UEFA Champions League Power Rankings: Barca and Man U lead the way
The UEFA Champions League has finished its round of 16 with a few upsets but many of the favorites still remain. Barcelona dominated the second leg in a fantastic performance from Lionel Messi while Wayne Rooney scored four goals over two matches against AC Milan. In one of the upsets, Real Madrid was knocked out by Lyon and CSKA Moscow won at Sevilla in the second leg to advance. The one team that made the biggest splash was Inter Milan who knocked off Chelsea and are now looking like serious contenders.
The power rankings are through Thursday, March 18, 2010 and do not necessarily reflect each team’s domestic form. As with any list like this, it’s subjective so feel free to share your comments or your own power rankings at the end of the post.
- FC Barcelona – They are the defending champions and are capable of making any defense look silly with their offensive capabilities. Messi continues to show why he’s the reigning player of the year and rising stars like Pedro have stepped up when given a chance. Ibrahimovic and Henry have not been in great form so it could be frightening if both play to their potential in the quarterfinals.
- Manchester United – Another great performance from Wayne Rooney who could be the front-runner for 2010 Player Of The Year awards. Sir Alex Ferguson remains one of the best managers around that can get consistent performances out of his club. They are very experienced and are able to get results on the road. The only question is are they relying too much on Rooney to provide goals? If he’s injured are their chances all but over?
- Inter Milan (Internazionale) – Jose Mourinho has his team prepared on Tuesday as they beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a brilliant performance. This was the match the “Special One” was waiting for since he left the London club and he has Inter has a real contender. Wesley Sneijder controlled the midfield against Chelsea and is quickly become of the best midfielders in the world.
- Arsenal – A dominating 5-0 performance in the second leg at the Emirates Stadium shows the Gunners are capable of shredding any defense in the world. They have an outside chance at reaching the final or winning it all but don’t seem to have quite enough as the top 3.
- Lyon – Their defensive performance against Real Madrid, especially at the Bernabeu, was impressive. They are under the radar but their win over Real Madrid deserves a lot of credit. While they did knock out Real Madrid, they still don’t have quite enough quality to challenge for the title.
- Bayern Munich – A team that has potential to reach the final but can be inconsistent. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery make up a dangerous midfield that can give any defense trouble. A team that could play great or could undercheive and it’s hard to tell which Bayern Munich will show up.
- Bordeaux – A solid performance from Bordeaux to advance past Olympiacos 3-1 on aggregate. They faced arguably the weakest team remaining so not much can be drawn from it. Not a serious contender but could reach the semifinals with a favorable draw.
- CSKA Moscow – A great achievement for CSKA to reach the quaterfinals but they did face one of the weakest clubs in the round of 16. They will have a distinct home advantage with a stadium that has FieldTurf but will be lucky to advance into the semifinals. This is a sign that the Russian Premier League is starting to emerge as one of the top leagues and could be challenging for the Champions League title in a few years.