The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Top 10 Best European Football Teams in Recent History

Here at the MIHS Islander we have compiled a list of the top 10 best European football teams in recent history (2000-2024) based on our totally and completely accurate unbiased opinions.


  1. Real Madrid

 Coming in number one, we of course have the greatest club in world football history—Real Madrid. The Spanish super giants have left their mark on world football in the 21st century, with them compiling some of the best teams in history, and some of the greatest moments we have witnessed. Their accomplishments speak for themselves this century with four players on their 2023-24 squad having the same amount of UEFA Champions League (UCL) titles as Bayern Munich and Liverpool, more titles than their fiercest rivals Barcelona, and three out of the four players won all six of their UCL titles with Madrid. Los Bancos truly are the greatest team in all of world football.    


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024 

  • Nine LaLiga titles in the same league that Messi played in 
  • Eight Champions league titles, with the first and only ever three-peat in UCL history
  • Nine Ballon d’Or winners, more than any other club in the 21st century
  • Five Club World Cups 
  • Six Copa del Rey
  • Eight Supercopa de España
  • Five UEFA Super Cups
  • 33 trophies won total in the 21st century, more than any other club 


  1. Manchester City

In second place we have Manchester City, also known as Man City or “The Cityzens.” While they may not have a history as long or notable as other teams on this list, they ultimately deserve the #2 spot due to their recent success in the past and current decade. After winning their first Premier League title in 2012, they entered their “Second Golden Era,” and began the Pep Guardiola era after his arrival to the club in 2016. Since then, they have won six titles throughout the last seven seasons, four of which have been consecutive. They’ve been a dominant European team within one of, if not the, most competitive league in the world, proving their class year in and year out.


Club accomplishments 2000-2024

  • Eight Premier League titles (Four consecutive titles since 2020)
  • 2022-2023 Continental Treble
  • Won every single major English trophy available during the 2018-2019 season 
  • Six Carabao Cups
  • Three FA Cups
  • One Champions league title (out of Four Champions league finals they’ve appeared in during the past decade)


  1. FC Barcelona 

Our 3rd place finisher: FC Barcelona. The depth of history and ensemble of elite, world class players who have resided within Barça’s community cements them at the #3 spot. They’ve impressed the world at every level of soccer, winning several LaLiga titles, Champions league trophies, and Copa del Rey finals. They’re most famous for the legendary players who’ve played for the club, such as Ronaldinho, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, who was a part of the legendary Barcelona trio MSN (Messi, Neymar, Suarez). They’re also known for their coveted youth academy, La Masia, which has produced some of the best talents of all time. Their continuous success and competitiveness have helped them stay at the top of European football, and in the upcoming years there’s no doubt they’ll still be an unbelievable side with an amazing young lineup to continue their legacy.


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024

  • 11 LaLiga titles throughout the 21st century
  • Record holder of wins in 11 different competitions
  • Three time club world cup winner 
  • 10 Copa del Rey
  • Nine Supercopa de Españas
  • Three UEFA Super Cups
  • Four Champions league titles 


  1. FC Bayern Munich 

Coming in 4th place we have the greatest German Club of all time, FC Bayern Munich. The start of the 21st century marked the most dominated period in German football, by one club, Bayern Munich. The German giants captured 18 league titles in the span of 24 years, absolutely dominating all competition in their league on and off the pitch. In European football they were also dominant with them winning the third most champions league titles in the 21st century so far. What sets Bayern apart from other European clubs in the 21st century is how they were consistently winning in Europe, with all 3 of their UCL titles being captured in different parts of the era, and all 3 of them were also all a part of Treble-winning seasons.     


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024 

  • 18 Bundesliga titles 
  • 11 DFB-Pokal tophies 
  • Three UCL title 
  • Two Club Word Cups 
  • Two UEFA super cups
  • One Intercontinental Cup


  1. AC Milan

For our 5th place finisher we have AC Milan, the best team to ever exist in Italy. They haven’t faced relegation in over 40 years, earning their way to the title of Serie A champions 19 different times. While their competitive success may be more consistent during the 1980s-2000s instead of in the current era, it doesn’t undermine the fact that they were the most dominant and feared side at the time. In 1990-1992, Ac Milan formed a team known as Gli Invincibili (“The

Invincibles”), and successfully won 58 matches in a row during the 1991-1992 season. In addition to their record-breaking win streak, they also won the Scudetti from 1992-1994, cementing themselves as one of the best teams of all time in the world of football. Some notable players from Gli Invincibili are Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Marcel Desailly, George Weah and Roberto Baggio, who are all known to be individual legends of the game. There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes to famed teams from certain clubs, no one in the world comes close to the 1991-1992 team Gli Invincibili.


Club accomplishments 2000-2024

  • Three league titles
  • Two champions league wins 
  • Coppa Italia/Supercoppa Italiana winner
  • One time club world cup winner
  • Two UEFA Super cups


  1. Manchester United

Our 6th place, the red devils themselves, is Man United. Their impact on football is extensive, notably being the first English football team to win a Treble; during the 1998-1999 season, they won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League all in one season. Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the best managers of all time, only lost five times during this historic season, and dethroned multiple European giants at the time. They dominated the Prem throughout the 2000s and signed one of the best players of all time: Cristiano Ronaldo. The youngster was signed in 2003 for €15 million and began developing under Ferguson, who helped Ronaldo become one of the best football players of all time. Since then, the Red Devils have struggled to hold form in the world of football, but their impressive, historic era with Ferguson place them at the #6 spot on this list.


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024

  • Eight Premier league titles
  • Three time FA Cup winners
  • Five time EFL Cup winners
  • One Champions league win
  • One Club world cup title


  1. Juventus FC

In the number seven slot we have arguably the greatest and most dominant Italian team of all time, Juventus (Juve). After a decent start to the 21st century with them winning three league titles in the first six years, they then found themselves in a bit of trouble, getting one of their titles stripped from them and then getting relegated to Serie B. Even with them being in financial ruin and losing their best players, they arguably came back stronger than ever, going on a nine year winning streak of them just dominating Italian football in their league, and the Italian cups. The only reason why they are not ranked any higher is their European success has been lackluster, to say the least, this century.


Club accomplishments 2000-2024

  • 11 Serie A titles 
  • Six Coppa Italia titles 
  • 11 Supercoppa Italiana titles 
  • One Serie B title 


  1. Chelsea FC

8th place: The Blues. Their accolades may not stack up to others on this list, but their impact on football during the 21st century is undeniable. Chelsea FC hadn’t made a name for themselves until the 2000s where they began to see success in massive competitions, such as winning the FA Cup twice and the EFL Cup once during a span of three years. Since then, they’ve been a consistent part of “The Big 4” until 2009 when Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City joined and created “The Big 6.” Since then, Chelsea have won three additional FA Cups and multiple UEFA competitions, with some standout teams that have etched their names into football history and the memory of many for years to come.


Club accomplishments 2000-2024

  • Five Premier League titles
  • Two Champions League and Europa League titles each
  • Five FA cup wins
  • Three time Community Shield winners
  • One time club world cup winner
  • Three Carabao Cups


  1. Sevilla FC

In the number nine spot we have the greatest team in a European competition… Sevilla FC. This may be confusing to a few, but Sevilla is the Real Madrid of the UEFA Europa League in the 21st century. With them having not only the most titles of all time in the UEFA Europa League, but also winning all of their UEFA Europa League titles in the 21st century. They also accomplished the first and only ever three-peat in UEFA Europa League history in the mid-2010s, which is arguably harder to do than three-peating the Champions League. 


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024  

  • Seven Europe Leagues championships 
  • Four Copa del Rey 
  • One Supercopa de España
  • One UEFA Super Cup


  1. Liverpool

In the number 10 spot we have arguably the greatest English club of all time, Liverpool. While they haven’t had the glory days that they have had in the past, the Reds still have remained consistently at the top for many years–unlike some of their fellow clubs on this list, like both the Manchester clubs. The reason why they’re so low on this list is because they were consistently competing for titles and trophies, but have never quite managed to win a lot of them so far in the 21st century. To most people being consistently good is cool, but winning is what really matters to all of us. The club accomplishments speak for themself on why they’re so far down here.


Club Accomplishments 2000-2024  

  • One Premier League title 
  • Two Champions League titles 
  • Three FA cups 
  • Five Carbo Cups 
  • Three UEFA Super cups
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    micahJun 13, 2024 at 10:21 am

    great job Richard Law!