While Britain is doing it’s very best to divorce itself from Europe, Liverpool FC can’t seem to get enough. The five-time—or is it six-time? Tough to keep count—European Cup winners have relished their continental excursions under Jürgen Klopp, thrilling their way to three European finals in four years, including last season’s Champions League triumph.
The win placed the Reds into Pot 1 in the seeding for this season’s title defense, resulting in draw that saw them grouped with Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk. However, some Liverpool supporters bemoaned Manchester City somehow managing to secure an even easier draw with Shakhtar Donetsk, Dinamo Zagreb, and Atalanta, this despite the Blues’ greatest European achievement consisting solely of the collection of ways they’ve devised to get spectacularly spanked out of the knockout rounds.
The answer to this conundrum, as this buried lede will reveal, is the difference between the two clubs’ UEFA coefficients. The ranking process managed by the European body assigns points based on each club’s performance in European competitions over the course of a rolling five year period, currently landing the Reds in 11th place behind the sixth-placed City.
While shocking on the surface considering Liverpool’s aforementioned trio of European final trips the Reds relatively low score can be traced back to their failure to compete in either the Champions League or the Europa League in the 2016-17 campaign, collecting zero coefficient points that season. Meanwhile City’s ability to consistently dominate their weak groups on their way to the knockout stages aided by near perennial Pot 1 status due to their domestic league dominance over the same five year period has been rewarded with the flywheel of easy draws.
✨⚽ We finish the season of the UEFA rankings!— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) June 3, 2019
1. @realmadrid (146,000)
2. Barcelona (138,000)
3. Bayern (128,000)
4. Atlético Madrid (127,000),
5. Juventus (124,000)
6. Manchester City (106,000)
7. Sevilla (104,000)
8. PSG (103,000)
9. Arsenal (101,000)
10. Porto (93,000) pic.twitter.com/L26mjkPY51
Elsewhere, Real Madrid have benefited from both Spain’s strong country coefficient as well as three consecutive Champions League wins between 2016 and 2018 to land the top spot in the rankings, while Chelsea’s romp through the second-tier competition’s cannon fodder on their way to the Europa League crown resulted them being the season’s top points club coefficient points earner, ahead of even the Reds. A full explanation of how the points are calculated can be found on the UEFA website.
It is a system that rewards consistent performance in the biggest competition in club football. While a few points here or there won’t affect an ascendant Liverpool’s status as the most feared team on the continent, bringing home #7 and #8 will certainly help make it official.
See the top 20 in the coefficient rankings below:
1. Real Madrid (146,000)
2. Barcelona (138,000 points)
3. Bayern Munich (128,000)
4. Atlético de Madrid (127,000 points)
5. Juventus (124,000 points)
6. Manchester City (106,000 points)
7. Sevilla (104,000 points)
8. PSG (103,000 points)
9. Arsenal (101,000 points)
10. Porto (93,000 points)
11. Liverpool (91,000 points)
12. Chelsea (87,000 points)
13. Borussia Dortmund (85,000 points)
14. AS Roma (81,000 points)
15. SSC Napoli (80,000 points
16. FC Shakhtar Donetsk (80,000 points)
17. Tottenham Hotspur (78,000 points)
18. Manchester United (78,000 points)
19. FC Zenith (72,000 points)
20. AFC Ajax (70,500 points)