They are three nations to be able to claim the 5e place in the UEFA ranking at the end of the season: France, which currently occupies this rank in the general ranking (established according to the results of the clubs over the last five years), the Netherlands (6e) and Portugal (7e). A fifth place which is of paramount importance this season. It will qualify, from 2024, the year of the new Champions League formula with 36 teams, three clubs directly for the group stage and a fourth in the preliminary round.
Five clubs qualified out of six entered
Currently, first and second place in Ligue 1 offer a direct ticket to the group stage, while third must pass two preliminary rounds. France could therefore have four representatives in the most prestigious of European cups in two years, against three (2 + 1) being 6e and two (1+1) being 7e.
But this unfortunate scenario seems to be moving away. At the end of the group stages of the Champions League, the Europa League and the Europa League Conference, France retains a good lead over its pursuers, even if it is only 6e in the standings for the current season, closely followed by Belgium, ahead of Holland (9e) and behind Portugal (5e). With five clubs still qualified, against four for its direct competitors. An important criterion. To calculate a country’s coefficient, UEFA adds up the points won by the teams, before dividing the total by the number of clubs entered at the start of the season on the European stage.
Portugal in great shape
Even if it is further in the standings, the most serious opponent for France is undoubtedly Portugal. Benfica and Porto finished first in their Champions League group and thus earned the four bonus points for such a performance. PSG took two by finishing second. Sporting will play the Europa League play-offs and Braga those of the Europa League Conference.
Good results, but with more than four points behind in the general classification calculated on the performances of the last five years, it is highly unlikely that Portugal will manage to overtake France at the end of the season.
The Netherlands move away
France is distancing itself from its most direct and therefore most dangerous competitor, the Netherlands, which has not qualified any club for the 8are final of the Champions League, against only one for PSG. On the other hand, Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven will play in the Europa League play-offs. Feyenoord Rotterdam, first in their group, go straight to 8elike AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League Conference.