Soccer – UEFA’s Country Ranking: How it works and what it serves for?

UEFA Rankings

UEFA’s country  rankings are determined accordingly to the performance of teams in the Champions League and Europa League having as reference the last five years. Country rankings are important since they determine the number of teams that each country are entitled to elect to both Leagues, as well as their direct entry or not into group phases avoiding qualifying or play-off games.

In each Champions League and Europa League game a team is awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw. Points are awarded only for matches that have actually been played, in accordance with the results ratified by UEFA. Penalty shoot-outs do not affect the result used to calculate the coefficient. In qualifying matches, as indicated below, points scored differ whether they respect to Champions League or Europa League.

Furthermore, since 2010 a team’s qualification for the Champions’ League group phase grants a bonus of 4 points (2 points before 1995, 1 point between 1995 and 2003 and 3 points in the period ranging from 2004 till 2009). Additionally, qualification for the first knock-out round of the Champions League (after the group phase) is worth 5 bonus points (no points were awarded before 2004 and 1 point was conceded between 2004 and 2009). Finally, 1 additional bonus point is awarded for reaching the quarter final, the semi final and the final (these are cumulative). All this means that a team reaching the Champions League Final, and apart from points resulting from wins and draws, collects a total of 12 bonus points.

For the case of the Europa League, 1 bonus point is awarded for reaching the quarterfinals, semi-finals and final (points are cumulative). This means that a team reaching the Europa League final only gets a total of 3 bonus points, which stresses how important it is for team to be inside the Champions League competition, not only in terms of ranking, but also in what concerns financial revenues.

Since 2009, qualification matches of the Champions League and the Europa League also award bonus points in a non cumulative manner: Champions League – 0.5 or 1 point for reaching the first or second qualifying round; Europa League – 0.25, 0.5, 1, 1.5 or 2 points, respectively for reaching the first, second, third qualifying rounds, play-off or group stage. Clubs that reach the group stage are guaranteed a minimum of two points even if the number of points actually obtained during this stage is lower. However those points are not taken into consideration for the calculation of the country’s ranking.

The computation of the UEFA Country Ranking proceeds as follows:

a) Points and bonus points, as described before, obtained by a country’s teams are all added up, with the particularity mentioned below.

b)  Since 2009, in qualification matches only 1 point is awarded for a win and a draw is worth 0.5 points. Before that points were granted as if those matches were ‘normal ones’ (2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw).

c) The ranking of a certain year is calculated by averaging the total number of points as referred in a) and b) with the total number of teams of each country that took part of the competition on that year. Then, the UEFA country ranking which determines the number of teams that a country in entitled to in the next year’s Champions League and the Europa League is calculated by summing up the last 5 years.

Country participating teams’ allocation on a certain year’s competition is then defined as follows:

  N.º of Teams
Ranking Champions League Europa League
1-3 4 3
4-6 3 3
7-9 2 4
10-15 2 3
16-51 1 3
52-53 1 2

and teams of a certain country that qualify for the Europa League are:

i) Two representatives: the winner of the domestic cup and the club which finishes the top domestic league championship immediately below the club which qualifies for the UEFA Champions League.

ii) Three representatives: the winner of the domestic cup and the two clubs which finish the top domestic league championship immediately below the club(s) which qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

iii) Four representatives: the winner of the domestic cup and the three clubs which finish the top domestic league championship immediately below the club(s) which qualify for the UEFA Champions League

For more detailed information, check UEFA’s regulation on:

http://pt.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/Regulations/competitions/Regulations/01/62/69/60/1626960_DOWNLOAD.pdf

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