The Best Club Teams in History - Ranked by Elo System

Tom Gott
Liverpool celebrate with their Premier League title
Liverpool celebrate with their Premier League title / Pool/Getty Images
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There have been plenty of good football teams in the past, but only a handful of those sides really get you thinking 'hey, they might well be the greatest of all time'.

Well, to answer the never-ending GOAT debate, Club Elo have come up with a system to rank these all-time greats, looking at things from victories and goal difference to number of high-scoring victories.

Let's see who their equation put into the top ten.


10. Chelsea (2008)

Frank Lampard in 2008
Frank Lampard in 2008 / GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

Kicking off the list is Luis Felipe Scolari's Chelsea, who reached their peak in October of 2008.

A lot of the hard work for this one was done by Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant, who combined to lead Chelsea to second place in the Premier League, League Cup, Community Shield and Champions League.

Scolari oversaw the arrivals of Jose Bosingwa and Deco, who joined the likes of Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, John Terry & Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge that summer.

9. MTK (1955)

Next up, we head over to Hungary for the 1955 iteration of MTK Budapest.

Led by Timor Kemeny, the team then known as Voros Lobogo SE became the first Hungarian side to compete in the European Cup.

This year was a banner year for Hungarian football, with MTK's Jozsef Zakarias, Mihaly Lantos, Peter Palotas and Nandor Hidegkuti starring in what is widely seen as one of the finest international sides of all time.

8. Manchester City (2019)

City set records in 2018/19
City set records in 2018/19 / Michael Regan/Getty Images

When you consider that Manchester City won a domestic quadruple in 2018/19, won 32 league games and finished on 98 points, it comes as little surprise to see them on this list.

Rodri and Joao Cancelo were both added to the mix that summer, and during the early weeks of the 2019/20 season, they starred alongside Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne to help this side reach their peak in September 2019.

When all was said and done, however, they came unstuck against a team who just might appear later in this list.

7. AC Milan (1993)

AC Milan were completely dominant in 1992/93. Jean-Pierre Papin, Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit formed an outstanding spine which waltzed to the Serie A title with ease.

They did get stunned by Marseille in the final of the European Cup, although the French side's triumph will always be a controversial one as they were found guilty of match-fixing in the league and banned from defending their European crown.

This Milan side's peak may have come in March 1993, but most would argue that their 4-0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 European Cup final tops it all.

6. Bayern Munich (2020)

Flick's Bayern have demolished all competition
Flick's Bayern have demolished all competition / Pool/Getty Images

The current Bayern Munich side have made a terrifying habit of completely obliterating teams without even really breaking a sweat.

In the 2019/20 Champions League, Hansi Flick's side scored six, seven and eight goals in different games and finished with a cool 100 goals scored in the Bundesliga.

Robert Lewandowski was many fans' favourite to win the Ballon d'Or before the award was postponed, but the likes of Thiago, Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry were likely not far behind.

5. Real Madrid (1961)

The Real Madrid side of 1961 are often credited for being the team that made the entire world fall in love with football.

The 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup final has been described as 'the greatest match ever' as Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas put on a goalscoring clinic to cap off a run of five consecutive European Cup victories.

1960/61 didn't bring the same success for Miguel Munoz's side, but they still finished top off La Liga and added the Intercontinental Cup to their ludicrous trophy cabinet.

4. Liverpool (2020)

Liverpool continue to impress
Liverpool continue to impress / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Fresh off the back of their 2018/19 Champions League triumph, Liverpool arrived in the 2019/20 campaign even stronger than before.

To say they strolled to the league title would be an understatement. A combination of the rest of the league's incompetency and the sheer dominance of Jurgen Klopp's side created a one-horse title race which culminated in Liverpool lifting their first league title in 30 years.

Club Elo have pin-pointed their peak as February 2020, just days before they lost to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

3. Real Madrid (2014)

Real Madrid won La Decima
Real Madrid won La Decima / Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea saw Real Madrid appoint Carlo Ancelotti as manager in the summer of 2013, and the Italian went on to steer Real to their tenth Champions League title in his debut year.

When you've got a Cristiano Ronaldo who finished a 47-game season with 51 goals and 17 assists in your ranks, you're always likely to finish near the top of these lists.

The rest of the BBC - Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale - were both firing on all cylinders that season too, although that wasn't enough to prevent Real from finishing third in La Liga.

2. Bayern Munich (2014)

Guardiola's Bayern were special
Guardiola's Bayern were special / Boris Streubel/Getty Images

In anticipation of the 2013/14 season, Bayern Munich managed to lure Pep Guardiola (and Thiago) over to Germany, and they instantly became one of the best teams on the planet.

In the pre-Lewandowski era, it was Mario Mandzukic who took charge of the goalscoring, but this Bayern side were all about Robbery - Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

They won the Bundesliga, DfB Pokal, Super Cup and Club World Cup, and they made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League for good measure.

1. Barcelona (2012)

2012 was one of Messi's best years
2012 was one of Messi's best years / David Ramos/Getty Images

Narrowly pipping Bayern to the title is Guardiola's Barcelona, whose status as the greatest club side ever is rarely disputed.

While many will point to the 2010/11 season as the greatest year of Guardiola's reign, Club Elo believe Barca peaked in early 2012... as they were en route to winning the Copa del Rey and finishing second in La Liga?

Having said that, Lionel Messi did score 73 goals in all competitions that year, so maybe they have a point.


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