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All-Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS

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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.

barca juve man utd All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHSSo 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?

liga seriea epl brasileirao All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHSBy 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″.
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Rank
Club
Nation
Points
1
Barcelona(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Barcelona
Spain
670
2
Juve(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Juventus
Italy
584
3
Man Utd(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Manchester United
England
579
4
Real Madrid(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Real Madrid
Spain
570
5
Milan(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
AC Milan
Italy
547
6
Bayern(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Bayern Munich
Germany
509
7
Inter(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Inter Milan
Italy
488
8
River(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
River Plate
Argentina
475
9
Arsenal(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Arsenal
England
472
10
Porto(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Porto
Portugal
405
11
Ajax(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Ajax Amsterdam
Netherlands
400
12
Parma(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Parma
Italy
373
13
Chelsea(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Chelsea
England
350
14
Liverpool(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Liverpool
England
344
15
Lazio(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Lazio
Italy
342
16
Valencia(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Valencia
Spain
338
17
Boca(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Boca Juniors
Argentina
329
18
Roma(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
AS Roma
Italy
319
19
Rangers(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
Rangers
Scotland
308
20
Sao Paulo(65x65) All Time Club Rankings according to IFFHS
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

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Marco Pantanella writes for the mCalcio blog

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Comments (40)

  1. i feel the team that should feel most robbed because of the 1991 time limit should be liverpool…..if the 80s were considered,it would have been an entirely different story for them…….

  2. Rangers, 19th!?!?! and worse Spurs at 85th.. Faarrk Off!!

  3. if it only considers from 1991 then it should be called the from 1991-2007 club rankings instead of the “All-Time Club Rankings”

  4. Amen to that, Liverpool_Fan. But I don’t make the rules at the IFFHS. :P

  5. HAHAHAHA! Quality! I guess they didn’t count the fact that we played in Serie B last term either did they =p

  6. I wouldn’t call it an all-time ranking. But yes, Barcelona is the best. Undoubtedly. They’ve won a lot. They’ve seen through two of their best periods(the Dream Team and the Ronaldinho era) and are heading towards a Maradona repeat now. Barca deserve the top rank…..

  7. why start at 1991? why not from the last 10 years to make it easier. liverpool fans this is what the rest of the world has been telling you for the last few years yes you won the champions league a few years ago (well done) but the rest is history now. come back into the top 10 teams in the world when you win the Premiership.

  8. ..Reckon this is rigged. Anyway,

    Dont think I did this but:-

    HAPPY NEW YEAR FOOLS

    never too late. :D only a week

    Out

  9. WEDNESDAY!!!! go on you owls we’ll be back in premiership in no time :p (i wish) Sheffield Wednesday till i die

  10. I think this takes into account the amount of:

    -game won per season in any given competition
    -goals scored and conceded
    -player discipline
    -amount of games played per season
    -and difficulty of the competition

    By these criteria it is only logical that AC Milan dropped 2 places, because they have had a horrendrous season last year (apart from a marvelous road in the CL, they were horrible everywhere else). It is also the only logical explanation for Man Utd to be third in these rankings. (Barca 21 trophies, Juventus 16-2, Man Utd 26).

    So, as opposed to the UEFA rankings, which stil have AC Milan as the best club in the world despite them having had a disatrous year and a half, these make some sense.

    NB the team which loses out most by the exclusion of the years prior to 1991 is not Liverpool, but Real Madrid. Ajax and Bayern fans should also be unhappy because of this

  11. im not blaming you marco

    and yes Liverpool havent been great in recent years but for our success in europe i still think we have a right into the top 4 at least

  12. top four?based on what criteria…now thats what i would cal a real joke

  13. I do not much care for the rankings since such rankings rarely reflect the actual scenario.

    For me, the top three clubs in the world (counting since club football gained legal status/came under some authority, howsoever you interpret that) are:
    1. Real Madrid (anyone saying NO needs to go over football history)
    2. Boca Juniors (not sure, but I suppose that they have the record of notching up the most number of silverwares. Could somebody second me?)
    3. AC Milan (well, Juventus could come a close second)

    Oh, maybe this is off the track….. Any time such club rankings are made, I notice that Manchester United are always somewhere near the top. For Christ’s sake, why don’t these people realise that Man United are not even the best ever club in England! Statistically, Liverpool are the best club in English history.

  14. are africans not part of the world

  15. What an absolute joke. Milan are the #1 side in the World over the past 2 decades :

    6 Serie A Championships
    1 Italian Cup
    4 Italian Super Cups
    3 EUROPEAN CUPS (SIX Finals)
    3 European Super Cups
    1 Intercontinental Cup

    That’s considerably more impressive than anything Barca, Man United or Juve managed. Milan should be ranked #1 and Real Madrid #2. Between them they’ve played in more European Cup finals since 1991 than Barca, Juve and Man United have in their entire history! IFFHS clearly don’t allocate enough points to that competition.

  16. FC Porto is the best
    we have:
    2 champions league
    1 uefa cup
    2 intercontinental cups
    1 european supercup
    22 times portuguese champions

    we also have vitor baia, the player who has the largest quantity of trophies in the world

  17. This can’t be true how in the world is Guadalajara six spots behind their biggest rival Club America? Get the facts straight America has lost the last five games in the league and Guadalajara is udefeated and Leader of the league table!

  18. why is galatasaray ahead of fenerbahce?

  19. CUZ WE HAVE WON UEFA CUP AND SUPERCUP AND WE HOLD MOST TURKISH TITELS

  20. juventus has won 27 league championships not 16…and to porto it’s way easier to win the portuguese cup than the Serie A…

  21. RED STAR BELGRADE FOREVER

  22. well i think it says it all.Barca currently is the best team ever to have surfaced on planet earth.All-time best,no doubt.there couldn’t have been a better ranking than this.it would be unfair if BARCA fails to win the champions league this year,looking at their performance.i hope messi won’t be robbed of world best title again b’cos he deserves it.

  23. There are some bizarre distortions on this ranking. Let’s begin by Argentina. By default, that country nowadays has only two real clubs: Boca Jrs and River Plate. Estudiantes may ask for the 3rd place. And the biggest winner of Libertadores da America Cup, Independiente, is a pale shadow of itself. About he brazilian teams: The presence of Sao Caetano ( in front of Fluminense )and Paysandu makes this list almost a joke. And there are lots of countries where a team has massive domain, but the same team means nothing outside its country’s boundaries. We can’t compare, for instance, the difficulty of the russian or belgian championship, with its members Spartak Moscow and Anderelecht, with the brazilian cahmpionship, where we have at the same time teams like Palmeiras, Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Santos, Flamengo, Fluminense, Botafogo, Vasco, Internacional, Gremio, Atletico Mineiro, Cruzeiro, and sometimes other ones ( Atletico Paranaense, Coritiba, Bahia, Vitoria ) fighting against each other.

  24. Should it be the REAL all-time best club teams, Peñarol from Montevideo would’ve been in top 5 for sure. 5 Continental cups, 3 inter-continental cups, 36 national league cups, . Most of the cups they won were in the years when Uruguay was a powerhouse, like Brazil today.

  25. OK, My opinion is that Man United are the best team in england, so liverpool fans keep your traps shut. You have a better ‘history’ then UNITED, but give them one more season then they would have won more trophies then you. I agree with Spurs placement, their fans are so arrogant. Yes, you finished 5th ONCE, that doesnt make you a top 10 team!.;
    I personally think that Lyon should be lower down, as their league basically is useless and the most uncompetitive league ever up too this season.
    Barca deserve it, although i wold like too see also Corithinans from Brazil higher. :P

    West Ham aren’t there, and as i support them, i think i should say, we shouldnt be there either. But mark my words, in the next Decade we will be! :D

  26. African clubs and the african continent is not on the list.
    The continent has produced great players. Eusebio,Weah,Eto,Zidane,Drogba,Okocha.Lots more that i cannot mention.
    The problem is poor managment of the clubs.Poor managment of everything.
    It will continue till eternity if change does not come on.The wrong people in right places(Nigerian football good example)

  27. I HOPE MY DARING CLUB WILL BE ON TOP AFTER COMPLETING THIS SEASON
    MANCHESTER IS THE TEAM THE POINTS AHEAD ARE FEW WE CAN CATCH UP

  28. My Top 5

    1. Manchester United
    2. Real Madrid
    3. Barcelona
    4. Chelsea
    5. Arsenal

    As You Have Noticed I Have Not Put Liverpool, They Are 98th On My List.
    In My Opinion English Clubs Are The Best In The World Otherwise We Wouldn’t Get To The Final Stages Of The Champions League Easily, But Liverpool Have Been Knocked Out Already.

  29. São Paulo FC – Forever…. Wherever they be.

  30. So two years on they’ve just released the latest update of their “all-time” ranking. I can’t disagree with Barcelona and United in 1st and 2nd over the period it actually covers, but by having River ahead of Boca (that’s 1 Copa Libertadores v 4 of them AND a couple of Intercontinental Cups for starters), the theory that consistency is more important than genuine success is proven. I’ve said it elsewhere, but HSV got 45 points for their rankings in 2009. Do what they did 20 years on the bounce (a deep run in the UEFA Cup and DFB Pokal and a decent title challenge, but ultimately winning nothing) and you’ll outscore even Barcelona over the 20 years.

  31. it is fake….real is 1 real madrid.
    2 barca
    3 milan
    4 juve
    5 munich…

  32. Were are Blackburn Rovers on this list?? They should be ahead of the likes of Fulham, Bolton, Newcastle, Leeds even possibly Tottenham. In this period we have won The Premiership and the League Cup and also had a few runs in european competition just like Middlesbrough, Bolton, Fulham and Villa. Sort it out!!

  33. real 1
    barcelona 2
    man u 3
    ac milan 4
    arsenal 5
    liverpool 6

    merrikh sudan 10

  34. 1.A.C. MILAN
    2.REAL MADRID
    3.BAYERN MUNCHEN
    4.MANCHESTER UNITED
    5.CHELSEA LONDRA
    6.JUVENTUS TORINO
    7.FC BARCELONA
    8.LIVERPOOL
    9.ARSENAL
    10.OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS
    11.INTERNAZIONALE MILANO
    12.FC PORTO
    13.AJAX AMSTERDAM 14.BENFICA LISABONA
    15.PSV EINDHOVEN

  35. thebest clup fersi OPJ
    1.inter milan
    2.real madrid
    3.MU
    4.bayer munich
    5.barcelona
    6.persipro
    7.arsenal

  36. i consider the serie A to be the toughest competition in the world and taking into account the numerous trophies that As roma has achieved and the number of times they have been runners up during the past decade i am convinced that they should have been at least 10th in the ranking.Roma have participated in the top-tier of Italian football for all of their existence bar one season in the early 50s (1951–52). MY LIST:

    1. AS ROMA( FOR THE ABOVE REASONS)
    2. AC MILAN( FOR THEIR TREMENDOUS PERFORMANCES IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE)
    3. INTER MILAN( FOR THEIR GREAT PERFORMANCES IN DOMESTIC COMPETITIONS)
    4. BARCELONA( PERHAPS THE BEST TEAM TODAY)
    5. REAL MADRID( AN INCREDIBLE 9 TIMES EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS)
    6. CHELSEA( I CONSIDER THEM AS THE TEAM OF THE DECADE)

    VIVA AS ROMA. I AM SURE THEY WILL WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE THIS SEASON.

  37. 1.Juventus (29 serie A , 2 european cup , 3 uefa , 9 coppa italia 5 supercoppa italia 1 seria B 1 inter toto cup ,-juve is the most trophied club in the world!
    2.Real madrid
    3.Man Utd
    4.Arsenal
    5.Bayern Munchen

  38. Liverpool is the best on this planet .i dn’t know why you people just can’t accept it. We will never walk alone.

  39. River plate at f**king 8th they should be at most 30th you should consider that its easyer to win the brazilian league than english or whatever

  40. How can it be that River Plate (with 14 titles) is ahead of Boca Juniors (with 21 titles since 91)