UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Italian Clubs in Decline

In the above chart, the number of clubs from each country participating in Round of 16 of UEFA Champions League are shown over seasons. Column represents seasons and Row represents countries.

Each country’s participation in the tournament and progress to group of 16 signifies their level in Europe to an extent.

  • England and Spain are the most consistent countries with an average more than 3 clubs progressing to the Round of 16. Dominance of clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid is the reason for the same. These elite clubs dominate Europe. Among these clubs, they have won 6 of the recent 12 titles.
  • Germany has become better in the 3 recent seasons with a minimum of 3 clubs in Round of 16. Before that, they weren’t sending so many teams so far. Top German clubs have definitely become stronger.
  • With the growth of German clubs, the decline of Italian clubs is also witnessed. Before 3 seasons, they have 3 clubs in Round of 16 continuously for 8 seasons. In the recent 2 seasons, the number is just one.
  • Other small countries are also showing that they are increasingly becoming stronger to compete with European heavyweights. Average number of these countries’ clubs in Round of 16 in the recent 6 seasons is 2.67 which is significantly more than the average of these countries’ clubs in the 6 seasons prior to it.

These leave an interesting question on how Champions League will transform over the coming years.

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