Imagine for a second a 20 team league made up of the best teams in Europe. Not a tournament like the former European Cup now better known as Champions League, but a pure league with a 38-game schedule, where each team played every other team in the league twice, once at home and once on the road. We could call it the European Super League, or European Premier League. Really, the name is unimportant.
Yes, I know this is all imaginary and hypothetical, but let’s have some fun. Let’s dream about this league and start some football banter that will divide football fans across Europe and the World. And with the potential money that could be made, a European Premier League might happen sooner than you think.
I’ve broken it down, and picked the 20 top teams in Europe, and set out the standings for this hypothetical league. Here is how I see the table breaking down:
1, Bayern Munich
3, Manchester United
4, Real Madrid
6, Borussia Dortmund
7, Paris St Germain
8, Atletic Madrid
10, Manchester City
11, AC Milan
16, Tottenham Hotspur
19, Inter Milan
20, Bayer Leverkusen
Now many may question my rankings, so let’s give you a look into the thought process that came up with these hypothetical standings.
The first thing that stands out is that Barca is not on top of the league. Many must now be thinking that surely I have made a typo, or some other mistake? No! Based on their play this season, I reckon that this Bayern side is Top Drawer and thus ready to conquer Europe for the next decade. They have a perfect template of modern professionalism with a touch of real class and machine like performance. I rate this team so very highly, and they will be adding Pep Guardiola in the summer too. In Robben, Ribery, Martinez, Lamn, Schweinsteiger and Kroos along with the rest, this squad is absolutely loaded with amazing talent. Don’t get wrong, Barcelona are still a top class side, but in my opinion this Bayern side play a stronger team game, and so would just shade this league.
In Barcelona the Spanish giants wouldn’t have the same bite if Messi ever got injured as he is a true difference maker but with Xavi, Iniesta, and Pique they also have many other superstars. No matter what happens they can nab a second place finish even if injuries hit.
Manchester United would edge out third place in my hypothetical league, as I believe that in Van Persie they have one of the best pure goal scorers in world football (and as a Gooner it still hurts to say that). If you give RVP an inch, he takes a mile. Sir Alex has built a strong all round squad, made to win trophies. They have quality and depth in all positions, which is something needed to win at the highest level.
Real Madrid would sneak into 4th. Cristiano Ronaldo is the total footballer, and is right there with Messi for best in the game. Add in quality players like Kaka, Ozil, and Benzema and this squad has talent and depth. They are not quite good enough to grab a top 3 spot, but they do take 4th.
Finishing 5th will be Italian giants Juventus who have been head and shoulders better than rest of Serie A for the last 18 months. They have proper team work ethic, and play extremely well together but they lack a little class of the top 4.
Positions 6 to 10 wasn’t easy to predict, but I love this Dortmund side with lots of young talents like Hummels, Gotze, and Reus. They play with real style and with their potent scoring threats, would nick 6th spot. In 7th would be Paris St Germain who after an influx of millions have assembled a team capable of battling with Europe’s big boys. Any squad containing the talent of Ibrahimović, Moura, Veratti, and Silva is surely a team that is ready to go to war. In 8th I have Athletico Madrid who sadly live in Barca/Real shadow in Spain, but are a quality squad in their own right. In Falcao they have a striker who can be a goal machine and this gives them a chance every game. Italian squad, Napoli would place 9th . They are not far behind Juventus and in Edison Cavani they have a top class goal scorer. The rest of the team isn’t too shabby either. My top 10 is rounded off by current English Champions Man City. I know that they disappointed in the Champion’s League but the standard of the squad is high with powerful midfielder Yaya playing the lynchpin. Add in Silva, Aguero, and Kompany and this is a squad that should finish in the top 10.
One thing is for sure though in making a list like this, the standard of European football is at a proper high at the moment. This makes the beautiful game enjoyable to watch in many leagues, and there are a number of great teams out there. It’s a difficult exercise to rank them, but I’ve done my best. You may agree with parts of the list and disagree with others, but feel free to leave your comments below and let me know what you think. Or you can feel free to join thousands of footy fans talking about the beautiful game at r/football.
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photo credit: nadia_the_witch via photopin cc