Sunday, February 27, 2011

Champions League - Bundesliga moving up

One of my fellow podcaster and contributor to this blog - The Gooner aka Sam - favorite pet topic is starting to gain some momentum. With all the "excitement" of the Carling Cup...terrible loss for Arsenal...a story came out that Germany has surpassed Italy in terms of UEFA coefficients. Confused? Basically the coefficients are ways for FIFA and UEFA to determine the strength of leagues and nations, resulting in how many teams per league can qualify for the Champions League and Europa Cup as well as where national teams get seeded for qualifiers. For a more in depth explanation click here.

What is interesting is that for the past few years it was always the "big three" in Europe - La Liga in Spain, EPL in England and Serie A in Italy. These three leagues were seen as the top of the hierarchy allowing them to send 4 clubs to the Champions League, but Germany had been quietly creeping up and they have finally ousted Italy from the guaranteed 4 clubs ranks. A testament to Bundesliga clubs who have done well in both European Cup competitions and to some degree a reflection of he disarray in Italy. One has to wonder the impact of the 2006 Calcipoli scandal which saw the likes of Juventus and Fiorentina ousted from Champions League and Lazio kicked out of the then UEFA cup. Juventus was stripped of previous Serie A titles and sent to Serie B. Juventus was a force during those seasons and who knows how they would have fared in the Champions League - they had reached the 1/4 finals in 2005 and 2006.

Couple this with the Bundesliga and its concerted efforts to develop talent from the youth ranks and practicing fiscal responsibility and you get what we have today - Italy down to 3 clubs and Germany up to 4. The interesting fact is Italy's coefficient is closer to France in 5th place than they are to Germany. If Italy falls behind France it will be a true reflection of how far Serie A has fallen in Europe...seems like Sam was on to something!

Mvmt↓ League↓ 2006–07↓ 2007–08↓ 2008–09↓ 2009–10↓ 2010–11↓ Coeff.↓ CL places↓ EL places↓ Total↓
1 1 Disc Plain yellow dark.svg England England 16.625 17.875 15.000 17.928 15.500 82.928 4 3 7
2 2 Disc Plain yellow dark.svg Spain Spain 19.000 13.875 13.312 17.928 13.214 77.329
3 4 Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1 Germany Germany 9.500 13.500 14.333 18.083 14.333 68.103
4 3 RedDownArrow.svg −1 Italy Italy 11.928 10.250 11.375 15.428 11.000 59.981 3 6
5 5 Disc Plain yellow dark.svg France France 10.000 6.928 11.000 15.000 10.583 53.511
6 9 Green-Up-Arrow.svg +3 Portugal Portugal 8.083 7.928 6.785 10.000 11.800 44.596

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