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Benfica sure of a UEFA Champions League league phase slot following Atalanta's UEFA Europa League final win

With UEFA Europa League winners Atalanta having already earned a 2024/25 UEFA Champions League slot, Benfica have been handed a bonus.


The 2023/24 UEFA Europa League winners, Atalanta automatically qualify for the league phase of next season’s UEFA Champions League – but had also earned a place via their domestic league position.

Benfica qualify
After finishing second in the Portuguese Liga – the champions qualify automatically for the league phase of the Champions League – Benfica were set to go into Champions League qualifying. However, accounting for their individual coefficient, Benfica will instead take the additional league phase berth vacated by the Europa League winners.

Coefficient principles

One of the main principles of the new European club competition format post-2024 is the important role of the club coefficient – namely, the club's performance in European competition over the current five-year period.

It is for this reason, under the 2024–27 club competition format, that if the Europa League winners qualify directly for the league phase of the Champions League via their domestic league, then the club with the best individual coefficient of all the teams in Champions League qualifying (champions path and league path) goes directly through to the league phase.

However, no leapfrogging is permitted here, meaning a team from the league path can only move up to the league phase provided that this club is the highest ranked domestically of those from its association that have not already qualified for the league phase of the competition directly. If this is not the case, the automatic league phase place goes to the club with the next best coefficient.

What does this mean in practice? 

The top ten coefficients for clubs currently on course to be involved in Champions League qualifying (champions path and league path).

Benfica (POR) – 79.000 (2nd in domestic league)
Rangers (SCO) – 63.000 (2nd)
Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR) – 63.000 (1st)
Slavia Praha (CZE) – 53.000 (2nd)
Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) – 50.000 (1st)
Salzburg (AUT) – 50.000 (2nd)
LOSC Lille (FRA) – 47.000 (4th)
Crvena Zvezda (SRB) – 40.000 (1st)
PAOK (GRE) – 37.000 (1st)
Fenerbahçe (TUR) – 36.000 (2nd)

Last updated at 09:00 CET on Monday 27 May.

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