after group stages: best 50 european clubs!

the group stages are over, and a few interesting things become evident: out of the twenty best clubs in european football history, 19 qualified for europe ate the beginning of the season – and three of them are now out! juventus turin even had to let ac milan pass them in the all time ranking, loosing their spot as best italian team in the 56 year history of european football. atletico madrid won’t defend their title in the europa league, after failing to progress through the group phase, and celtic glasgow even failed to reach the group stage phase in that competition. in february, we’ll have a look at the clashes in champions league and europa league. here, just a quick top 50 ranking, based on the seasons 2006/07 until the current one; teams with a * are still in the run for a european title this year.

50. standard liege (bel)

49. az alkmaar (ned)

48. spartak moscow (rus)*

47. osc lille (fra)*

46. sporting braga (por)*

45. ajax amsterdam (ned)*

44. juventus turin (ita)

43. ca osasuna (spa)

42. fc paris saint-germain (fra)*

41. vfb stuttgart (ger)*

40. rsc anderlecht (bel)*

39. fulham fc (eng)

38. fc copenhagen (den)*

37. bayer leverkusen (ger)*

36. espanyol barcelona (spa)

35. celtic glasgow (sco)

34. olympiakos piräus (gre)

33. panathinaikos athens (gre)

32. villarreal fc (spa)*

31. fc schalke 04 (ger)*

30. fenerbahce istanbul (tur)

29. dynamo kiev (ukr)*

28. tottenham hotspur (eng)*

27. ac fiorentina (ita)

26. girondins bordeaux (fra)

25. glasgow rangers (sco)*

24. cska moscow (rus)*

23. olympique marseille (fra)*

22. sporting lisbon (por)*

21. benfica lisbon (por)*

now the top twenty, with a few comments:

20. zenit st. petersburg (rus)*

were present in 4 out of 5 seasons, won the uefa cup in 2008.

19. psv eindhoven (ned)*

played every season in europe, best result in 2007 (quarterfinals champions league).

18. atletico madrid (spa)

played the last four season in europe, and for the second time they don’t play after the winter; reigning europa league champions.

17. valencia fc (spa)*

last five seasons in europe, best result in 2007, a quarterfinal in the champions league.

16. hamburger sv (ger)

not in europe this year, but two years in a row in the uefa cup / europa league semifinal right before this season.

15. real madrid (spa)*

5 seasons, 5 times eliminated in the round of 16, last year against lyon (who they will play again in february).

14. fc porto (por)*

every season in europe, a quarter final appearence in the uefa champions league in 2009.

13. sevilla fc (spa)*

second best spanish team, but since their two uefa cup wins in 2006 and 2007, not too much productivity.

12. shakhtar donetsk (ukr)*

have completely taken national control from dynamo kiev, won the uefa cup in 2009.

11. as roma (ita)*

number three in italy, but best results in the last five seasons are four and five seasons ago (quaterfinals in the champions league).

10. olympique lyon (fra)*

in france, their domination ended, but in europe, they reached the semifinal of the champions league for the first time earlier this year.

9. werder bremen (ger)

a final and a semifinal in the uefa cup in the last five years, and always in europe; but the current season was by far the worst one.

8. ac milan (ita)*

since their champions league title in 2007 they’ve never reached the quarterfinals again – maybe this season?

7. arsenal fc (eng)*

a semifinal, two quarterfinals in the last four tries… not too bad, but arsenal wants the champions league title at some point.

6. internazionale milan (ita)*

reigning european champions, but in the three seasons before that, round of 16 eliminations.

5. bayern münchen (ger)*

finalist last year, quarterfinal before that, semifinal uefa cup before that – pretty good, but bayern wants more.

4. liverpool fc (eng)*

europe’s number four, england’s number three;  champions league final in 2007, a semifinal in 2008, a quarterfinal in 2009 and 2010… and this time in the europa league. doesn’t seem like progress.

3. chelsea fc (eng)*

when will they finally win the champions league? two semifinals and one final in the four seasons before the current one.

2. fc barcelona (spa)*

people think they are the best in europe, but in the last five seasons, they’re just number two. one title and two semifinals in the last three seasons give a positive tendency.

1. manchester united (eng)*

2007 semifinal, 2008 champions, 2009 finalist, 2010 quarterfinal; the record of the best team of the last seasons.

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