As every Monday, we publish a Power Ranking with the best Europeans teams, based on their recent form and results. Almost every top league in Europe has ended, that’s why this time there were not many changes in our list.
- Liverpool & Tottenham dos and don'ts
- Barcelona’s comfortably numb
- Londoners’ headache
- Liverpool (-)
Anfield’s boys are one game from silly season. But it’s one game that will define their last ten months. Liverpool seems like a big favorite of Champions League’s final against Tottenham, however let’s not forget that this edition of the best European competition completely defined the odds and logic. Juergen Klopp said that his players have gone beyond their limits in order to qualify to Madrid’s final, however now it’s not the time for praises and beautiful words. Not yet.
No matter how great the football played by Liverpool was this season, this team have to lift some trophy to be remembered. This team as well deserve it, but from deserving something and actually winning something there is a great gap that typified Merseyside’s club under Klopp and German manager himself. Klopp played three European finals in his coaching career, lost all of them. It’s time to turn things around.
2. Manchester City (-)
It was a week of historical and touching moments for The Citizens. Club from Etihad Stadium write a new story of English football and won first domestic treble. Pep Guardiola’s boys completed it in some style, crashing Watford 6-0 in the FA Cup final. Three titles, combining FA Cup with the Premier League and Carabao Cup, might have the most unique flavor for Vincent Kompany. Belgian, named fabulously “Captain Marvel” by The Guardian, ended his 11-years spell at Etihad Stadium to become Anderlecht’s player-manager. His departure symbolizes the end of an era at Manchester. It’s time for another one, loomed large with one substantial achievement.
“I know we will be judged at the end on whether we win the Champions League. I know unless we do that it will not be enough. This comes with me. I know that” - Guardiola didn’t even try to conjure reality. Next opportunity to win one trophy so desperately missing in City’s cabinet starts in a few months.
3. Ajax (one up)
Independently from all of gossip and information about upcoming sell-out at Johan Cruijff ArenA, this team won our hearts entirely and will be remembered not only by us for as long as required. Most likely forever. After beating De Graafschap 4-1 on Wednesday at Eredivie’s finale, Ajax completed domestic double. Because of this two trophies and memorable style, the celebration of this successes became the party of all parties at Amsterdam’s street.
More than 100,000 of Ajax’s fans celebrated a fascinating season and had an occasion to hear a speech that left football world in awe. The club's 19-year-old captain De Ligt beamed with pride during the trophy tour and delivered a remarkable speech to the supporters, explaining what Ajax’s offensive philosophy is all about. Watch it for yourself, goosebumps guaranteed.
4. Tottenham (one down)
The Spurs are in a similar position to Liverpool. They have only one match ahead of, but it’s the most important one of them all. Everything at White Hart Lane is dictated to that one night in Madrid. Club medical team do everything to prepare the whole squad for the Champions League's final. Nowadays all the attention goes to Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen, two injured and extremely important Tottenham’s players. Club is positive about both stars come back in Madrid, but what will happen afterwards? We can not ruled out that Mauricio Pochettino will leave the north London. Even players themselves hints that scenario. Who would you like to see at the Tottenham’s wheel?
5. FC Barcelona (-)
The team from Camp Nou fall into condition that we summed up by the name of one of the best albums of Pink Floyd. Comfortably numb - there’s no better phrase to portray situation of Barcelona. Club won LaLiga quite early and didn’t even have to try in last rounds. That’s the one side of the coin. The second is of course the Champions League’s faux pas that floats over Catalonia like an invisible demon. Club’s fans are disgusted with semi-final’s failure against Liverpool and demand sacking coach Ernesto Valverde. They are even able to accept defeat in Copa del Rey’s final on Saturday, if it means that Valverde will say goodbye to the club. Comfortably numb, in all its glory.
6. Bayern Munich (one up)
Although the race for the Bundesliga's title was unpredictable, the ending of it was indeed predictable. Borussia Dortmund stood up to Bayern’s dominant power, but didn’t stand the pace. At one point of the season, Bavarians were even nine points behind their title rivals from Dortmund. BVB, however, collapsed in bad way and turned the nine-point advantage into four-point deficit. The season became the one as usual, Bayern clinched seventh straight title, emphasizing hegemony with 5-1 crush over Eintracht. It’s still unknown if Niko Kovac is the right man for Bayern's job, primarily in European dimension, anyhow, now it’s time to party and tears in Munich. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben scored on their Bundesliga’s goodbye to the club, highlighting both club’s legends amazing career. A perfect farewell from a perfect duo.
7. Napoli (re entry)
With fourth consecutive win, Carlo Ancelotti’s boys showed Inter no mercy and crushed rival from San Siro 4-1 at home. Napoli had its problems throughout the season, but for a long time has been the only team that take up a challenge to fight with Juventus for Scudetto. What’s more meaningful, players from Naples didn’t have to prove anything to their rivals on Sunday. They’ve had already secured second place, while Inter still fights for the Champions League spot, but it ended up with nothing more than humiliating defeat.
8. Olympique Lyonnais (new entry)
With two entertaining performances in six days, OL clinched a spot in next season’s top-flight Champions League. It started with 3-0 defeat of Marseille and ended with even more convincing 4-0 thrashing of Caen in 37th round of Ligue 1. It was purely a week of football for team from this town. Women’s club section rout Barcelona 4-1 to win fourth straight Champions League. Nevertheless, in our blog we focus on men’s football in which Lyon players can still advance to the Champions League’s group stage. To do it, they need favorable result in the Europa League’s final. What result? See in the next paragraph.
9/10. Chelsea & Arsenal (-)
Two London clubs will fight for the Europa League’s trophy on next Wednesday. Victory of Chelsea would see Lyon automatically qualify for the Champions League, without a need to participate in playoff round. The stake for both Londoners is completely different. Chelsea finished the Premier League at third place and is already assured of playing in the group stage of next season’s Champions League’s group stage. Arsenal players were fifth and they only hope for top-tier football next season are 90 minutes in Baku’s final. It gaves them a headache - without a win in Baku there won't be a top-tier football at Emirates Stadium. English press even called this game as the biggest one in Arsenal’s recent history. “Win will put a marker down in the post-Wenger era for The Gunners new manager Unai Emery” - Daily Mail pointed out. The Blues, on the other hand, have other things on their minds. They were handed transfer ban what caused club’s chiefs even larger headache than Arsenal'. Everything due to Eden Hazard's upcoming and irrevocable exit.