World Soccer: Top 10 World Club Rankings: February 28, 2011
Since I last published this ranking on Valentine's Day, a lot has happened. Barcelona has found its stride (domestically), even after a surprise 2-1 loss to Arsenal in their Round of 16 Champions League matchup.
Manchester United was held to a 0-0 draw at Marseilles, but recovered nicely to beat Wigan 4-0 over the weekend.
Spurs surprised everyone by beating AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro, in an emotionally charged atmosphere. However, they followed that up with a disappointing 3-1 loss to Blackpool, which could have seen them extend their lead over Chelsea for fourth place in the Premier League.
Arsenal gets props for beating the best team on Earth, Barcelona, 2-1, and beating Stoke 1-0, but disappointed yesterday by losing to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final.
Real Madrid struggled, tying Lyon 1-1 in Champions League play and then drawing to a 0-0 tie with lowly Deportivo over the weekend.
Borussia Dortmund continued to roll, beating St. Paul 2-0 and then beating Bayern Munich 3-1 at the Allianz Arena.
Liverpool disappointed by losing to West Ham 3-1 after winning their Europa League draw against Sp Prague.
Is Barcelona still the best team in the world after their loss to Arsenal?
Shahktar Donetsk beat AS Roma 3-2 to gain the advantage in the Champions League Round of 16.
Valencia, meanwhile, drew 1-1 against Schalke in the Champions League, tied Sporting and beat Athletic 2-1.
AC Milan lost a huge Champions League game at home to Spurs 2-1 and followed that up with a loss to Chievo 2-1. This leaves Inter and Napoli breathing on their necks for first place in Serie A.
As a reminder, I heavily weigh whether or not a team is currently playing in either the Champions League or the Europa League. It is possible for a club having a very fine domestic season (with no European play) to make it to the Top 10. However, my feeling is that to be considered one of the truly great teams, you have to be playing the other great teams in Europe.
These ratings are entirely subjective and of course subject to friendly debate. A case can be made for Manchester United as the best team. You could argue that I have Spurs too high. You might ask where the hell is Manchester City? As football fans though, the best thing we can have is a friendly debate with like-minded people.
Let the debate begin...
Here is my ranking heading in to the current week:
- Manchester United
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Real Madrid
- Borussia Dortmund
- Bayern Munich
- AC Milan
Just Missed The Cut:
- Manchester City
- CSKA Moskow
- Zenit St. Petersburg
- FC Porto
- SL Benfica
- PSV Eindhoven
- FC Twente
- AFC Ajax
- Shakhtar Donetsk
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