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How to Play Fantasy UCL: Rules, Tips, Tricks, and Secrets

An overview of the basics of the game.

Pep Guardiola - Manchester City - UEFA Champions League
Pay attention. You’ll need this for the test.
Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images

Another Champions League campaign is just around the corner, with the opening day of group play slated to kick off on September 19th.

Whether you’re a veteran or new to the game, it’s always good to review the rules before finalizing the squad that will open the fantasy season for you. You can find them described in detail here, but for your convenience we’ve laid out the TLDR below.

Picking a Team

Just like previous seasons, Fantasy UCL requires us to pick:

- 2 goalkeepers

- 5 defenders

- 5 midfielders

- 3 forwards

The budget available for the group stages is €100 million, and then we gain €5 before the Round of 16 (€105 million total at that point, give or take a few tenths for price changes).


Player Cap

Like the previous seasons, the player-per-club cap increases as the tournament progresses:

Stage Maximum number of Players per club

Player Cap

Stage Maximum number of Players per club
Stage Maximum number of Players per club
Group 3
R16 4
Quarterfinals 5
Semi Finals 6
Final 8

Points System

No changes to the scoring system for this year.

Points System

Action Points
Action Points
All players
Appearance 1
60 mins on pitch 1
Goals from outside the box 1
Assist 3
Every 3 balls recovered 1
Player of the Match award 3
Winning penalty* 2
Conceding penalty* -1
Missing penalty -2
Yellow card -1
Red card -3
Own goal -2
Scoring a goal 6
Saving a penalty 5
Clean sheet* 4
Every 3 saves 1
Every 2 goals conceded -1
Scoring a goal 6
Clean sheet* 4
Every 2 goals conceded -1
Scoring a goal 5
Clean sheet* 1
Scoring a goal 4

Player of the Match Award

Following each Champions League match, a Player of the Match accolade is bestowed upon one player, determined by the UEFA technical observer panel, not necessarily accumulated official stats. That player gets an extra 3 points.

Last Season POTM awards:

# of 22/23 POTMs

Player # POTM
Player # POTM
Kevin De Bruyne 4
Kylian Mbappé 4
Federico Valverde 3
Hakan Çalhanoğlu 3
Rafa Silva 3
Ferran Jutglà 2
Galeno 2
Jude Bellingham 2
Lautaro Martínez 2
Marcus Edwards 2
Mason Mount 2
Mohamed Salah 2
Mohammed Kudus 2
Rafael Leão 2
Rodri 2
Vinícius Júnior 2


All fantasy managers are allowed unlimited free transfers ahead of MD-1 and again ahead of MD-7 (the beginning of the knockout stage). Apart from those weeks, the number of free transfers available is limited.


Matchday Free Transfers
Matchday Free Transfers
Before MD 1 Unlimited
MD 1- MD 6 2 per MD
Before R 16 Unlimited
Before R 16 Leg 2 3
Before Quarterfinals 5
Before Quarterfinal 2nd leg 3
Before Semi Finals 5
Before Semi Finals 2nd leg 3
Before final 5

Like most other features of the game, the number of free transfers allowed before each matchday increases as listed above. Although it is possible to make more transfers by paying a -4 point hit per additional transfer, I would not recommend doing so unless you can’t field a starting 11 without paying the penalty.

It is also possible to carry forward one (and only one) unused transfer from each group-stage matchday to the next, but once the knockout stages begin, no transfers can be carried over at all.

In case you plan to use a chip in the next round, make sure not to carry forward a free transfer as the use of both the “Wildcard” and the “Limitless” chip allows unlimited transfers anyways and the use of the chip eliminates any unused free transfers. (Further details about the chips will be discussed in the upcoming segments.)


Between matchdays, you have the ability to make unlimited substitutions within your squad. After all games on a given calendar day have concluded and before the next games within that matchday begin, you can make the following changes:

- Substitute up to 4 players (unless they have been red-carded) with any of your bench players whose teams are yet to feature in that matchday. The players you sub out will earn 0 points for you that matchday, regardless of how many points they actually accumulated.

- Switch your captain to another player from your squad whose team is yet to play. This change forfeits the double-points bonus of your original captain, and instead the new captain’s score for that matchday will be doubled.

These subs can lead to great opportunities if you balance your team well between the matches within each round.


Similar to previous editions of the game, this year’s offers two chips, Limitless & Wildcard. Once a chip is played, it cannot be canceled.


This chip allows unlimited (temporary) transfers with an unlimited budget for exactly one matchday. Like Cinderella’s coach and horses, the team then reverts to what it was in the previous matchday (erasing free transfers, so don’t waste them). It’s like FPL’s “free hit” but with infinite budget.



If you are familiar with FPL, the wildcard in UCL fantasy works the same way: You can make unlimited free transfers for a matchday. Normal budget applies, and these transfers remain in your team at the conclusion of the matchday.

(screenshot from


Chip Tip

Using the limitless in group stage and the wildcard before the second leg of the quarterfinals is the default approach. But using both in the group stage can also work like a charm since the group stage is when you can break away from the pack since ownership is spread amongst the largest pool of players. Differential picks become much fewer as we move into the latter parts of the tournament because there are progressively fewer and fewer players to choose from.

NMA UCL Fantasy Mini-League

UCL Fantasy is up and running again for the 2023-24 season, so go ahead and start picking your squads! NMA’s mini-league is already waiting for you; just hit this link to join.

NMA UCL Fantasy Content

Be sure to check in with us regularly as we preview each of the UCL groups, and look for fantasy previews, player picks, and team news/injury reports ahead of each fantasy UCL matchday! (We also provide comprehensive coverage of the FPL and Fantrax fantasy Premier League platforms as well.)