As Ukrainian football, and the country in general, goes through troubled times with the invasion of Russia, the Champions League semi-final brought good news. With Villarreal’s loss to Liverpool (2-5 on aggregate), Shakhtar Donetsk secured a direct entry into the group stage next season.
Indeed, between Liverpool, Real Madrid or Manchester City (the latter will decide the other place in the final), the winner of this edition of the Champions is already guaranteed to access the group stage of next season via the championship . Therefore, UEFA awards this vacancy to the country with the best ranking and no direct entries, in this case Ukraine.
It is recalled that the Ukrainian Federation and the clubs recently agreed to end the championship, without declaring the champion or confirming the relegations. However, for the needs of European competitions, the classification was established during the winter break, led by Shakhtar Donetsk, which, until Tuesday evening, had a guaranteed place in the play-off. Second-placed Dynamo Kyiv will enter the second qualifying round.
It is recalled that so far these are the clubs that have already secured entry into next season’s Champions League group stage: Real Madrid, Bayern, PSG, Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, FC Porto , Inter, Napoli, Sporting, Milan, Dortmund, Salzburg and Shakhtar Donetsk.