red alert for French clubs

Fortunately, OGC Nice exists! Last survivor of the six French representatives in all European cups, the Gym had the good idea last night to confirm their victory in the first leg. Led by an inspired Laborde-Moffi-Brahimi attacking trio, the Azureans again beat Sheriff Tiraspol (3-1) and find themselves in the quarter-finals of the Europa League Conference. It is at 2 p.m. that they will know the name of their opponent during the draw. More than to save the honor of French football, they would be well advised to continue their journey a little longer.

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Because the danger is always a little closer to the UEFA index. From week to week, the gap with the Netherlands is narrowing. Last week, it was still 2,764 points but after the meetings of the last few days, it is only 2,097 points. It’s probably not over with the Dutch still have two clubs on the European scene: Feyenoord in the Europa League, and AZ Alkmaar in C4. The latter can also fall on OGC Nice in the next round. Still, over the whole of this season, France has just fallen from 5th to 7th place.

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The draw for the European cups will be of great importance

Could this be a bad omen for the future? It is possible because let us remember if necessary, that the reform of the European cups is coming quickly, at the dawn of the 2024/2025 season. In just over a year, 5th place in the UEFA index will no longer offer two clubs directly qualified in C1, but three, plus one in the preliminary round. Should we still be able to keep this 5th place, more than ever threatened by the Netherlands, and even Portugal. Here too the gap has narrowed, going from 5.282 to 5.115 units. And it’s probably not over.

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There are still two Portuguese clubs in the running, Benfica in the Champions League and Sporting CP, who defeated Arsenal, in C3. Two bad news if you want to be chauvinistic. Fortunately for us, moreover, Inter snatched their qualification in C1 at the expense of FC Porto. The upcoming draws will therefore be of fairly capital importance for the future of French football, and its place in the concert of European nations. On top of that, the UEFA index points calculation offers a bonus point per round passed from the semi-finals…

Ranking of nations with the UEFA coefficient for the 2022/23 season (in brackets, the number of clubs remaining in competition and the number of clubs qualified this season for European competitions) as of 03/17/2023:

-1. England 19.857 points (4/7)

-2. Italy 17,642 points (6/7)

-3. Germany 16.375 (2/8)

-4. Spain 14,428 points (2/7)

-5. Belgium 13,400 points (3/5)

-6. Netherlands 12,500 points (2/5)

-7. France 12,416 points (1/6)

-8. Portugal 12,166 points (2/6)

-9. Turkey 11,800 points (0/5)

-10. Poland 7,200 points (1/4)

Ranking of nations by UEFA coefficient over the last five seasons (between 2018 and 2023):

-1. England 106.427 points

-2. Spain 90,855 points

-3. Germany 81.731 points

-4. Italy 77,211 points

-5. France 60.997 points

-6. Netherlands 58,900 points

-7. Portugal 55,882 points

-8. Belgium 41,400 points

-9. Scotland 36,400 points

-10. Austria 34,000 points

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