ANALYSE THIS: Euro Club Index makes unfamiliar opponents familar

FOOTBALL – The reaction to Manchester United’s defeat by FC Midtjylland has been one of shock with the English club being derided as “dismal” in the media and the display described as “unacceptable” by one of United’s own players, Michael Carrick. Five days earlier, United lost by a similar scoreline to Sunderland without the same level of criticism from either outside or within. According to the Euro Club Index, Danish champions FC Midtjylland are actually at about the same level of quality as the Black Cats from England’s North East. Prior to Thursday night’s fixture, Midtjylland were ranked 136th by this pan-European ranking with Sunderland 132nd . The difference in opinion therefore lies in people’s perspective with the quality of smaller clubs like Midtjylland being underestimated by media and fans alike because of their lack of knowledge of the team or the league in which they play.

The Euro Club Index is a ranking of all European football clubs with the teams playing in the top flight  displayed in a ranking which updates daily on The ranking uses results in all competitions weighted for recency with inter-league results in European competition helping with the calibration. It provides an accurate picture of European top flight football at any given moment and it is therefore a useful tool to put European opponents into perspective.

One way of doing this is to find the closest equivalent team from your own league. Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League opponents Fiorentina are roughly equivalent to playing Liverpool for example. For Barcelona fans, next week’s Champions League opponents Arsenal should be approximately the same as playing against Sevilla in terms of the quality the English team have. Villarreal’s tie against Napoli should have been expected to be tight as the Serie A club ‘s closest Euro Club Index equivalent in Spain is……… Villarreal.

Half of the teams remaining in this year’s Champions League or Europa League competitions come from England, Spain, Germany or Italy and their current opponents have been put into a more understandable context in the following tables.


Using an accurate ranking of clubs provides the opportunity to put unfamiliar teams into a more familiar context. FC Midtjylland may have only formed in 1999, the year in which Manchester United won the treble, but they have progressed to the point that they could compete in the Premier League according to a results based ranking of European football clubs. Two wins and a draw against Southampton and Manchester United this season appear to confirm that the current Danish champions would probably be a worthy addition to the ranks of England’s elite league.

Click the link below for the latest Euro Club Index ranking which is updated every day. 


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