clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Barca’s Copa del Rey win: European implications

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Barcelona swatted aside Sevilla 5-0 in the Copa del Rey final in Madrid. There was about as much discussion about the security measures taken before the match to keep pro-Catalan independence placards, flags, even yellow t-shirts out of the ground as there was the game itself, which was decided by halftime.

What does that result mean for the Europa League places awarded to Spanish teams? It’s pretty simple. The Copa del Rey winner, if not in the top six La Liga teams, is entitled to a group round place, as is the fifth placed team; the sixth has to go through three qualifying rounds, beginning in late July, to get to the group stage.

With Barcelona’s win, the calculus shifts somewhat. The fifth and sixth placed teams in La Liga gain automatic group stage places; the seventh-placed team goes through the qualifying rounds. And Sevilla, of course, now have to finish in fifth, sixth or seventh to qualify for Europe next season.

Note also that the changes in Champions League allocation (there are now four more guaranteed slots in the group stage than formerly) mean that there will be teams dropping from the CL playoffs into either the EL playoffs or, in the case of 10 teams, directly into the group stage (as opposed to 6 previously). This is explained here, but it won’t really start to mean anything to most of us until the teams for the various competitions are identified. One thing we can say, though, is that 2016-17’s Villarreal will be the last Spanish fourth-placed team to end up in the EL Group Stage.