The 28th of May seems a long way away, but the road to Wembley has already started. The first qualifying round of the Champions League was played while the World Cup was played, with the winners of the leagues in San Marino, Andorra, Montenegro, and Malta facing off. (This wasn’t without some excitement, as the Andorran champion, Santa Coloma, forfeit their home tie against Birkirkara after the match was postponed due to poor pitch conditions — since the second leg was a 4-3 win for Birkirkara, one wonders how Santa Coloma might have fared could their home leg have been played?) This week was the first leg of the second qualifying round, and at least one player from the World Cup (Radoslav Petrovic of Serbia) is seeing action for his club, Partizan. Friday will be the draw for the third qualifying round, which will include teams like Ajax, Celtic, and Fenerbahçe.
Group stage begins mid-September!