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What happens if the UEFA Europa League winners have also qualified for the league phase of the Champions League via their domestic league position?

What happens if the UEFA Europa League winners have also earned a place in the league phase of the 2024/25 UEFA Champions League via their domestic league position?

The 2023/24 UEFA Europa League winners will automatically qualify for the league phase of next season’s UEFA Champions League – but what happens if they have also earned a place via their domestic league position?

Last updated at 09:00 CET on Tuesday 16 April.

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)
LOSC Lille (FRA) – 45.000 (4th)
Crvena zvezda (SRB) – 40.000 (1st)
Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR) – 35.500 (1st)
Ferencváros (HUN) – 35.000 (1st)
Young Boys (SUI) – 34.500 (1st)
Fenerbahçe (TUR) – 34.000 (2nd)

Benfica would qualify as it stands
As they are currently second in the Portuguese Liga – the champions qualify automatically for the league phase of the Champions League – Benfica would initially be destined to go into Champions League qualifying. However, accounting for their individual coefficient, Benfica would instead take the additional league phase berth vacated by the Europa League winners should such rebalancing be required. The access list would subsequently be rebalanced accordingly.

The final outcome will only be confirmed once domestic competitions and the knockout rounds of the 2023/24 European competitions are complete, since several eligible clubs are still participating in this season's European club competitions and therefore still have the potential to enhance their overall coefficient.

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