Following SL Benfica’s 2-1 victory over French side Lyon, Portugal has overtaken Russia in the coefficient rankings, jumping from 7th into 6th place.
Thursday’s European fixtures sees FC Porto, SC Braga, Vitoria SC and Sporting CP all in action in the Europa League. Decent results from the Portuguese sides will see hopefully see Portugal strengthen its coefficient lead over Russia.
Portuguese teams are at an advantage this season due to having more teams in European competition than Russia (Portugal has 5 to Russia’s 4).
Why are the coefficient rankings important?
The coefficient ranking is important for one main reason, your rank determines the amount of places you are allocated in European football competitions. At the moment, Portugal have been allocated one direct Champions League place (for the Primeira Liga winner) and one qualification place (for the 2nd placed team in Portugal). Moving up into 6th place means that Portugal, not next season but the season after would be allocated 3 UEFA Champions League places (Direct qualification for the top 2 teams in Primeira Liga and a qualification place for the 3rd placed team).
More teams in the Champions League means more revenue for Portuguese clubs and greater expansion of the Portuguese game. Portugal only a few years back had a better coefficient than France, but an upturn in French and Russian performance in Europe coupled with poor Portuguese performance saw Portugal plummet and spend a few years outside of the top 6. It is good to see Portuguese clubs well represented in Europe and the nation beginning to climb up the coefficient table once again.