I have posted before about a system of rating European clubs based on their performance in the Champions League, giving five points for winning the competition down to one point for reaching the last 16. Well, you can also use this method to rate countries on the level of success of their clubs, by adding up the number of points obtained by clubs from those countries.
I propose that this accurately measures the strength of the top of the best European leagues: as well as obviously being the premier club competition, the Champions League is taken more seriously by clubs than the UEFA Cup. Furthermore, by focusing on the latter stages of the competition you dilute the effect of different countries being allocated different numbers of places. Of course, this method only really accurately rates the bigger leagues because beyond the medium and large Western European countries so few clubs make the last 16.
This year, the countries’ points are as follows:
Cyprus – 2
England – 4 (with Chelsea in the semi-finals)
France – 3
Germany – 4 (with Bayern Munich in the semi-finals)
Italy – 4
Portugal – 2
Russia – 2
Spain – 6 (with Barcelona and Real Madrid in the semi-finals)
Switzerland – 1
Two of four semi-finalists will gain another point each for reaching the final, and the winner of the Champions League will get a further point. Spain will ‘win’, unless Barcelona and Real Madrid both go out in the semi-finals, allowing the country of the eventual winner to take the title of best country (this seems fair, as although they will have the same number of points as Spain, 6, their best-performing club will have a higher points score than Spain’s best-performing club).