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2023 Champions League quarter-final draw: Can teams from the same country play against each other?

After Friday’s Champions League draw the eight quarter-finalists will know their routes to the final in Istanbul.

Can there be same-nation UCL quarter-finals?
Harold Cunningham / UEFA HANDOUTEFE

Half of the teams in the quarter-final draw of the Champions League have already been settled, with the remaining sides to be decided in four nail-biting ties this week.

AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Benfica and Chelsea have already secured their spots in the final eight. For the first knock-out round the draw is seeded to prevent teams from the same nation or the same Champions League group from being drawn against each other.

However, from this point on there are no country protections and no seedings, meaning that it is a completely open draw for the quarter-final stage.

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When is the draw for the Champions League quarter-finals?

Once the last-16 stage has been completed, the draw for the quarter-finals will take place on Friday, 17 March at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland. This draw will also decide the brackets for the remainder of the competition, meaning that there will not be a separate semi-final draw.

From the quarter-finals onwards, teams will be able to plot their path to Champions League glory in the 10 June final in the Turkish capital.

The quarter-final first legs will take place on Tuesday, 11 April and Wednesday, 12 April. The second legs will be played on Tuesday, 18 April and Wednesday, 19 April.

The semi-final first legs will take place on Tuesday 9 May and Wednesday, 10 May. The second legs will be played on Tuesday, 16 May and Wednesday, 17 May.

Champions League draw set for Friday, 17 March.
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Champions League draw set for Friday, 17 March. HAROLD CUNNINGHAMAFP

How often have teams from the same country played each other in the final?

While the first knock-out stage in the Champions League prevents teams from the same country from being draw together, beyond the last-16 stage there are no restrictions on which teams can face each other.

In the history of the Champions League, there have been eight occasions on which the two finalists are from the same country. Most recently, Chelsea defeated Premier League rivals Manchester City to lift the trophy in 2020/21.

Here’s the full list of same-country Champions League finals:

1999/2000: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia

2002/03: AC Milan 0-0 Juventus (Milan 3-2 on pens)

2007/08: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (United 6-5 on pens)

2012/13: Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

2013/14 Real Madrid 4-1 Atlético Madrid (aet)

2015/16: Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid (Real Madrid 5-3 on pens)

2018/19: Tottenham Hotspur 0-2 Liverpool

2020/21: Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea