European Club Power Rankings After May 18-20 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 21, 2018

Juventus' goalkeeper from Italy Gianluigi Buffon waves during the victory ceremony following the Italian Serie A last football match of the season Juventus versus Verona, on May 19, 2018 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin. Juventus won their 34th Serie A title (scudetto) and seventh in succession. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

The 2017-18 European football season is less than a week away from its conclusion. There is just one top-level game left—the Champions League final—with all other league and cup matters decided.

This is your definitive ranking of how each of Europe's best teams stands after a 10-month slog.

These rankings are a season-long measurement of clubs, tracking teams throughout 2017-18 and taking into account results from all competitions. In these closing stages, Champions League performance is particularly important.

Sides that have lost the fewest games naturally rank higher—though the strength of opposition met in a loss is consideredand both Champions League form and presence are used as tiebreakers for those with similar records. Teams that enjoy big wins against strong opponents get a boost.

20. Arsenal (-1)

Arsenal's concerns rest solely with who will succeed Arsene Wenger as manager at the moment, with Mikel Arteta looking likely to be the pick, per the Mirror's John Cross. It's a bold, intriguing choice.


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19. Lazio (-4)

Disaster. Absolute disaster.

The home loss to Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday put paid to Lazio's Champions League hopes at the final hurdle, and the club now stand in a weakened position in the transfer market when it comes to retaining players (like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic) and buying new ones.


18. Monaco (-1)

Les Monegasques secured Champions League football with a comfortable 3-0 win over Troyes in Ligue 1, who were relegated to Ligue 2 as a result.

It's been an uncomfortable campaign for the principality club, but in finishing second, they've ensured they can continue to attract excellent players—and perhaps keep a few of their own.


17. Marseille (-4)

Two avenues to Champions League football, both blocked. It's tough not to feel sympathy for Marseille, who saw it all go wrong for them in the Europa League final midweek, then won at the weekend in Ligue 1 but didn't see other results fall for them.

It shouldn't distract from what a fantastic campaign it has been for the club, though.


16. Inter Milan (+2)

Inter went into the weekend knowing their task was simple: beat Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico to secure Champions League football; any other result was a failure.

They managed that, coming out on top in a helter-skelter game, with Matias Vecino (of all people) heading home the winner late on. This result saves a few blushes; it's easy to forget Inter went unbeaten in 16 games to start the season and seemed guaranteed to finish in the top three at one stage.

15. Schalke 04 (+1)

Finished second in the Bundesliga, which is more than most expected would be possible. In Domenico Tedesco, the Royal Blues have a gem of a manager.


14. Valencia (+3)

A 2-1 win over already-relegated Deportivo La Coruna took Valencia to a phenomenal 73 points for the season in La Liga. How they fare next season is anyone's guess, as a squad upheaval is expected this summer, and they'll be stretched by continental football on the schedule, too.

13. Chelsea (Stay)

Season saved? Not quite—nothing can really make up for the loss of Champions League football for a year—but Antonio Conte did earn Chelsea yet another piece of silverware on Saturday.

An Eden Hazard special plus some dogged defending from the back three meant the Blues prevailed against a surprisingly meek Manchester United in the FA Cup final.


12. Tottenham Hotspur (Stay)

It's contract renewal season at Spurs, with Kyle Walker-Peters, Harry Winks, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Davinson Sanchez already freshly secured on new terms. Who is next?


11. Manchester United (-1)

United's final act of the 2017-18 season was a limp display at Wembley Stadium, offering little in the way of attacking ingenuity. It's disappointing to see a cast of such star quality produce in such sparing amounts; those in red in the stadium watched on perplexed, as did everybody else from home.

10. Napoli (+1)

Napoli signed off the Serie A season with a 2-1 win, taking their final points tally to an incredible 91. It seems kind of ridiculous that that isn't enough to win a title.


9. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

PSG end the season on a four-match winless streak. Those games were against Guingamp, Amiens, Rennes and Caen.

It's pretty hard to accept that given the advantage Unai Emery's men hold over Ligue 1, and although they won four trophies this season—a fact the outgoing manager reminded us all of in his final week in charge—PSG's 2017-18 campaign feels like a disappointing body of work.


8. AS Roma (Stay)

Given Roma fought financial fair play constraints last summer, sold Mohamed Salah for a relative bargain and endured a horrifying Christmas/January period, their third-place finish in Serie A with 77 points is impressive.

Add in the Champions League semi-final run inclusive of a famous comeback victory over Barcelona, and it's the makings of an excellent campaign.


7. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

Second place in La Liga and a Europa League trophy to show off? It's not a killer season, but it's certainly one Atletico Madrid can be proud of.

They were brilliant against Marseille in midweek, with Antoine Griezmann at his ruthless best, and Fernando Torres' two-goal effort at the weekend made him the hero on his final outing with his boyhood club.


6. Bayern Munich (-2)

These last two weeks have been disastrous for Bayern Munich, with the DFB-Pokal final loss against Eintracht Frankfurt this weekend sealing the misery. Perhaps they can take a crumb of comfort in the fact the manager that defeated them, Niko Kovac, will soon be their own, but it will take a while to get over this shock defeat.

The result sees Bayern drop to sixth in our rankings—a stark fall given that ahead of the Champions League semi-finals they occupied first.


5. Liverpool (Stay)

There's nothing to report on Liverpool, they're just quietly preparing for Saturday's big date. That's where the focus is.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's inclusion in England's World Cup squad is something to celebrate, but it's likely the teenager has barely had time to process it.


4. Juventus (+2)

Juventus' match against Verona on Saturday served two key functions: First, to celebrate a seventh straight Scudetto in style, and second, to wave a tearful goodbye to Gianluigi Buffon.

The goalkeeping great was substituted off in the 63rd minute so that he could drink in the appreciation from fans and players alike. Another farewell followed after that, with the 40-year-old completing a lap of the stadium, leaving children and adults alike in sobbing messes. 


3. Real Madrid (Stay)

Real Madrid played a game this weekend in La Liga that essentially meant nothing, and it was clear manager Zinedine Zidane's mind was more on the Champions League final than their opponents on the day, Villarreal.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric came off after an hour—why risk them any further?—and others took their foot off the gas. It explains why Los Blancos went from a commanding 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, with both goals conceded in the last 20 minutes.


2. Barcelona (Stay)

A lone goal from Philippe Coutinho secured Barcelona a final victory of the season, and it's one that rounds off a quite remarkable half-season stint from the Brazilian.

He's managed eight goals and five assists in just 16 starts, settling into this team reasonably quickly and becoming that extra difference-maker for Ernesto Valverde.

With Andres Iniesta leaving the club, it's important Coutinho continues to pick up the slack.


1. Manchester City (Stay)

Manchester City are still revelling in the successes of their season, and so they should be. The club produced a nice chain of tweets detailing some statistical records they've broken this season, focused more on player achievements rather than the well-known team equivalents. 

They've clearly already started planning for next term, too. Per The Independent, Jorginho's agent believes his client will make the move to Manchester this summer, with the Italy international seemingly leapfrogging Shakhtar Donetsk's Fred on the wishlist.

All statistics via   


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