UEFA Coefficient: The Best European Club and Country Rankings
Most soccer fans and bettors have heard of UEFA coefficients, especially during discussions of team performances. However, not many people bother to find out what these coefficients are or their value in soccer. The UEFA coefficient system might be an element of the sport you might be interested in but never knew where to start. This guide breaks down how European teams collect points for club and country and how UEFA calculates rankings.
History of UEFA Coefficients
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of six bodies that govern continental football. The organization, established in 1954, currently has 55 national association members. It administers association soccer in Europe, Asia, Israel, and some Eurasian countries. UEFA oversees several European competitions, including the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League.
UEFA introduced coefficients for men's soccer tournaments in 1979 for ranking and seeding teams in international and club competitions. In 1997, UEFA developed the national team coefficient, which was used for seeding the Euro 2000 qualifying and finals tournaments for the first time. The UEFA country ranking was created to have an official UEFA rating for European nations, which was to be part of the seeding criteria. The first ranking calculation method was used until 2007 when it was overhauled. UEFA again changed how it ranks European countries after 2017.
UEFA Club Coefficients
The UEFA coefficient is a rating system that awards numerical points to each of the participating clubs in a European club competition. When clubs play in the UEFA Champions League (UCL), UEFA Europa League, and UEFA Europa Conference League, they earn coefficient points. The UEFA coefficient matters because they not only rate how a team performs in competitions but also how it's seeded. Therefore, a club's coefficient influences its opponents in upcoming tournaments.
How Are UEFA Club Coefficients Calculated?
The men's club coefficient is determined by the combined points earned from the past five seasons of playing in three UEFA competitions; UCL, Europa, and Europa Conference. Alternatively, a club can be ranked using 20% of its association coefficient calculated over the same period. UEFA picks the higher coefficient between the two. Each result in a competition is worth a certain number of points. The competition and stage dictate the point value. For example, a club gets two points for winning in the Champions League group stage or later. According to the system, a win gets two points, a draw is a single point and a loss is worth zero for games played in the main stages of European competitions.
Qualifying rounds only factor into the calculation if a team is eliminated. Eliminations in the UCL and Europa qualifying stages don't count because these clubs proceed to Europa or the Europa Conference Leagues, where they collect points. The coefficient considers match results after extra time, but not after a penalty shootout. Participating clubs receive bonus points for making it to the group stage of any of the three tournaments. Note that points are given according to a competition's regulations in a specific season. So, the above is the UEFA coefficient rating for the 2021/2022 season.
What Competitions do UEFA Club Coefficients affect?
UEFA's ranking of European clubs impacts how they are seeded in the qualifying and finals tournaments of the three main tournaments. Here is a highlight of these competitions.
UEFA Champions League
One of the biggest soccer tournaments in the world, the UEFA Champions League (UCL) brings together European clubs from the top division. The competition was launched in 1955. Clubs that pass through the group stages enter a double-legged knockout stage and then a single-leg final. It consists of the league champions of UEFA national associations. Some countries also include group runners-up. The winner qualifies for the next UCL, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup. Spanish clubs have had the most wins, with Real Madrid being the most successful.
UEFA Europa League
Previously known as the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Europa League (UEL) is the second-tier of European club competition. Introduced in 1971, the tournament ranked third in European soccer until the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was discontinued in 1999. Clubs that fail to qualify for the UCL in their national leagues enter the UEL. UEFA coefficients determine which teams qualify for the tournament. The winner heads into the next UEFA Super Cup and the group stage of the upcoming UEFA Champions League.
UEFA Europa Conference League
The UEFA Conference League (UECL) is the third level of European club competition, which was introduced in the 2021-2022 season. It comprises lower-ranking UEFA national soccer associations, with clubs qualifying depending on their performance in the cup and country leagues. The competition doesn't have direct group stage qualifications. It takes in 10 teams eliminated from the UEL playoffs. The UECL holds qualifiers to determine the rest of the participants. Winning the Europa Conference gets a team into the Europa League. Roma is the UECL's inaugural winner.
Top 3 UEFA Clubs Since 1975
Club coefficients are calculated by adding the points awarded in the Champions League, Europa, and Europa Conference over the previous five seasons. UEFA can also use 20% of a club's association coefficient if it's higher. Teams receive points depending on the tournament and stages played. Spain is the most dominant association in the confederation, with two of the highest ranking clubs since the introduction of coefficients. Here's a quick look at the top three teams.
The Spanish Giants have topped the UEFA coefficient the most times in a 5-year period. It was the leading team in Europe for the periods between 1988 and 1995; 1997 and 2005; and 2010 and 2019. Real Madrid has a total of 15 points. The club is one of the founders of the Spanish top division, La Liga, and has never been relegated from the league. It has 68 domestic trophies, including 35 La Liga titles. Real Madrid has won the UCL (formerly European Cup) a record 14 times.
The Italian side, Juventus, ties at No. 2 with 7 points. The club ranked first between 1983 and 1988; 1987 and 1991; and 1995 and 2000. Currently, it's the record holder of 14 Coppa Italia wins and nine Supercoppa Italian titles. Juventus has won the UCL twice, UEFA Super Cup twice and UEFA Cup thrice. The club is No. 1 in the FIGC classification and No. 8 in the latest UEFA club coefficients.
Currently in sixth place in the latest club ranking, Spanish team FC Barcelona ties for second position (7 points) with Juventus on the list of the most dominant European sides since 1975. Barcelona has ranked first on three separate occasions; for the seasons between 1977 and 1983; 2005 and 2010; and 2008 and 2013. It's one of the founders of Primera Divisíon and plays in Spain's top league, La Liga. Barcelona holds 75 domestic trophies, including 26 La Liga wins. It has 20 European and international titles, including five Champions League trophies.
UEFA Country Coefficients
Another ranking that measures how a UEFA member association performs is the country or association coefficient. This system calculates the collective performance of the different teams in a UEFA national association. It determines the number of spots a country gets in European competitions. UEFA uses the ranking to select the clubs playing in the season after the next, not the immediate next.
How Does UEFA Calculate National Association Coefficients?
The UEFA coefficient for national soccer associations is the sum of the points the clubs a country has in the relevant competitions. This score is an average, calculated by dividing the total points by the number of teams. Similar to club coefficients, the association coefficient factors the last five seasons. For example, if England has five clubs in European tournaments, with 32, 26, 23, 20, and 19 points, the country's ranking would be 24. The figure is rounded down to three decimal places.
Besides wins and draws, clubs receive bonus points in different circumstances, which are added to the overall points. Bonuses are available for group stage participants in the UCL (4 points), group winners of the Europa League (4) and Europa Conference (2), group runners-up of the UEL (2) and UECL (1), reaching the round of 16, the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the UCL and UEL. In a case where a club has less than 1/5 of the country's coefficient, it gets 20% of the association rating to use for ranking.
What are the benefits of higher coefficient points scored?
The points awarded to a national association dictate the number of clubs it can send to the Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference League. Soccer associations with a high coefficient get more qualification positions than lower-ranking countries. Presently, England, Germany, Spain, and Italy each get seven spots - four for the UCL and two for the Europa League.
Top 3 UEFA National Associations
UEFA has 55 national soccer associations under it. The confederation is one of the strongest, comprising the biggest club and country teams in men's football. Over the history of the UEFA coefficient, four nations have dominated the rankings. Below is a quick breakdown of the top UEFA member associations.
England - The Football Association (FA)
Known as the 'Home of Football,' England is among the most prominent associations in the confederation. The FA dates back to 1863, making it the world's oldest football association. Based at the Wembley Stadium, the FA runs various domestic competitions, such as the FA Cup, that contribute to the region's club points. The FA joined FIFA in 1905 and left during WWI, but rejoined in 1924. It joined UEFA in 1954. Seven teams from the English Premier League (EPL) get spots in UEFA tournaments.
Spain - Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)
The RFEF, founded in 1909, administers soccer in Spain. It governs the Campeonato National de Liga, which includes the Primera Divisíon and Segunda Divisíon. The federation became part of FIFA in 1914. Spain was one of UEFA's founding members in 1954. The country has seven qualifying positions in UEFA competitions. La Liga is the national league championship and one of the top clubs in UEFA rankings.
Italy - Italian Football Federation (FIGC)
Football's governing body in Italy, the FIGC, was established in 1898. It became a member of FIFA in 1905 and helped in founding UEFA. FIGC manages various aspects of Italian soccer, including the national league and Coppa Italia. Italy sends seven teams from the country's top league, Serie A, to UEFA tournaments.
Coefficient Schedules - When Are the Coefficients Updated?
UEFA publishes its coefficients after the end of every round of a club competition. The ratings have to be available in time for ranking and seeding teams for the three UEFA tournaments. You can find updated lists for different coefficients on the UEFA website.
FAQ on UEFA Men's Coefficient
Do you still have questions about the UEFA coefficient system? The following section offers insights into the ranking for clubs and countries.
What is the Point of the UEFA Coefficient?
UEFA rates its member clubs and countries using weighted arithmetic to rank performance. It assigns coefficient points depending on the results of UEFA tournaments. UEFA uses the coefficients to decide the qualification spots member associations get for the Champions League and Europa League. Whereas some national leagues only qualify their champions, stronger associations qualify teams that reached the semi-finals. Club coefficients are used for ranking and seeding teams during UEFA competitions. The more points a team has, the more favorable its opponents are in the qualifying rounds.
When Does UEFA Update Its Club Coefficients?
The rankings, based on a club's performance over the previous five seasons, are updated after every finished round of UEFA club tournaments.
How Often are Coefficients Updated On Oddspedia?
As soon as UEFA releases the latest club and national coefficients, you can find them on Oddspedia because the platform strives to keep you in the know. All details are in real-time, so you don't have to wait to find out how different teams rank.
Where Are England In The Current coefficients?
England, which gets seven spots in UEFA competitions, is currently the top team in the latest country ranking. It has 106.641 points in the association club coefficient and 147 points in the season country coefficient for the 2021-2022 season.
How Does UEFA Rank National Teams?
Since 2017, the national team coefficient is calculated using the overall rating of the biennial UEFA Nations League, used to seed groups to the qualification stages of the UEFA Euro. The overall rating of the UEFA Euro qualification level will, in turn, be used to seed the group draws for the Euro finals.
Where Can I Find The Current Coefficients?
Club and country rankings are available on the UEFA official website. You can load the full standings and filter results according to requirements.
Who Is Europe's No.1 Ranked Men's Soccer Association?
According to the latest UEFA country ranking, England is the leading men's soccer Association in Europe.
Does The No. 1 Club Ranked Team Generally Win The Champions League?
The team ranked first has better chances of winning because it has a better pick of opponents than lower-ranking clubs. However, a high rating in the previous ranking doesn't guarantee a UCL win. Nonetheless, the position makes the club an oddsmakers' favorite because it has an edge over other teams.
What UEFA Ranking Does France Have?
As of August 11, 2022, France is in position six in the association coefficients, with 60.081 points awarded. It takes the fourth position in the 21/22 season country coefficient with 110.500 points and an average of 18.461.
Who is The Lowest Ranked UEFA Men's National Team?
Current rankings put San Marino in last place with 1.332 coefficient points collected in the last five seasons.
Does the Sweden Women's Team Have a Higher UEFA Coefficient (Ranking) than the Men?
Yes. Sweden's women's team has 34.166 points in the latest coefficient ranking, putting it in fifth place. The men's national team is No. 23, having collected 22.875 points.
How Do Coefficients Affect The Euros?
UEFA determines the continental champion every four years through the European Championship or the Euro. Teams enter the Euros by clinching the qualifying spots or winning the playoffs. Hosts qualify automatically. The UEFA committee decides qualifying groups through seeding. How a team performs in the preceding FIFA World Cup and last Euro qualifiers determine how it's seeded. Therefore, a team's ranking in European soccer influences which pot it falls into during seeding and, consequently, its opponents.