Mbappe confirms PSG exit ahead of expected Real Madrid move

Kylian Mbappe has confirmed he will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

The Frenchman, who is out of contract this summer, is expected to join Real Madrid.

The 25-year-old officially announced his PSG exit on Friday evening after it was revealed in February he would be leaving the French champions.

In a video released on social media, the France World Cup winner said: “I wanted to speak to you. I’ve always said that I would speak with you when the time comes, and so I wanted to announce to you all that it’s my last year at Paris Saint-Germain. I will not extend and the adventure will come to an end in a few weeks.

“I will play my last game at the Parc des Princes on Sunday. It’s a lot of emotion; many years where I had the chance and the great honour to be a member of the biggest French club – one of the best in the world – which allowed me to arrive here, to have my first experience in a club with a lot of pressure; to grow as a player of course, by being alongside some of the best in history – some of the greatest champions; to meet a lot of people, to grow as a man as well, with all the glory and the mistakes I’ve made.”

In his announcement video, Mbappe hinted at a move to Real Madrid after the France international revealed he will “leave his country” for the next step of his career.


He said: “It’s hard, and I never thought it would be this difficult to announce that, to leave my country, France, Ligue 1, a championship I have always known, but I think I needed this – a new challenge after seven years.”

PSG and Real Madrid still need to negotiate whether Mbappe will leave for a fee or sacrifice his own earnings. PSG have Mbappe’s word that he will never leave on a free transfer.

Real Madrid hold a long-term interest in the 25-year-old forward, who would have to take a pay cut to join the Spanish side, even though they are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in their history.

Could Mbappe join Real Madrid this summer?

PSG turned down a €220m (£188m) offer for Mbappe from Real Madrid in August 2021. The forward then chose to sign a new three-year deal with PSG that expires this summer.

PSG had accepted a €300m (£256m) from Saudi club Al Hilal last summer, which Mbappe turned down.

Mbappe exit to free up £189m for PSG

It is understood Mbappe’s departure has freed up at least €220m (£189m) of gross cost to PSG, who are not surprised by his exit.

Mbappe produced the video solo and it puts PSG in difficult position because his deal with Real Madrid has not been announced yet.

Kylian Mbappe
PSG and Mbappe were knocked out of the Champions League earlier this week at the semi-final stage

There is, however, a relief he is going with the final page of the club’s Galactico era now finally closed.

The club did not believe his performance in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final defeat to Borussia Dortmund was not that of someone worth a £189m hit.

When is Mbappe’s final PSG game?

Mbappe, who is PSG’s all-time leading scorer with 255 goals, will play his final home game at the Parc des Princes against Toulouse on Sunday in Ligue 1.

Luis Enrique’s side, who have already wrapped up the Ligue 1 title, then have two away league games at Nice on May 15 and Metz on May 19.

Mbappe’s final PSG game will be the French Cup final against Lyon in Lille on May 25, where he has the chance to claim a 12th major honour with the club before departing.


The striker’s dreams of lifting the Champions League with PSG – the trophy which has eluded him and the club – were dashed this week as they lost 2-0 on aggregate to Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals.

Mbappe joined PSG from his first club Monaco, initially on a season-long loan, in 2017 with the move made permanent in 2018 for £166m.

He is the second most expensive player in history behind Neymar, for whom PSG paid £200m to Barcelona in 2017.

PSG's Kylian Mbappe celebrates his team's third goal during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Lens at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Mbappe has won 11 major honours at PSG

In his exit announcement, Mbappe thanked all his current and former PSG team-mates and coaches – naming Unai Emery, Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Christophe Galtier and Luis Enrique.

He also thanked sporting directors Leonardo and Luis Campos and all the club’s backroom and non-football staff.

Mbappe’s exit marks end of Galactico era | Osimhen to arrive?

Kylian Mbappe again proved the difference for PSG
Mbappe has scored 255 goals for PSG

Sky Sports News Chief Reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

Mbappe’s exit will mark the official end of the Galactico era which saw the signing of players such as Brazilian Neymar and World Cup winner Lionel Messi.

Despite the huge outlay on players and wages, Champions League success has remained elusive, although PSG insiders would say significant progress has been made on and off the pitch.

Two summers ago, they embarked on a new strategy of building a squad of young, hungry and predominantly French players after the excesses of the Galactico era.

This season they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League with the youngest squad they have used in Europe and from the round of 16, they started games with the youngest team in the competition.

Off the pitch, PSG have moved into a new €300m (£258m) training ground and there are plans in place to move to a new stadium.

In December US private equity firm Arctos Partners bought a 12.5 per cent stake in PSG in a deal that valued the club at €4bn (£3.4bn).

Meanwhile, Mbappe’s departure is expected to lead to another busy transfer window.

PSG are one of the few clubs who would be able to afford to trigger the €120m (£107m) release clause of Napoli forward Victor Osimhen.

Victor Osimhen celebrates scoring Napoli's equaliser
Napoli strikr Victor Osimhen could be a target for PSG this summer

Luis Enrique will have money to spend this summer but any new arrivals will have to fit into the new culture at the club.

While PSG remained determined to win the Champions League, losing Mbappe, their best player, to 14-time winners Real Madrid will make that job even more difficult.

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Hits & misses: Is Tuchel right to feel offside ‘betrayal’?

Is Tuchel right to feel offside ‘betrayal’?

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Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel says the decision to disallow a late goal for his side was against every rule of modern football

“It’s a disastrous decision from the linesman and from the referee. It feels almost like a betrayal.”

Thomas Tuchel took no time in bringing up the elephant in the room in his post-match interview. The Bayern Munich boss clearly felt Matthijs de Ligt’s last-minute equaliser which cost his side in their Champions League semi-final loss to Real Madrid should have stood after the officials called offside too early.

Why were Bayern Munich annoyed?

Matthijs De Light put the ball in the net late on for Bayern Munich, which would have surely taken the game into extra-time.

However, a few seconds before De Ligt shot, referee Szymon Marciniak had already blown for offside against Noussair Mazraoui.

But replays showed the Bayern defender was onside, with the assistant – who is instructed to keep his flag down for tight calls so VAR can review the call – making a clear error in raising his flag and provoking the referee to whistle.

Whether Real’s players would have stopped De Ligt scoring had the whistle not gone is open to debate, but it was a bad mistake from the officials at a critical time.

There is no doubt the linesman and referee Szymon Marciniak should have waited to call offside and let play develop to allow VAR to check everything. It was a clear mistake and both officials apologised to Tuchel and the Bayern players.

But doubts remain over whether the early whistle actually stopped a clear goal. Two Real Madrid defenders stopped after the whistle went, which allowed Thomas Muller to head towards De Ligt. Goalkeeper Andriy Lunin also made no attempt to save De Ligt’s shot once the whistle went.

Bayern were furious after not being given a late equaliser
Bayern were furious after not being given a late equaliser

Yes, Bayern were denied a clear shot on goal, but would Real have successfully defended that whole opportunity had the whistle not gone?

Either way, this is a debate that will go long beyond Wednesday night’s full-time whistle.
Sam Blitz

Joselu heroics sum up Real’s relationship with the Champions League

Joselu scored twice in three minutes late on to send Real Madrid to the Champions League final
Joselu scored twice in three minutes late on to send Real Madrid to the Champions League final

Eight years ago this week, Joselu sat unused on the Selhurst Park substitutes’ bench, not even deemed good enough to come on and rescue a result for Stoke, who ended up losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace.

Nobody would have backed the Spanish striker to eventually send Real Madrid to a Champions League final with two goals against Bayern Munich. But that’s just how football works sometimes.

In fact, it’s how Real Madrid operate. The Spanish side have won four matches despite conceding the first goal in the UEFA Champions League this season, the most since – yep you guessed it, Real Madrid in the 2016-17 season.

Add Joselu to a long list of Real comeback heroes. Rodrygo downed Chelsea and Manchester City with multiple late strikes on their way to winning it in 2022. Cristiano Ronaldo used Champions League comebacks at the Santiago Bernabeu like his play things in his prime.

Real have their Champions League mojo back. And it will take some Dortmund force to stop them at Wembley in June.
Sam Blitz

Sancho does the dirty work to stifle Mbappe

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Jadon Sancho and his Borussia Dortmund teammates celebrate reaching the Champions League final

Not many people would have guessed Jadon Sancho would be Dortmund’s key defender to stifle Kylian Mbappe.

In the first leg in Dortmund, Sancho was the key attacking spark on the pitch and could have ended up with a hat-trick of assists. The return leg in Paris saw him have a different role.

Mats Hummels and Jadon Sancho celebrate making the Champions League final
Mats Hummels and Jadon Sancho celebrate making the Champions League final

The England winger doubled up with right-back Julian Ryerson to stop PSG’s dynamic No 7. It ended up being a brilliant defensive display that left Sancho with seven ball recoveries, with six possessions won in the defensive and middle thirds. Mbappe, meanwhile, had just five shots.

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The Athletic’s David Ornstein and The Mirror’s John Cross discuss Dortmund’s 2-0 aggregate win over PSG

Sancho also ended up with a forward passing percentage of 63.64 per cent – the highest on the pitch. When Dortmund needed to get up the pitch and relieve pressure on the backline, Sancho was their calm and effective figure.

So Sancho can show attacking flair and do the dirty work. He’d be a golden addition to any squad in Europe. Are you watching, Erik?
Sam Blitz

Mbappe rendered anonymous

Kylian Mbappe left disappointed by Champions League exit in final season at PSG
Kylian Mbappe will be left disappointed by his Champions League exit in his final season at PSG

This is not the Kylian Mbappe we’ve become accustomed to, the one who so often rises to the big occasion.

This is a player with 48 Champions League goals. He has scored the most goals in World Cup finals. He’s up there with the world-renowned best.

None of that was on show against Dortmund. The German side schooled him. Across 180 minutes of football, Mbappe was rendered virtually anonymous. Simply marked out of the game.

Credit must be given to Dortmund’s dynamic defensive pairing – Mats Hummels and Nico Schlotterbeck – but questions must also be asked of the PSG No 7, who is leaving the Parc des Princes at the end of this season without so much as a sniff of the Champions League title his club so badly crave – and the silverware he was meant to hand deliver.

Subdued and indecisive, as well as wasteful, Mbappe lost possession 18 times on Tuesday night. Of the 12 touches he had in the opposition box, three ended in shots on target, but none troubled Gregor Kobel.

“Football is so unfair,” manager Luis Enrique moaned post-match. Often that’s true. But not here. PSG’s stars were off colour while the entire Dortmund contingent showed how rewarding a cohesive game plan – carried out with unwavering commitment – can be.
Laura Hunter

Dortmund’s defenders make up the Yellow Wall

Dortmund would not be moved in Paris
Dortmund would not be moved in Paris

They say you earn your luck. Well, Dortmund’s defenders certainly did at PSG.

Luis Enrique pointed towards PSG striking the woodwork six times over the course of the two legs as to why they deserved to go to the Wembley final at Dortmund’s expense. But Dortmund’s backline did not deserve to lose either.

The back four of Julian Ryerson, Mats Hummels, Nico Schlotterbeck and Ian Maatsen – the latter formerly of Burnley and Coventry – made 36 clearances combined at the Parc des Princes, 12 of them with their head, and won 24 duels. They will all sleep well tonight, if they can amid the celebrations.

Dortmund will now bring the Yellow Wall to Wembley, but there will be a second, smaller wall in front of the goal. Whoever lines up in attack against them in the Champions League final will not want to come up against this quartet.
Sam Blitz

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Remember me? How Stoke reject Joselu outshone Kane

He was the stop-gap target intended to be a temporary replacement for Karim Benzema ahead of Kylian Mbappe’s arrival.

But the man once deemed not good enough for Stoke City will now forever go down in Real Madrid folklore.

“Joselu… I don’t think he’ll be sleeping much tonight. He’ll be useless in training tomorrow!” said Real midfielder Jude Bellingham to TNT Sports after the 14-time European champions staged another breathtaking comeback.

“He deserves it all. He has been an amazing member of the squad throughout the whole season and this is his night.”

It is the classic rags-to-riches tale. Two years ago, Joselu was attending the Champions League final in Paris as a fan.

At the start of next month, he will be in their squad – most likely back where he started Wednesday’s pulsating semi-final against Bayern Munich – on Carlo Ancelotti’s bench as Real go in search of a record-extending 15th European Cup.

Joselu is the toast of Madrid after scoring more goals in three minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu than he did in an entire Premier League season at Newcastle United.

Joselu scored twice in three minutes late on to send Real Madrid to the Champions League final
Joselu has scored five Champions League goals this season, with four of those coming in braces against German teams

Joselu is the 34-year-old striker whose two most recent clubs – Alaves and Espanyol – from whom he is on loan at Madrid – were relegated from LaLiga in the last two seasons prior to the current campaign.

But most will remember Joselu as the Stoke City reject who has now scored more goals in Champions League semi-finals than he managed at the Britannia Stadium.

From Premier League struggles…

Joselu - pictured on the bench next to Bojan - scored just four goals in 22 Premier League appearances for Stoke
Joselu – pictured on the bench next to Bojan – scored four goals in 22 Premier League appearances for Stoke

At Newcastle, Joselu scored six league goals in two seasons
At Newcastle, Joselu scored six league goals in two seasons

To the darling of the Santiago Bernabeu…

… while Barcelona papers focus on disallowed goal controversy!

Joselu’s story has been a slow burner for both club and country.

Born in Stuttgart and raised in Galicia, he did not win his first senior cap until March 2023 when two days short of his 33rd birthday – making him the oldest Spain debutant since 2006.

Prior to that was a tortuous struggle via Celta, Real Madrid – he was promoted from the B squad in 2011 but scoring on his LaLiga debut proved a false dawn – Hoffenheim, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover before the Premier League beckoned.

Everton fans will recall the time during the 2015/16 season when, trailing 3-2, Mark Hughes summoned Joselu from the bench to equalise and subsequently embrace Mark Clattenburg for awarding a late penalty as Stoke completed a dramatic comeback.

But the highlights reel from his time in the Potteries is rather thin, in part because he was a fringe player in a strong squad that finished ninth in the Premier League. He soon departed in search of more regular first-team football. He was loaned to Deportivo and sold to Newcastle under Rafael Benitez the following season.

On his time at Stoke, Joselu said in a recent interview with The Guardian: “That was a good year: we finished ninth, beat Manchester City and Manchester United and reached the [League] Cup semi-final, only losing on penalties at Anfield. I played with good footballers: [Peter] Crouch, [Marko] Arnautovic, Jonny Walters.”

Real Madrid players celebrate after their teammate Joselu scores his side's second goal
Joselu is the third player to score a brace as a sub in a semi-final, along with Georginio Wijnaldum in May 2019 (Liverpool vs Barcelona) and Rodrygo in May 2022 (Real Madrid vs Manchester City)

He added: “I loved Jonny Walters. He fought, he was committed, physically he was a beast, he scored over 100 goals. Crouch was an incredible guy. Jude calls me Crouchy now because I’m a tall striker who likes a cross. Others followed Jude and it’s stuck. But he’s 2m tall, I’m only 1.92m. Crouch was very funny and helped me a lot. Boy, I had good times with him.”

Madrid needed a hero – and the most unlikely source answered their SOS call as Joselu made the most of a Manuel Neuer mistake to tap in the leveller after 88 minutes. Three minutes later he steered in a second, which was originally disallowed before it was given after VAR intervened.

While the spotlight has been on Thomas Tuchel for his decision to replace Harry Kane in the 85th minute with another former Stoke striker in Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Ancelotti was able to toast another special Champions League night for the club after his decision to send on Joselu paid off.

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Thomas Tuchel reveals why he controversially substituted Harry Kane in the 85th minute before Real Madrid scored twice to reach the Champions League final

“It happened again, here. It is quite useful at the Bernabeu with our supporters that we can do something that is unexpectable,” reflected Ancelotti, who would have wanted Kane as a like-for-like replacement for Benzema.

“Joselu did a fantastic job. He is a fantastic striker and we could use more the width to put crosses in and we did really well. We had a lot of energy at the end of the game.

“Unbelievable [mentality] and I am really grateful to the players because they work really hard, they build a fantastic atmosphere. They are really humble, really generous and I think it is the best squad I ever had in my career.”

A club of so-called galacticos will be further garnished next season with the likely arrival of Mbappe. Brazilian wonderkid Endrick will also be making the switch to the Spanish capital.

Joselu is the talk of the town after his late heroics

But this is Joselu’s moment in the sun. A 2018 tweet from a Newcastle journalist that ‘Joselu has just hit the corner flag with a shot from 20 yards’ was seized upon and reposted furiously after Wednesday’s Champions League heroics.

His career appeared to be winding down at Alaves and Espanyol but Real returned in June 2023 to announce a loan deal, with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Former Stoke team-mate Shay Given described it as “almost like a Roy of the Rovers story”, even if Real fans expecting the arrival of World Cup winner Mbappe from PSG were perplexed.

Manuel Neuer's mistake allowed Joselu to equalise
Joselu was signed by Real Madrid on loan with an €1.5m buy option and has now scored 17 goals this season

Yet the gamble has paid off with Joselu being in the right place at the right time on 17 occasions this season. He has scored for Spain, won LaLiga – his first major club trophy – and now has European football’s biggest prize in sight.

He couldn’t quite do it on a ‘cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke’, but the Spaniard born in Germany will always have the night when he inked one of the great Champions League comebacks in living memory.

Former colleagues from Newcastle and Stoke attended his wedding – and they will now be tuning into the biggest game in European football at Wembley hoping there is one final chapter in Joselu’s Real Madrid fairytale.

Bellingham hails Real Madrid’s desire to seal Champions League final berth

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Football writer and broadcaster Henry Winter and The Times’ Martin Hardy praise Jude Bellingham after Real Madrid reached the Champions League final at Wembley

Bellingham hailed Real Madrid’s never-say-die attitude and insisted he felt no nerves after a dream night where they produced a trademark late show to down Bayern Munich and reach another Champions League final.

It could have been a different story at the Santiago Bernabeu where Madrid’s 13-month unbeaten home record was in serious danger after Alphonso Davies fired the visitors ahead in the 68th minute.

Carlo Ancelotti remained composed and so did his team with substitute Joselu able to level two minutes from time before the same man steered home in the first minute of stoppage time to complete a dramatic 2-1 victory.

Bayern were left furious deep into stoppage time when Matthijs de Ligt had an effort ruled out for offside after the whistle had been blown before the ball ended up in the net, but the carnival atmosphere in Madrid was already in full swing and they will now target a 15th European Cup title to go with the LaLiga crown clinched a matter of days ago.

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Bayern Munich boss Tuchel says the decision to disallow a late goal for his side was against every rule of modern football

“We have seen it a lot of times this season where it looks like we’re dead and buried. It doesn’t matter who scores the goal because someone always manages it. That mentality of never-say-die,” Bellingham told TNT Sports.

“They [the fans] are unbelievable. They are the best in the world by far.

“Coming here, there is a reason why we turn so many games or why when we’re down in certain legs that we always manage to come back in the second leg. It is because of these lot. They give you an energy that you can’t get from anything else.

“You come here and that is all they talk about. They talk about how you’ve had the 14th, but how they want the 15th. The lads said it was the same when we won the 10th, all they asked for was the 11th, but that is why I love being here because you can never be settled.”

Bellingham produced an all-action display for Madrid and was able to get the better of fellow Englishman Harry Kane on Wednesday night.

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Football writer and broadcaster Henry Winter and The Times’ Martin Hardy discuss Thomas Tuchel’s decision to substitute Harry Kane

It means a reunion with old club Borussia Dortmund in the final at Wembley on June 1.

Asked if he felt any nerves as the seconds ticked away with Madrid behind, Bellingham insisted: “Not really. I really would want to say I do, but in the changing room, I was looking around and I just thought I couldn’t be in a better position with better people.

“Where else would I rather be? I was seven at Birmingham, dreaming of nights like this. To then get here and want to be somewhere else doesn’t make any sense to me. Yeah, I am just so happy to be here and part of this night.

“At Wembley, against Dortmund, it is a weird one. I can’t believe it. I am so looking forward to it, the atmosphere, the game itself. A Champions League final, man.”

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When and where is the 2024 Champions League final?

Borussia Dortmund will face Real Madrid in the 2024 Champions League final.

The Bundesliga side beat PSG 2-0 on aggregate – winning 1-0 in both legs – while Real Madrid needed two dramatic late goals from Joselu to beat Bayern Munich 4-3 on aggregate, having drawn 2-2 in the first leg.

Here’s all you need to know about the showpiece of Europe’s top club competition.

When is the 2024 Champions League final?

The final takes place on Saturday June 1 and will kick off at 8pm UK time.

It will be broadcast on TNT in the UK but live updates will be available on the Sky Sports website and Sky Sports app.

Where is the Champions League final taking place?

View at the lawn of Wembley Stadium before the English FA Cup final soccer match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, Saturday, June 3, 2023.
Wembley Stadium is the location for the 2024 Champions League final

The 2024 final will take place at Wembley Stadium in London.

This will be the eighth time that Wembley has hosted the final of Europe’s premier club competition, and the third in the Champions League era after it hosted the 2011 and 2013 finals.

What’s the format of the final?

While the semi-finals took place over two legs, the final is a one-off game. If the sides are level at the end of 90 minutes of regulation time, the match will go to extra-time and – if needed – penalties.

Who will referee the Champions League final?

UEFA’s referees’ committee appoints the referee team for each match, but the officials for the final have not yet been confirmed.

Who’s the favourite and what are the odds?

After the semi-finals, the bookmakers valued experience, with Real Madrid rated 2/7 favourites to win the Champions League. Borussia Dortmund are 5/2 to beat the 14-time winners.

(Odds at May 8)

Are there any Champions League tickets left?

UEFA has now closed its official ticket application window.

It says 60,000 tickets out of 86,600 have been made available directly for fans and the general public to purchase. The two teams that reach the final will receive 25,000 tickets each – starting at £60 – while the remaining tickets are being offered for sale to fans worldwide.

Hospitality tickets start at £5,400 + VAT.

Who are the current Champions League holders?

Kevin De Bruyne tangles with Jude Bellingham
Kevin De Bruyne’s Man City lost out to Jude Bellingham’s Real Madrid this season

Manchester City won the Champions League for the first time last year by beating Inter Milan 1-0 in the 2023 final – and winning the treble in the process.

But Pep Guardiola’s side were knocked out of the competition at the quarter-final stage this time, losing to Real Madrid on penalties.

Champions League history – who has won most titles?

The Champions League or previously-named European Cup has been won by 22 different clubs.

Real Madrid have won 14 titles, most recently beating Liverpool in the 2022 Champions League final.

AC Milan have won seven titles, with Liverpool (2018/19 winners) and Bayern Munich (2019/20 winners) tied on six European crowns.

Barcelona (five titles), Ajax (four), Manchester United and Inter Milan (both three) follow them in the winners’ list.

Chelsea, Nottingham Forest, Benfica, Juventus and Porto have all won two titles, while Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, Feyenoord, Marseille, Aston Villa, Hamburg, Red Star Belgrade, Steaua Bucharest, PSV and Celtic have one title to their names.

When does the 2024/25 Champions League start?

The first round of qualifying takes place on July 9/10 – just over a month after the 2024 final.

The group stage runs from September 17 2024 to January 29 2025, but the 2024/25 Champions League will take place in a new format.

The biggest change is to the group stage, which will become a single 36-team league stage.

Each side will face eight different teams: four at home and four away. The top eight overall will advance directly to the round of 16, while sides finishing from ninth to 24th will contest the knockout round play-offs, with the victors going through to the last 16 where the knockout format continues as normal.

The 2025 Champions League final is scheduled to take place in Munich on May 31, 2025.