World Football: Top 11 Current Club Teams in the World

Manuel TraqueteSenior Analyst IOctober 19, 2010

World Football: Top 11 Current Club Teams In The World

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    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.

AC Milan

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    MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 16:  Ronaldinho of AC Milan runs with the ball during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 16, 2010 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images)
    Massimo Cebrelli/Getty Images

    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

Olympique Lyonnais

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    LYON, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 14:  Miralem Pjanic (l),Yoann Gourcuff (c) and Lisandro (r) of Lyon line up before the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Olympique Lyonnais and FC Schalke 04 at the Stade de Gerland on September 14, 2010 in Lyon, France.
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    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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    LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Andrey Arshavin  of Arsenal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates Stadium on September 25, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Image
    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    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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    MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 28:  Ever Banega of Valencia in action during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Valencia at Vicente Calderon Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal Lineup:

    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

Manchester City

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    BLACKPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premiership match between Blackpool and Manchester City at Bloomfield Road on October 17, 2010 in Blackpool, England.  (Photo by Alex
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    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?

    Ideal lineup:

    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

Real Madrid

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    MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 03:  Mesut Ozil of Real Madrid goes to take a corner kick during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Deportivo La Coruna  at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 3, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal lineup:

    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

Manchester United

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    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19:  Sir Alex Ferguson the manager of Manchester United reads a statement to the media regarding the future of Wayne Rooney during a press conference at Old Trafford on October 19, 2010 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex
    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal lineup:

    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

Bayern Munich

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    MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 22:  Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich in action during the UEFA Champions League Final match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Inter Milan at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 22, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Im
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal lineup:

    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

Inter Milan

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    CAGLIARI, ITALY - OCTOBER 17: Eto'o of FC Internazionale Milano celebrates a goal  during the Serie A match between Cagliari Calcio and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Sant'Elia on October 17, 2010 in Cagliari, Italy.  (Photo by Enrico Locci/Getty Imag
    Enrico Locci/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal lineup:

    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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    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Didier Drogba of Chelsea celebrates scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 3, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    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.

    Ideal lineup:

    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

FC Barcelona

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R) Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves, Eric Abidal, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez, David Villa, Sergio Busquets, Xavi Hernandez, Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and goalkeeper Victor Valdes pose for a team picture prior to the sta
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    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!

    Ideal lineup:

    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

Honourable Mentions

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    MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26:  Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid waves to his bench during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Real Zaragoza at the Vicente Calderon stadium on September 26, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Imag
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    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.