Astana’s round of 32 tie against Sporting CP will involve a round-trip of over 12,000km for both sides, but it is not (quite) the longest trip in UEFA club competition history, as discovers.

Astana’s Kazakh forward Aleksey Shchetkin (L) vies for the ball with Benfica’s forward Goncalo Guedes during the UEFA Champions League group C football match between FC Astana and SL Benfica at the Astana Arena stadium in Astana on November 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / STANISLAV FILIPPOV / AFP / STANISLAV FILIPPOV (Photo credit should read STANISLAV FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images)

A European record was set in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage when Benfica beat Astana 2-0 at home and drew 2-2 in the return leg in Kazakhstan – the away sides making the longest journeys in the history of UEFA’s club competitions, around 6,173km.

A similar journey is now on the cards for Astana and Sporting CP, who meet in the first leg of their round of 32 tie on 15 February. Sporting’s Estadio José Alvalade is a little to the east of the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, meaning Astana nominally have a few thousand metres less to travel as the crow flies than they did in 2015. maps the extremes of the footballing continent.

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