Chelsea handed UEFA boost21/06/2007 - 09:32:26
Chelsea have finally been granted a place among the Champions League’s top eight seeds.
The former Barclays Premiership champions have missed out before now having failed to amass enough ’coefficient’ points.
But the European governing body have now installed Jose Mourinho’s side among the top seeds, meaning the now-deposed English champions will be handed a supposedly easier group stage draw in the coming season.
AC Milan, winners in Athens last month, are top seeds (133.808 ’points’) followed by Barcelona (119.374), Liverpool (112.618) and Inter Milan (107.808).
Arsenal are England’s second-highest seeds with 104.618 followed by new Spanish champions Real Madrid (104.374), Chelsea (99.618) and Manchester United (also 99.618).
Seedings are based on the club’s performances in Europe over the preceding five years as well as the ranking of their national association.
Therefore Champions League debutants Sevilla, although not among the eight, have a relatively high ranking score due largely to their double UEFA Cup triumph over the last two years.
Chelsea have been drawn with Barcelona in the group phase twice in the last three years because the Catalan side have been seeded. The Blues’ new status, however, means they will avoid Barca and other top teams until the knockout phase.
England is the only country to have all of their teams seeded for the tournament, which climaxes with the final in Moscow next May.
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