Clocking up the miles

We make our longest-ever away trip in a European competition on Wednesday, when Chelsea will travel around 4,000 kilometres to meet Azerbaijani league champions Qarabag in the Champions League.

Qarabag are the first Azeri club to qualify for the Champions League and they welcome the Blues to the 69,870 capacity Baku Olympic Stadium, which has already hosted Roma and Atletico Madrid.

To get there, Antonio Conte’s side will need to take a six-hour flight from London to Baku and cover a distance of approximately 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometres), which surpasses our previous longest away trip in the Champions League by nearly 300 miles (500 kilometres).

That came almost exactly two years ago when we travelled approximately 3,560 kilometres to Haifa in northern Israel and beat Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 in a group stage game at the Sammy Ofer Stadium.

It was our second visit to Israel following a 2-0 loss to Hapoel Tel Aviv in the second round of the UEFA Cup in October 2001, at Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

Our next furthest Champions League journey was the 3,215-kilometre trip in September 2009 to Cyprus for a 1-0 win against APOEL in the group stage.

However, Chelsea’s trip to Baku is not the longest journey that will be made in European competition this week, as Astana will make a trek of nearly 5,500 kilometres from Kazakhstan to Spain to face Villarreal in the Europa League.

Chelsea’s longest European trips

Baku, Azerbaijan – 3,975 km / 2,470 miles

Qarabag, Champions League, November 2017

Tel Aviv, Israel – 3,560 km / 2,212 miles

Hapoel Tel Aviv, UEFA Cup, October 2001
Maccabi Tel Aviv, Champions League, November 2015

Nicosia, Cyprus – 3,221 km / 2001 miles

APOEL, Champions League, September 2009

Donetsk, Ukraine – 2,724 km / 1,692 miles

Shakhtar Donetsk, Champions League, October 2012

Moscow, Russia – 2,503 km / 1,556 miles

CSKA Moscow, Champions League, November 2004
Manchester United, Champions League final, May 2008
Spartak Moscow, Champions League, October 2010
Rubin Kazan, Europa League, April 2013

Istanbul, Turkey – 2,486 km / 1,551 miles

Galatasaray, Champions League, October 1999 & February 2014
Fenerbahce, Champions League, April 2008

Athens, Greece – 2,394 km / 1,488 miles

Real Madrid, Cup Winners’ Cup final, May 1971
Olympiacos, Champions League, February 2008

Tromso, Norway – 2,250 km / 1,398 miles

Tromso, Cup Winners’ Cup, October 1997

Thessaloniki, Greece – 2,139 km / 1,329 miles

Aris Thessaloniki, Cup Winners’ Cup, September 1970

Kiev, Ukraine – 2,136 km / 1,327 miles

Dynamo Kiev, Champions League, October 2015

Note: all travel distances stated are approximate point-to-point measurements