The EHF Champions League is organised by the European Handball Federation (EHF). It brings together the best club(s) of each European nation, namely the champion club and, for the bigger countries like France, the second-placed club.
# The Main Stage
The competition begins with a preliminary round. The aggregate winner of home and away matches, opposing clubs from the lowly-ranked European countries (European index), can qualify for the main stage. France has two places for the Champions League for the 2011-2012 season.
The top two clubs of the French championship (Montpellier and Chambéry) enter the competition directly at the main stage. The main stage has four pools of six clubs each. Each team meets the other 5 teams in the pool home and away. A league table gives the final standings (victory = 2 points ; draw = 1 point ; defeat = 0 point). The top four teams in each pool then qualify for the knockout stages.
# Knockout Stages
The 16 teams that have qualified then play in the last 16, on a home and away knockout basis. The winners of a pool play against a team that finished fourth in another pool.
The team finishing second in a pool play against a team that finished third in another pool. The teams finishing first and second in the pool play the return match at home in the last 16. The 8 winners of the last 16 matches go through to the quarter-finals which are also played home and away in the same way.
# Final Four
The 4 winners qualify for the Final Four, which is played over two days in Cologne, Germany. Two semi-finals are played, then the third place play-off and final, all in a single match.
2010/11: FC Barcelona Borges
(ESP) FC Barcelona 27 : 24 Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP)
2009/10: THW Kiel
(GER) THW Kiel 36 : 34 FC Barcelona (ESP) ?
2008/09: BM Ciudad Real
(GER) THW Kiel 66 : 67 BM Ciudad Real (ESP)
2007/08: BM Ciudad Real
(ESP) BM Ciudad Real 58 : 54 THW Kiel (GER)
2006/07: THW Kiel
(GER) SG Flensburg-Handewitt 55 : 57 THW Kiel (GER)
2005/06: BM Ciudad Real
(ESP) Portland San Antonio 47 : 62 BM Ciudad Real (ESP) ?
2004/05: FC Barcelona Cifec
(ESP) B.M. Ciudad Real 55 : 56 FC Barcelona Cifec (ESP)
2003/04: Celje Pivovarna Lasko
(SLO) Celje Pivovarna Lasko 62 : 58 SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER)
2002/03: Montpellier HB
(ESP) Portland San Antonio 46 : 50 Montpellier HB (FRA)
2001/02: Sportclub Magdeburg
(HUN) Fotex KC Veszprém 48 : 51 Sportclub Magdeburg (GER) ?
2000/01: Portland San Antonio
(ESP) Portland San Antonio 52 : 49 FC Barcelona (ESP)
1999/00: FC Barcelona
(GER) THW Kiel 52 : 54 FC Barcelona (ESP) ?
1998/99: FC Barcelona
(CRO) Badel 1862 Zagreb 40 : 51 FC Barcelona (ESP)
1997/98: FC Barcelona
(ESP) FC Barcelona 56 : 40 Badel 1862 Zagreb (CRO)
1996/97: FC Barcelona
(ESP) FC Barcelona 61 : 45 Badel 1862 Zagreb (CRO)
1995/96: FC Barcelona
(ESP) FC Barcelona 46 : 38 Elgorriaga Bidasoa (ESP)
1994/95: Elgorriaga Bidasoa
(ESP) Elgorriaga Bidasoa 56 : 47 Badel Zagreb (CRO)
1993/94: TEKA Santander
(POR) ABC Braga 43 : 45 TEKA Santander (ESP)
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