Sports

Barcelona knocked off top spot in World Club ranking



Barcelona have been knocked off the top of the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) Club World Ranking after a poor run of results.

But to many people’s surprise it isn’t Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, or even Manchester United who have displaced them.


No, the current table toppers in the IFFHS Club World Ranking are Chelsea. That’s right, that Stamford Bridge club that seemingly stumbles from crisis to crisis like a drunk from bar to bar – the club whose manager last week went into meltdown, whose owner is reportedly a crazed megalomanic, and whose players include the £50m striker who doesn’t score goals and the club legend who can’t earn himself a new deal.

Chelsea have endured a miserable Premier League season, their first campaign of domestic struggle since, wait, their first since last year come to think of it.

But while Roberto Di Matteo managed to salvage an anaemic league campaign by embarking on an incredible run in the Champions League and FA Cup, this year’s boss, Rafa Benitez, has found it much more challenging to prod the old giants of the dressing room in action.

The Blues sit fourth in the Premier League, and face a scrap to qualify for next year’s Champions League – a competition they’ve already exited.


A section of the fans are in open revolt at the manager when really the blame should be pointed at the board and/or owner. And the club’s favourite son, Frank Lampard, looks set to leave the club on a free transfer, probably a week or two after becoming Chelsea’s all-time top scorer. Strange times at Stamford Bridge, but then again, that’s nothing new.

Across Europe, many have been quick to point to Barcelona’s recent El Clasico defeats as an end of an era. The fact that they lost last year’s Champions League semi-final to a goal-shy Chelsea and the league title to Real Madrid seems to have gone unnoticed, thanks largely to Real Madrid’s own self-capitulation in La Liga this term. But perhaps those were the turning points, rather than this stuttering string of defeats.

In the absence of Tito Vilanova, Barcelona have lost three on the bounce. And all of a sudden they’re clearly a spent force.

Well, IFFHS seem to agree, and the Spanish side, who have been reigning Team of the Year for the past two seasons, have slipped to fifth. One of the teams to take their place is Atletico Madrid.

Spearheaded by Radamel Falcao, Diego Simeone’s side have blasted their way to second place in La Liga and into the Copa Del Rey final. There they’ll face Real Madrid, in what promises to be a mouthwatering capital city clash.

Here, they’re up to second, while runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are third.

2012 Club World Cup winners Corinthians in theory were crowned the world’s best club side last year. Everybody’s pretty confident they’re not, but they are up to fourth in the IFFHS anyway.

Rounding out the top ten you’ve got Boca Juniors in sixth, Real Madrid in seventh, Juventus and Inter Milan in eight and ninth respectively and then Sao Paulo tenth.

So, no place for Manchester United – 12 points clear in the Premier League – and no room for Borssia Dortmund or Manchester City. Controversial perhaps, we’ll leave the criteria and mathematics to the boffins. You can find out how they work it all out on their website here.

So, here is the IFFHS top ten…

IFFHS Club World Ranking – Top 10

1. Chelsea | England | 307 points

2. Atletico Madrid | Spain | 304

3. Bayern Munich | Germany | 292

4. Corinthians | Brazil | 287

5. Barcelona | Spain | 283

6. Boca Juniors | Argentina | 281

7. Real Madrid | Spain | 277

8. Juventus |Italy | 241

9. Inter Milan | Italy | 234

10. Sao Paulo | Brazil | 230

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