not only has the national team made significant strides in the last 3 or 4 years, but also the bundesliga itself. as things stand germany are ahead of italy in this season's UEFA order of merit. the significance of this? the top 3 nations in the list get 4 champions league places. until last year the gap between 3rd and 4th on the list has always been much greater than a yard stick and its only since last season that italy has needed to start to look over its shoulder. still, italy's ranking can really only go down after inter won the CL last year. unless they win it again. if germany stays above italy at the end of this season then the bundesliga's 4th place side will gain the champions league spot from italy the following season.
here's how germany has progressed in the european rankings table for the statto's among us
2006-2007: 6th with 44.364 (italy 66.088)
2007-2008: 5th with 48.722(italy 60.410)
2008-2009: 4th with 56.695 (italy 62.910)
2009-2010: 4th with 64.207 (italy 64.338)
2010-2011: 3rd with 61.207 (still in progress) (italy 54.838)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UEFA_coefficient#League_coefficient