Soccer Power Rankings: Juventus takes top spot from Manchester City; MLS champs Atlanta United return
Atlanta United capped a brilliant season with a title
Major League Soccer is growing, and Atlanta United has set the bar high for new clubs like Inter Miami. From the infrastructure to the spending on players, so much has to go right for any franchise to take off like this one has. And while it is an effort with many components, one thing is definitely needed -- a coach who understands the game and has an eye for talent that can create a rapid ascension.
And because of Martino's success, expect to see more and more foreign coaches enter the league. Any club would love to be the next Atlanta United, but without the right coach, it's impossible. So who could be the perfect coach for an expansion franchise? Here are three names that need to be considered by Miami or any other new club in the coming years:
This makes sense on so many levels, the main one being the David Beckham connection. Ancelotti coached Beckham at both AC Milan and PSG, bringing him from the United States on loan both times. Now it's Becks' turn to return the favor. Ancelotti has won it all in Europe, and he is currently at Napoli. He could attract big-name players and win right away. It feels like the perfect match.
The Venezuela-born Portuguese manager did a fine job at Monaco, and he does a fine job helping players develop. He isn't shy when it comes to letting young guys play, and for any team serious about its academy, he would make perfect sense. Though he had too much youth at Monaco to keep his job, he has an eye for talent and could certainly do well in MLS. It's a league that wants to get young and move away from the "retirement league" tag many put on it. Guys like Jardim can help remove that tag quickly.
Frank de Boer
It's hard to believe he doesn't have another job yet. The Dutch legend did so well at Ajax, but he wasn't given enough time at his other stops. He was let go at Inter after a 5-2-7 record, as if 14 matches are enough to get a good feeling about a coach. Then at Crystal Palace, a 1-0-4 start saw him gone after just five games. He did so well with the academy at Ajax and an MLS franchise would give him more time to prove himself. A move to MLS could be the perfect one to get his coaching career back on track.
You can watch much of the 2019 MLS season next year on fuboTV (Try for free).
How the rankings work
We list the top 25 teams in the world based on recent form. The teams playing the best soccer -- in their respective leagues and in international competitions -- will be considered. Quality of the opponents will also be taken into an account, but above all, the most important factors are recent results and overall standings in competitions.
World Club Soccer Power Rankings
|Convincing win against Inter Milan, and the Italian side is eight points clear in Serie A. But this season will be measured by how the team does in the Champions League.|
Manchester City (ENG)
|Not sharp against Chelsea as it suffered its first loss, but hardly a concern. So many clubs would like to be in a position where you lose and still look like the favorite to win everything.|
|13 points clear in Ligue 1 with a game in hand. That race may be over by New Year's. But, like Juventus, all eyes are on their UCL campaign.|
|Mohamed Salah's hat trick against Bournemouth comes at a good time, but the Reds will need him to deliver against Napoli before their UCL run potentially unravels.|
|Finally looking dominant, and Lionel Messi hasn't lost a step. Those free-kick goals of his are just ridiculous.|
|Hot as a pistol, and they have been since September. If it weren't for the dominant starts from City and Liverpool, this would be the favorite in the league. They still have a shot.|
|What a win over Manchester City to shake up the title race. Imagine what they could do with a proper forward. |
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
|Still looking good and undefeated in the league. A very manageable schedule could see them keep going in the right direction.|
|All eyes now on the Liverpool match. All they need is a draw. Will they play for it? That could be dangerous. |
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
|Still in the title race and with three cleansheets in the last four games, but somehow this team remains under the radar.|
Inter Milan (ITA)
|This team is a good Serie A squad but not truly a contender. Same old story.|
|Kind of like Atletico, Spurs are sharp and flying under the radar. But this upcoming Barcelona match could make or break their season.|
River Plate (ARG)
|Champions of the Copa Libertadores and deservedly so. Pity Martinez could be the next big star in MLS if he joins.|
Bayern Munich (GER)
|It's hard to believe this team is nine points back in the month of December. Usually they are nine points up and cruising towards another title. Could this be the year Bayern doesn't clinch?|
|Champions of Brazil and had a great season. A bright future domestically and internationally if it can hang on to its best players.|
| Boca Juniors (ARG)|
|They came close to winning the cup, but it all went wrong in the end. A red card and an injury reduced the team to nine in extra time, and that was all she wrote.|
Cruz Azul (MEX)
|Great comeback to get to the Liga MX final. Defense wins championships, and boy does this team have it. They haven't conceded twice in a game since Oct. 20.|
|The 6-1 win over Pumas to get into the Liga MX final was just ridiculous. What a battle this will be against Cruz Azul's defense.|
|PSV won its league game. It doesn't really matter when you read this.|
|Don't look now, but Roma is in eighth place and falling behind in the top-four race. Has Monchi's magic ran out?|
|The next best team in France after PSG it seems. Christopher Galtier is taking advantage of his second head coaching job.|
|In just over 1,080 minutes played in 12 league matches, Porto has allowed just seven goals. That type of defense will be needed in UCL knockout stage.|
|No shame in that draw at Valencia, but they thought they had the three points until the late equalizer. They better get their points now before a tough January comes around.|
| 24. |
Racing Club (ARG)
|First place in the Argentine league and looking like a real threat to actually win it. Just eight goals conceded in 15 games.|
|The 2018 MLS Cup champs return to the top 25. That's not to say Real Madrid or Manchester United wouldn't beat them, but all champs deserve the chance to be recognized. What the club has done, and not just on the field, has been incredible.|
Biggest movers: America, Roma and Chelsea.
Out of top 25: Lille (FRA), Universidad de Chile (CHL)
Honorable mentions: Real Madrid, Borussia M'gladback.
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