When the draw for the group stages of the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League was made back on 25 August, each of 32 teams involved shared one common goal: to qualify for the knockout phase. One hundred and twelve matches and many tears, tragedies and triumphs later, the line-up for the last 16 is now complete.
Ahead of Friday's draw for the first knockout round, FIFA.com looks back on some of the most interesting facts and figures from the group stages of Europe's premier club competition this season.
155 When the draw takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, this Friday, 16 December, there will be precisely 155 days to go until the final at the Allianz Arena in Munich on 19 May 2012. Aside from the honour of being crowned Europe's best, the eventual winner will also earn a place at the FIFA Club World Cup 2012.
37 years and 289 days: When Ryan Giggs netted against Benfica on matchday 1 for Manchester United, he became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League. The Welshman also became the first player to score in 16 separate editions of the competition.
26 Gigg's team-mate Wayne Rooney is his country's highest-ever scorer in UEFA Champions League history with 26 goals. However, the Englishman will not be able to add to his tally this season after the Red Devils crashed out at the first hurdle.
22 Dinamo Zagreb will go into the UEFA Champions League history books after conceding a record 22 goals in six group stage matches (3.6 per match).
20 Defending champions Barcelona equalled the record for goals scored in the group stage, netting an impressive 20 times in their six first-round outings, the same amount as Manchester United in the 1998/99 campaign.
17 For only the third time in 17 years, English record champions Manchester United failed to qualify from their first round section. Never before has a finalist from the previous season bowed out of the competition at such an early stage.
13 The number of reigning national champions who exited the competition after the first round proper: BATE Borisov (Belarus), KRC Genk (Belgium), Borussia Dortmund (Germany), Manchester United (England), Lille (France), Olympiacos (Greece), Ajax (Netherlands), Porto (Portugal), Otelul Galati (Romania), Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic), Trabzonspor (Turkey), Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine).
10.84 The second-fastest goal in Champions League history was scored on 1 November in Valencia, where Jonas put the hosts ahead against Leverkusen with under 11 seconds on the clock.
6 and 4: Six former competition winners (Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Marseille) and four newcomers to the Round of 16 (Napoli, APOEL Nicosia, FC Basel, Zenit St. Petersburg) will be among the clubs eagerly awaiting their fate at the draw this Friday.
6 Only five teams have ever managed to win all six of their group stage encounters. AC Milan 1992/93, Paris St. Germain 1994/95, Spartak Moscow 1995/96 and Barcelona 2002/03 all maintained a perfect record prior to Real Madrid managing the same feat this season.
5 Of the five teams competing in the group stage for the very first time this season, only Napoli made it into the next round. Trabzonspor, FC Viktoria Plzen, FC Otelul Galati and Manchester City all suffered an early exit.
3 and 7 Three points and seven goals were what Lyon required to pip Ajax to second place when they took on Dinamo Zagreb in their final group fixture - and somehow they managed it. OL hammered their Croatian counterparts 7-1 away from home, while Ajax's 3-0 defeat against group winners Real Madrid ensured it was the French side who progressed. Bafetembi Gomis proved the matchwinner for the Ligue 1 outfit with his four goals.
1 Never before had a club from Cyprus qualified for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, but that record came to an end this season as APOEL Nicosia left Zenit St. Petersburg, Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk in their wake to win Group G.