This was the 2nd season with the expanded Group Stage. To accommodate the extra matches only 24 domestic champions of the UEFA member associations participated in the 1995–96 UEFA Champions League.
The 16 lower tier domestic champions played a home and away knockout round. The champions of Cyprus and Norway participated replacing Czech Republic and Luxembourg from the 1994-95 competition.
|New teams|| Teams in |
| Teams eliminated |
|Qualifying Round||16 new teams||>>> 8 teams|
|Group Stage|| 8 Qualifying winners |
8 new teams
>>> 8 teams
The 8 winners from the Qualifying Round joined with the 8 higher tier domestic champions to form 4 groups of 4 teams, playing a home and away series.
The top 2 teams from each group advanced to the knockout stage.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|2||Nantes||Legia Warsaw||Borussia Dortmund||Real Madrid|
|4||Aalborg BK||Blackburn Rovers||Rangers||Grasshoppers|