Kosovo in Europe: 2024/25 Coefficient Preview

The 2024/25 European season is quickly approaching, with 236 clubs set to compete in UEFA’s continental club competitions this season.

With the first qualifying round draws two weeks away, Extratime Talk will be providing a comprehensive coefficient preview. Between now and then, each country will be previewed, and all clubs participating in Europe for the 2024/25 season are discussed.

In these articles, we will provide analyses of what to expect from each country in Europe, explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

In what is now the 10th article in this 54-piece series, we take a deep dive into Kosovo.

Kosovo In Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)3.000 (31st)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)11.541 (32nd)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)10.041 (32nd)

The last two seasons have been the best in Kosovar football history. With Ballkani making the UEFA Conference League group stage in both years, that has seen the country jump to 32nd in the five-year country coefficient ranking. In fact, that is the exact position where they start this year’s ranking.

With Ballkani and Drita returning to Europe, they will have a big part in keeping Kosovo’s coefficient over the top 33 line. They will be joined by Llapi and Malisheva, with the latter making their European bow. It will be interesting to see whether Kosovo can continue to increase their coefficient again this season.

Kosovo In Europe: Club Profile

ClubQualified AsRound of EntryTotal European SeasonsLast Season’s Performance5-Year Club Coefficient (2023/24)5-Year Country Coefficient Contribution, 2023/24 (%)
BallkaniDomestic ChampionUCL Q13UECL League Phase6.0004.375 (37.91%)
LlapiDomestic Runner-upUEL Q13N/A2.3080.292 (2.53%)
DritaDomestic Third PlaceUECL Q2, Main Path6UECL Q26.5002.333 (20.22%)
MalishevaDomestic Fourth PlaceUECL Q1DebutN/A2.308N/A

Ballkani is champion of Kosovo for the third year running. They also won their first Kosovar Cup last year, denying Prishtina a European spot by beating them in the final. Ballkani will enter the first qualifying round of the Champions League, and will be seeded at that round. That presents them with a wonderful opportunity to make the main round of a European club competition for the third successive year.

Ballkani’s domestic double benefited Llapi, who pipped Drita for second spot. That resulted in them being Kosovo’s initial representative in the Europa League qualifiers. It will be an uphill battle for the Podujevë-based side to make a league phase, seeing that they are unseeded in all draws. They are also in search of their first European win, having drawn both of their previous home games and lost their two away ties.

Drita finished third in the standings and will enter UECL Q2, as they did a year ago. They fell at that round to a Viktoria Plzeň side that their best ever European season. They will look to make Q3 in continental play for the second time, something they did in the UEL back in 2020/21. They will be unseeded though, having just missed out on being seeded.

Malisheva rounds out Kosovo’s representatives in Europe next season. As previously mentioned, it will be their maiden foray into a continental competition. They could look to Dukagjini for inspiration, as the side from Klina prevailed in UECL Q1 in what was their debut European participation. Malisheva starts in that same round, and will have it hard as an unseeded team.

Kosovo’s Season Ambitions

Kosovo enters the season in the top 33, so the aim will be to remain where they are. There are a plethora of countries below that them who are in touching distance. As a result, the Kosovar clubs can seldom rest on their laurels this campaign.

The good thing for Kosovo is that they start the year with a half point advantage over 34th spot, currently occupied by Finland. Only two countries who are currently below them – Iceland and Kazakhstan – managed to earn more points than them last season. So, at minimum a top 33 spot is expected from a Kosovar perspective.

What a Successful Season Would Look Like for Kosovo

Ballkani playing fall football for a third year in a row would make this season a successive one for Kosovo. On top of that, if at least two of Llapi, Drita or Malisheva make UECL Q3, that would be the cherry on top.

Finally, Ballkani making a push for a place in the top 24 of a league phase, especially in the Conference League, could position Kosovo for a battle for 29th spot next year. All of these scenarios are semi-realistic. Now it is simply a matter of whether Kosovo’s four representatives can make it happen.

What to Expect From Kosovo’s Clubs in 2024/25

Due to the steady improvement from Kosovo’s teams in the very recent past gives many fans hope for continued success. While speaking with Eljon Kastrati from Kosovo Football, there is a lot of optimism.

Ballkani has been crucial for us, boosting the country’s coefficient and landing us in the top 33,” said Kastrati, who also mentioned that the club’s owners are promising UEL league phase football this fall. In fact, according to him, there is a different reason why Kosovo is not yet ranked higher.

Kosovo has beein sending new clubs into the qualifiers each season, but this diversity means our clubs’ coefficient remained low, translating to being unseeded in the draws,” mentions Kastrati when talking about the regularity of Kosovar being unseeded in the draws. That is evident this year, as only Ballkani is seeded of the bunch.

Still, with some good preparation and a bit of luck, (they) believe (their) can hold our position and maybe even aim for higher,” Kastrati said when asking whether Kosovo and consolidate 33rd spot. There is more than enough reason to believe they will. So long as Ballkani gets past UCL Q1, things will look favourable for them. If Llapi can cause an upset in what is a rather balanced UEL Q1, then that should pull Kosovo in the direction of successfully defending a top 33 spot

After back-to-back years of improvement, there is reason to believe that Kosovo will continue this upward trajectory in Europe this season. A stay in the top 33 will be expected, and Kosovo really should be able to hold on. It is unlikely that they will surrender their top 33 place this season, providing the clubs to their job. Still, it will likely be a good year for Kosovo. Somewhere between 2.000 and 2.500 should be Kosovo’s seasonal coefficient, which will be enough for 33rd.

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