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Aston Villa back after over 40 years – two countries can get six places

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Unai Emery has led Aston Villa to the Champions League. Photo: Nick Potts / PA / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 15.05.2024 08:09:32

Sport: On Tuesday, Aston Villa bought a ticket to the world’s best club tournament. 21 out of 36 places are booked.

– This was our dream when the season started. I am very, very happy and proud on behalf of the supporters and the players,” said Villa manager Unai Emery after his team was secured to finish fourth in the Premier League.

It became clear when Tottenham, fifth in the table, conceded points in the 0-2 loss to Manchester City. This autumn, Aston Villa will be seen in the most prestigious European Cup for the first time since the Birmingham club went out as title defenders in 1983.

In the Champions League era, Villa is making his debut. So do Italian Bologna and Girona from Spain. Before the season, such a trio would have given sky-high odds.

* Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid in the CL final on 1 June. Then Eintracht Frankfurt is released as the Bundesliga’s sixth best team.

* Atalanta finish fifth in Serie A and beat Leverkusen in the Europa League final on 22 May. Italy’s quota will then be increased to six places.

The Bundesliga and Serie A both get an extra CL place because they overall performed best in the European Cups this season. The Premier League was in the top two for a long time, but dropped out after a weak elimination phase.

The bonus places are added at the end. That is the reason why two countries can enter as many as six teams in the Champions League. Dortmund and Atalanta will potentially be qualified on the basis of their respective final wins and not via their position in their domestic league.

If Real Madrid wins in the CL final, the title holder’s place goes to Ukrainian Shakhtar Donetsk. Real are already qualified as newly crowned league champions in Spain.

These clubs are so far qualified:

* England (4): Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Aston Villa

* Spain (3): Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Girona

* Germany (5): Leverkusen, Bayern Munich, Stuttgart, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund

* Italy (4): Inter, Milan, Bologna, Juventus

* France (3): Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Lille

* Portugal (1): Sporting Lisbon

* Netherlands (1): PSV Eindhoven

Norway has not had a CL-qualified team since Rosenborg was involved in the 2007/08 season. Bodø/Glimt will try to break the waiting period this summer.

England only gets four places as in previous years, while the German Bundesliga and Italian Serie A are guaranteed five participants. The number can increase to six for both if this happens:

In the autumn, the Champions League will be played in a new format. Group games are replaced by league games, where each team plays individual matches against eight different opponents. Four matches are played at home and four away.

(© NTB)

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