Man Utd, Barcelona, Liverpool: Data analysts rank the top 30 clubs in world football

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The 2021/22 season is shaping up to be truly special.

On the back of a summer transfer window that will go down in history, football fans are willing the international break to end in order to sink their teeth into the various narratives in the club game.

Whether that’s Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo re-signing for Manchester United or Jack Grealish’s record Manchester City move, there is just so much for supporters to unpack.

2021/22 season

Besides, such has been the wild nature of the last few months of transfers that predicting how the Premier League, Champions League and more will play out has become incredibly tough.

It’s impossible to tell whether Romelu Lukaku can inspire Chelsea to the summit of English football in the same way that it’s impossible to call whether Atletico Madrid can retain their La Liga crown.

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways in which supporters can come as close as possible to getting an idea of how the season will play out.

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And we say that because the increasing abundance of statistics and data in the beautiful game means that we’re creeping closer and closer to the vague possibility of objectivity in football.

Naturally, we’ll never get all the way there because that is simply not how something like football works, but the data fanatics at fivethirtyeight.com arguably give fans the best insight available.

That’s because their fascinating algorithm, which you can learn more about here, allows them to predict how Europe and the world’s biggest competitions and leagues will play out this season.

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The world’s 30 best clubs ranked

But in the case of this particular article, we’re looking at how the biggest clubs compare to one another in their ‘Global Club Soccer Rankings’, which uses a ‘Soccer Power Index’ rating system.

Like any statistical system in football, it’s by no means perfect, but it’s still interesting to see who the data considers to be the best team in the world right now. You can check out the top 30 right here:

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Man City top the charts

Oooooooh. Very interesting. There are going to be plenty of fans who will disagree.

While Manchester City’s League Cup and Premier League triumphs last season go a long way towards explaining their gold medal, Pep Guardiola’s squad certainly isn’t without its faults.

There are serious questions being asked about the Citizens as they enter the 2021/22 campaign on the back of a Champions League final defeat and without a world-class number nine.

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As such, they will have to put in some serious yards to ensure that Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid – to name just a few – don’t take their crown by the time we get to 2022.

Besides, we’re pretty sure there will be plenty of movement between then and now because it’s hard to imagine United and PSG staying in 8th and 9th for long with Ronaldo and Messi on their books.

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