No more drawing balls by hand, make way for computers. At the end of the season, the Champions League as we have known it since 1992 will hand over to a completely new formula, made up of a major championship with 36 clubs involved (compared to 32 currently). In this new format, each team will have to play 8 group matches, including 4 home matches and 4 away against different opponents to vary the matches. The hat system for classifying formations by level will remain, and among the 8 matches to be played, there will be 2 drawn from hat 1, 2 from hat 2, and so on. Obviously, the possibilities are (almost) endless and the current drawing method would be too long, requiring no less than 900 balls.

To remedy this, Sky Sports reveals that UEFA has decided on a “hybrid draw”. The teams will first be drawn manually, then the choice of their opponents will be made by the computer. With this solution, the endless ceremony would be reduced to a duration of 35 minutes, the time it takes to draw the current format.