Euro 2012 Countdown: England Ranked Behind Shakhtar Donetsk in New List

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterMay 23, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 29:  Scott Parker of England in action during the international friendly match between England and Netherlands at Wembley Stadium on February 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

What if national teams played clubs and we could rank them all together in a gigantic feast of football fanaticism?

Well, it's time to stop wondering. The fine folks at Infostrada have already done it for us.

The results? As Eurosport-Yahoo! reports, England fans might be a bit miffed.

Football statisticians Infostrada have ranked England as the 18th-best team in Europe after comparing national teams with club sides.

After Bayern Munich beat the Netherlands in a friendly match on Wednesday, the football boffins decided to analyse the 16 countries that will compete at Euro 2012 and judge them against their 'Euro Club Index', which scientifically analyses hundreds of thousands of matches from the top divisions in all European nations as well as Europa League and Champions League games.

Roy Hodgson's England won't have high expectations this summer at Euro 2012.
Roy Hodgson's England won't have high expectations this summer at Euro 2012.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Fair enough. But how did England rank behind the Ukrainian Premier League's Shakhtar Donetsk, you ask? The rankings considered all matches over the last eight years but weighted recent results more heavily.

Thus, based on form over the last eight years, England's national team is worse than Shakhtar Donetsk. It's all science, man. Don't shoot the messenger.

Click here for a graphic showing the top 25, along with the rest of the Euro 2012 field. Interesting tidbits in the graphic include Spain being ranked only fourth, and the Republic of Ireland being compared to France's Montpellier (an unexpected title this summer then?).

And, as you might have noticed, the rankings placed Italy behind Benfica and Atletico Madrid—even though Italy won a World Cup only six years ago!

Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Manchester United came in at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

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So, readers, what do you think? These rankings don't really mean anything...or do they?