Top World Football Club Rankings – at the season-end summer break, 2022

UEFA Champions League Ball

Top World Football Club Rankings – at the season-end summer break, 2022

#1 Real Madrid

Real Madrid had one of the most memorable Champions League campaigns in history. Defeating PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City then Liverpool was a tremendous accomplishment. They needed to come from behind in all those ties except for the Champions League Final against Liverpool. They dominated La Liga all season and finished a comfortable 13 points ahead of arch-rivals Barcelona. Madrid striker Karim Benzema led the way with 27 La Liga goals. He’s going to be one of the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or. Real Madrid knows how to win when it’s needed and they do that better than any other team on the planet. 

#2 Liverpool

Liverpool was in contention for an unprecedented quadruple win of trophies until the last minutes of the Premier League season. Although winning the League Cup and FA Cup were mere consolation prizes. They finished only a point behind Man City in the Premier League. However, the last meeting between these two clubs on April 16 ended with Liverpool advancing in the FA Cup. Despite dominating much of the Champions League Final, Liverpool couldn’t get a goal past Madrid. Liverpool has lost only two matches in all of 2022 and manager Jurgen Klopp should keep them in contention for next season. 

#3 Manchester City

Manchester City are Premier League champions again for the fourth time in five seasons. However, losing out to Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final was heartbreaking. They should be just as strong though next season with new additions like Erling Haaland joining the club. Man City arguably plays the most beautiful style of football on the planet. The tactical artistry manager Pep Guardiola displays to the footballing world is a masterpiece of creativity and skill. Assembling some of the most skilled players on the planet into a disciplined pressing system is not always easy to do consistently. Their positional play system stresses ball possession and opponents rarely finish a match ahead of them in that statistic.        

#4 Paris Saint-Germain

Paris Saint-Germain are once again champions of France, finishing 16 points ahead of Marseille in the Ligue 1 table. Kylian Mbappe led the way for PSG with 28 goals, more than anyone in Ligue 1. Their star-studded lineup was built to win the Champions League. However, PSG fell short again, getting knocked out of the round of 16 by eventual winners Real Madrid. PSG looked likely to defeat Real Madrid, until letting in three goals in the last half hour of the second leg. Champions League winners know how to close out a match, PSG are close they’ll try again next year.               

#5 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich once again dominated the German Bundesliga, winning their record tenth consecutive title. However, getting knocked out of the Champions League by a weaker Villarreal side was devastating for the club. Despite dominating most of the match, a late Villarreal goal ended their Champions League season. They played so well in the group phase of that competition winning all six matches. However, they floundered in the knockout phase with their only win a 7-1 thrashing of Salzburg. Robert Lewandowski leads the way for Bayern, scoring 35 Bundesliga goals, more than any player in Europe’s top five leagues.      

#6 Barcelona

Barcelona started slow but ended the season strong, finishing in second place in La Liga. A disastrous Champions League campaign saw them off to the Europa League where they were favourites to win it. Unfortunately, Barcelona was dumped out of that competition by eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt. Defeating Real Madrid 4-0 on March 20 was the highlight of Barcelona’s season. Despite not winning any trophies this year, Barcelona will be back in the Champions League. They’ve got some excellent teenage talent in Pedri 19 and Gavi 17 ensuring Barcelona’s future will be bright. Rejuvenating the career of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang helped the club immensely down the stretch.    

#7 Chelsea

Although having one of the strongest squads in the Premier League, Chelsea ended the campaign without any silverware. They finished the Premier League season in third place, although their form has dipped slightly over the last year. They were devastated to lose the Carabao Cup on penalties to Liverpool at the end of February. The two clubs met again in the FA Cup Final on May 14 with the exact same 0-0 scoreline. To lose out on penalties to Liverpool twice at Wembly in one season was catastrophic. Chelsea put up a good fight in the Champions League battling back and almost defeating Real Madrid. They hold up well against clubs at the highest level and will be in the hunt for trophies next season.     

#8 Inter Milan

Inter won 10 of their last 11 matches, ending the season in top form. They are Copa Italia champions, downing AC Milan decisively in the semi-final, then defeating arch-rivals Juventus in the final. Inter were disappointed finishing the Serie A campaign two points behind AC Milan, despite having the best goal differential. They played well in the Champions League though, defeating Liverpool on March 8. Which was the only game Liverpool lost in 2022, excluding the Champions League Final. Despite being eliminated by Liverpool on aggregate over their two-game set, Inter proved they can compete with the best. They’ll be returning to the Champions League again next season and once again will be one of the favourites to win Serie A.   

#9 AC Milan

AC Milan are Italy’s Serie A champions, winning their first scudetto since 2011. They finished the season in top form with five straight victories and two points ahead of city rivals Inter. Their last defeat was to Inter Milan in the Copa Italia semifinal on April 19. They show well in Italy but will need to improve the squad to compete better in the Champions League. Otherwise, they might not get past the group stage of that competition, as happened this year. Olivier Giroud age 35 was second in goals scored for the team, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic age 40 was third. They’ll need to find some younger players to take over those roles soon.             

#10 Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur ended the season in top form with manager Antonio Conte steering the club in the right direction. The ownership of the club is providing him with 150 million pounds to strengthen the squad for next season. They’re going to need it as the competition in the Premier League is getting even fiercer. The highlight of their season was defeating arch-rivals Arsenal 3-0 on May 12. This gave them a shot of finishing in the top four if Arsenal faltered, and they did. Tottenham finished two points ahead of Arsenal and will look forward to Champions League play in September. Heung-Min Son led the Premier League with 23 goals to win the Golden Boot award. 

#11 Atletico Madrid

Atletico finished the season in third place in Spain’s La Liga. They’ve had an impressive run over the last decade, finishing top three in each of the last 10 seasons. Much of the credit goes to manager Diego Simeone who’s held a high standard for Atletico. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to repeat as La Liga champions, however, they’ve still qualified for next year’s Champions League. After eliminating Manchester United in the Champions League this year, Atletico was knocked out by Manchester City. It was a tight set with Atletico going out 1-0 on aggregate, but proving they’re still amongst the world’s best clubs.   

#12 Newcastle United

Newcastle United has the Premier League’s fourth-best record in the 2022 calendar year. An outstanding feat for a club that was in the relegation zone at the start of the year. The new ownership group helped turn their season around following the January transfer window with key signings like Kieran Trippier. Amazingly, Newcastle has been better in 2022 than Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. It’s possible but unlikely they’ll finish in the top four over the whole next season. The Premier League is more competitive than it’s ever been and Newcastle has further added to the drama. Instead of the big six clubs in England, Newcastle United should be added to that group to make it seven.   

#13 Napoli

Napoli finished the Italian Serie A campaign in top form with four straight victories. They scored 13 goals while allowing only one in those last four matches. Napoli was in the thick of the Serie A title race all season. They finished comfortably in third place, nine points above Juventus and into the Champions League next season. There’s no shame in getting knocked out of the Europa League by Barcelona back in February. They’ll be losing one of their all-time leading scorers, Lorenzo Insigne to Toronto FC. However, of Insigne’s 11 goals this past season nine of them were from penalties.      

#14 Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund had an impressive season in the German Bundesliga, finishing in second place, eight points behind Bayern. They’ve qualified for the Champions League again but their European form was very poor this year. They were one of the favourites to win the Europa League but were upset by Glasgow Rangers in February. Getting knocked out early in the DFB Pokal by St. Pauli was another disappointment. Missing out on opportunities like that coupled with poor play in the Champions League is frustrating for Dortmund supporters. Just as disconcerting to Dortmund, is losing their top striker Erling Haaland to Manchester City. 

#15 Juventus

For the first time in a decade, Juventus finished the season without winning a trophy. Disappointing by their high standards, however, they did compete well throughout the year. They played well in the Copa Italia final losing out in extra time to Inter Milan. Juve finished the season in fourth place in Serie A which puts them into the Champions League again. They’ve got a lot of talent on this squad and showed well in the Champions League. However, they aren’t the team they once were. Juventus will need to retool since they’ve announced they’re not resigning Paulo Dybala. They’ll hope he doesn’t sign for arch-rivals Inter.   

#16 Arsenal

Unfortunately for Arsenal, they were unable to qualify for the Champions League again. Late season losses against archrival Spurs and Newcastle United ruined their chances. Inconsistent play dogged Arsenal’s season, oftentimes stringing together several wins to be followed by a stretch of losses. At least they qualified for the Europa League next year. Arsenal has the youngest squad in the Premier League, which is something to be optimistic about. England internationals Bukayo Saka 20, and Emile Smith Rowe 21, led Arsenal in scoring with 11 and 10 goals respectively. A fifth-place finish in the world’s best league is nothing to be too disappointed by.      

#17 Monaco

Of all the teams in Europe’s top five leagues, Monaco had perhaps the strongest finish to the season. Their win against PSG on March 20 sparked a nine-game winning streak in Ligue 1 France. Monaco needed a win over Lens in the last game of the season to automatically qualify for the Champions League. However, Lens equalized on the last kick of the match ending Monaco’s spectacular run and automatic Champions League qualification. They’ll start the season early now, with Champions League qualification matches to hopefully enter that competition. A third-place finish in Ligue 1 was impressive though considering the slow start they had to the season. French striker Wissam Ben Yedder finished second in league scoring for Monaco with 25 goals.        

#18 Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen ended the season in spectacular form taking over third place in the German Bundesliga. They won six of their last eight matches and ended the season with four straight victories. Leverkusen’s impressive run was led by Czech striker Patrik Schick who finished second in Bundesliga league scoring. Only one of Schick’s 24 Bundesliga goals were on penalties, and he managed to outscore Erling Haaland. They’re going to need the Czech striker if they want to compete well in the Champions League next season. So it’s a relief they’ve recently signed Schick to a new deal through 2027.    

#19 Sevilla

Sevilla capped off another season in Spain by successfully qualifying for the Champions League. Although they only lost four La Liga matches they weren’t able to win when needed either. In the Copa Del Ray, they were eliminated by eventual winners Real Betis. They should have disposed of West Ham in the Europa League round of 16, but lost out there also. They drew 16 of 38 La Liga matches and consistently remained in the top four all season. However, their play did drop off in the season’s second half. In their last 12 matches, Sevilla finished with three wins, three losses and 6 draws. West Ham, Barcelona then Real Madrid were the only teams to beat them down this stretch.     

#20 Manchester United

Manchester United fans are cringing at their recent form under caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick. They’ve had their worst Premier League season ever. That’s unacceptable with the talent they have on this squad, so there’s going to be a major organizational shake-up. Enter new manager Erik ten Hag who will try and turn this ship around. They still managed to qualify for the Europa League though. They played well earlier in the season, even competing well in the Champions League. A reset will be welcomed so they can compete for the top four next season. Losing their last games to Brighton and then Crystal Palace without scoring a goal was a poor way to end this abysmal campaign.

About the Author /

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Nathan Holowaty is a writer and blogger, with a passion for everything soccer-related. He is a lifelong soccer player and fan, helping to grow the sport in a positive manner. Nathan began working on Top World Football in early 2021.

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