The Champions League has now returned for the 2017/18 season. In addition to analysising past performances when trying to find value in the Champions League odds, a look back at some historical statistics is one way to inform your betting. Read on for some interesting stats and facts from the history of the Champions League group stage.
6,126km – Longest distance travelled
Monaco’s 6,126km round trip for the match against CSKA Moscow was the longest in this year’s group stage. It was still less than half the Champions League record set by Kazakhstan’s Astana when they made their group stage debut against Benfica in 2015/16 - a 12,356 kilometre round trip to Lisbon and back.
2 – Group stage debutants
Along with English Premier League Champions Leicester, Russian side FC Rostov made their group stage debut in the 2016/17 Champions League. This takes the total number of clubs to have played in the group stage to 135.
57 – Goals scored by Lionel Messi in the group stage
No player has scored more goals in the group stage than Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. The Argentinian is six goals ahead of fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo, with Ruud Van Nistelrooy third in the all-time list on 39.
11 - The most goals scored in a single Champions League group stage
Although Messi has the most UCL group stage goals, Cristiano Ronaldo has the most in the tournament overall (95) and the record for the most goals in one group stage - 11 (2015/16).
21 – Appearances in Champions League group stage
Barcelona, Porto and Real Madrid all set a record-breaking 21st group stage appearance in this year’s UCL.
0 – Fewest goals scored in a single group stage campaign
Deportivo La Coruña (2004/05), Maccabi Haifa (2009/10) and Dinamo Zagreb (2016/17) have the unwanted accolade of going a whole group stage without scoring.
21 - Most goals scored in a single group stage campaign
Borussia Dortmund scored 21 goals in their six Group F games in 2016/17 - the most any club has managed in any Champions League group stage.
16 – Nations in this year’s group stage
The 2016/17 group stage was made up of club’s from 16 different nations. England and Germany are the most represented nations in the Champions League with four teams each.
6 – Fewest points to qualify for the next stage
Since the introduction of three points for a win in 1995, the lowest points tally to see a team qualify stands at six points, achieved by Zenit Saint Petersburg (2013/14) and Roma (2015/16).
1 – Champion to go out in following season’s group stage
Chelsea (2012/13) are the only side to not qualify from the group stage after lifting the trophy in the previous season.
16 – Clubs have lost every match in a single group stage campaign
Sixteen sides have lost all six group stage matches. Dinamo Zagreb and Club Brugge were the last teams to pick up this dubious honour in 2016/17, conceding 15 and 14 goals respectively on their way to six consecutive defeats.
20 – Consecutive seasons to qualify from group stage
Real Madrid have qualified from the group stages for 20 consecutive seasons after qualifying from Group F in this year’s Champions League.
84 – Record numbers of group stage appearances
Porto goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, currently holds the record for most group stage appearances by a single player, 84. Former Barcelona midfielder Xavi is next on the list with 80 group stage appearences.
993 - Most passes completed in one game
Barcelona made 993 successful passes in their Champions League group game against Borussia Monchengladbach in 2016/17, the most by any team in a Champions League game.
2009 – Year in which the youngest group stage qualifiers were formed
The youngest team to ever qualify for the Champions League group stage is FC Astana - it took them just six years to qualify for the Champions League group stage in 2014/15. The club from the Kazakhstan capital have already won three Kazakhstan Premier League titles and three Kazakhstan Cups.
5 – Clubs to pick up maximum points in a single group stage campaign
Just five clubs have picked up maximum points from their six group games. They are AC Milan (1992/93), Paris Saint-Germain (1994/95), Spartak Moscow (1995/96), Barcelona (2002/03) and Real Madrid (2011/12 and 2014/15).
304 – Most goals scored in group stage history
Real Madrid also hold the record for most goals scored in group stage history. The Spanish club have fired past their group stage opponents on 304 occasions since 1992.
24 – Most goals conceded in a single group stage campaign
In the 16/17 Champions League, Legia Warsaw endured a painful campaign, shipping a record breaking 24 goals (14 of these were conceded in two games against Borussia Dortmund) - BATE Borisov also conceded the same number of goals in the 2014/15 Champions League.
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