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Italy Serie A Summary

For most of Serie As history, there were 16 or 18 clubs competing at the top level. Since 2004– however, there have been 20 clubs altogether. One season (1947–48) was played with 21 teams for political reasons.
Since Italy is currently rated fourth in Europe in terms of club football ratings,[the top three teams in the Serie A qualify for the UEFA Champions League (from the 2012–13 season). The top two teams qualify directly to the group phase, while the third-placed team enters the competition at the playoff qualifying round and must win a two-legged knockout tie in order to enter the group phase. Teams finishing fourth and fifth qualify for the UEFA Europa League tournament. A third UEFA Europa League spot is reserved for the winner of the Coppa Italia. If the Coppa Italia champion has already qualified for the major European tournament by placing in the top three of Serie A, the third UEFA Europa League spot goes to the sixth-ranked team in Serie A. If both Coppa Italia finalists finish among the top five teams in Serie A, the sixth-ranked team in Serie A is awarded the UEFA Europa League spot. The three lowest-placed teams are relegated to Serie B.