If a united European football league was created, picking the teams to be in it would no doubt be very controversial. Comparing different metrics between teams can be helpful in deciding which teams are most deserving of inclusion. Six criteria would be important to take into account:
- Market Value of the Club’s Players (Transfermarkt)
- Current ELO Rating (Football Database)
- Historic domestic league success (Various)
- Historic champions league success (UEFA)
- Home stadium capacity (Transfermarkt)
- Average attendance of club’s home matches (Transfermarkt)
By equally weighing each of these six factors, it becomes apparent which football clubs in Europe would be most valuable to the united league. This study looked at all the teams in Europe with the following minimum criteria:
- Market Value of Players at least 25 million US dollars
- Current ELO Rating at least 1350
- Home stadium capacity at least 15,000
- Average attendance of at least 10,000 (pre-pandemic 2018-2019 season)
165 clubs met these criteria. Please visit the full table for all the data and statistics used.
This resulted in teams being rated on a scale of 0-10. The following European football clubs came out on top of their competition:
1. Bayern Munich
Bayern is the only club in one of the top five European leagues that consistently wins its league’s title. It has captured ten straight Bundesliga titles. It also has had plenty of Champions League success, winning it six times. Furthermore, the club has a modern 75,000 capacity stadium that sells out regularly.
2. Real Madrid
Real Madrid has won the Champions League a record 14 times, twice as many as the next best club. It also wins La Liga often, despite being in the same league as another powerhouse team, FC Barcelona. It also has one of the largest stadiums in Europe, although it is not consistently sold out.
3. FC Barcelona
Barcelona is yet another storied Spanish club on this list. It has the largest stadium capacity of any club in Europe, since Camp Nou can hold nearly 100,000 spectators. It also has the second highest average attendance. The team has won the Champions League five times, most recently in 2015.
4. Manchester United
Manchester United has won the English title a record 20 times. The club is one of the widely supported football teams in the world. It often sells out its 74,000 capacity stadium. However, in recent years, the team has had less success than historically. It failed to qualify for the Champions League in 2022.
5. Liverpool FC
Liverpool is yet another legendary English club on this list. It has won the Champions League a total of six times, the most of any English team. It has also won the English title 19 times. Recently, its team has had a ton of success, leading to the club having the highest ELO rating in Europe as of 2022. However, its stadium is relatively small, since it holds just 53,000 people.
6. Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund has the highest average attendance of any football club in Europe, with over 80,000 spectators per match. Its stadium is also the second largest in Europe, after Barcelona’s Camp Nou. Despite Bayern’s dominance in the Bundesliga, the club has also won eight German titles. It even won the Champions League in 1997.
7. AC Milan
After Real Madrid, AC Milan has won the most Champions League titles, with seven. Its last win was in 2007. The team has also won Serie A 19 times, most recently in 2022. The team plays in the largest stadium in Italy. However, it does not sell out its games often, as the team averages less than 60,000 spectators per match.
8. Inter Milan
Inter Milan shares a stadium with AC Milan. Like AC Milan, it has won Serie A 19 times, tied for the second most after Juventus. However, it has only won three Champions League titles. The most recent came in 2010. Like AC Milan, the team has trouble selling out its cavernous stadium. However, the teams are working together to build a more modern stadium.
9. Manchester City
Manchester City did not have a huge amount of success until recently, when new owners put a huge amount of money into the club. Now its collection of star players has made the team’s collective market value the highest in the world. Since 2010, the team has won the Premiership 6 times. However, the club has never won the Champions League.
10. Arsenal FC
Arsenal is the fourth English club on this list, but it is the first from London. The club has won the English title 13 times, the third most in history. However, the club has not had a huge amount of success in the Champions League. It has only been runner-up twice. Furthermore, due to the intense competition in England, it has not even gone to the Champions League since 2017.
11. Atletico Madrid
Often overshadowed by its crosstown rival, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid is an incredibly successful club in its own right. It is the third most successful club in Spain, winning La Liga 11 times, most recently in 2021. It was also the Champions League runner-up three times. The club also has an excellent stadium that was renovated in 2017.
12. Chelsea FC
Chelsea has won the Champions League twice in the past 15 years. The London-based club currently has one of the highest market values in the world, since the team is full of star players. However, one weakness of the club compared to others on this list is that their stadium is quite small. It holds just over 40,000 spectators.
13. Paris St.-Germain
Like Manchester City, Paris St.-Germain did not have much historical success until new owners started to spend a lot of money on the club in recent years. It now boasts some of the most talented players in the world. Despite this, the team has never won the Champions League. The team has only won Ligue 1 ten times, although 8 of them have been in the last 15 years.
14. Juventus FC
Juventus has won the Serie A a record 36 times, despite tough competition from AC Milan and Inter Milan. The team has also won the Champions League twice, although its last win was in 1997. Even though the team from Turin has had a lot of historic success, its stadium is relatively small, since it only has a capacity of 40,000 spectators.
15. Ajax Amsterdam
Ajax is the most successful team in the Netherlands. Despite not being part of one of the top five leagues in Europe, the team has managed to consistently be successful in the Champions League. It won it four times, although the latest was in 1995. The club is known for developing young talent. Ajax also has the largest stadium in its country.
16. SL Benfica
Benfica is a successful club in Lisbon, Portugal. The team won the Champions League twice, but both wins were back in the 1960s. It has also won the Portuguese title a record 37 times. However, its current team market value is relatively low, compared to other clubs on this list. Still, its modern stadium is quite impressive and can hold up to 64,000 spectators.
17. FC Porto
FC Porto is yet another Portuguese team on this list. The club won the second most Portuguese titles after Benfica, with 30. Interestingly enough, Porto is the most recent team outside of the top five European leagues to win the Champions League, having defeated AS Monaco for the title in 2004.
18. Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham are the third London-based team on this list and the sixth English team. The club recently went to the Champions League Final in 2019, losing to Liverpool FC. It has also won the English title twice, although the last time was in the 1960s. The club just completed a new 62,000 capacity stadium in 2019, replacing its old home, White Heart Lane.
19. Celtic FC
Celtic is a club based in Glasgow. It has won 52 titles in Scotland. Despite playing a relatively small league, the team’s stadium has a capacity of 60,000 spectators and regularly sells out games, since the club’s fanbase is massive. However, the market value of its players is the lowest of any team in the top 20, since it does not a huge amount on players.
20. Olympique Lyonnais
Olympique Lyonnais plays in Ligue 1. The club was especially strong in the 2000s, when it won seven straight league French titles. However, the team has never won the Champions League, although it did make the semi-final twice. Still, the team boasts on of the nicest stadiums in France. It was completed in 2016.
21. AS Roma
22. Olympique Marseille
23. Rangers FC
24. Dynamo Kyiv
25. FC Zenit
26. Sporting CP
27. SS Lazio
28. PSV Eindhoven
29. Olympiacos FC
30. Valencia CF
31. Sevilla FC
32. RB Leipzig
33. West Ham
34. Bayer Leverkusen
35. Newcastle United
36. SSC Napoli
37. Borussia Mönchengladbach
38. Galatasaray SK
39. Real Betis
40. Feyenoord Rotterdam
41. Red Star
42. VfB Stuttgart
43. Athletic Bilbao
44. Lille OSC
45. Fenerbahçe SK
46. Spartak Moscow
47. Eintracht Frankfurt
48. FC Schalke
49. Leicester City
50. Aston Villa
51. Hertha Berlin
52. Everton FC
53. FC Köln
54. Real Sociedad
55. Hamburger SV
56. CSKA Moscow
57. ACF Fiorentina
58. Villarreal CF
59. Club Brugge
60. Beşiktaş JK