Top 30 clubs in UEFA’s ten-year rankings
There’s so many awards and competitions in football these days, you’d be forgiven for paying very little attention when you see another set of rankings have been released.
However, the UEFA club coefficients are are a rare breed – and by that we mean they actually do matter.
European football’s administrative body release a list each year, with clubs ranked on their performances in the previous five seasons in the Champions League and Europa League – the higher a team places, the better their seeding in UEFA competitions. Simple.
The seedings are also used to determine how many European places are allocated to each country, so in truth they’re a pretty big deal.
UEFA released their ten-year club coefficients recently, so here’s a rundown of how each club fared over the last decade.
Despite the unthinkable almost happening this season as Real Madrid almost crashed out at the group stage of this season’s Champions League, the last ten years have been full of European glory for Los Blancos.
A run of four Champions League trophies in five years sees Zinedine Zidane’s side top of the pile.
Let’s be honest, they’re the best team in Europe at the moment by a country mile, but even Bayern Munich’s two Champions League triumphs weren’t enough to secure top spot.
Still, second place isn’t bad – words never muttered by anyone who has ever been connected with Die Roten.
Another side with two European triumphs to their name in the last ten years.
Barcelona tasted Champions League success in 2011 and 2015, though they appear to be a long way away from adding to their bulging trophy cabinet at this moment in time.
Ah Diego Simeone. Since taking the reins at Atletico he’s transformed the club into one of European football’s powerhouses, twice finishing runner-up in the Champions League and notching two Europa League crowns.
Some managers just have a knack for grinding out results when it matters most.
It’s easy to forget that Chelsea were champions of Europe in the last ten years, having secured their maiden European triumph over Bayern Munich back in 2012.
They’ve also had two Europa league wins in that time, beating Benfica in 2013 and Arsenal in 2019.
It’s tough to comprehend that a side of Juventus’ stature could go 24 years without winning the Champions League – but, there you have it.
The Old Lady haven’t won the competition since 1996 – though that’s not to say they haven’t come close in the meantime, losing in the final against Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last ten years alone.
Manchester United may not quite be the force they once were in European football, but that’s not to say they haven’t experienced success in the last decade.
The Red Devils were Champions League runners-up in 2011 and won the Europa League in 2017.
Oh what could have been for Neymar and co.
Paris Saint-Germain have made no secret of their desire to be crowned champions of Europe – especially considering the French league title is pretty much nailed on every season nowadays – and they came within 90 minutes of achieving their dream last August.
Still, there’s no shame in being beaten by the machine that is Hansi Flick’s Bayern.
Perhaps a surprise inclusion so far up the list when you consider some of the sides who are yet to come, but Porto are mainstays in Europe’s premier competition.
The Portuguese side have competed in the Champions League in nine of the last ten years, meaning they’ve racked up the points and finish higher than some sides who have actually tasted European success.
In much the same way as PSG, Manchester City have thrown a ridiculous amount of money at their question for glory, and they’re at a point now where the league title just doesn’t cut it.
They’ve had a good go over the last ten years but have yet to break their Champions League duck, with a semi-final spot in 2016 they best they’ve managed.
Huh? Oh yeah, they actually used to be alright.
Well, it’s a while ago now since they competed in the Champions League – and in the last ten years they’ve not made it past the last 16 of the competition – but in the Europa League they’ve reached the semi-final and the final, so they rank pretty highly.
As with Porto, Benfica may rarely trouble the latter stages of the Champions League, but they’ve been stalwarts of the competition of late and so have racked up the points.
Two quarter-final appearances in the last decade is the best they’ve managed, while they regularly drop into the Europa League at the group stage of the Champions League.
Remember all the way back in 2013 when Jurgen Klopp’s side were just minutes away from taking the Champions League final to extra-time, only for Arjen Robben to deny them?
Since then Dortmund have been pretty disappointing in European competitions, with quarter-final finishes the best they’ve managed.
It goes to show just how much more weight the Champions League carries over the Europa League in UEFA’s rankings.
Sevilla ARE the Europa League, but they find themselves all the way down in 14th place.
While Liverpool conquered Europe in 2019, they spent a number of seasons in the Europa League and failed to qualify for Europe at all in some others, meaning the Premier League champions only just make it into the top 15.
Still, seems wrong doesn’t it?
Regulars in the Champions League but another team who often find themselves in the Europa League at the turn of the year.
A quarter-final departure from Europe’s premier competition is the best the Ukrainian side have managed in the past ten years.
Four Champions League appearances in the last five seasons boosts Tottenham’s ranking, but aside from those they’ve been Europa League competitors.
Their 2019 Champions League final defeat to Liverpool is by far the best they’ve managed in the competition.
Speaking of Tottenham’s 2019 final defeat – it could so easily have been Ajax.
Pretty much the whole of Europe fell in love with the Dutch side’s energetic, youthful side in that run to the semi-final, though they were thwarted by a Lucas Moura hat-trick.
Napoli just can’t seem to make a mark whenever they qualify for the Champions League.
The last 16 is the best they’ve managed in the competition over the past decade, and to be fair they don’t acquit themselves much better in the Europa League.
Zenit St Petersburg experienced success in the UEFA Cup back in 2008, though they’ve never looked like replicating that feat since.
The Russians rarely make it past the group stages in the Champions League and they finished bottom of their group this season, picking up just one point from their six games.
Lyon took many by surprise as they made it to the semi-final stage of the 2019/20 Champions League, knocking Manchester City out on their way, though they too were thwarted by the mighty Bayern Munich.
The French side were also Europa League semi-finalists back in 2017.
If this list took current form into account then Schalke would be absolutely nowhere near the top 30.
They’re rock bottom of the Bundesliga, though luckily for them (kinda) they used to not be rubbish, with their 2011 Champions League semi-final defeat boosting their ranking.
Is this the section for Europe’s fallen clubs or something?
Valencia may not quite be in as bad a situation as Schalke right now, but they aren’t much better off.
Three Europa League semi-finals in the last ten years mean they score quite highly, though their Champions League performances in that time have been far from stellar.
Basel rarely threating the latter rounds of the Champions League, though they’ve made it to the qualifying rounds in every one of the last ten seasons in fairness to them.
Last season’s quarter-final exit in the Europa League was the second time they reached the stage of the competition in the last ten years, with their semi-final exit in 2013 the best they’ve managed.
Bayer Leverkusen have tried their hand in both the Champions League and the Europa League in the last ten years – with little success in either.
A quarter-final defeat to Inter in last year’s Europa League is the furthest they’ve got in either competition in the last decade.
For a team as steeped in tradition as Milan, the last decade has not been one to shout about.
However, the Serie A outfit did manage to reach the quarter-finals of the 2012 Champions League, and a couple of last 16 exits mean they squeeze into the top 30.
It’s not been the best of decades for either Milan club.
Inter have been just about as rubbish as their neighbours when it comes to European competitions lately, though finishing runners-up in last season’s Europa League and a quarter-final finish in the 2011 Champions League means they too sneak in.
The Europa League is where Dynamo Kyiv have gleaned the majority of their points in the rankings, though the quarter-finals in 2015 and 2011 is as good as it’s got.
They did, however, make it to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2016.
The majority of Roma’s points have come from their 2017/18 Champions League campaign.
The Italians looked to be dead and buried in their semi-final with Liverpool after going down 5-2 at Anfield in the first leg, only to pull the aggregate score back to 7-6 in injury time of the second leg.
Of course, it wasn’t enough and they exited at the last four stage, but a stunning effort nonetheless.
Olympiacos have made it past the group stages of the Champions League just once in the last ten years, though in six of those ten years they’ve dropped back into the Europe League, meaning they’ve picked up enough points to just make it into the top 30.