The official website for European football

English rise as Spanish fall

Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 15.24CET
With four sides in the last 16 there is a smile on the face of English football but Spain has less to celebrate. features

Ten claims to fame: Rapid Wien
  • Ten claims to fame: Rapid Wien
  • Ten claims to fame: Lazio
  • Watch: When Club Brugge fell to Liverpool at Wembley
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Lionel Messi
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Luis Suárez
  • Sporting-CSKA Moskva: watch their 2005 final
  • What Arturo Vidal can bring to Bayern
  • Emotional Jevtić relishes Lech's Basel tie
  • Drogba joins Champions League winners in MLS
1 of 10
Published: Thursday 9 December 2004, 15.24CET

English rise as Spanish fall

With four sides in the last 16 there is a smile on the face of English football but Spain has less to celebrate.
There was a smile on the face of English football today after the country's four UEFA Champions League representatives all made it through to the competition's last 16. However, there was less to celebrate in Spain which, for the first time since 2001, will have only two participants in Europe's premier club competition past Christmas.

Premiership hopes
Liverpool FC's dramatic defeat of Olympiacos CFP last night meant they joined Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC in qualifying for the first knockout round. England has had four Champions League places for three years now but never before have they all made it this far and - with a regulation forbidding teams from the same country to be paired in the last 16 - there will be genuine hope of going one better than in 2001 when three Premiership sides reached the quarter-finals.

Deportivo's demise
Last season's final 16 included four teams from Spain but this season only FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF have made it through the group stage, following the demise of RC Deportivo La Coruña and Valencia CF. Deportivo failed to score a single goal in six group matches and will enter the new year without Champions League football for the first time since 2000.

Strong performances
Primera División clubs have performed strongly in the Champions League in recent years. Madrid won the trophy in 1998, 2000 and 2002, while Valencia were finalists in 2000 and 2001. In addition, Spain provided three quarter-finalists in 2002, along with a memorable all-Spanish semi-final between Madrid and Barcelona, and there were three Spanish sides again in the last eight in 2003.

Bundesliga boost
In addition to four English and two Spanish sides, there will be three from both Italy (AC Milan, Juventus FC, FC Internazionale Milano) and Germany (FC Bayern München, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Werder Bremen). For both countries this is an improvement on last season where each had two representatives in the last 16 and it is a notable achievement for the Bundesliga sides as not since 1997/98 have three German teams made it out of a group stage.

Warning for winners
The remaining places go to clubs from France (AS Monaco FC, Olympique Lyonnais), the Netherlands (PSV Eindhoven) and Portugal (FC Porto). Both French clubs won their groups, as did the three Italian clubs and Arsenal and Chelsea from England. However, the group winners should note that in the runners-up bowl in next week's draw will be the top four teams in the all-time Champions League rankings - as they stood before this season - namely Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern.

Last updated: 10/12/04 16.25CET

Related information

Team profiles

  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.