Following a week in which:
– Liverpool didn’t play (lazy).
– Tottenham Hotspur didn’t play (lazy).
– Bayern Munich did play (and won).
– Manchester City did play (and won – really, really won).
90min, using the filmography of Francis Ford Coppola*, rank the 15 best teams in Europe for the penultimate time this season.
*Godfather: Part 3 will not be used because, let’s face it, it’s a bad movie.
15) Wolfsburg (Re-Entry)
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” (Apocalypse Now)
VfL Wolfsburg are back in 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings for one simple reason:
They beat Augsburg 8-1.
To put this into context: Wolfsburg scored one less goal in one game than Huddersfield Town did in the whole second half of the 2018/19 season.
14) Valencia (New Entry)
“This is a Romeo Foxtrot. Shall we dance?” (Apocalypse Now)
Valencia, FROM OUTTA NOWHERE!!
A very, very, VERY late season charge means that Valencia have qualified for the UEFA Champions League.
Three wins in their final three games proved to be just enough for Los Murciélagos ghost into the top four; sadly, however, at the expense of plucky little Getafe.
13) Juventus (-)
“Maybe we can do better.” (The Godfather)
Ok, don’t get me wrong, winning an eighth consecutive Scudetto is pretty good – scratch that, it’s really good.
But when you have just signed Cristiano Ronaldo (the 15th best footballer of all time) for £105m, it probably isn’t enough of a return on that investment.
Put simply, for this season to be a success, Juventus needed to win the UEFA Champions League.
And they didn’t.
12) Bayer Leverkusen (Re-Entry)
“Yeah, I left it noisy. That way it scares any pain-in-the-ass innocent bystanders away. All right, you shot them both, now what do you do?”
“Sit down and finish my dinner.” (The Godfather)
Bayer Leverkusen, FROM OUTTA NOWHERE!!
Much like Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen’s late season up-turn in form meant that won the race to qualify for the UEFA Champions League ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Unlike Valencia however, they also sold their best player to Borussia Dortmund this week…
11) Benfica (Up 1)
“If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone.” (The Godfather: Part 2)
Benfica’s 2018/19 Primeira Liga season:
Goals Scored: 103.
Goals Conceded: 31.
Goal Difference: 72.
It’s fair to say that Benfica can, and did, kill every other team in Portugal during the 2018/19 campaign.
10) SSC Napoli (Re-Entry)
“I don’t feel I have to wipe everybody out, Tom. Just my enemies.” (The Godfather: Part 2)
The 2018/19 season has been a somewhat underwhelming one for SSC Napoli.
Yes, they will finish second in Serie A for the second consecutive season, but they never looked like challenging Juventus for the title at any point.
Sunday’s emphatic 4-1 win over Inter however, was proof that despite the Maurizio Sarri induced hangover at Stadio San Paolo, Napoli are still good.
Really, really, really good.
9) Borussia Dortmund (Up 1)
“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” (The Godfather)
They may have collapsed at the end of the season.
They may have spurned a six-point lead atop the Bundesliga table.
They may have essentially gifted Bayern the title.
But this week, Borussia Dortmund went some way to ensuring that the aforementioned doesn’t happen again.
By signing Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen, Thorgan Hazard from Borussia Monchengladbach and Nico Schulz from Hoffenheim, BVB have made their intentions clear:
They want the BuLi title. ASAP.
8) Atalanta (-)
“We gotta win that fight tonight. We gotta get even with those Socs! Let’s do it for Johnny, man. We’ll do it for Johnny!” (The Outsiders)
ONE MORE WIN.
That’s all they need.
ONE MORE WIN.
To ensure UEFA Champions League qualification.
ONE MORE WIN.
Atalanta, we’re routing for you.
7) Arsenal (Down 1)
“I’d give four million just to be able to take a piss without it hurting” (The Godfather: Part 2)
So if it costs Unai Emery £4m to do the above ^^^, will that mean Arsenal only have £36m to try and improve a squad that currently ‘boasts’ players like Mohamed Elneny, Carl Jenkinson and Shokdran Mustafi?
Good luck Unai.
6) Chelsea (Down 1)
“I’m a sane man fighting for his soul.” (Bram Stoker’s Dracula)
It’s been an interesting first season in England for Maurizio Sarri.
So interesting, that he’s taken to eating cigarettes and dressing like a roadman.
He’s been lambasted by the media and fans week in, week out, but you what? He’s done a pretty decent job. Chelsea finished third in the Premier League, and are in the Europa League final.
What more could you possibly want?
5) Bayern Munich (Up 4)
“How are you feeling Jimmy?”
“Like a mean motherf**ker sir!” (Apocalypse Now)
What better way to wrap up the league title and bid farewell to three club legends, than to win 5-1 on the final day of the season.
Next up, is a DFB Pokal final meeting with RB Leipzig and the chance to win a domestic double in a ‘transitional year’.
4) Ajax (-)
“I don’t know, man. It’s just like sometimes I have to get out.” (The Outsiders)
From one team hoping to wrap up a domestic double, to one that already have.
Ajax enjoyed an astonishingly brilliant 2018/19 campaign – they won the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup, and reached the UEFA Champions League semi finals.
Yet, despite all of this success, De Godenzonen are all set to endure a summer in which their WHOLE TEAM LEAVES.
– Frenkie de Jong: Off to Barcelona.
– Matthijs de Ligt: Linked with Barcelona, Juventus, Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool (everyone).
– Hakim Ziyech: Linked with Arsenal & Bayern Munich.
– Donny van de Beek: Linked with Borussia Dortmund.
– David Neres: Linked with Chelsea.
– Andre Onana: Linked with Manchester United.
– Nicolas Tagliafico: Linked with Real Madrid and Arsenal.
Next season, Ajax’s team will be Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and 10 inanimate carbon rods.
3) Liverpool (-)
“I want you to eat, I want you to rest well. And a month from now this Hollywood big shot’s gonna give you what you want.” (The Godfather)
Rest up Liverpool, the biggest game of your lives is just one week away.
2) Tottenham Hotspur (-)
“The gun’ll be there.” (The Godfather)
It’s basically official, so Tottenham Hotspur fans rejoice: the gun is back.
Harry Kane will be fit for the Champions League final.
1) Manchester City (-)
“Oh, this is too violent for me!” (The Godfather: Part 2)
We are now at the point that Manchester City can win a domestic treble.
We are now at the point that Manchester City can win a FA Cup final 6-0.
We are now at the point that 97 points isn’t even enough to win you the Premier League title.
These are new levels of brilliance.
Manchester City are too good.
I repeat: Manchester City are too good.