Thursday, October 2, 2008

Raising the Dead

How long its been? Two months? Five Weeks? My apologies. 

Well, I'm back. 

And where to begin other than the UEFA Cup, seeing how today was the last round of all these pre-group-stage rounds.

I won't break down the results as there's like 50 of them. But here's an interesting breakdown of how many nations' club qualified from the group stage, compared to how many competed (warning: my math is off on the group stages – do help!)

1st Round

5 clubs: Germany, Holland, England, Portugal, Romania

4 clubs: Spain, Italy

3 clubs: France, Russia, Czech Rep., Turkey, Denmark, Serbia, Switzerland

2 clubs: Belgium, Norway, Croatia, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Austria       

1 club: Greece, Ukraine, Slovakia, Sweden, Israel, Ireland, Lithuania, Finland, Scotland

Group Stages:                                                                                                                  

5 clubs: Germany, Holland 

4 clubs: Spain, England, Italy

3 clubs: France

2 clubs: Portugal, Russia, Belgium              

1 club: Greece, Czech Rep., Ukraine, Poland, Serbia, Denmark, Turkey, Croatia, Norway

So who are the biggest losers? Well, Romania for one. Five clubs from the nation entered into the first round, and zero are in the group stages. Switzerland went 0 for 3, and Portugal 2 for 5.

The biggest winners are obviously Germany, Italy, Spain, and England that put in almost all their nations. And kudos to nations like Ukraine, Greece, and Slovakia that went one for one. But I gotta clap my hands to Holland, a nation whose domestic league has been on the decline internationally, whose UEFA Coefficient is below both Romania and Portugal, yet had all their 5 clubs advance. If only PSV could catch that magic in the Champions League…

Be sure to check out for all the UEFA Cup action.