Serie A has seen its slots in the UEFA Champions League diminished to three because of unconvincing performances in the competition. The Europa League was given less credence for many years but after the policy of winners making it to the Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League, Spanish Football has been the beneficiary.

Whiles French and Italian Football feature three sides in the competition with the third placed club subject to participation in the last round of qualification, Spanish football has had five participants in 2014/15 and 2015/16 and four in 2016/17 after fourth placed Villareal CF were eliminated by AS Monaco in the qualifications stage.

Serie A lack the funds to keep quality players in the league

Three-time winners Sevilla (2014-2016) is officially out of the race as defending champions of the Europa League after qualifying to the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League with a tie against Premier League Champions Leicester City to come on February 22.

The last time Serie A won the UEFA Champions League was 2010 with Internazionale Milano and the last final appearance of a Serie A club in the competition was Juventus as losing finalists in 2015. The league has lost most of its stars to other leagues with the latest being Paul Pogba who returned to Manchester United in 2016. Players like Dybala Of Juventus and Alessio Romagnoli are all being courted by wealthy clubs.

Coaches Luciano Spalletti of AS Roma and Paulo Sousa of Fiorentina have assembled great squads for the 2016/17 season. Both teams topped their respective groups and play hosts to Villareal CF and Borussia Monchengladbach in the Europa League’s Round of 32.

The representation of Serie A in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League was reduced to two (1st placed Juventus and 2nd placed Napoli) after Roma’s elimination in the qualifications stage by FC Porto.

If an Italian club won the Europa League in 2016, the league would have been represented by three clubs in the competition with a much better chance of winning.

Serie A lacks the numbers to compete in Europe

The UEFA Champions League has become a numbers game. Evidently, Spanish La Liga has four teams (FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla) in the Round of 16.

This gives the Spanish League a competitive edge over its competing rivals.

Thanks to the first leg victories for Italy’s representatives in the UEFA Europa League, Serie A has two favorites for this year’s competition alongside Manchester United of England and Shaktar Donetsk of Ukraine.

Napoli lost on the road to Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu (1-3) but a two goal win can ensure the team’s progression to the quarter finals of the competition. On the other side of Serie A’s interest lies Juventus playing away to FC Porto on Wednesday. Massimiliano Allegri and his lads would need a positive result to ensure progression to the next stage of the competition.

Serie A can only get its fourth slot back through awesome performances in Europe but for now an interest in the Europa League would provide a safe haven because Italy needs the numbers in Europe.