UEFA rankings: Real Madrid finish 2014 on top, but who else excelled?

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It’s a safe bet that most Real Madrid fans don’t want 2014 to end.

After winning the UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA World Club Cup and all six of their 2014-15 Champions League matches so far, it has been an incredible 12 months for Carlo Ancelotti, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Co.

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However the Spanish giants had time to squeeze one more accolade in, as Los Blancos ended 2014 atop UEFA’s club coefficient rankings as the best team in European soccer once again. La Liga has three of the top six, while there are six Premier League teams in the top 20.

Now, there is a little bit of mathematics behind these rankings. Here’s an explainer from the good folks at UEFA before we get into the top 20.

UEFA calculates the coefficient of every club and association each season based on the clubs’ results in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. The rankings cover the five most recent UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League seasons; a club’s individual season coefficient is calculated by adding the total number of points it obtains in a given season to 20% of its association’s coefficient for that same season.

Below is the top 20 of European soccer with their coefficient listed to the right, as the full list can be found here. Agree? Disagree?

1. Real Madrid = 162.514
2. Barcelona = 148.514
3. Bayern Munich = 145.254
4. Chelsea = 139.706
5. Benfica = 139.706
6. Atletico Madrid = 115.514
7. FC Schalke 04= 109.254
8. Arsenal = 107.706
9. FC Porto = 105.043
10. Manchester United = 102.706
11. Borussia Dortmund = 99.254
12. Valencia = 98.514
13. Paris Saint-Germain = 97.183
14. Manchester City = 86.706
15. Bayer Leverkusen = 85.254
16. FC Shakthar Donetsk = 84.333
17. FC Basel = 83.835
18. Tottenham Hotspur = 82.706
19. Zenit St Petersburg = 81.699
20. AC Milan = 81.468