Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A strange kind of chart

We all like to get on our high horses about these ridiculous rankings that are produced from time to time in football so the latest one from soccer statisticians is bound to provoke debate. According to the IFFHS the greatest club team of all time is - wait for it - Barcelona.

To be fair, they have only taken into account 1991 to present day which explains a lot about the skew of the figures. Indeed, Parma (11th) rank ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea. Cool.

From their chart I have extracted the Italian standings for my own strange satisfaction. I have put in brackets their overall rating too.

1. Juventus (2).
2. Milan (3).
3. Inter (7).
4. Parma (11).
5. Lazio (18).
6. Roma (22).
7. Torino (33).
8. Sampdoria (56).
9. Bologna (71).
10. Genoa (77).
11. Fiorentina (81).
12. Palermo (87).

The biggest surprise to me is just how highly Torino got ranked. I remember them having one good season in Europe but a lot of time in Serie B during the period in question. It was also a bit of a shock to see Palermo pop in there on the strength of just a couple of seasons back in the top flight. My own Italian top ten - including all time history - would be more like this.

1. Juventus
2. Milan
3. Inter
4. Roma
5. Torino
6. Fiorentina
7. Lazio
8. Genoa
9. Bologna
10. Napoli

The first three are a no-brainer, I reckon. After that, it depends how much you rate old Scudetti against the new. I put Roma up high because of their outstanding record in staying in Serie A. The others, to be fair, you could swap around in any order. Certainly any top division needs all those teams in it. At the moment we are missing four of them which is another comment on how low the league has sunk.


Spangly Princess said...

I agree about the top 3, though one could squabble about their ordering. Then though my giallorosso heart is of course happy in 4th, my historian's head wonders if we & Toro ought to be the other way round?

and yes, the top flight ought to include all those teams as a core. but I'd put le lazie lower down, obviously, and what about Samp? the blucerchiati are surely up there too? in fact, let's have them in instead of the biancocelesti and that'd be much better.

ginkers said...

You could be right about Toro, and Samp too but then it is quite tricky to draw up a list after the top trio. After all, how do you compare pre-war Scudetti to the Champions League? Maybe even Pro Vercelli should be in there!

martinobhoy said...

Milan should be above Juve. European success should always be counted as more important than domestic success.

ginkers said...

I know where you are coming from Martino but I think it would be hard to argue that Milan were a bigger team in the history of Italian football than Juve - much as I grudge putting them at the top of the list.

ginkers said...

And on that basis Parma would be entitled to be ahead of Torino, Bologna and Genoa.

Venezian said...

Plus, Juve in the 90s reached 4 Champions League finals in a row or something.

I'm not sure I agree that European success should always be ahead of domestic success either - in a weaker league (eg. Scotland) I can see the argument, but Serie A was and still is (until calciopoli anyway) one of the strongest leagues in the world.

More importantly though, where are Venezia in your list Ginx? A 1940 Coppa Italia win together with a recent Serie C2/A win must be worth loads of points!!!

ginkers said...

They were obviously in 11th place!

TrentToffee said...

I agree with the venezian. In a strong league like Serie A Juve's *consistent* success alone puts them right out there (ahead of Barcelona IMHO). Your top 3 pick themeselves, but I also go along with your 4th choice, despite Totti :oD (only teasing !).

martinobhoy said...

I know you are both thinking that I was arguing from the 1 European Cup is better than 10 Scottish titles but I wasn't.

I genuinely think Milan have been a more successful Italian club than Juve. 6 European Cups and is it 4 world club championships?

The Parma better than Torino, Bologna and Genoa argument is irrelevant as those 3 won most of their scudetti before European competition started.

martinobhoy said...

Then again I have checked up on the stats and Milan didn't really do much up until the mid 50s while as TrentToffee points out Juve have been winning titles since the 20s.

TrentToffee said...

...indeed, and let's face it, Serie 'A' is extermely tough if you're Juve, and most of Italy despises you >:o) When it's put like that, I have to admit a grudging admiration for them. But I take your point, Milan's success in Eurpoe has been outstanding (certainly miles better than Barcelona's), they just haven't been quite so good at the bread & butter stuff at home.

TrentToffee said... more thing, as an aside, how about Maccarone's rant about Steve McClaren ? "...only in England could a man with such obvious and limited abilities be made into the national coach". How I chuckled :oD He's absolutely right of course.

Venezian said...

Let's get the full quote in, because it is worth it!:

"The ever-smiling Steve "Magnificent" McClaren is without doubt the most two-faced and false person that I have ever had the misfortune to meet in football, who should first spend his time actually trying to understand his own players' mentality instead of wasting so much time trying to understand the English press. The training methods at Middlesbrough are a quarter of a century out of date. Only in England could such a man with such obvious and limited abilities be made national coach"

ginkers said...

I never saw that but god bless Maccarone!

As for the Juve/Milan debate I reckon the Bianconeri have the edge even though they have slipped up a bit too often at the final hurdles in Europe. Although European titles are definitely worth more than a domestic league (especially pre-Champions league when only one team from each country got in).

Let's not even get started on Celtic v Rangers eh, Martino? We all know the answer to that one!