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AZ begin a crucial season in the Dutch league

AZ’s home game against Bosnians FK Tuzla City in the Conference League second round marks the start of a crucial European season for the Netherlands on Thursday night. The objective is to win a second fixed ticket for the Champions League. This requires good performances from Eredivisie teams. How does it work exactly?

In recent seasons, the Netherlands have made strong progress on the so-called coefficient list. Based on this ranking, UEFA divides European tickets each year. The higher a country is, the more starting points it is possible to earn.

Each result has a certain value. A victory in the main tournament of the Champions League, Europa League and Conference League earns two points. A draw is good for one point. In the preliminary rounds, these points are halved. In addition, it is possible to earn bonus points, for example by winning the Champions League.

All of these points are added up and divided by the number of teams a country has entered at the start of the European season. For example, last season the Netherlands got 96 points, which, divided by five (corresponding to the number of clubs at the start of the season), gave a coefficient of 19.200.

List of top ten UEFA coefficients (for tickets in 2024/2025)

  • 1. England: 88,855
  • 2. Spain: 78,712
  • 3. Germany: 67,856
  • 4. Italy: 61,854
  • 5. France: 49,914
  • 6. Netherlands: 47,200
  • 7. Portugal: 45,049
  • 8. Scotland: 33,700
  • 9. Austria: 29,900
  • 10. Belgium: 28,800

The list of coefficients is simply the sum of a country’s performance over five seasons. These tickets are allocated with a one-year deadline. Based on the standings after the 2021/2022 season, it has been determined what the breakdown will look like for the 2023/2024 season.

The Netherlands were in seventh place after last season, which means the 2023 champions will be able to participate directly in the Champions League. Number two enters the third preliminary round of the Billion Ball.

Next season’s cup winner takes part in the play-offs (the last preliminary round) of the Europa League. The number three takes part in the third qualifying round of the Conference League and the winner of the play-offs takes part in the second preliminary round of the “third European tournament”.

In practice, it often happens that tickets are transferred if, for example, the winner of the KNVB Cup has also won the national championship.

The good news for the Netherlands is that when determining tickets for the 2024/2025 season, the dramatic year 2017/2018 no longer counts. In the virtual standings for 2024/2025, the Eredivisie are sixth, with a lead of more than two points over Portugal. The Netherlands don’t have to look only backwards: the gap to fifth-placed France is just 2.7 points.

The difference between sixth and seventh position is huge: for example, the sixth-place country participates in the main Champions League tournament with two clubs. In addition, a team can participate in the preliminary round of the elite tournament. The last time the Netherlands played in the Champions League group stage was in 2002/2003.

Feyenoord picked up 28.5 points last season. The Rotterdammers reached the Conference League final, where AS Roma proved to be too strong.

Feyenoord got 28.5 points last season.  The Rotterdammers reached the Conference League final, where AS Roma proved to be too strong.

Traditionally, the summer with all its preliminaries is a very important moment in the season of the coefficients. This time of year is all about winning tickets to the group stage, where clubs will be in action six times and therefore have plenty of chances to earn a lot of points.

Last season, the Netherlands managed to “supervise” the five participants, thus laying the foundations for such a successful season. Only England had a higher coefficient last year.

In the exciting fight with Portugal, it would help enormously if the Eredivisie can continue this successful summer of 2021 these months. Starting with AZ on Thursday night. In a fortnight, FC Twente will enter the third preliminary round of the Conference League.

Ajax and Feyenoord are already guaranteed to participate in the Champions League and Europa League group stage respectively. PSV take on AS Monaco in the Billion Ball third preliminary round early next month. An elimination would in any case guarantee the Eindhoven team a place in the group stage of the Europa League.

Coefficient watchers will be keeping tabs on how Portuguese teams are performing this season, in addition to Eredivisie sides. FC Porto and Sporting CP are in the group stage of the Champions League. Benfica are active in the third preliminary round of Europe’s most important club tournament (where either FC Midtjylland or AEK Larnaca are the opponents). In addition, Sporting Braga participate in the Europa League group stage and Vitória de Guimarães and Gil Vicente appear in the Conference League preliminaries.

Vitória de Guimarães face Puskás Akadémia on Thursday evening, a game that is therefore of great interest to the Netherlands.

AZ must pass through Tuzla City to reach the third preliminary round of the Conference League. The Alkmaar side have proven to be a safe bet when it comes to points in recent seasons. But the summer elimination against Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan in 2018 is also fresh in the memory.

If the Netherlands as a whole avoid such slippages, the Portuguese teams will have to perform very well to edge out the Eredivisie in the fight for sixth place.

A-Z acquisitions

  • Mees de Wit
  • jens odgaard
  • Mayckel Lahdo

These players left AZ

  • Tijs Velthuis
  • Owen Wijndal
  • Mees Bakker
  • Ferdy Druijf*
  • Joris Kramer*
  • Richonell Margaret*
  • Jeremy Helmer
  • mohamed taabouni
  • Kenzo Goldmine*
  • Kamal Sowah
  • Zakaria Aboukhlal
  • Sem Dirks*
  • Thomas Ouwejan*

*The player was already rented last season.


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