European Power Rankings: Top 25 Teams on the Continent

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterMay 20, 2012

European Power Rankings: Top 25 Teams on the Continent

0 of 25

    Question of the day, week, season and possibly all time: Where would you rank Chelsea?

    On one hand, the Blues won the Champions League and FA Cup. On the other, they were dominated by literally every opponent they faced in the knockout stages.

    And what's more, they finished sixth in the English Premier League.

    So, yeah, this one is a toughie.

    Fans of the West London club will no doubt place Chelsea at the top of any ranking. The Blues, after all, won Europe's most prestigious club competition this season.

    Everyone else, however, would probably rank Chelsea lower

    So, how do the European champs stack up in B/R's European Power Rankings? Read on to find out, and direct all comments below.

25. Napoli

1 of 25

    Previous: Not ranked

    Results: Won 2-0 vs. Juventus at Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Coppa Italia final)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Napoli won their fourth Coppa Italia title (and first since the days of Maradona) by beating the previously unbeatable Juventus in the final.

    It's good to see this group of players win a trophy. Now, will Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik, Ezequiel Lavezzi and the rest stick together for another season?

24. Udinese

2 of 25

    Previous: 24

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Udinese finished third in Italy's Serie A and earned a spot in next season's Champions League qualifiers.

23. Valencia

3 of 25

    Previous: 23

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Valencia finished third in La Liga, but they'll be a team in transition this summer.

22. Olympiakos

4 of 25

    Previous: 22

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Olympiakos won the league and cup double in Greece. I'm interested to see if they can do some damage in the Champions League next season.

21. Tottenham Hotspur

5 of 25

    Previous: 20

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Tough break on the Champions League berth. Now, can they keep the team together this summer?

20. Benfica

6 of 25

    Previous: 19

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Benfica finished second in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and reached the Champions League quarterfinals—where they lost to eventual champions Chelsea—this season.

19. Lille

7 of 25

    Previous: 17

    Results: Won 4-1 home to Nancy (league)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: We've seen the last of Eden Hazard in a Lille jersey. How will they replace him?

18. Schalke

8 of 25

    Previous: 16

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Schalke finished third in Germany's Bundesliga and earned a spot in next season's Champions League group stage.

17. Basel

9 of 25

    Previous: 21

    Results: Drew 1-1 (a.e.t., won 4-2 on penalties) vs. FC Luzern at Stade de Suisse (Swiss Cup final); lost 2-1 at Servette (league)

    Fixtures: Home to Young Boys, Wednesday (league)

    Comments: Basel completed the Swiss league and cup double with their victory over Luzern in the Swiss Cup final. The season ends this week.

16. Atletico Madrid

10 of 25

    Previous: 18

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Now the second season—keeping Falcao in Madrid—begins.

15. PSG

11 of 25

    Previous: 14

    Results: Won 2-1 at Lorient (league)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: PSG came within an Auxerre victory (against Montpellier on Sunday) of winning the French Ligue 1 title.

    Alas, the big infusion of money didn't bring glory this season, but don't count PSG out next time around.

14. Arsenal

12 of 25

    Previous: 15

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: It's all about that man—Robin van Persie. Can the Gunners hold onto him?

13. Zenit St. Petersburg

13 of 25

    Previous: 13

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Zenit won the Russian Premier League for the second straight season.

12. Montpellier

14 of 25

    Previous: 12

    Results: Won 2-1 at Auxerre (league)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Congratulations to French champions Montpellier, who earned Ligue 1 promotion after the 2008-09 season, finished 14th last year, and claimed the title with Sunday's 2-1 win at Auxerre.

    This is Montpellier's first top-flight league title.

11. Porto

15 of 25

    Previous: 11

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: The class of the Primeira, Porto won their eighth Portuguese league title in the last 10 years.

10. Manchester United

16 of 25

    Previous: 10

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: You better believe Sir Alex Ferguson will reload this summer. Losing the title hurts enough, but to City?

9. AC Milan

17 of 25

    Previous: 9

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Last week, I neglected to mention that AC Milan won the Dubai Challenge Cup in January.

    Silly me.

8. Bayern Munich

18 of 25

    Previous: 6

    Results: Drew 1-1 (a.e.t., lost 4-3 on penalties) vs. Chelsea at Allianz Arena, Munich (Champions League final)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Second in the league. Runners-up in the German Cup and Champions League.

    For a club with Bayern's high standards, that's not good enough.

7. Ajax

19 of 25

    Previous: 8

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Ajax finished as Dutch champions after an absurdly successful stretch run. Now, we might see an exodus of top players.

6. Juventus

20 of 25

    Previous: 4

    Results: Lost 2-0 vs. Napoli at Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Coppa Italia final)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Juventus fell just short of the Italian league and cup double, but, regardless, this season was a memorable return to glory for the Turin side.

5. Manchester City

21 of 25

    Previous: 5

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: City's fans, players and club officials are still basking in their title win. Good for them.

4. Borussia Dortmund

22 of 25

    Previous: 3

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: The only blight on Dortmund's outstanding season was a poor showing in the Champions League.

    Here's saying they'll remedy that next season.

3. Chelsea

23 of 25

    Previous: 7

    Results: Drew 1-1 (a.e.t., won 4-3 on penalties) vs. Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena, Munich (Champions League final)

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Chelsea finished sixth in the Premier League, but won both the FA Cup and Champions League.

    Roman Abramovich would be foolish to let interim manager Roberto Di Matteo go.

2. Barcelona

24 of 25

    Previous: 2

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Next: Vs. Athletic Bilbao at Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Friday (Copa del Rey final)

    Comments: Barcelona won neither their domestic league nor the Champions League this season, but they did claim the Supercopa de España, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

    They also still have chance to win Copa del Rey.

    Not bad at all, if you ask me.

1. Real Madrid

25 of 25

    Previous: 1

    Results: No new results

    Fixtures: Season complete

    Comments: Real won Spain's La Liga this year, dethroning mighty Barcelona in the process. Had they added a Champions League title to that, we'd be talking about a truly great season.