Saturday, July 15, 2017

The European Winter Season is Underway

The European winter soccer season began yesterday when two Bulgarian sides starting us off with a 2-1 win for Lokomotiv Plovdiv over Etar.

Yes, two small clubs that won't be making head-waves in Europe anytime soon but this is a sign that the EPL is around the corner.

If you have a HDMI cord, check out this website. Almost every soccer game is on there. This site is perfect if you follow a team in a different country than your home country.

All these leagues will have a Champion that will take part in the UEFA Champions League. This tournament is being revamped for the 2018-19 year which doesn't have the small countries feeling very confident that they can have success.

Most of Europe is happy by just playing in the Top tier. There's likely over 1000 European teams and there are only 78 UCL spots. Do the math.

For the start of a new year, it gives teams new hope that something special can materialize over the new year. For me, the most boring thing in soccer is when Barcelona meets Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final.

I'll elaborate on this later but for now, here is how the 55 different leagues go into the new year:

RankingMember association
(L: League, C: Cup, LC: League cup1)
CoefficientTeamsPlaces in 2019–20 season
20182017Mvmt2013–142014–152015–162016–172017–18TotalCLELTotal
110 —Spain Spain (LC)23.00020.21423.92820.1421.71488.9987/74[14]37
220 —Germany Germany (LC)14.71415.85716.42814.5711.71463.2847/7
330 —England England (LCLC1)16.78513.57114.25014.9282.28561.8197/7
440 —Italy Italy (LC)14.16619.00011.50014.2501.33360.2496/6
550 —France France (LCLC1)8.50010.91611.08314.4161.33346.2486/636
660 —Russia Russia (LC)10.4169.66611.5009.2000.80041.5825/5
770 —Portugal Portugal (LC)9.9169.08310.5008.0831.33338.9156/625
891 +1Belgium Belgium (LC)6.4009.6007.40012.5000.80036.7005/5
98-1 –1Ukraine Ukraine (LC)7.83310.0009.8005.5000.80033.9335/5
10100 —Turkey Turkey (LC)6.7006.0006.6009.7000.80029.8005/5
11132 +2Netherlands Netherlands (LC)5.9166.0835.7509.1000.90027.7495/5
1211-1 –1Czech Republic Czech Republic (LC)8.0003.8757.3005.5000.20024.8755/5
1312-1 –1Switzerland Switzerland (LC)7.2006.9005.3004.3000.80024.5005/5
14151 +1Austria Austria (LC)7.8004.1253.8007.3750.75023.8504/4
1514-1 –1Greece Greece (LC)6.1006.2005.4005.8000.20023.7005/5
16182 +2Denmark Denmark (LC)3.8002.9005.5008.5002.00022.7004/414
1716-1 –1Croatia Croatia (LC)4.3756.8754.5005.1251.25022.1254/4
18202 +2Poland Poland (LC)3.1254.7505.5003.8751.37518.6254/4
19223 +3Israel Israel (LC)5.7501.3752.2506.7501.75017.8754/4
2017-3 –3Romania Romania (LC)6.8755.1252.2503.3000.20017.7505/5
21243 +3Cyprus Cyprus (LC)2.7503.3003.0005.5001.87516.4254/4
22264 +4Azerbaijan Azerbaijan (LC)2.5003.6254.3754.2501.62516.3754/4
2319-4 –4Belarus Belarus (LC)1.7505.5005.1253.0001.00016.3753/4
2421-3 –3Sweden Sweden (LC)3.2003.9004.7502.7501.62516.2254/4
25272 +2Bulgaria Bulgaria (LC)5.6254.2501.0004.2501.00016.1253/4
26293 +3Kazakhstan Kazakhstan (LC)3.1253.3754.6252.7501.62515.5003/4
2723-4 –4Scotland Scotland (LC)3.2504.0003.0004.3750.62515.2502/4
2825-3 –3Norway Norway (LC)2.6002.2007.2501.3751.75015.1754/4
2928-1 –1Serbia Serbia (LC)2.5002.7504.2502.8751.00013.3752/4
30322 +2Liechtenstein Liechtenstein (C2)1.0002.5005.0002.5002.00013.0001/1011
31310 —Slovakia Slovakia (LC)1.6252.7503.7502.1251.37511.6254/4134
3230-2 –2Slovenia Slovenia (LC)2.6254.0001.0002.2501.37511.2503/4
33352 +2Iceland Iceland (LC)2.5002.5001.1251.0000.8758.0003/4
34340 —Moldova Moldova (LC)3.3751.7501.2500.8750.6257.8752/4
3533-2 –2Hungary Hungary (LC)0.8752.1251.6251.8751.1257.6253/4
36382 +2Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland (LC)0.2502.0000.7002.6251.1256.7003/4
3736-1 –1Finland Finland (LC)0.5002.4001.0001.7500.8756.5253/4
38391 +1Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina(LC)1.5001.7501.5000.5001.2506.5003/4
3937-2 –2Albania Albania (LC)2.0000.8752.1250.8750.6256.5002/4
40422 +2Republic of Macedonia Macedonia (LC)0.5001.1251.5001.2501.5005.8753/4
41432 +2Estonia Estonia (LC)1.0001.5001.0001.3750.5005.3751/4
4241-1 –1Latvia Latvia (LC)1.6250.2501.6251.3750.3755.2502/4
4340-3 –3Georgia (country) Georgia (LC)1.8751.2500.6251.1250.1255.0001/4
44440 —Montenegro Montenegro (LC)1.2500.7501.0000.8751.0004.8752/4
45450 —Armenia Armenia (LC)1.1250.3751.6251.1250.6254.8751/4
46493 +3Malta Malta (LC)0.8750.1250.8751.2501.3754.5002/4
47481 +1Lithuania Lithuania (LC)1.2500.5000.7500.5001.3754.3753/4
4847-1 –1Northern Ireland Northern Ireland (LC)0.8751.3750.7500.5000.7504.2501/4
4946-3 –3Luxembourg Luxembourg (LC)1.5000.5000.7500.7500.6254.1253/4
50500 —Wales Wales (LC)0.7500.1251.5001.0000.5003.8751/4
51510 —Faroe Islands Faroe Islands (LC)0.8751.3750.3750.3750.7503.7501/4
52520 —Gibraltar Gibraltar (L3C)No entry0.2500.7501.5000.5003.0000/323
53530 —Andorra Andorra (LC)0.3330.5000.1660.1660.1661.3310/3
54540 —San Marino San Marino (LC)0.3330.0000.0000.0000.1660.4990/3
550Kosovo Kosovo (L4C)
Not a UEFA member
No entry0.0000.0000/212
Back to the Bulgaria game, Bulgaria as a country is ranked 25th out of 55 countries. That means they are a middle of the pack league. Yet, PFK Ludogorets Razgrad, remain one of the Top 32 teams in Europe which is a pretty good achievement. 

However, for a night, Lokomotiv Plovdiv was top of the table as they try to the Champions League for the first time since 2004. 13 years. That is European  soccer for ya.