Yet, we seem to be having the same six teams in the Quarter Finals every year. If anything, the FIFA World Cup this summer proved that most countries develop high end talent in some form of another. France defeated Croatia in the final would have been the equivalent of PSG dismantling Dinamo Zagreb.
For those of us that follow soccer, that Champions League Final would be so far fetched to even think of the probability of it coming to fruition.
This is because money has taken over in European soccer and the powerhouse teams in smaller countries haven't kept up.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Benfica||1||PAOK||21 Aug||29 Aug|
|Ajax||2||Dynamo Kyiv||22 Aug||28 Aug|
|Red Star Belgrade||1||Red Bull Salzburg||21 Aug||29 Aug|
|BATE Borisov||2||PSV Eindhoven||21 Aug||29 Aug|
|Young Boys||3||Dinamo Zagreb||22 Aug||28 Aug|
|MOL Vidi||4||AEK Athens||22 Aug||28 Aug|
The renaming 12 teams are fighting it out for the last 6 spots. UEFA revamped the whole qualifying process so that this last playoff stage is as competitive as possible. I think it's just fools gold however as the gap is still there. FIFA just found a way to avoid it.
In the Club coefficient rankings, the only way for a country outside of the Top 15 in the rankings to have a long run in the European Cups is in the Europa League.
Out of the 12 teams competing for the renaming six spots, most likely none of them will get to the round of 16.
In fact, any team outside of the Top 8 likely won't advance either. If they do, they are just going to get annihilated in the next round. That's why they created the Champions Path in the Europa League to put more emphasis on winning your league.
Here are the coefficient standings:
So basically, any league after the Greek League has no chance in the Group stage of the UCL. That's a problem because there are 32 teams in the group stage.
Any hypothetical merger between the other Champions League competitions is a bit far fetched because of the amount of time that would be spent on a airplane to give these other teams a shot at glory.
I bring this up because creating a promotion/relegation format through the 6 Champions League tournaments is the only thing I can think of right now.
That and hope the other clubs start spending money like the big giants or else this problem will just keep on getting worse.
Some teams knockout stage droughts put some North American Title droughts in perspective.