Champions League or historically as the European Cup) is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe.
The tournament consists of several stages. In the present format it begins in mid-July with three knockout qualifying rounds and a play-off round. The 10 surviving teams join 22 seeded teams in the group stage, in which there are eight groups consisting of four teams each. The eight group winners and eight runners-up enter the final knockout phase, which ends with the final match in May. Since the tournament changed name and structure in 1992, no club has managed consecutive wins. The winner of the UEFA Champions League qualifies for the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.