BERLIN - Germany will gain a fourth place
in the Champions League in 2012/13 at Italy's expense after
climbing into third spot in the UEFA coefficient ranking, the
German Football League (DFL) said on Friday.
From 2012 four Bundesliga teams, instead of three, will be
eligible for the Champions League while the fifth and
sixth-placed clubs will be entered for the Europa League.
"Italy are no longer able to take over third spot this
season," the DFL said in a statement. "The new ranking gives
Bundesliga teams three starting spots in the group stage and a
fourth in the playoff games of the competition."
On the other hand, three Serie A teams, instead of four,
will be eligible for the Champions League with the top two in
the group stage and the third entering the qualifying phase. The
fourth and fifth-placed clubs will enter the Europa League.
Germany currently stand behind England and Spain in the
coefficient ranking with 68,103 points, having extended their
lead over Italy (59,981) to 8,122 points, the DFL added.
DFL chief Reinhard Rauball said he was confident Germany
could eventually move even higher in the rankings.
"With a little patience I am convinced we can overtake the
(Spanish) Primera Division in the medium term," Rauball told
On Wednesday, European champions Inter Milan lost 1-0 at
home to last season's runners-up Bayern Munich, while Italy's
other two clubs in the last 16 of the Champions League, AC Milan
and Roma, both lost their first-leg matches at home.
Sampdoria were knocked out in the qualifying stage.
On Thursday, Serie A's last representative in the Europa
League, Napoli, went out after a 2-1 defeat by Villarreal,
raising the real possibility that there will be no Italian
interest in the next round of European competitions.
Among German clubs, along with Bayern's win, Schalke 04 drew
at Valencia in the Champions League and, while VfB Stuttgart
exited the Europa League after losing at home to Benfica, Bayer
Leverkusen reached the last 16 by beating Metalist Kharkiv.
The success of Italian clubs in Europe has steadily
declined. From 1990-1999 they won 13 European trophies - three
European Cup/Champions Leagues, seven UEFA Cups and three Cup
Winners' Cups. Since 2000 they have won three Champions Leagues.
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