Opinion

90min's definitive European power rankings 2021/22: Week 4

Jack Gallagher
Messi is very good
Messi is very good / John Berry/Getty Images
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Following a week in which:

- Barcelona looked as bad as they have this century.

- Chelsea looked beatable for the first time this season.

- Juventus kept their first clean sheet since the dawn of time.

We here at 90min, using quotes from The Wire, have decided to rank the top 10 teams in Europe once again.

Spoiler: Barcelona aren't one of them.

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10. Manchester United

Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo scored again / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

"I'm a devious motherf***er once I get goin'.”

Look, let's get this out of the way: this Man Utd team aren't very good. They're not an actual functioning football team.

However, they do have Cristiano Ronaldo.

And when you have a player like Ronaldo, you're going to win games with last minute goals. That's what they did on Wednesday evening against Villarreal.


9. Juventus

Massimiliano Allegri
Allegri is a world class manager / Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

"I'm going to show you as gently as I can how much you don't know."

Massimiliano Allegri has had his fair share of criticism from Juventus fans this season - and for pretty good reason.

The results have been poor, the tactics have been odd at times, and there was a (way too early and slightly ludicrous) belief that Allegri can never get the best out of Juve's young talent (despite only having seven games under his belt with them).

On Wednesday evening Allegri proved all his doubters wrong.

With Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata out injured and up against the champions of Europe, Allegri flexed his tactical muscles to out-think Thomas Tuchel and earn Juve a huge, potentially season-defining, win. Nice one.


8. Sheriff

Real Madrid v Sheriff - UEFA Champions League
Sheriff beat Real Madrid / Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

"If the Gods aren't f**king you, you find a way to f**k them back."

Real Madrid weren't at the races on Tuesday night, and Sheriff - who literally have a sheriff's badge as their club crest...it is amazing - punished them.

They punished them in a big, big way.

And in a beautiful way too. Check out Sebastian Thill's winner if you haven't already - it was wonderful.


7. Ajax

Edson Alvarez
AFC Ajax are thumping everyone / BSR Agency/Getty Images

"Lambs go to slaughter. A man, he learns when to walk away."

Right, time for some stats:

Ajax have played 10 competitive games this season, they've won nine of those games having scored 37 goals and conceded two goals.

That's insane - even if they haven't played anyone particularly good yet.


6. Benfica

Darwin Nunez of SL Benfica seen during the UEFA Champions...
Darwin Nunez is pretty damn good / SOPA Images/Getty Images

"These two are my Cadillacs. Everything else on this board is second best, sorry to say.”

Darwin Nunez is a Cadillac of a centre forward.

He proved it by embarrassing Gerard Pique and Eric Garcia to the point where 90min editor Matt O'Connor-Simpson gave the Barça centre-backs a combined 1 out of 20 in his player ratings.

Oh and he's only 22.

Scary stuff.


5. Manchester City

Jack Grealish
Grealish looked out of his depth on Tuesday / John Berry/Getty Images

"Man, money ain't got no owners - only spenders."

It's interesting that Manchester City can spend over a billion on new players in recent years, and still find themselves:

A) Without a striker.
B) Being deservedly beaten by PSG.
C) Not really looking capable of winning the Champions League.

Credit where it's due though, they did play well against Chelsea last weekend.


4. Liverpool

Mohamed Salah
Salah is on fire / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

"He's a cold motherf***er."

Mohamed Salah is really firing on all cylinders right now.

He's bagged eight goals in eight games, and making it very, very difficult for Liverpool to not give him what he wants in his new contract at the club.


3. SSC Napoli

SSC Napoli's Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen celebrates...
SSC Napoli are flying high / KONTROLAB/Getty Images

"Do what you feel! But you best be prepared to finish what you start."

SSC Napoli are now ten points clear of Scudetto favourites Juventus, having won every single game they've played in Serie A this season.

That's right: six games, six wins, 16 goals scored, only two conceded.

It's pretty damn impressive, but they better be prepared to actually win it this season and not bottle it like they did under Maurizio Sarri.


2. Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi
Messi finally scored / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

"You come at the king, you best not miss."

You can't keep a player like Lionel Messi - the official third best player of all time (according to me) - down for too long.

On Tuesday night he proved that, by scoring one of the better goals scored anywhere in Europe this season.

He's big time.


1. Bayern Munich

Robert Lewandowski
Lewa is too good / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

"Oh indeed."

It really should be common knowledge that Bayern Munich are, by quite a distance, the best team in Europe.

They are ridiculously good.

Robert Lewandowski is ridiculously good.

Joshua Kimmich is ridiculously good.

Julian Nagelsmann is ridiculously good.

There's no other team in Europe who looks as complete and has such a clearly defined way of playing the game. It's going to take something very special to stop them from winning another treble this season.


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