But which teams are sitting on the top of the world as things stand? We attempt to round up the top 10 best teams in the world to kick-start 2022.
Our criteria revolves around current standing in domestic competitions and on the continent. We have taken into account the strength of leagues and disregarded very short-term form. Juventus are a prime example of the notion that form is temporary, class is permanent. They have dominated for a decade, and one off-colour season has not crippled their status among the best.
However, the biggest omission from this list is Barcelona. It's going to be three years without a La Liga title in 2022, they've dropped out of the Champions League and their brightest light has gone, replaced by a hodgepodge of spare parts that haven't clicked into gear yet.
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We've tried to balance recent trajectory, this current season's form and indicators of future growth to formulate out top 10. We know you might not agree, but who do you think is our No.1?
RadioTimes.com brings you the top 10 best football teams in the world at the start of 2022.
We kick off the list with a revitalised, historic giant. Ajax may fall short of their former glory, but a sparkle has returned to Amsterdam in recent years.
The Dutch side enjoyed a stellar run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019. That side was broken up and splintered across Europe, but highly-rated boss Erik ten Hag has rebuilt the squad and won all six Champions League group games this term.
Being in the less prestigious Dutch league, Ajax unfortunately have a lower ceiling than most teams on this list, but they remain a jewel in European football.
9. Manchester United
Yes, I know. I know. Manchester United are arguably the most contentious team in this list, but those with memories longer than a few months will appreciate that United aren't a finished entity.
United were on an upward trajectory last season. They reached second in the Premier League, fell at the last hurdle in the Europa League final and with Bruno Fernandes in tantalising form and terrific young signings like Jadon Sancho arriving at the club – not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo – things were looking up.
Of course, this season hasn't panned out in the expected manner. Reports of discontent are never far away but United are not in terminal decline. They boast a squad brimming with excellent talents deeply lacking confidence and a new, hungry manager could take them back to the top. They have descended this list, but they remain deserving of a place on it.
A historic giant with total dominance in Italy for the last decade, Juventus have wavered during the COVID pandemic times.
They sit fifth in Serie A right now, one place below where they finished the 2020/21 campaign, but a transitional period post-Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn't erase their strong standpoint in the continental football. Form is temporary, class is permanent.
Despite their domestic troubles, Juventus have remained consistent Champions League knockout round competitors and will feature in the Round of 16 once more after five wins in six group stage clashes. They have endured a wobble but are back on the rise.
Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku's departures threatened to derail Inter no sooner than they had finally returned to the summit of Italian football. Reports of their demise have been proven to be greatly exaggerated.
Inter have lost just one game in Serie A this term. They sit top of the league and into the knockout rounds of the Champions League, albeit in scruffy fashion.
Simone Inzaghi has extracted plenty of goals from Lautaro Martinez and seasoned 35-year-old Edin Dzeko to maintain his team's place at the top of the tree. And they're yet to properly splash the £160 million received from the Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi deals in the summer.
6. Real Madrid
Carlo Ancelotti's men remain a predictable force in Spain and on the continent at a time when their fierce rivals Barcelona have vanished from relevance.
Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric still form the spine of the team as they sit top of La Liga and their Champions League group.
Age is a concern for Madrid, who must form a succession plan for the next few years in a more competent fashion than Barcelona's catastrophic filling of the Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi gaps. However, Vinicius Junior has hit deadly form and boasts one of the brightest futures of any player on the planet.
The reigning Champions League winners simply have to be this high up on the list. It's the hardest club competition to win, but they did it, and tamed beasts along the way.
Thomas Tuchel's side know how to dig in and grind out results in knockout ties. It's why they won Europe's top honour, it's why they do well in domestic cups.
Injuries have played a part in early-year wobbles, but they're in good shape to finish the season among the top three in the Premier League and remain a side that no team will want to face in the Champions League.
Many won't like to hear it, they won't like to acknowledge it, but PSG are a big fish in the European pond now.
Their form has been average in Ligue 1 and the Champions League alike, they've done enough without going above and beyond, but defeating Manchester City this season was a massive show of force.
Any team that boasts Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria among the ranks simply has to rank this highly on the world stage. Of course, that puts enormous pressure on Mauricio Pochettino's shoulders to succeed. This season. Now.
It hasn't been a 'clean' season for Liverpool so far, but they boast the hottest player in world football right now among their attacking forces.
Mohamed Salah is deadly. The Egyptian King has produced some of the most outrageous form of his career to date this season. Sadio Mane has picked up in 2021/22 and Diogo Jota has slotted in beautifully.
There are issues in defence that must be resolved in the second half of the campaign, but make no mistake, Liverpool remain in contention to win big, big prizes this term.
2. Bayern Munich
Nine consecutive Bundesliga titles, five German Cup titles and two Champions League trophies in the last nine years. Bayern Munich are a consistent force.
They boast the world's best striker, Robert Lewandowski, who was criminally overlooked for the Ballon d'Or this year after scoring 41 goals in just 29 league games last season.
The Polish striker has picked up this term with 20 goals in 18 matches. He is the ultimate natural striker and so long as he remains at the club, they always boast a chance of winning everything football has to offer.
1. Manchester City
It feels as though the top three on this list are in a league of their own and will take several years to dislodge. You could trim Liverpool away and leave Bayern and City at the top based on sheer tangible trophies.
City continue to find new ways to win games of football. It's that simple. Every time something works against them, such as the failure to replace a massive name like Sergio Aguero up front, Pep Guardiola finds a way to adapt.
This adaptability sets them apart from every other team at Europe's top table. Strip Lewandowski away from Bayern, what happens? Strip Salah away from Liverpool, what happens? Strip Kevin De Bruyne away from City, they adapt, Bernardo Silva steps up. Strip Gabriel Jesus, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling out, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden step up.
City are dominating the Premier League and crunching through the Champions League as a shape-shifting beast. If they add a striker in January, they could turbo-charge their season and leave everyone in the dust.
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Which football team is the best in the world 2022? ›
|1||1||Real Madrid CF|
|2||4||Manchester City FC|
The FIFA Men's World Ranking is a ranking system for men's national teams in association football, currently led by Brazil.Who is the best soccer team right now? ›
Best soccer club teams worldwide - Soccer Power Index as of September 2022.
|Characteristic||Soccer Power Index|
- Erling Haaland.
- Karim Benzema.
- Robert Lewandowski.
- Kylian Mbappe.
- Harry Kane.
- Darwin Nunez.
- Gabriel Jesus.
FIFA World Player of the Year (Men)
Lionel Messi 2022 - Still The King of Football - HD #lionelmessi #argentina #psg Fad3nHD Production Lionel Messi - best skills, dribbling, goals, assists, playmaking, tricks, nutmegs for PSG and Argentina.Who is better Messi or Ronaldo? ›
Ronaldo does boast more of FIFA's new 'The Best' awards and has been crowned UEFA Player of the Year on more occasions, but Messi has won more league Player of the Year accolades. Of course, it must be said that Ronaldo has won the Player of the Year award in England, Spain and Italy.Which club has most fans in the world? ›
With 109 million followers, Real Madrid is the undisputed number one soccer club on Instagram.Who was the best player in football? ›
|1||Lionel Messi||PSG & Argentina|
|2||Robert Lewandowski||Barcelona & Poland|
|3||Kylian Mbappe||PSG & France|
|4||Cristiano Ronaldo||Manchester United & Portugal|
Liverpool lead in terms of total trophies won, 67 to 66, following their win in the 2022 FA Community Shield. Manchester United lead in the head-to-head record between the two teams, with 82 wins to Liverpool's 70; the remaining 58 matches have finished as draws.
Is PSG best team now? ›
PSG has been a dominant force in French football for a number of years now. They have won the Ligue 1 title four out of the past five seasons and eight total titles in the QSI era.What country is best at soccer? ›
FIFA World Ranking: top male soccer teams 2022. First introduced in December 1992, the FIFA men's world rankings show the best international soccer teams in the world based on recent match results and tournament performances. Brazil currently sit top of the FIFA world rankings, just ahead of Belgium.Who has the most fans in the world 2021? ›
The answer is Cristiano Ronaldo!
The number of his followers is extraordinary, especially on Instagram: more than 388 million. Let's have a detailed look at the football players with the most fans in the world in 2022. Counting the number of fans, we have considered their social media official accounts' followers.
Here are our choices...
- Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen) ...
- Jadon Sancho. ...
- Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) ...
- Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) ...
- Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
- #5 Riyad Mahrez (Algeria/Manchester City) ...
- #4 Ousmane Dembele (France/Barcelona) ...
- #3 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain) ...
- #2 Vinicius Jr. ...
- #1 Neymar Jr.
Ruben Dias, Virgil Van Dijk, Marquinhos, David Alaba, and Thiago Silva are some of the best defenders in the world right now.Who is the No 1 player in football history? ›
#1 Lionel Messi (Argentina) - seven-time Ballon d'Or winner. The Copa America triumph cemented Lionel Messi's place as the greatest player of all time.Who is the goat of soccer? ›
Argentina's Lionel Messi and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo light up the 'GOAT' debate in the modern era. Their dueling careers atop the world game make fans born in the 1990s and 2000s believe that these two are, by far, the greatest soccer players of all time.Who has won more FIFA best player? ›
Unsurprisingly, two of the greatest footballers of all time, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, top the list of all-time winners. Messi won the title for another record-breaking seventh time in 2021, after received it at the previous ceremony in 2019. while Ronaldo sits in second place with five trophies to his name.Who is the 2 king of football? ›
Robert Lewandowski stats 2019-20.
Who is goat of football now? ›
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Club goals.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||Season||Lionel Messi|
Football Legends | Pele (King Of Football) | Best Goals and Skills - video Dailymotion.Who is the best free kick taker? ›
Most Free-kick goals in Premier League
David Beckham has scored the most goals by free-kick in Premier League history. He has scored as many as 18 times from the dead ball in his Premier League career.
Former Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is one of the fastest athletes in the world.Who has most records in football? ›
Lionel Messi won the most number(6) Ballon d'Or awards in the World currently. He also registered the most number of goals(91) for Barcelona in a calendar year in 2012. He is the fastest player to reach 100 goals in the Champions League. He also has the most appearances for Barcelona.Which team has loyal fan base? ›
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 21.8 Million followers
The Royal Challengers Bangalore is a franchise that has the most loyal fan base.
With a fan following of 272.5 million, Los Blancos tops the list of the football clubs with the biggest global fanbase.Which team is most likely to win World Cup 2022? ›
Brazil are 9/2 favourites with bet365 to win the 2022 World Cup, followed by France at 6/1 and England and Argentina who are both 7/1. All odds courtesy of bet365 are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.Who will win World Cup 2022 Predictions? ›
We predict that Argentina is going to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It will be a fitting end to Lionel Messi's decorated career and in terms of a great commentator, 'serves footballing justice' to the God of football.
|Rank||Club / Country||Points|
|1||Manchester City England||2040|
|2||Liverpool FC England||1957|
|4||Tottenham Hotspur England||1839|
Is PSG best team now? ›
PSG has been a dominant force in French football for a number of years now. They have won the Ligue 1 title four out of the past five seasons and eight total titles in the QSI era.Who has the biggest chance of winning the world Cup? ›
The favorites to win the 2022 World Cup are Brazil ( +450), Argentina ( +700) and defending champion France ( +650).What team has the most World Cup wins? ›
The men's Brazil football team has the most FIFA World Cup wins. Brazil have lifted the World Cup a record five times – 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. They are also the only team to compete in all 21 editions.Is Messi playing in the world Cup 2022? ›
Soccer superstar Lionel Messi has announced that the 2022 World Cup will officially be his last. "Surely, this will be my final World Cup," Messi said in an interview with ESPN.Who are the world Cup favorites? ›
Qatar World Cup 2022 odds: Brazil, France, Argentina favored after final international break - The Athletic.Where is the next World Cup? ›
World CupWho plays for Brazil football team? ›
Brazil national football teamWho is better Liverpool or Manchester United? ›
Liverpool lead in terms of total trophies won, 67 to 66, following their win in the 2022 FA Community Shield. Manchester United lead in the head-to-head record between the two teams, with 82 wins to Liverpool's 70; the remaining 58 matches have finished as draws.Who is England best player? ›
Wayne Rooney has beaten Paul Gascoigne and other legends to be named the greatest English player of all time. The Manchester United legend is England's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 120 appearances across a 15 year international career.Who is the best English football team? ›
Manchester United have won the most top division titles, 20. The English equivalent of the super cup began in 1898 with the inauguration of the Sheriff of London Charity Shield, pitting the best professional and amateur sides of the year against each other.
Who is better Messi or Ronaldo? ›
Ronaldo does boast more of FIFA's new 'The Best' awards and has been crowned UEFA Player of the Year on more occasions, but Messi has won more league Player of the Year accolades. Of course, it must be said that Ronaldo has won the Player of the Year award in England, Spain and Italy.Who is best PSG player? ›
'Paris Saint-Germain has some of the best players in the world right now - Messi, Neymar, Di Maria, Sergio Ramos. 'Some of the best player in the world are in this team. So if one of the best players in the world leaves other top players will continue in their place.Who is world's best football player? ›
Lionel Messi remains the undisputed king of the football world, though it would be foolish not to raise an eyebrow as he grows older. As an individual talent and based on almost two decades of cold, objective data and warm, unquantifiable magic, he is the best. Not only the best right now, but the best of all time.