Spain 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 occurring next week, 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. We will explore what is on the line from a coefficient standpoint, and the keys to succeeding, in that country’s case.

Article number 43 in this series will feature Spain, who will want to bounce back from the disappointment of last campaign. Here is what we can expect from the Spanish clubs in 2024/25.

Spain in Europe: Country Profile

Previous Season Coefficient (Rank)16.062 (5th)
Previous Season’s 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)89.489 (3rd)
Starting 5-Year Coefficient (Rank)73.989 (3rd)

It was largely a disappointing 2023/24 campaign for Spanish clubs in Europe. It all started with Osasuna falling in the Conference League playoff round. Sevilla soon joined, finishing bottom of their Champions League group. By the time we reached the quarterfinal stage, there were only three Spanish clubs left in Europe. Oh, and do not let Real Madrid’s Champions League success fool anyone. Los Blancos’ 15th title in the competition overshadowed a substandard year for Spanish football.

Yet, here they come again, with seven teams in Europe, trying to reclaim second spot in the five-year ranking, and, more importantly, earn a European Performance Spot. It will take a much more convincing showing from Spain’s seven teams if they are to seriously challenge for a top two spot in the seasonal coefficient ranking.

Spain 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 (%)
Real MadridUCL TitleholderUCL League Phase68UCL Winners136.00018.826 (21.75%)
BarcelonaDomestic Runner-upUCL League Phase67UCL Quarterfinals91.00013.161 (15.21%)
GironaDomestic Third PlaceUCL League PhaseDebutN/A17.847N/A
Atlético MadridDomestic Fourth PlaceUCL League Phase51UCL Quarterfinals89.00012.286 (14.19%)
Athletic ClubCup WinnerUEL League Phase30N/A17.847N/A
Real SociedadDomestic Sixth PlaceUEL League Phase20UCL Round of 1651.0007.107 (8.21%)
Real BetisDomestic Seventh PlaceUECL Play-off Round15UECL Knockout Round Play-offs33.0005.161 (5.8%)

As previously mentioned, Real Madrid recently won the Champions League for the 15th time in the club’s history, and ninth in the UCL era. It is simply an incredible record for Los Blancos, who will one again partake in the UCL proper next fall. They also won LaLiga last season, losing to just one team all year. Their performance in the UCL will likely be key for Spain’s hope of a top two finish.

Barcelona missed out on a trophy last term, as a second place finish – coupled with eliminations in the Copa del Rey and UCL quarterfinals – left them without a trophy. The five-time Champions League winners will need a big year under new coach Hansi Flick to reclaim the league title or go far in Europe.

Spain will have a European debutant in the UCL next term after Girona finished third in the league. Their transformation has been incredible, and now they will be part of Europe’s elite for at least eight games. Girona is Spain’s first European newbie since Levante back in 2012/13. Matching Levante’s showing from 12 years ago will be a tall order for Girona.

Atlético Madrid made the quarterfinals of the UCL before bowing out to Borussia Dortmund. They also went neck-and-neck with Athletic Club for fourth spot in the league. Los Colchoneros are the only club to have beaten Real across all competitions, and did twice. Yet, it meant for little, as they still had to watch as Real won more trophies. Diego Simeone’s side is will have plenty of UCL experience, which could come in handy next term.

Athletic Club defeated Mallorca on penalties to claim the Copa del Rey. It means that after missing out on Europe for the last six years, the Basque club is back. Their last continental showing came in the 2017/18 UEL, where they fell to Marseille in the last 16. The 2011/12 UEL finalists will look for another deep run in a competition where they have had much success in.

Real Sociedad managed to finish sixth and join their local rival in the UEL proper. In the last two years, they have managed to be eliminated at the round of 16 of both the UCL and UEL. This is despite La Real having won the group they were in. They will try to find motivation from the Sociedad teams from the recent past in how to succeed.

Rounding out Spain’s representatives is Real Betis, who finished seventh. Thus, they will become the country’s third different team to start in the UECL playoff round. Betis did partake in the UECL last term, although this only came after they finished third in their UEL section. They immediately lost the knockout round playoff tie against Dinamo Zagreb. The country can ill-afford type of disaster, so Real Sociedad better be able to win.

Spain’s Season Ambitions

As previously mentioned, the aim for Spain will be to finish in the top two of the seasonal coefficient. That, along with reclaiming second place from Italy in the five-year ranking, will be the goal. The Spanish clubs have to make amends for what was largely a disastrous year, particularly by the teams who played in the UEL and UECL.

The coefficient points Spain should be aiming for is 20.000. That total will now be required for a European Performance Spot. Failing to reach that mark will almost surely see them miss out, so big performance from all seven LaLiga sides will be absolutely pivotal in helping Spain claim a top two seasonal coefficient ranking place.

What a Successful Season Looks Like for Spain

For Spain to have a successful season, they would need at least six of their seven teams to make the knockout rounds. Even if they lose out on the EPS, that would be a positive step in the right direction. If there are multiple teams that lose out on knockout round football again, it will have to be seen as a failure on Spain’s side.

Even from a coefficient point of view, Spain really should be getting 18.000 points at least. A successful year is 20.000 or more points, but anything less than 18.000 has to be seen as a shambolic showing from the Spanish sides all around. Last season’s total of 16.062 is too low for a ‘Big 5’ league, so Spain will have to do much better in 2024/25.

What to Expect From Spain in 2024/25

Spain will have to pick up the pieces of last term and try to make amends in 2024/25. That will be a tough order, but still doable. It is a clean slate in the seasonal rankings, which should work to their favour.

In speaking with Mark Donaldson from ESPN, he believes that the Spanish clubs will be pressured by the situation. “I don’t think Spanish teams feel extra pressure to perform,” Donaldson said. “With the exception of Girona, there’s a decent chance the other three Spanish representatives [Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid] will be favourites in most of the league stage matches they play in the 2024/25 Champions League.”

Donaldson also pointed out where things went wrong for Spain last season. “At the turn of the year it looked good for Spain to earn an extra UCL spot for 24/25 due to the performance of the teams representing their nation,” pointed out the Spanish football expert. “Then, apart from Real Madrid, the wheels came off somewhat in the knockout stages of the three European competitions.”

When looking at the UEL and UECL teams, Donaldson feels optimistic about the two Basque teams in the UEL. “I think the domestic rivalry between Athletic Club and Real Sociedad could actually inspire each of them on the European stage,” he said. “Neither team, and especially fans of the two sides, wants the other to do better than them in the Europa League.”

Spain should be fully back in this seasonal coefficient battle this season. A top two spot is wide open, and they should really make the most of the chance they have to finish in the top two. After all, they have dominated European finals over the last quarter century. If the country’s three biggest clubs can get some help, this will be a great year for Spanish football. It is not out of the question that Spain can easily get 20.000 points. Now it is just a matter of the teams doing their job and making sure to continue Spain’s success in Europe.

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