Power ranking Europe's top teams

The definitive ranking of Europe's top ten teams post-international break 📊

This international break has felt longer than a Martin Scorsese firm, but unlike The Irishman there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. Saturday marks the return to action for most of Europe’s top leagues, which are headed into the final stretch of what has already been a season for the ages.

Between the closest Premier League title race in years, a shock changing of the guard in the Bundesliga, and a Champions League quarter-finals as unpredictable as ever, the door is wide open for many of Europe’s top teams to etch their names into the history books. Here’s how they stack up headed into the final quarter of the season.

1️⃣ Bayer Leverkusen: There’s no question who is Europe’s top team. The only undefeated team in Europe’s top five leagues, Xabi Alonso’s historically dominant side have gone 38 straight games without a loss in all competitions and hold a commanding ten-point lead atop the Bundesliga. They are bearing down on Juventus’s record of 43 undefeated games, and are well within sight of spoiling Bayern Munich’s quest to hoist a 12th consecutive Meisterschale with only eight league games remaining. 👏 

2️⃣ Man City: The treble-winners appear to have lost a slight step since last season, but that’s expected when following up one of the best campaigns ever. Still favorites in the Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup, Pep Guardiola’s side – who have proven time and time again they’re more than capable of going on a tear down the stretch – are poised to add some silverware to their ever-growing collection. 🏆

3️⃣ Real Madrid: The concerns surrounding how Los Blancos would fare without Karim Benzema have long been forgotten thanks to the prolific rise of Jude Bellingham. Few would have expected the 20-year-old leading La Liga in scoring as a midfielder, but his emergence as a world-class goalscorer has fully unlocked Madrid’s attack this season. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have nearly equaled their goalscoring output from last season (64 to 75) with nine games remaining, and hold an eight point lead over defending champions Barcelona. 😎 

4️⃣ Inter Milan: If points per game were the gold standard, then Inter would be Europe’s second-best team.

Why the Nerazzurri continue to fly under the radar I’ll never know, but their performances this season certainly warrant them being considered among Europe’s elite. 😤 

5️⃣ Arsenal: After sputtering to a halt in December, the Gunners look nearly unplayable in 2024. Mikel Arteta’s side are on a run of historic form in the Premier League, winning all eight games this year with a mind-boggling goal differential of +29 (33 GF, 4 GA) to emerge as narrow leaders with ten games to play. Their relative inexperience and struggles with Porto in the Champions League keep them from being higher on this list. 🫤 

6️⃣ Liverpool: While the Reds are still more likely than Arsenal to win the Premier League (35% to 20%), I’ve got them just behind Arsenal after losing head-to-head last month. Make no mistake about it though, Liverpool have thrived amidst a severe injury crisis in recent months. Youngsters like Harvey Elliott and Conor Bradley have stepped up big time in the absence of key players – a testament to the player development abilities of Jürgen Klopp in his last season with the Reds. 📈

7️⃣ Bayern Munich: You’d think Bayern were wavering in the relegation zone for all the shit they’ve gotten this season. That’s far from the case for Die Roten, who have actually equaled their point total through 26 Bundesliga games compared to last season and boast the best attack in Europe’s top five leagues with 78 goals. You can’t help but wonder if Thomas Tuchel would still have a job after this season if Leverkusen didn’t exist. 🤷‍♂️

8️⃣ Paris Saint-Germain: The farmers jokes seem warranted this season. PSG have cakewalked through a Ligue 1 that’s weaker than ever, with a 12 point lead despite having only 59 points through 26 games. Yet, something feels different about this PSG team, who are second-favorites to get over the hump and win the Champions League for the first time ever.

Perhaps Kylian Mbappé is destined for a fairytale ending to his hometown career. 🧚‍♂️

9️⃣ Barcelona: While the defending La Liga champions have taken a step back from last season, they’re starting to put it together down the stretch. Barça are undefeated in their last ten games across all competitions thanks to Robert Lewandowski seemingly having found the fountain of youth (7G, 3A during that span). Still alive in both La Liga and the Champions League, the window for Xavi to hoist some silverware in his last season with the club is not as narrow as it once seemed. 👀 

🔟 PSV Eindhoven: Largely thanks to their American trio of Sergiño Dest, Malik Tillman, and Ricardo Pepi, PSV are quietly having a dominant season in the Netherlands. They join Leverkusen as the only other team in all of Europe’s top flight to remain undefeated domestically (23W, 3D, 0L), and have the second-most points of any team in Europe’s eight leagues with 72 through 26 games. And PSV aren’t just winning; They’re blowing teams out of the water. Their goal differential of +68 (81 GF, 13 GA) means they outscore Eredivisie opponents by an average of 2.6 goals per game. 🤯