As the domestic leagues in Europe head toward an end, plenty of teams are already clinching berths in the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League. Each league has different requirements for qualification, with the majority of spots being awarded to the top finishers in each domestic league.
Here’s a look at who has qualified for the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage as of May 3, 2022.
How they got there: Man City has been dominant all season long in EPL play, sitting on top of the table since early December. They clinched a berth a while ago, as they’re 17 points clear of third-place Chelsea heading into Matchday 36. They’re followed closely by Liverpool, who sit just one point behind City and have clinched a spot of their own.
How they got there: As already mentioned, Liverpool has stayed hot on Man City’s trail for basically the entire second half of the EPL season. Sitting just one point behind City for weeks, they also clinched a spot in next season’s UCL tournament as they’re 16 points clear of third-place Chelsea at this point. Since the top four spots in EPL are awarded a berth, that leaves just two more spots from the EPL to be locked up before the season ends.
How they got there: Real Madrid has already locked up the first place spot in La Liga, as they currently sit 15 points ahead of second-place Barcelona with four matches left to play in the season. Karim Benzema has been a godsend for Los Blancos this season, knocking in 26 goals through just 30 matches as he’ll easily cruise to a Golden Boot victory. La Liga awards their top four finishers with a UCL berth, so the remaining three will be decided as the season nears its end.
AC Milan (Serie A, Italy)
How they got there: Serie A’s top four finishers are awarded with a berth into the UCL, and AC Milan has already secured a top four finish as they sit on 77 points with just three matches left to play in the season. Rafael Leao (10) and Olivier Giroud (9) lead the way in scoring for the team, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic sitting on eight goals through 21 matches played.
How they got there: Last year’s Serie A champions currently sit in second place, just two points behind AC Milan as nearly everyone in the league has just three matches left to play. They hold the goal differential tiebreaker amongst all top four teams at the moment, so if they were to finish level with AC Milan, they would win the title for the second year in a row, making it their 20th Serie A championship.
Napoli (Serie A, Italy)
How they got there: Napoli secured a top four finish courtesy of elite scorers like Victor Osimhen, Dries Mertens, and Lorenzo Insigne, who all finished with double-digit goal tallies this season. Lorenzo Insigne also led the way in assists for the team, notching nine through just 29 games played before the season even comes to an end. It’s Insigne’s last campaign with Napoli, as he signed a contract with MLS side Toronto FC and will join them in July of this year.
Juventus (Serie A, Italy)
How they got there: Rounding off the top four in Serie A is Juventus, who will be making their 11th consecutive appearance in the tournament. Led by Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata, Juve will look to secure their third-ever UCL title after winning the tournament in 1985 and 1996.
How they got there: Bayern easily clinched a spot in next season’s UCL tournament as they’ll cruise to their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title this season, notching their 32nd league championship overall. Led by Robert Lewandowski, Bayern is a world giant who has won the UCL title six times, and they’ll look to get back on track for another deep run next season after being upset by Villarreal in the quarterfinals this season.
How they got there: Dortmund booked their 12th consecutive spot in UCL group play by locking up a top four finish in Bundesliga. The black-and-yellow have one UCL title to their name, defeating Juventus in the 1997 final with a 3-1 score. They’re led by Erling Haaland, who has scored a staggering 21 goals in Bundesliga this year at the time of this writing in only 22 appearances for the club.
Paris Saint-Germain (Ligue One, France)
How they got there: After an early exit in the Round of 16 this season at the hands of Real Madrid, PSG has already locked up their spot in the 2022-23 tournament by clinching the Ligue One championship. Only the top two finishers are awarded berths in the group stage, while the third and fourth spots will head to UCL qualifiers in hopes of landing in the tournament proper. PSG was led by Kylian Mbappe across the board, notching 24 goals and 15 assists in just 32 matches played before the end of the season. They also boast world superstars like Neymar, Lionel Messi, and Sergio Ramos on their roster.
FC Porto (Primeira Liga, Portugal)
How they got there: FC Porto makes their return to the Champions League for the 12th consecutive year after securing a top two finish in Primeira Liga. Only the top two finishers get a berth into the group stage, while the third place team in PL will head to UCL qualifiers. FC Porto is led by the likes of Medhi Taremi and Fabio Vieira, who are both dangerous attackers and will help Porto look for their third-ever UCL title next season.
Sporting CP (Primeira Liga, Portugal)
How they got there: Sporting secured a top two finish along with FC Porto, returning to the Champions League for the first time since the 2017-18 season. They spent the last three seasons in Europa League, unable to advance past the Round of 32 in each of those tournament editions. They’re led by Pablo Sarabia and Paulinho, who both will finish the Primeira Liga season with double digit goal tallies.
Red Bull Salzburg (Austrian Bundesliga)
How they got there: Red Bull Salzburg booked their 11th consecutive Champions League appearance by securing their ninth-straight domestic league title. The runners up will be sent to UCL qualifiers as only the champion is awarded a berth into the group stage. They’re led by Karim Adeyemi, who scored 17 goals through 24 matches in the regular season.