The 2006–07 UEFA Champions League was the 15th season of UEFA's premier European club football tournament, the UEFA Champions League, since it was rebranded from the European Cup, and the 52nd season overall. The final was contested by Milan and Liverpool on 23 May 2007. Beforehand, the match was billed as a repeat of the 2005 final, the only difference being that the 2007 final was to be played at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. Milan won the match 2–1 to claim their seventh European Cup, with both goals coming from Filippo Inzaghi. Dirk Kuyt scored for Liverpool.
Barcelona were the defending champions, but were eliminated by Liverpool in the first knockout round.
Doubt over matches to be played in Italy
On 8 February, the Italian Government announced that San Siro Stadium in Milan was unsafe for spectators in light of riots that took place during and following an Italian Serie A match in Sicily. As a result, the venues of the first leg of the Inter-Valencia tie scheduled for 21 February and the second leg of the Celtic-Milan tie scheduled for 7 March were thrown into doubt. Various proposals and offers of the use of stadia outside Italy were made,12 but it was finally agreed that the Inter-Valencia tie would be played at the San Siro with a reduced capacity of 36,000. After further work at the San Siro, Italian authorities and UEFA announced that the second leg of Celtic-Milan would go ahead at the stadium, at its full capacity of 85,700. 4,500 seats were reserved for Celtic supporters.3
Seventy-three teams participated in the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League from UEFA's 50 member associations. Each association enters a certain number of clubs to the Champions League based on its league coefficient; associations with a higher league coefficients may enter more clubs than associations with a lower league coefficient, but no association may enter more than four teams. All UEFA associations are guaranteed to have at least one team qualify, with the exception of Liechtenstein, which competes in the Swiss league system, but has no team in the Swiss Super League.
- Associations 1–3 (Spain, England, and Italy): 4 teams
- Associations 4–6 (France, Germany, and Portugal): 3 teams
- Associations 7–15: 2 teams
- Associations 16–50: 1 team
- Andorra and San Marino do not submit a team for the UEFA Champions League
- First qualifying round (24 teams)
- 24 champions from associations 26–50 (excluding Liechtenstein)
- Second qualifying round (28 teams)
- 12 winners from the first qualifying round
- 10 champions from associations 16–25
- 6 runners-up from associations 10–15
- Third qualifying round (32 teams)
- 14 winners from the second qualifying round
- 6 champions from associations 10–15 (Scotland, Turkey, Czech Republic, Russia, Austria, Ukraine)
- 3 runners-up from associations 7–9 (Netherlands, Greece, Belgium)
- 6 third-place finishers from associations 1–6
- 3 fourth-place finishers from associations 1–3
- Group stage (32 teams)
- Title holders
- 16 winners from the third qualifying round
- 9 champions from associations 1–9
- 6 runners-up from associations 1–6
1 This club qualified for this season's UEFA competitions as a member of the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro during the 2005–06 season but is currently a member of the Football Association of Serbia which is the official successor of the previous football association.4
TH Title Holders
First qualifying round
The first legs were played on 11 and 12 July 2006, with the second legs on 18 and 19 July.
Second qualifying round
The first legs were played on 25 and 26 July 2006, with the second legs on 1 and 2 August.
Third qualifying round
The first legs were played on 8 and 9 August 2006, with the second legs on 22 and 23 August.
The teams eliminated in this round qualified for the first round of the UEFA Cup.
* Due to the armed conflict going on in Israel, UEFA decided that no European matches could be staged in the country until further notice.5 The match was played at Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine.6
The draw for this round was held on 24 August 2006 in Monaco. The first matches were played on 12 September 2006, and the stage concluded on 6 December.
The top two teams in each group advanced to the knockout stage, and the third-placed teams entered the round of 32 of the UEFA Cup. Based on paragraph 4.05 in the UEFA regulations for the current season, if two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings:
- higher number of points obtained in the group matches played among the teams in question;
- superior goal difference from the group matches played among the teams in question;
- higher number of goals scored away from home in the group matches played among the teams in question;
- superior goal difference from all group matches played;
- higher number of goals scored in all group matches played;
- higher number of coefficient points accumulated by the club in question, as well as its association, over the previous five seasons.
Levski Sofia and Copenhagen made their debut appearance in the group stage.
(KEY: Pts= Points; Pld= Matches Played; W= Matches Won; D= Matches Drawn; L= Matches Lost; GF= Goals For; GA= Goals Against; GD= Goal Difference)
All knockout rounds are two-legged, except for the final. In the event of aggregate scores being equal after normal time in the second leg, the winning team will be that which scored more goals on their away leg: if the scores in the two matches were identical, extra time is played. The away goals rule also applies if scores are equal at the end of extra time. If there are no goals scored in extra time, the tie is decided on a penalty shoot out.
First knockout round
The draw for the first knockout round of the competition took place on 15 December 2006 in Nyon, Switzerland.7 The team first out of the hat in each tie plays the first leg of their tie at home, and the second leg away. This team is denoted as "Team #1" below.
The first legs were played on 20 and 21 February 2007, with the second legs on 6 and 7 March.
The draw for the final stages, including the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, was held on Friday, 9 March 2007 in Athens, Greece. The draw was conducted by ad interim UEFA CEO Gianni Infantino, assisted by Friedrich Stickler, chairman of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee. Theodoros Zagorakis, the captain of Greece in Euro 2004, was appointed ambassador for the final.
The first legs were played on 3 and 4 April, and the second legs were played on 10 and 11 April 2007.
The first legs were played on 24 and 25 April, with the second legs on 1 and 2 May 2007.
The Final took place on 23 May 2007 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens, Greece. Unlike the other knockout rounds, the final was played over just one match, with extra time in case of a draw after 90 minutes. If the teams were still level following extra time, a penalty shootout would have determined the winner.
Milan scored first through Filippo Inzaghi just before half time. Inzaghi scored again in the 82nd minute, before Dirk Kuyt scored a late consolation goal a minute before full-time.
Milan went on to represent Europe at the 2007 FIFA Club World Cup.
The top scorers from the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League (group stage and knockout stage only) are as follows: