March 29, 2023

Portugal still dreams of having three teams in the first edition of the new Champions League… but the scenario is difficult – Champions League

Overcoming the Netherlands until the end of this season remains complicated, despite Sporting’s qualification to the “quarters” of the Europa League.

Sporting’s progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League after knocking out Arsenal on penalties keeps Portugal in with a mathematical chance of overtaking the Netherlands and returning to 6th in the UEFA rankings. This is vital, as starting next season in this position, instead of the current 7th, would allow our country to retain the ability to put three teams in the Champions League in 2024/25, in exactly the first season. new test format.

With Benfica and Sporting still ‘alive’, Portugal can gain up to four more points if they both win all their games until the end of their respective competitions, finishing with 59,882 (today 55,882). Well, the Netherlands currently have 58.9 (and Feyenoord and AZ are still competing), which makes this overage very tricky.

To get an idea of ​​the problem, suffice it to say that, for example, it would be necessary for Benfica and Sporting to win all their matches in the quarter-finals and semi-finals and, at the same time, for AZ and Feyenoord to lose. all matches in the “fourth”. Remember that each win is worth 2 points, plus 1 extra for going to the quarter finals, semi finals and final. These numbers are then divided by the number of teams with which the respective country started the European season. In this scenario described above of Eagles and Lions reaching the finals with only triumphs, Portugal would score 20 points, which divided by six (the number of teams they have had in Europe this season) is worth 3.3, a “harvest » enough to overcome the Dutch … in case they didn’t score more.

If Portugal finish this season in 7th place in the UEFA rankings, the 1st ranked Liga Bwin in the 2023/24 season will have direct access to the group stage of the Champions 24/25, while the 2nd will go to the third qualifying round . . The 3rd team would go to the 3rd qualifying round of the Conference League (the winner of the Portuguese Cup would qualify for the Europa League).

UEFA ranking

Remember that the new Champions League will go from 32 to 36 teams, leaving the group stage to become a single league, with a guaranteed minimum of eight meetings for each club. Only then will there be a place for the round of 16 and so on.

A way… unlikely

There is, however, a way to overcome this possible drop in the rankings and qualify a third team for the Champions League. It is that the extension of the test provides that two of the four new places will be given to the two countries with the best score in the previous season. That is, if Portugal is ranked 1st or 2nd in the UEFA rankings in the 2023/24 season, then they will be eligible for one more spot.

Sporting through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League, after eliminating Arsenal on penalties, Portugal still have a mathematical chance of overcoming the Netherlands and returning to 6th place in the UEFA rankings….

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