World Football: Top 11 Current Club Teams in the World
The following are, in my opinion, the current 11 strongest club teams in European football, based on squad quality, current form and recent results.
I hope you enjoy.
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I had my doubts about including Milan here and it sure was a close call. However, Milan seem different this season (for the better) and maybe able to contend for trophies again.
AC Milan are the second most successful club in Champions League history and one of the winningest European clubs. It seems that they finally have a squad to match their great history.
Under their new manager, Milan are second in the Serie A and have four points from two Champions League matches. Ronaldinho, Pato, Ibrahimovic and Robinho form a deadly attacking line.
The Champions League matches against Real Madrid and the leagues matches against the top teams in Italy will prove whether Milan deserve to be in this list or not.
Ideal formation: GK: Abiatti LB: Luca Antonini CB: Nesta CB: Thiago Silva RB: Gianluca Zambrotta DM: Andrea Pirlo CM: Clarence Seedorf AM: Ronaldinho LW: Robinho RW: Pato CF: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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The powerhouse of French football is even stronger this season with the addition of the French superstar Yoann Gourcuff.
Lyon has consistenly been in the latter stages of the Champions League and last season they made it to the semi-finals, knocking out Real Madrid on the way. This season again, they're one of the best teams in the continent.
They've had a shaky start in the French League, but they're steadily recovering. In the Champions League, they have a perfect record of six points in two matches and will have no trouble advancing.
Ideal lineup: GK: Lloris LB: A. Cissokho CB: Cris CB: P. Diakhate RB: A. Reveillere DM: Toulalan CM: K. Kallstrom AM: Yoann Gourcuff LW: Michel Bastos RW: J. Pied CF: Lisandro Lopes
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While Arsenal are not strong enough to compete for major silverware, it's only fair to include them in the Top 11 teams in Europe.
They've consistently reached the latter stages of the Champions League and always end in the Top Four of the Premier League.
This season, a Top Four place in the Premier League seems again likely and, should they get a favorable draw, Arsenal could also reach at least the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Ideal lineup: GK: Fabianski (well, not exactly ideal) LB: Gael Clichy CB: Thomas Vermaelen CB: Sébastien Squillaci RB: Bacary Sagna DM: Alex Song CM: Cesc Fabregas AM: Andrey Arshavin LW: Theo Walcott RW: Robin Van Persie CF: Chamakh
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After Valencia sold David Villa and David Silva during the summer, many thought that they would struggle a lot this new season. Well, they couldn't possibly have been more wrong. Valencia started the season sensationally and are showing to be an even better team than last season.
Unai Emery is doing a fantastic job. Last weekend, Valencia had the Barcelona juggernaut on the ropes and could even have got points from Camp Nou. That performance showed that they might have what it takes to challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid in the title race.
In the Champions League, they're likely to advance in their group along with Manchester United.
GK: Cesar LB: J. Mathieu CB: Ricardo Costa CB: David Navarro RB: Miguel DM: David Albelda CM: Manuel Fernandes AM: Ever Banega LW: Pablo Hernandez RW: Joaquín CF: Aduriz
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After another big spending summer, Manchester City finally seems ready to contend for the title in the Premier League. They have an excellent starting 11 and incredible depth. They're second in the league, only two points behind Chelsea.
They have so much quality in their squad that they'll always be a force to be reckoned with, no matter who is on the field. As far as depth is concerned, no team in the world is a match for Manchester City.
The question is: can Mancini manage all the egos and lead City to the Premier League title?
GK: Joe Hart LB: Kolarov/Lescott CB: Micah Richards/Kolo Touré CB: Company RB: Zabaleta/Jérôme Boateng DM: De Jong/Vieira CM: Barry CM: Yaya Touré LW: James Milner/Shaun Wright-Phillips RW: David Silva/Adam Johnson CF: Carlos Tévez/Balotelli/Adebayor
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Under José Mourinho, Real Madrid seem finally ready to challenge Barcelona's domination in Spain. They haven't faced any top quality opposition yet, but they've been impressive nonetheless. Their defense has been spotless and their attack, led by Ronaldo and Higuain, has been firing on all cylinders.
Barcelona will definitely have their work cut out this season in Spain.
GK: Iker Casillas LB: Arbeloa CB: Ricardo Carvalho CB: Pepe RB: Sergio Ramos DM: Khedira CM: Xabi Alonso AM: Kaka AM: Ozil CF: Cristiano Ronaldo CF: Gonzalo Higuain
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Even though they haven't hit top form yet, Manchester United are still undefeated in all competitions this season. Knowing Alex Ferguson, United will once again be a major contender for trophies this season. Still, if Wayne Rooney does leave in January, United's hopes will suffer a major blow.
For now, though, they remain unbeaten and are among the favorites in both the Premier League and the Champions League.
GK: Edwin van der Sar LB: Patrice Evra CB: Rio Ferdinand CB: Nemanja Vidic RB: John O'Shea LM: Nani/Valencia CM: Darren Fletcher/ Michael Carrick CM: Paul Scholes RM: Park Ji-Sung/Ryan Giggs CF: Dimitar Berbatov/Javier Hernandez/Michael Owen CF: Wayne Rooney
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In Van Gaal's first season, Bayern won the domestic double and reached the final of the Champions League. Now, in his second season, expectations are higher than ever.
Bayern didn't start the season well in Germany, but with all their quality, only a miracle will stop them from winning yet another Bundesliga. In the Champions League, they have six points from two matches and are one of the favorites to go all the way.
GK: Hans-Jörg Butt LB: Diego Contento/Edson Braafheid CB: Daniel van Buyten CB: Martin Demichelis RB: Philipp Lahm LM: Franck Ribéry DM: Mark van Bommel CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger/Toni Kroos RM: Arjen Robben CF: Thomas Muller CF: Miroslav Klose/Ivica Olić
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The reigning European Champions have managed to maintain all their players, which makes them one of the strongest teams in Europe again. They haven't had the greatest start in the new season, but they're still clear favorites to win the Serie A, and they're the team to avoid in the Champions League.
Mourinho built an impressively strong squad for Benitez, who has enough quality in his squad to make Inter the first club ever to win two Champions Leagues in a row.
Only time will tell if Benitez and his squad can do it, but, as the lineup below suggests, there's a lot of quality in this Inter Milan side.
GK: Julio Cesar LB: Javier Zanetti CB: Lucio CB: Walter Samuel RB: Maicon DM: Esteban Cambiasso CM: Dejan Stankovic AM: Wesley Sneijder LW: Goran Pandev RW: Samuel Eto'o CF: Diego Milito
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After winning the domestic double last season, Chelsea seems to be even stronger now. They lead the Premier League and have won their two Champions League matches so far.
If they can keep this form, they're favorites to win the Premier League and might finally win a Champions League trophy.
Chelsea are undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in Europe.
GK: Petr Cech LB: Ashley Cole CB: John Terry CB: Alex RB: Branislav Ivanović/Bosingwa DM: Michael Essien CM: Frank Lampard CM: Mikel/Essien AM: Florent Malouda CF: Nicolas Anelka/Salomon Kalou CF: Didier Drogba
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Barcelona have been the best team in Europe in the past two seasons and they once again have the strongest squad in the world (the world Champions + Messi).
Just like in 2008-09, Barcelona had a shaky start, but that doesn't mean the team can't bounce back like they did two seasons ago.
Despite the shaky start, Barcelona have beaten Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Bilbao in three of the most difficult matches of the season in Spain. Real Madrid are one point ahead, but they haven't been really tested up to this point.
A surprising defeat with Hercules, and draw with Mallorca, might have cast some doubts, but there's only one word in the mind of Barcelona fans: three-peat!
GK: Victor Valdés LB: Abidal CB: Puyol CB: Piqué RB: Daniel Alves DM: Sergio Busquets/Javier Mascherano CM: Xavi Hernandez CM: Andrés Iniesta LW: Pedro Rodriguez RW: Lionel Messi CF: David Villa
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Atletico Madrid - They have won the European Super Cup and have one of the strongest lineups in Europe. They have been strong despite Aguero's absence and, when the Argentine comes back, they might prove that they deserve to be considered among the 11 best teams in Europe.
Juventus - They didn't start well, but they are bouncing back in style. Draws at Inter Milan and Manchester City (Europa League) suggest that the Vecchia Signora might be back to their glory days.
AS Roma - Like Juventus, they didn't start well, but they are steadily recovering and beat Inter in the Serie A.
FC Porto - The Portuguese giants are dominating the Portuguese league in their sleep. They always get to the latter stages of the Champions League and have even won in 2004. Seven years later, they find themselves again in the Europa League. Last time, they went all the way and lifted the trophy (2003), and they're among the favorites this year. Players like Hulk and Falcao will certainly attract the interest of European giants.
Tottenham - They have the same points as Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League and have four points out of six in the Champions League. It's too soon to tell, but their team seems very strong this season, especially after the addition of Van der Vaart. They might contend with Arsenal for the fourth place in the Premier League.