Twelve teams will play in the 2020/21 Champions League. Ten teams will get wild cards, while two will come from qualifications.
The teams which will get wild cards are titleholder Ferencvaros Budapest (Hungary), Barceloneta (Spain), Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia), Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro), Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia), Marseille (France), Olympiacos Piraeus (Greece), Pro Recco (Italy), Waspo Hannover, and Spandau 04 Berlin (both Germany). That information was confirmed by LEN Operational Manager Marco Birri. In an interview with the website “Waterpolopeople”, Birri said that LEN had talked with the representatives of these ten clubs and that none of them didn’t want to give up their participation.
That means that two clubs which participated in the previous two seasons as the holders of wild cards, won’t have “tickets” for the next season – Mladost Zagreb (Croatia) and Szolnok (Hungary).
In the previous few seasons, 16 clubs played in the Champions League (12 wild-card holders and four teams from qualifications).
According to the new competition formula, only one qualification round will be played (instead of three), and the top two teams will join the ten teams wild-cardholders. The eliminated teams will play in the LEN Euro Cup. The qualifications will be played in October.
The twelve teams will be split into two groups of six teams each. The group stage will start in November (11/12). The top four sides from each group will advance to the Final Eight, which will be held in Hannover (4 – 6 June). Hannover was determined as a host three years ago.
The LEN Euro Cup will start in early November with the first round. That will be followed by the second round, round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and the finals.
The LEN Euro League will be played in the same way as in the previous season. The competition will start in December, with the 1st qualification round. Then, it comes the 2nd qualification round and after that the quarterfinals. The winners of the four quarterfinal encounters will qualify for the LEN Euro League Final Four, while the losers will play at the LEN Trophy Final Four.