Olimpija players before the historic visit to Lille


The football players of Olimpija Ljubljana will start playing in the group stage of the Conference League on Wednesday at 16:30. The Slovenian champion will visit first favorite Lille in France for the start of their appearances in Group A (broadcast on Kanal A and VOYO). Along with the Slovenians and the French, there are Slovakian Slovan Bratislava and Klaksvik from the Faroe Islands in the group.

Olimpija beat Maribor (2:1) in the eternal derby for a good trip before the historic visit. PHOTO: Luka Kotnik

Olympia’s path to the Conference League

Olimpija will be the second Slovenian club to play in the group stage of the Conference League after Mura, but Maribor, which has played in both the Champions League and the Europa League, has the most experience in participating in the group stages of European competitions.

Olimpija started this year’s European journey in the first round of the Champions League qualification, when they eliminated the Latvian Valmiera with a total score of 4:2, in the second round they eliminated the favored Ludogorets Razgrad (3:2), and in the third round they had to concede superiority to another favorite , the Turkish Galatasaray (0:4). This was followed by an appearance in the last qualifying round of the European League, where it was eliminated by Azerbaijan’s Qarabag 3:1. Even before Qarabag, the people of Ljubljana knew that they would play at least in the Conference League, and this scenario eventually came true.

Timi Max Elšnik scored all three goals for the victory against Ludogorets, with which Olimpija secured the European autumn. PHOTO: Aljoša Kravanja

A three-way battle for second place is expected, with Lille far ahead on paper

The chosen ones Joao Henriques they found out about the rivals at the draw in early September. At first glance, the lineup from Ljubljana will be able to count on everyone in France, with the exception of the injured Raul Florucza in the company of Lille, Slovan Bratislava and Klaksvik, it somehow belongs in third place, but the appetites are bigger. It is worth noting that the first place leads directly to the round of 16, and the second to additional qualifications for a breakthrough to the round of 16.

An increasingly popular measure of teams, which otherwise does not speak directly about the strength of the clubs, is the personnel value, which is relatively updated by the portal Transfermarkt. He says that he is the undisputed king of the Lille group with 207.8 million euros and also by far the most valuable player in the group, 60 million “heavy” 23-year-old Canadian-American striker Jonathan Davidwho has drawn a lot of attention to himself in recent years with good shooting seasons in the elite French league.

Lille has quite a few players worth more than 10 million euros, only midfielders Angel Gomes with 18 million, it is worth more than the other clubs in the group (Olimpija 13.4 million, Slovan Bratislava, where the Slovenian defender plays Kenan Bajric15.4 million, Klaksvik 2.82 million).

Joao Henriques will go down in history as the first coach to lead Olimpia in a match of the group stage of one of the European competitions.
Joao Henriques will go down in history as the first coach to lead Olimpia in a match of the group stage of one of the European competitions.PHOTO: Damjan Žibert

In the Conference League, teams from half of Europe

Among the 32 clubs, which are divided into eight groups, there are teams from 28 national European associations. For now, Aston Villa from England, Fiorentina from Italy, Eintracht Frankfurt from Germany, the already mentioned Lille, Alkmaar from the Netherlands have the best quotes at the bookmakers, Turkish Besiktas and Fenerbahce also have their accounts.

The Slovenian representative is a member of the latter Miha Zajcand the Slovenians will play in the group stage Miha Kompan Breznik, Adrian Zeljković (both Spartak Trnava), Nino Žugelj (Bodö/Glimt), Jean Celar, Abel Marc (Lugano), Blaž Kramer (Legia Warsaw) and Ester Sokler (Aberdeen).

The matches of the first round of the third strongest European club competition will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, and the last round of the group stage will take place on December 14. The elimination fights will begin on February 15, and the final will be held on May 29 in Athens.

To view content from social networks, enable social network cookies. Enable cookies

Conference League groups

In addition to the aforementioned group A, there will be in B Gent, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Zorja Lugansk, Breidablik, in C Dinamo Zagreb, Viktoria Plzen, Astana, Ballkani, in D Club Brugge, Bodö/Glimt, Besiktas, Lugano, in E AZ Alkmaar, Aston Villa, Legia Warsaw, Zrinjski, in F Ferencvaros, Fiorentina, Genk, Čukarički, in G Eintracht Frankfurt, Paok, HJK Helsinki, Aberdeen, and in H Fenerbahce, Ludogorets, Spartak Trnava and Nordsjaelland.

As with the Champions League, clubs will also be financially rewarded. Each club received 2.94 million euros just for breaking through to the group stage. Each win will bring 500,000, and a draw 166,000 euros. First place in the group brings an additional 650,000, and second place 325,000. Breaking through to the extra fights for the round of 16 will cost 300,000, and 600,000 for the round of 16. The quarter-final is worth one million, the semi-final two million, the loser in the final will get three million, and the winner five million.

Former Olimpija footballer Kenan Bajrić is currently earning his living at Slovan Bratislava.
Former Olimpija footballer Kenan Bajrić is currently earning his living at Slovan Bratislava. PHOTO: Miro Majcen

Also in the European League, Slovenian footballers

The second quality level of European club competitions is represented by the European League. In it, the competition system will be the same as in the Conference League, i.e. the winner of each of the eight groups will go to the round of 16, and the runner-up will go to additional battles for the round of 16.

Greek Panathinaikos with Slovenian representatives Andraž Šporar, Adam Gnezdo Čerin and Benjamin Verbič will play in Group F along with Villarreal, Rennes and Maccabi Haifa. The Austrian Sturm from Graz, whose colors are defending the Slovenians Jon Gorenc Stanković and Tomi Horvatwill play in group D, which also includes Atalanta, Sporting from Lisbon and Rakow.

In the remaining groups there are: in A West Ham, Olympiacos, Freiburg, Bačka Topola, in B Ajax, Marseille, Brighton, AEK Atene, in C Rangers, Real Betis, Sparta Prague, Aris Limassol, in E Liverpool, Lask Linz, Union Saint-Gilloise, Toulouse, in G Roma, Slavia Praga, Sherif Tiraspol, Servette, and in H Bayer Leverkusen, Qarabag, Molde and Häcken.

Europa League groups for the 2023 season
Europa League groups for the 2023 seasonPHOTO: Sofascore.com

The main favorite of the competition, which will be joined by the third-placed teams from the Champions League after the end of the group stage, is Liverpool, and its rivals from the English league, Brighton and West Ham, are also in the short circle.

The first round matches will take place on Thursday, and the last round of the group stage will take place on December 14. The elimination fights will begin on February 15, and the final will be held on May 22 in Dublin. The final winner will receive 8.6 million euros, the finalist 4.6 million, the semi-finalists 2.8, the quarter-finalists 1.8, the round of 16 will bring 1.2 million, additional fights for the round of 16 500,000, the first place in the group 1.1 million , second 550,000, win 630,000, draw 210,000, and breaking into the group stage provided the clubs with 3.63 million euros.


Champions League: City the main favorite for the title, Haaland for the golden boot

The article is in Slovenian

Tags: Olimpija players historic visit Lille


PREV Jonas Vingegaard with a move that he is not even proud of
NEXT Accidents in the mountains: a rock fell on a climber’s head, cows attacked a hiker