Liverpool, Man United, Chelsea: What are the top 50 football teams in the world?

Barcelona make the top 10

Football fans love to debate which club is the best in the world.

Usually, we'll back our own to the hills - after all, when was the last time you heard a Manchester United fan admit Liverpool deserve that moniker?

But after winning the Champions League last season and dominating the Premier League to win their first-ever title in 2019/20, it's hard to suggest there's a better club in the world.

Remember though, Bayern Munich won their domestic league and cup double, while Real Madrid secured La Liga glory - so does that put them on the same level as Liverpool?

After all, Bayern could go on to lift the Champions League later this month - so perhaps they are. 

We could debate this all day, but thankfully, we don't have to. That's because the website FiveThirtyEight have published their latest 'Global Club Soccer Rankings'.

Using their Soccer Power Index, they've calculated the 50 best teams in the world right now. Let's check it out, with their overall SPI rating in brackets. 

Who are the best team in the world

50. Osasuna (70.5)
49. Watford (70.8)
48. Lille (70.8)
47. Burnley (71.1)
46. Sheffield United (71.3) 

Sheffield United make the rankings

45. Lazio (71.4)
44. Eintracht (71.4)
43. Real Betis (71.7)
42. Shakhtar (72.1)
41. Benfica (72.1)

Benfica rank at 41st

40. Lyon (72.9)
39. Leganes (73.5)
38. Everton (73.5)
37. Wolfsburg (73.7)
36. Flamengo (73.7)

Flamengo rank fairly high

35. Hoffenheim (74.1)
34. Olympiacos (75.2)
33. Southampton (75.3)
32. Granada (75.7)
31. Porto (75.8)

Porto feature on the list

30. Roma (75.9)
29. Arsenal (76.4)
28. Tottenham (76.4)
27. Ajax (76.5)
26. Getafe (76.6)

Ajax are in the top 30

25. Villarreal (76.7)
24. Real Sociedad (77)
23. Zenit (78)
22. Napoli (78.4)
21. Gladbach (78.9)

Napoli couldn't crack the top 20

20. Leverkusen (80.4)
19. AC Milan (80.8)
18. Juventus (80.9)
17. Leicester (81.1)
16. RB Salzburg (81.4)

Leicester rank higher than Juventus

15. Wolves (81.4)
14. Inter Milan (81.8)
13. Sevilla (82.4)
12. Atalanta (82.6)
11. Dortmund (83.3)

Dortmund are high on the list

10. Chelsea (85.4)
9. Atletico Madrid (85.5)
8. RB Leipzig (85.8)
7. Manchester United (88)
6. Real Madrid (88.5)

Real Madrid don't make the top 5

5. Paris Saint-Germain (89.2)
4. Barcelona (90.5)
3. Liverpool (91.1)
2. Bayern Munich (94.4)
1. Manchester City (95.6) 

Man City rank as the best in the world

So, according to the latest Global Soccer Rankings, Man City are the world's top club right now. But how did they arrive at this conclusion?

HOW IT WORKS

Well, SPI is the 'best estimate of a team’s overall strength'.

"In our system, every team has an offensive rating that represents the number of goals it would be expected to score against an average team on a neutral field," their website reads. 

The SPI decides the ranking

It also has a "defensive rating that represents the number of goals it would be expected to concede. These ratings, in turn, produce an overall SPI rating." 

Still with us? Good.

THE BEST IN THE WORLD?

Man City's overall SPI is 95.6, making them statistically the best club in the world. But plenty of fans will argue that's not the case.

Man City are the best in the world

Football, after all, is not a game of stats. Just look at the Premier League this season. Liverpool were by far the best team in England and blew all of their opponents away during the last campaign.

But according to the club rankings, they're only the third-best team in the world behind City and Bayern.

Although, given those are the two favourites to win the Champions League, FiveThirtyEight's rankings could be proven correct in the coming weeks. 

Bayern are up there

Leicester over Juventus?

There are a few other surprises on the list too. Leicester are ranked higher than Juventus, with their overall SPI ratings 81.1 and 80.9 respectively. 

For context, one team won Serie A, while the other will be playing Europa League football next season after finishing fifth in the Premier League. Levels. 

It's also interesting to see Man United sneak in as high as seventh, one place behind Real Madrid. Frank Lampard's Chelsea side also round off the top 10. 

Chelsea and Man Utd crack the top 10

In fact, the Blues have ranked higher than the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Tottenham and Arsenal. 

Justifying the rankings

Sure, FiveThirtyEight's ranking is never going to be gospel, but they've used stats to determine the best clubs in the world. As we mentioned above though, football isn't played on paper.

Man City will be hoping to do the business on the pitch in Lisbon later this month and if they do win the Champions League, they certainly could claim to be the best in the world. 

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