It has now been confirmed that AC Milan Women will play FC Zürich in round one of their UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifiers. If they win this round, then they will face off against the winners of TSG Hoffenheim and Valur.
The team will need to play a total of three rounds before they can play in the group stages of the UWCL. Down below is the Rossonere’s path to the group stage of the competition, as per UEFA.
There are two paths to the group stages of the Champions League, and they are known as the Champions Path and the League Path. Since Milan finished second in Serie A Femminile, they will be on the League Path.
The team will be drawn into a mini-tournament comprised of four teams. The winners of the finals will progress to the second round, and six teams will have direct entry. Milan were drawn into group one with FC Zürich, TSG Hoffenheim, and Valur.
Milan will play FC Zürich, while Hoffeinheim and Valur will play each other. The winners of the two matches will face off against each other in the next round. Valur also happens to Guðný Árnadóttir’s former team.
The first match will be a one-off mini-tournament and it will take place on August 18th. The winner will progress to the next round. There will also be a third place and play-offs match on August 21st. The Milan Women will most likely progress to the next round if they win their first match, however.
The winners of each final (eleven in the Champions Path, and four in the League Path) will progress to the second round. A draw will be held on August 22nd to determine the teams that will play each other in the second round.
The second round will be a two-legged affair and will begin on either August 31st or the first of September. The second leg will be between September 8th through the 9th.
If the Rossonere win the second round, then they’ll make it to the group stages of the Champions League. The draw for the group stages will take place on September 13th. The group stages will start between October 5th and 6th.
If Milan does qualify for the UWCL’s group stages, it’ll benefit the team in more ways than one. The first benefit would be visibility. UEFA recently announced that they would be streaming the UWCL matches for free, and they would do so in collaboration with DAZN. Those matches will only be the games in the group stages. This will allow Milan to be seen globally by thousands of people, thus enhancing the team’s profile.
The Rossonere could also reap the monetary benefits of qualification for the group stages. Last year, the teams that reached the Round of 32 made €70,000 each. Teams that made it to the Round of 16 made €400,000, around five times as much as the participants in the previous round received (DAZN).
The winner of next season’s tournament could earn up to €1.4 million, depending on their results in the group stage.
The money made from each stage of the tournament will allow the team to make further investments, thus allowing them to become more competitive. This will help the team as they seek to become a force in both Italy and Europe.
The Rossonere will reconvene on July 17th in preparation for their August qualifiers. The team is also working hard to bring in reinforcements that will help the team do well in Europe.
Qualification for the group stages of the Champions League will benefit Milan in more ways than one. It will also be another way for the storied team to write yet another glorious chapter in Europe.
Round 1 draw ✅
👀 The #UWCL has a new look for 2021/22 and the first draw has been made.
— UEFA Women’s Champions League (@UWCL) July 2, 2021