Barcelona face Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Friday evening, in a tie that could happily grace a showpiece final.
It might feel like a final, at least: there is a brand new format in place from this round onwards – due to safety concerns and time constraints caused by the global pandemic – where matches will be played on neutral ground in Lisbon and a winner decided on the night.
Undoubtedly both sides would have hoped to avoid the other at this stage, but history is at least on the side of the winner. Barça and Bayern have met four times in European knockouts, with the victor each time going on to win the competition. (Two times in the Champions League for Barça; once in this competition and once in the UEFA Cup for Bayern.)
You certainly wouldn’t bet against that being the case again in 2020, and one of these sides adding to their five previous European Cup titles to edge beyond the other.
Barcelona might have most to prove having relinquished their Liga crown to Real Madrid after lockdown. They were more convincing when beating Napoli last weekend, however, and do of course possess probably the greatest player ever to have graced a football pitch in Lionel Messi.
Not that Bayern are without their superstars. In fact, there are many who believe it was only FIFA’s decision not to award the Ballon d’Or in 2020 that has stopped Robert Lewandowski officially being named the best in the world this year.
The games will come thick and fast, interwoven between UEFA Europa League fixtures happening in Germany, with the showpiece final due to take place on Sunday 23rd August. Barcelona vs Bayern Munich kicks off at 8.00pm BST on Friday 14th August.
Read on to find out how you can see all the action, in the best possible quality, wherever you are in the world.
Watch a Champions League live stream for free
Football fans in Austria, Canada, Germany and Japan get the chance to watch the UEFA Champions League for free. DAZN has the rights to show the Champions knockouts and a whole host of sports in these territories, and, best of all, DAZN offers a 1-month free trial. So long as you’ve not used yours already, then you can fill your boots.
Sadly the DAZN free trial isn’t available to those outside these regions. If you are a DAZN customer but travelling abroad, you’ll need to sign up to a VPN service to make sure you can access the DAZN Champions League live stream wherever you are.
It’s also worth noting that there are free streams on terrestrial channels such Match TV in Russia, if that’s where you happen to be. You can find a full list of the world’s broadcasters with rights to show the live Champions League football here.
Watch the Champions League anywhere in the world using a VPN
We’ll look at the TV and live stream options for UK and USA-based Champions League fans below, but even after spending all that money on a subscription you’re still not going to be able to watch the knock-out stage from another country.
There are certain territories where the Champions League football is free to watch (you can find a full list of the free Champions League broadcasters here along with the pay channels too). So, if you’re away in one of these places, you may just need to tune in on your hotel TV or find a local bar.
Anywhere else and you’ll want to get yourself a VPN instead. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can spoof an IP address which is local to the server you’d like to access. That way your service provider will think you’re in the correct country to do so and allow you to watch the Champions League on your subscription as if you were back home.
VPNs are also as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or accessing websites people in your location are not supposed to do. They encrypt the data passing between you and the server, so that the information remains private.
So, whether you want to watch live football, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then a VPN is well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of the world’s broadcasters with rights to show live the Champions League football here.
Watch the Champions League live the UK
Rights to show the UEFA Champions League in the UK belong to BT Sport, whose long-term deal to broadcast all matches from UEFA club competitions means you’ll also be able to watch the Europa League.
BT Sport for existing BT TV customers from just £10
Upgrading to all four BT Sport channels is no big deal if you’re already a BT customer. Those with BT TV already can access the channels for £10 per month. BT Broadband customers can enjoy the BT Sport app and watch on the go for the same price.View Deal
New BT broadband and BT TV customers will gain access to the coverage free of charge, while it costs £10 each month for existing customers. Sky TV users can also add BT Sport to their existing package from £25 a month, but that will not include any 4K viewing.
However you subscribe to BT Sport, though, you will get access to streams via the BT website and BT Sport app, so you can watch on the move within the UK or from abroad, using a VPN.
Watch the Champions League live in 4K
You can watch the Champions League in 4K HDR, beamed at 50fps on BT Sport Ultimate, channel 433. If you’re hooked up specifically on the BT TV platform then it’s also available in with Dolby Atmos sound.
The game is also available, minus the Atmos, for Virgin Media customers who subscribe to the BT Sport Collection. You can enjoy it in 4K HDR on channel 555.
BT Sport Ultimate is not available on the Sky TV platform but anyone with an Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV or a Samsung TV can watch the Champions League in 4K HDR using the BT Sport app with the BT Sport Monthly Pass for just £25. No contract required.
BT Sport Monthly Pass for £25 per month
Enjoy the Champions League, FA Cup, Premier League and more in 4K HDR, all contract-free through the BT Sport app on games consoles, Apple TV and Samsung TVs. You do not need to be a BT customer and can opt out at any time.View Deal
The other option is to give yourself over to BT entirely and, right now, there’s a very reasonable BT Sport/Broadband/BT TV deal on offer. It doesn’t bring the very fastest speeds nor the most channels either but it still allows you to watch BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2, BT Sport 3 and BT Sport 4 with access to the 4K HDR streams through the BT Sport app.
BT Sport, BT TV and BT Broadband for £35 per month
This very reasonable triple threat offer includes line rental, an HD-enabled YouView box, four BT Sport channels and access to the 4K HDR coverage through the BT Sport app on compatible devices. It’s a 24-month contract with a set-up cost and a 36Mb fibre connection. View Deal
Those on Virgin Media will need the Virgin V6 box and a 4K TV to make sure they’re getting the action at maximum resolution. With the basic Big Bundle, BT Sport is £18 per month but all five BT Sport channels, including Ultra HD, are included on the larger TV packages which start at £57 per month. More details on Virgin Media TV bundles.
Watch the Champions League live in the USA
UEFA Champions League fans in the States are lucky enough to be able to watch some of the European football action free on Spanish language network Univision. The rest, you’ll have to pay for and the rights are shared out between Univision Deportes Network and Turner Sports.
Take a look at the schedules on their website to work how to follow your favourite team, and don’t forget to use a VPN if you’re watching from abroad.
Champions League Fixtures
All times shown in BST.
Wednesday 12th August
Atalanta 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
Thursday 13th August
RB Leipzig 2-1 Atlético Madrid
Friday 14th August
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, 8.00pm – BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Extra 1 / BT Sport Ultimate
Saturday 15th August
Manchester City vs Lyon, 8.00pm – BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Extra 1 / BT Sport Ultimate
Tuesday 18th August
RB Leipzig vs Paris Saint-Germain, 8.00pm – BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Extra 1 / BT Sport Ultimate
Wednesday 19th August
Manchester City / Lyon vs Barcelona / Bayern Munich, 8.00pm – BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Extra 1 / BT Sport Ultimate
Sunday 23rd August
Final, 8.00pm – BT Sport 1 / BT Sport Extra 1 / BT Sport Ultimate / BT Sport YouTube