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How the European Cup places are distributed

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How the European Cup places are distributed

As of: April 17, 2024 9:47 a.m

Which German clubs will play in the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League in 2024/25? Many options are still possible.

In principle, German football also has seven places in the European Cup in the 2024/25 season:

Champions League: four Bundesliga teams in the group stage
Europa League: the DFB Cup winner and a Bundesliga team in the group stage
Europa Conference League: a Bundesliga team in the playoffs

The DFB Cup can move places

If the DFB Cup winner is already qualified for the Champions League or Europa League via the Bundesliga, the Europa League place from the cup goes to the Bundesliga. The sixth in the table would play in the group phase of the Europa League, the seventh in the playoffs for the Europa Conference League.

DFB Cup winners Follow in the Bundesliga Bundesliga Place 1 – 4 Places 5 and 6 EL group phase, 7th place ECL qualification Bundesliga 5th place 6th place EL group phase, 7th place ECL qualification Bundesliga 6th place 5th place EL group phase, 7th place ECL qualification Bundesliga 7th place – 18th place 5th EL group phase, 6th place ECL qualification does not play Bundesliga 5th place EL group phase, 6th place ECL qualification

Fifth place in the Champions League possible via new UEFA season rankings

In addition, the fifth-placed team in the Bundesliga would play in the Champions League if Germany and its clubs were to be among the two best countries in UEFA’s new season rankings. The places in the Europa League and the Conference League would each move down by one if Germany finished fifth in the Champions League. The allocation of the two places in this way was introduced as part of the European Cup reform that will take effect from 2024.

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The two countries that occupy the top two places at the end of the season based on the average value calculated in this way will each receive an additional place in the Champions League. No other place will be deducted, not even in the Europa League or the Conference League.

Champions League winner can finish sixth

Two German clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, are still playing in the Champions League. It would be conceivable that one of the two clubs could qualify twice by winning the title and by placing first to fourth in the Bundesliga table. However, if a place in the Champions League was achieved twice in this way, UEFA would redistribute it in the qualification. Another Bundesliga team cannot then benefit from a title win by Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund.

Only if the Champions League winner finishes in fifth place or worse would one more place be possible, as the defending champion has a guaranteed right to start.

In this way, a sixth place in the Champions League is even possible: If, for example, Borussia Dortmund comes fifth in the Bundesliga or does even worse there, but at the same time wins the Champions League, BVB would be in the Champions League as defending champions in 2024/25. If the Bundesliga were to benefit from the bonus place from the season standings, it would go to the next best Bundesliga team that has not yet qualified, currently sixth in the table.

Champions League winner achieved… Follow in the Bundesliga 1st-4th place CL place achieved twice back to UEFA EL or ECL place one more CL place, one place deducted EL/ECL no European Cup place one more CL place

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Niclas Füllkrug plays with Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Europa League only theoretically has an impact

A Bayer Leverkusen win in the Europa League could theoretically have had a similar impact and even create a seventh place finish in the Champions League. Leverkusen will end the season in the Bundesliga as established champions but logically not below the Champions League places.

UEFA would also redistribute a double place in the Champions League by Leverkusen via first place in the league and a win in the Europa League in the qualification. Another Bundesliga club cannot benefit from this.

Europa League winner achieved… Follow in the Bundesliga 1st-4th place CL place achieved twice back to UEFA EL or ECL place one more CL place, one place deducted EL/ECL no European Cup place one more CL place

The Conference League cannot have any impact this season as no German club is playing anymore. In principle, the winner of the Conference League is entitled to a place in the Europa League.

Patrick Schick from Bayer 04 Leverkusen celebrates after the 3-2 win against Qarabag Agdam

The maximum case: Eleven Bundesliga teams internationally

The theoretical maximum, which can no longer be achieved this season, would be ten European Cup participants from Germany:

four places Champions League Bundesliga table one place Champions League season rankings one place Champions League for the Champions League winner who is not allowed to achieve a European place in the Bundesliga one place Champions League for the Europa League winner who is not allowed to achieve a European place in the Bundesliga a Europa League place for the Conference League winner, who is not allowed to achieve a European place in the Bundesliga, a Europa League place for a Bundesliga club, a Europa League place for the DFB Cup winner (or replacement from the Bundesliga, if the DFB Cup winner has already qualified) a place in the Playoffs Conference League for a Bundesliga team

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DFB Cup final and fair play classification no more back doors

For many years, UEFA’s Fair Play rating was a way to get a place in the first qualifying round of the Europa League. But UEFA abolished this rule a long time ago; since 2015, the fairest association has received prize money instead of a starting place.

The losing finalist in the DFB Cup will always come away empty-handed; this has been the case since the beginning of the 2015/16 season – VfB Stuttgart made it into the Europa League in 2013 as the losing cup finalist.

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