All-Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS

After the World’s Top Goalscorer of 2007, the IFFHS (International Federation of Football History & Statistics) has done the impossible: make yet another controversial ranking, and make some more thousand-something fans pissed off about it.

This time, it’s the All-Time Club Rankings.

So where’s the catch? They’re considering only results starting in 1991. Huh? WTF right? Here’s their explanation:

An All-time Club World Ranking can only be meaningful and useful if it can be determined by taking account all the results of the national championships, the national cup competitions, the club competitions of the six continental confederations and the FIFA. It is therefore only possible to determine an All-time Club World Ranking from January 1st, 1991 — when the Club World Ranking began taking all these details into consideration.

The period from 1872 to 1990 can only be asssessed subjectively, mostly by using national and international champions as a guide. It follows that teams placed in the individual competitions cannot be taken into consideration, even if their titles were won easily or in spite of many defeats. It is simply not possible to establish a basis for giving all participating clubs an equal opportunity for the period 1872 to 1990.

The IFFHS has therefore has decided, logically, that the All-time Club World Ranking should be determined from January 1st, 1991 using the annual Club World Ranking (the situation at 31st December annually). For this it will take into consideration the “Top 50 Clubs”, annually and award them points from 50 points for the top club down to 1 point for the club in 50th place. Adding the points from the individual years for each club will provide the All-time Club World Ranking.

1st: Barcelona, 2nd: Juventus, 3rd: Manchester UnitedSo there goes.

The result? The “lucky winner” of the IFFHS All-Time Club Ranking is FC Barcelona with 670 points, who in the period from 1991 to 2007 won 8 La Liga titles, 2 Copa del Rey, 6 Supercopa de España, 2 Champions League, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup, and 2 European Super Cups. Completing the top trio, we find Juventus (7 [minus 2] Serie A titles, 1 Coppa Italia, 4 Supercoppa Italiana, 1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 Intertoto Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup) and Manchester Utd (9 EPL titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, 6 Charity Shields, 1 Champions League, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 European Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup).

One of the funny things about this year’s All-Time Ranking is that compared to 2006, AC Milan has actually dropped by 2 ranks to 5th spot (behind Real Madrid). Yeah, the same AC Milan which won the UEFA Champions League in May, the European SuperCup in September and the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the year. Man Utd and Real Madrid did win their respective national titles, but still weird I find.

Completing the Top 10 right behind AC Milan, we find Bayern Munich (6th), Inter Milan (7th), River Plate (8th), Arsenal (9th), and Porto (10th). Further down the list, Italian club Parma is incredibly ranked 12th, right behind Ajax Amsterdam and their huge cup gallery, but in front of clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool (13th and 14th). Huh? How did that happen?

By now most of you are probably screaming for murder, so in defense of the IFFHS ranking, let me just mention that it does accurately reflect the top world leagues of the past two decades, at least in terms of total number of clubs present. In the 191 ranked clubs, the Spanish Liga and Italian Serie A are the biggest providers, totalling 17 teams each. They are followed by the English Premier League (15), the Campeonato Brasileiro (15), the German Bundesliga (12), and the French Ligue 1 (12). Argentina totals 11 clubs and caps the ‘Big 7’ according to this ranking. Much further down the list are the Belgian, Czech and Dutch leagues (6).

In the end, despite IFFHS’s explanation for their selection criteria (see above), such a ranking is a fairly poor representation of an “All-Time” statistic. By only counting club history from 1991 onwards, IFFHS should effectively have forfeited the right to use “All-time” in their ranking terminology. Nevertheless what you are looking at here, should more or less accurately reflect the teams who have dominated the world of football from 1991 to 2007. That at least, we can admit.

For comparison, the UEFA ranking (last updated to May 25, 2007 i.e. before the Rossoneri European SuperCup and Club World Cup triumphs) puts AC Milan at nº1, followed by Barcelona, Liverpool, and Inter. Quoting Gazzetta dello Sport, the IFFHS “would be a much more respected institute if it took into consideration the entire world of football. That is, starting from the time someone in England had the great idea of inventing the sport. It was the year 1872″.
.

Rank
Club
Nation
Points
1
Barcelona
Spain
670
2
Juventus
Italy
584
3
Manchester United
England
579
4
Real Madrid
Spain
570
5
AC Milan
Italy
547
6
Bayern Munich
Germany
509
7
Inter Milan
Italy
488
8
River Plate
Argentina
475
9
Arsenal
England
472
10
Porto
Portugal
405
11
Ajax Amsterdam
Netherlands
400
12
Parma
Italy
373
13
Chelsea
England
350
14
Liverpool
England
344
15
Lazio
Italy
342
16
Valencia
Spain
338
17
Boca Juniors
Argentina
329
18
AS Roma
Italy
319
19
Rangers
Scotland
308
20
São Paulo
Brazil
290
21
Borussia Dortmund
Germany
285
22
Paris Saint-Germain
France
284
23
Spartak Moscow
Russia
278
24
AS Monaco
France
277
25
Club Brugge
Belgium
260
Lyon
France
260
27
Atletico Madrid
Spain
255
Deportivo La Coruña
Spain
255
29
Celtic
Scotland
236
30
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Netherlands
227
31
Werder Bremen
Germany
226
32
CD América Cali
Colombia
225
33
Colo Colo
Chile
222
34
Benfica
Portugal
221
35
Grêmio
Brazil
212
36
AJ Auxerre
France
204
37
Newcastle United
England
197
38
Cruzeiro
Brazil
194
39
PSV Eindhoven
Netherlands
192
40
Olimpia Asunción
Paraguay
188
41
Galatasaray SK
Turkey
187
42
Anderlecht
Belgium
182
43
Marseille
France
181
44
Palmeiras
Brazil
162
45
Bayer Leverkusen
Germany
159
46
Vélez Sarsfield
Argentina
153
47
Universidad Católica
Chile
149
48
Nacional Montevideo
Uruguay
142
Schalke 04
Germany
142
50
Bordeaux
France
139
Zaragoza
Spain
139
52
Sparta Prague
Czech Republic
138
53
FC Nantes
France
136
54
Cerro Porteño
Paraguay
135
55
Nacional Medellín
Colombia
130
56
Vasco da Gama
Brazil
127
57
Torino
Italy
126
58
Dynamo Kiev
Ukraina
123
59
Panathinaikos
Greece
113
60
Flamengo
Brazil
112
61
Santos FC
Brazil
111
62
San Lorenzo
Argentina
107
Slavia Prague
Czech Republic
107
64
Red Star Belgrade
Serbia
105
65
Mallorca
Spain
103
66
Corinthians
Brazil
95
67
Real Betis
Spain
93
68
Sevilla FC
Spain
91
69
Leeds United
England
87
70
Sampdoria
Italy
83
71
Eintracht Frankfurt
Germany
76
72
VfB Stuttgart
Germany
75
73
Villarreal CF
Spain
74
74
AEK Athens
Greece
73
CSKA Moscow
Russia
73
76
Lokomotive Moscow
Russia
72
77
Olympiakos Piräus
Greece
69
78
Peñarol Montevideo
Uruguay
68
Internacional Porto Alegre
Brazil
68
80
Fiorentina
Italy
64
81
Atletico Mineiro
Brazil
57
82
AZ Alkmaar
Netherlands
56
Steaua Bucarest
Romania
56
Lille
France
56
85
Tottenham
England
55
86
Rapid Bucarest
Romania
51
87
Independiente
Argentina
50
Espanyol
Spain
50
89
São Caetano
Brazil
48
Sporting Lisbon
Portugal
48
91
Hamburger SV
Germany
46
92
Kaiserslautern
Germany
43
Besiktas SK
Turkey
43
94
Club América Mexico
Mexico
40
RC Lens
France
40
Borussia Mönchengladbach
Germany
40
97
Boavista
Portugal
39
Bologna
Italy
39
Cienciano del Cusco
Peru
39
CD Guadalajara
Mexico
39
Karlsruher SC
Germany
39
Celta Vigo
Spain
39
103
Newell’s Old Boys
Argentina
38
104
Austria SV Salzburg
Austria
37
Genoa
Italy
37
106
Everton
England
36
107
Universidad de Chile
Chile
35
108
Tenerife
Spain
34
Strasbourg
France
34
110
Rosario Central
Argentina
33
FC Basel
Switzerland
33
112
Shakhtar Donetsk
Ukraina
32
SIGMA Olomouc
Czech Republic
32
Palermo
Italy
32
115
CS Emelec Guayaquil
Ecuador
31
116
Atlético Morelia
Mexico
30
RC Genk
Belgium
30
Rosenborg BK
Norge
30
Udinese
Italy
30
120
Bolívar La Paz
Bolivia
29
Fluminense
Brazil
29
122
Fenerbahçe SK
Turkey
28
123
Banfield
Argentina
27
Lanús
Argentina
27
Once Caldas Manizales
Colombia
27
Sporting Cristal Lima
Peru
27
127
Club Libertad Asunción
Paraguay
26
128
Deportivo Cali
Colombia
25
Cagliari
Italy
25
Rapid Wien
Austria
25
131
Nottingham Forest
England
24
Standard Liège
Belgium
24
133
Perugia
Italy
23
Barcelona SC Guayaquil
Ecuador
23
Fulham
England
23
LDA Alajuela
Costa Rica
23
Napoli
Italy
23
138
MTK Budapest
Hungary
22
139
Universitario Lima
Peru
21
140
Bolton
England
20
141
Baník Ostrava
Czech Republic
19
Santiago Wanderers
Chile
19
143
Atletico Paranaense
Brazil
18
National SC Cairo
Egypt
18
145
Aberdeen
Scotland
17
146
Brøndby IF
Denmark
16
LD Universitario de Quito
Ecuador
16
RC Avellaneda
Argentina
16
149
Rayo Vallecano
Spain
15
CPD Junior Barranquilla
Colombia
15
151
Estudiantes La Plata
Argentina
12
Sochaux
France
12
Legia Warsaw
Poland
12
Málaga
Spain
12
Roda JC
Netherlands
12
156
Paysandu SC Belem
Brazil
11
Rotor Wolgograd
Russia
11
Slovan Liberec
Czech Republic
11
159
AA Gent
Belgium
10
Cruz Azul
Mexico
10
Dynamo Bucarest
Romania
10
Hertha Berlin
Germany
10
163
Antwerp FC
Belgium
9
SK Hradek Králové
Czech Republic
9
165
CD Cobreloa Calama
Chile
8
Sporting Gijon
Spain
8
167
Club Alianza Lima
Peru
7
BK København
Denmark
7
Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Israel
7
170
Slovan Bratislava
Slovenia
7
171
Aston Villa
England
6
Norwich City
England
6
Odense BK
Denmark
6
Real Sociedad
Spain
6
Trabzonspor
Turkey
6
176
Ferencvárosi TC
Hungary
5
Levski Sofia
Bulgaria
5
Hajduk Split
Croatia
5
Sheffield Wednesday
England
5
180
Estudiantes de Merida
Venezuela
4
FC Metz
France
4
Goias
Brazil
4
Maccabi Haifa
Israel
4
Panionios
Greece
4
Vicenza
Italy
4
Vitesse Arnhem
Netherlands
4
187
Austria Wien
Austria
3
Middlesbrough
England
3
189
Partizan Belgrade
Serbia
2
GKS Katowice
Poland
2
191
PAOK Saloniki
Greece
1

.
Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog

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