A total of 32 UEFA teams entered the competition. The European zone was allocated 9.5 places (out of 16) in the final tournament. , the defending champions, qualified automatically, leaving 8.5 spots open for competition between 31 teams.
The 31 teams were divided into 9 groups of 3 or 4 teams each (five groups with 3 teams and four groups with 4 teams). The teams would play against each other on a home-and-away basis. The group winners would qualify, except the winner of Group 9, who would advance to the UEFA / CONMEBOL Intercontinental Play-off.
Below is a table containing all nine qualifying groups. Teams that secured a place in the final tournament are highlighted in green while teams who were eliminated are highlighted in red. The team that secured a place in the UEFA / CONMEBOL Intercontinental Play-off is highlighted in orange. Teams are ordered by final group position.
Teams highlighted in green qualified for the finals.