While France has been delighted since Thursday to have retained its fifth place in the UEFA index ranking, the cards could be reshuffled negatively in a year.
Throughout the European season, France crossed its fingers. Fifth in the UEFA index rankings, she thought she was overtaken by the Netherlands in the home stretch. Luckily for her, Dutch hopes that rested entirely on current Europa League semi-finalists AZ Alkmaar were dashed when West Ham overthrew them to win the first leg on Thursday night. (2-1). An English success synonymous with a breath of fresh air for French football in the European Cup. But maybe not for very long. Explanation.
To be calculated, the UEFA index takes into account the results of the current year and combines them with those of the four seasons preceding the current one. In this little game, France is therefore ahead of the Netherlands for the time being, but in a year, the situation could be very different. It will then be necessary to base ourselves on the last five seasons and France will no longer be able to count on the 2018-2019 season which had seen it finish with a very large lead over the Netherlands (10.583 points against 8.600 points). Therefore, at the start of next season, it is the latter who will leave with 0.719 points ahead of France.
Do better than the Netherlands
In other words, if the rules do not change again by then, French clubs will no longer have a choice. To retain their four direct Champions League spots in 2025-26, they will need to do much better than their Dutch counterparts. If they did not succeed, then the configuration would return to what it had been for them until then, namely three clubs in C1 instead of four. The problem is therefore posed. It is up to the teams that will be involved in the various European competitions to rise to the occasion.