90min's Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 18

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Following a week during which: 

– Every footballer to have ever even considered playing for Tottenham Hotspur pulled up with a hamstring injury. 

– Ever footballer to have ever even considered playing for Paris Saint-Germain scored against Guingamp. 

– Every footballer to have ever even considered playing for Chelsea played false nine. 

We at 90min, with the help of Paul Thomas Anderson’s filmography, rank the European football teams…again. Enjoy.

15. Chelsea (Down 3)

Maurizio Sarri

“Your fear of capture and imprisonment is an implant from millions of years ago. This battle has been with you from before you know. This is not you.” (The Master) 

It’s clear that things didn’t exactly go to plan for Chelsea against Arsenal. Because, well, they lost, and they were terrible. 

But the signing of prolific goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain has seemingly renewed optimism at Stamford Bridge, and given Blues fans the belief that, while the Arsenal game was horrific, it wasn’t really them.

14. Real Madrid (Re-Entry)

Luka Modric

“We may be through with the past, but the past is never through with us.” (Magnolia) 

Two great wins in a week sees Real Madrid re-enter 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings.

However, what two great wins in a week doesn’t do, is hide the six previous La Liga defeats this season – including THAT hammering at the hands of Barcelona at Camp Nou.

13. Arsenal (Re-Entry)

Alexandre Lacazette,Granit Xhaka,Aaron Ramsey

“I am a false prophet!” (There Will Be Blood) 

Was Saturday evening a turning point? 

Honestly, probably not. 

It was a good result. Arsenal did play well. 

But as we seen throughout the Christmas period, Arsenal’s squad is beset with problems…most notably Shkodran Mustafi. 

12. Atalanta (New Entry)

Duvan Zapata

“I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” (There Will Be Blood)

Ok, ok, ok, Atalanta may not have been the team you expected to see in 12th place in this week’s Definitive European Power Rankings. And Duvan Zapata may not be a player you’d expect to score 14 goals in his last eight games. 

But he has, and as a result, Atalanta find themselves in 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings for the first time this season. 

Nice one Duvan. 

11. Bayern Munich (-)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HOFFENHEIM-BAYERN MUNICH

“There’s a whole ocean of oil under our feet!” (There Will Be Blood) 

Bayern’s squad: Manuel Neuer, Sandro Wagner, Niklas Sule, Mats Hummels, Thiago Alcantara, Franck Ribery, Javi Martinez, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez, Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davies, Serge Gnabry, Corentin Tolisso, Thomas Muller, Sven Ulreich, David Alaba, Kingsley Coman, Renato Sanches. 

To say the very least, the above is a group of exceptionally talented footballers (bar Sandro Wagner, Rafinha and Sven Ulreich…obviously). And recently, it seems that Niko Kovac has finally found a way to utilise the abundance of talent at his disposal. 

Six wins from six and back within six points of Borussia Dortmund atop the Bundesliga table, Bayern are on the march. 

10. Manchester United (Up 4)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

“All is well.” (Inherent Vice)

It really is. 

Manchester United made it seven wins in seven under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last weekend. 

That’s the best start any manager has ever enjoyed at the Red Devils. 

Yes, better than Sir Alex Ferguson. Yes, better than Sir Matt Busby. And yes, UNBELIEVABLY, better that David Moyes. 

That’s really good. 

Really, really good. 

9. SSC Napoli (Up 1)

Arcadius Milik

“I think it’s the expectations and assumptions of others that cause heartache.” (Phantom Thread) 

So SSC Napoli did essentially bottle the league last season. 

They should’ve won their first Scudetto since 1990; but they didn’t. 

However, their inability to get over the line and finally win Serie A shouldn’t wholly detract from what has been an incredible few seasons at the Stadio San Paolo. 

I Partenopei are the ‘best of the rest’ in Italy, and when the best is arguably also the best team in Europe, that’s a feat in itself. 

8. Tottenham Hotspur (-)

Harry Winks,Danny Rose

“Let me tell you something, this isn’t an easy job.” (Magnolia)

Mauricio Pochettino currently cannot call upon the services of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min. 

In other words: Mauricio Pochettino is currently unable to call upon the services of the best players at Tottenham Hotspur

And yet, the Lilywhites still found a way to win on Sunday, as Harry Winks scored a late winner at Craven Cottage to keep his side within touching distance of the top two. 

Being Tottenham manager hasn’t exactly been an easy job this season, but – somehow – Pochettino is finding a way to make it work. 

7. Atletico Madrid (-)

Antoine Griezmann

“Whatever you do, do it carefully.” (Phantom Thread) 

This. Is. Not. A. Drill. 

Atletico Madrid won a game 3-0 last weekend. 

Not 1-0.

3-0. 

Atletico Madrid scored two more goals than they usually do. 

Is this a new dawn at Atleti?

Probably not. 

6. Manchester City (-)

Pep Guardiola

“Don’t pick a fight with me, you certainly won’t come out alive. I’ll go right through you and it’ll be you who ends up on the floor. Understood?” (Phantom Thread)

The saying goes: ‘the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world because every team is capable of beating one another.’ 

It’s something we hear week in, week out, but it’s definitely NOT true. 

Huddersfield Town are not – AND WILL NEVER – be capable of beating Manchester City

Understood?

5. Barcelona (Down 2)

Luis Suarez

“I will f**k you up if you f**k with me, OK? I know three kinds of Karate: Jujitsu, Aikido, and regular Karate.” (Hard Eight)

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele may be the best offensive trio in world football at the moment. 

Messi is the club’s all time leading goalscorer (Jujitsu), Luis Suarez is the fifth highest scoring in the club’s history (Aikido), and Dembele is, well, also brilliant (regular Karate). 

However, they couldn’t prevent Barcelona from being beaten by Sevilla in Barcelona’s quarter final first leg meeting on Wednesday…hence the drop down two places in this week’s Definitive European Power Rankings. 

4. Liverpool (-)

Liverpool FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League

“Well that was one goddam helluva show!” (There Will Be Blood) 

“HOW ARE LIVERPOOL STILL ONLY FOURTH IN THE POWER RANKINGS WHEN THEY’RE FIRST IN THE GREATEST LEAGUE IN THE WORLD?!?!” 

“LIVERPOOL ARE CLEARLY THE BEST TEAM ON THE PLANET!!!

“THIS GUY HATES LIVERPOOL!!!! THAT’S THE ONLY EXPLANATION!!!” 

Calm down, it’ll be ok. 

Yes, Liverpool did win last weekend. Yes, it was a great game of football. And yes, in the context of the current Premier League season, it could be a hugely important win. 

However, put simply, there were other teams in Europe that enjoyed more impressive wins last weekend. 

Sorry. It’s just the truth.

3. Paris Saint-Germain (Up 2)

Edinson Cavani

“Like Godzilla says to Mothra man, let’s go eat some place.” (Inherent Vice) 

Paris Saint-Germain 9-0 Guingamp. 

9-0. 

Yeah. 9-0. 

Edinson Cavani: hat trick and two assists. 

Kylian Mbappe: hat trick and an assist.

Neymar: two goals and an assist.

PSG are way, way, way too good for Ligue 1. 

2. Juventus (Down 1)

Daniele Rugani

“I have a competition in me. I want no-one else to succeed. I hate most people.” (There Will Be Blood) 

Played: 20

Won: 18

Drawn: 2

Lost: 0

Goals Scored: 41

Goals Conceded: 11

Goal Difference: 30

The only unbeaten team in Europe. 

Juventus have been ruthless in Serie A this season, allowing no fan of any other football club to find any semblance of enjoyment in football. 

In Italy, no-one else is allowed to succeed. 

1. Borussia Dortmund (Up 1)

Axel Witsel

“We’re about to make film history, right here…on videotape.” (Boogie Nights) 

Saturday afternoon’s win was a big one. 

Without Marco Reus and Manuel Akankji, Borussia Dortmund faced one of their toughest tests of the season so far: RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena. 

And it was a test they passed with flying colours. 

Axel Witsel’s first half goal was enough for BVB to take all three points, move six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table, and – most importantly – go back to the top of 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings. 

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