Germany's Bundesliga has secured a fourth UEFA Champions League spot for the 2012/13 season at the expense of Italy's Serie A, the German Football League (DFL) has confirmed.
The recent performances of German sides in European competitions have moved Germany's teams ahead of the Italians in UEFA's rankings and they will have three automatic spots, as well as one play-off spot, in 2012/13.
As a result, Serie A will only have three Champions League places: two automatic places and one play-off spot.
Inter Milan suffered a late defeat to Bayern Munich in the last-16 first-leg match last week and all three Italian sides in the Champions League lost their home ties while Napoli were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League.
Despite Inter winning the Champions League last season, German sides have now moved ahead in the UEFA rankings. German clubs have increased their total points to 68,103, opening up an 8,122-point lead over Italy's Serie A, which has 59,981.
As a result, Germany can no longer be ousted from third place behind England and Spain in UEFA'S five-year coefficients, which determines a nation's ranking based on the performances of their domestic teams.