Real Madrid and Spain start season top of rankings

Real Madrid begin the new season with the highest UEFA club coefficient for the fifth year in a row.

Real Madrid have the highest UEFA coefficient ever recorded
Real Madrid have the highest UEFA coefficient ever recorded ©AFP/Getty Images

Real Madrid begin the new season with the highest UEFA club coefficient for the fifth year running while Spain continue to be the dominant European league.

The associations' positions in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League access lists are determined by the associations' coefficients established at the finish of the 2017/18 campaign, based upon the associations' coefficients from seasons 2013/14 to 2017/18.

UEFA club coefficient

  • The coefficients determine which pots clubs go into for this week's group stage draws, though UEFA Champions League Pot 1 is reserved for the holders and the domestic champions of the seven top-ranked associations.

Real Madrid ended 2016/17 with a record coefficient of 156.000, and increased that to 162.000 after their fourth UEFA Champions League win in the five seasons covered by the calculation. Their lead is a mammoth 22.000 points.

UEFA Europa League winners Atlético Madrid are second, meaning the same city provides the top two for the first time. Bayern München and Barcelona each dropped a place to make way and Juventus complete the top five. For the first time, Manchester City are England's top-ranked side in eighth.

Further down Roma moved up 16 places to 21st and Liverpool rose 12 to 22nd – both can make strides this year as neither were in Europe in 2013/14, a season that will cease to be in the five-season calculations. Roma also had no points to defend from 2012/13, which is why they overtook Liverpool despite losing to them in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

UEFA association club coefficient

  • Coefficients used to determine the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League access lists, as well as which nations' champions are placed in Pot 1 for the UEFA Champions League group stage draw.

Spain are the leading association for the sixth season in a row, and their lead is now more than 27 points. England, who picked up more points than any other nation last season, are second and Italy third. Germany are down to fourth but still comfortably clear of France in fifth: the top four positions carry four automatic UEFA Champions League group stage berths.

Lower down, Salzburg's run to the UEFA Europa League semis helped Austria rise four places into 11th, with the previous occupants of that position, the Czech Republic, down to 13th behind Switzerland. The Austrian champions could gain an automatic group place next season if the overall competition winners also qualify via their domestic championship, and Salzburg gain an automatic UEFA Europa League group berth.

UEFA club coefficient rankings: last ten end-of-season leaders

Season: Leading club/Leading association
2017/18: Real Madrid/Spain
2016/17: Real Madrid/Spain
2015/16: Real Madrid/Spain
2014/15: Real Madrid/Spain
2013/14: Real Madrid/Spain
2012/13: Barcelona/Spain
2011/12: Barcelona/England
2010/11: Manchester United/England
2009/10: Barcelona/England
2008/09: Barcelona/England

Why does it matter?

  • The association club coefficient is used to determine the ranking of the access lists for the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League – i.e. how many teams enter from each country and when.
  • The rankings after 2017/18 means it will be as you were in terms of the automatic UEFA Champions League group stage places in 2019/20, with four places for Spain, England, Italy and Germany; two spots for France and Russia; and one apiece for Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium and Turkey.
  • The winners of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League are assured of a place in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage. If they qualify through their domestic championship then that spot goes to the third side in the fifth-ranked association – France, as it was for this season.
  • The UEFA Champions League holders are also guaranteed a group berth. If they qualify through their domestic championship then the champions of the 11th-ranked association take that place. The Czech Republic were beneficiaries of that in 2018/19 thanks to Real Madrid but Austria's rise means it could be them in 2019/20.
  • In the UEFA Europa League, Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France all will receive two automatic places in the group stage; Russia, Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium, Turkey, Austria and Switzerland have one apiece. That means a solitary change to 2018/19, with Austria replacing the Czech Republic.

The line-ups for the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will be subject to final confirmation by UEFA in summer 2019.

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