Arne Slot’s European record – 2 clubs, 1 final & a Roma curse

As Liverpool head coach, Arne Slot will be expected to be competitive in Europe and even win silverware, something he almost managed in 2022.

One key element of Slot’s job will be to ensure Liverpool can compete on domestic and European fronts.

This took Jurgen Klopp some time to learn but Slot probably won’t have that luxury. He will, though, have a bigger and better squad than his predecessor inherited.

Here, we look at how the Dutchman has done in European competition during his managerial career so far, and why he may want to avoid Roma at all costs.


2019/20 – Europa League play-off round

In his first season after being promoted to become manager of AZ Alkmaar, Slot guided his team through three rounds of qualifying to reach the Europa League group stage.

There, he faced Man United, losing 4-0 at Old Trafford but leading his side to a goalless draw at Alkmaar’s AFAS Stadion.

They drew twice against Partizan Belgrade, but thrashed Astana 11-0 over the two matches to finish a point above Partizan.

They progressed no further, though, being beaten by LASK in the round of 32, 3-1 on aggregate.


2020/21 – Europa League group stage

Arne Slot, Feyenoord (Getty Images, Via UEFA Handout)

For teams who usually benefit from passionate home support, like Alkmaar, the behind-closed-doors season of 2020/21 is difficult to take much guidance from.

However, we can take from it that Slot was still developing his trade and getting used to European football before going on to achieve better things at Feyenoord.

His team were beaten in the Champions League qualifiers by Dynamo Kyiv, then knocked out at the Europa League group stage, despite winning against a strong Napoli side in their last match.


2021/22 – Europa Conference League runners-up

This was when Slot truly began to come into his own as a manager. In his first year at Feyenoord, he took them all way to the Europa Conference League final.

They were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Roma, but along the road they knocked out a good Union Berlin team, a tricky Slavia Prague side then Marseille in the semi-finals.

The stamina they showed that season was impressive, having to play 18 total matches in the competition, including three qualifying rounds to reach the final. All the while, they managed to finish third in the Eredivisie.


2022/23 – Europa League quarter-finals

Arne Slot of Feyenoord celebrates with the Eredivisie trophy during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Feyenoord and Go Ahead Eagles at Feijenoord Stadion on May 14, 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands (Photo by Peter Lous/Orange Pictures)

The next campaign was a chance to prove Feyenoord could take their performances and match them at a higher level.

And they did, until their campaign was once again ended by Mourinho and Roma at the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.

Slot’s side stuttered through the group stage but progressed thanks to a 1-0 home win over Lazio on the final matchday.

Next, they were drawn to face Shakhtar Donetsk and the first leg was close, finishing 1-1 at Legia Warsaw’s stadium.

The return fixture was anything but close, as Feyenoord put on one of their best displays of the Slot era, winning 7-1 at De Kuip.

The disappointment of another defeat to Roma was later offset by winning the league for the first time in six years.


2023/24 – Champions League group stage

2TCMX6Y GLASGOW - (l-r) Feyenoord coach Arne Slot, Yankuba Minteh of Feyenoord during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Celtic FC and Feyenoord at Celtic Park on December 13, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. ANP OLAF KRAAK Credit: ANP/Alamy Live News

As champions of Holland, Slot led Feyenoord into the Champions League group stage and their first two home games brought six points against Celtic and Lazio.

Four defeats in their other matches, though, including a 2-1 loss in the final game against Celtic, meant they were sent down to the Europa League play-off round.

There, they again faced Roma and again lost. Thankfully, the Italian team haven’t qualified for next season’s Champions League so Liverpool can’t meet them!

    Overall in Europe as a manager

Arne Slot, Feyenoord (Getty Images, Via UEFA Handout)

Played: 57
Won: 25
Drawn: 18
Lost: 14
Points per game: 1.63
Honours: Europa Conference League runner-up, 2021/22