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Uefa Announce Changes To Champions League Qualification

Elettra Stolfi | 31 Agosto, 2016, 23:17

The present standard four as appeared by European addressing body Uefa's rankings are Spain, Germany, England and Italy.

There will be no changes to the tournaments system, only for the entries into the group stage.

Surprise Premier League champion Leicester faces Porto, Brugge and FC Copenhagen in its first time in Europe's premier competition.

It comes at a time when the threat of a breakaway European Super League has appeared considerable.

UEFA announced at a press conference on Friday that Europe's leading leagues in their co-efficient rankings - now the Premier League, Spain's LaLiga, Germany's Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A - will all have automatic qualification for top-four finishers.

And Rodgers will have no qualms over pitting the former Fulham winger against his parent club.

Italy is the big victor in the new agreement, which had to be completed this year to let UEFA start selling broadcasting and sponsorship rights for the 2018-21 commercial cycle.

At the moment, only the three leading leagues - Spain, Germany and England - are guaranteed three places in the group phase, with a fourth team entering in the play-off round. They will avoid the risk of losing in the playoff qualifying round and miss tens of millions of euros (dollars) in UEFA prize money.

Italy has only two guaranteed places, plus one in the play-off round.

Ranieri led the 5,0000-1 outsiders to a historic league title last season and they have been drawn in Group G along with Porto, Club Bruges and FC Copenhagen.

Meanwhile, 2015 finalists Juventus will face Europa League winners Sevilla, Lyon and Dynamo Zagreb.

Tottenham Hotspur fell short in their bid to overhaul Leicester last season, but will be similarly satisfied by being placed in Group E with CSKA Moscow, Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco.

Ronaldo received the accolade for the second time in his career after finishing ahead of Real team-mate Gareth Bale and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

However, the coefficient system will be revamped with clubs judged only on their own records and historical success in European competition also acknowledged.

But it has stopped short of guaranteeing places for named clubs, such as AC Milan, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.

In a move that will surely only consolidate the power of the strongest leagues in Europe, UEFA has made a few structural changes to the Champions League qualification process.

Currently, 22 of the 32 slots are guaranteed to teams from 12 different leagues, including titleholders from Belgium, Switzerland, and Turkey.

UEFA has confirmed the change will be introduced in two years, as part of its reformatting of European club football's top competition.

The final major change is in the way the money paid to clubs is calculated.

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