Let’s put aside the out and out stupidity that is the proposed European Super League and pretend for a second a new competition for the footballing elite is a good idea.
Nobody will argue that the Champions League is a perfect setup, but it’s a far better system than the heavily protected clubs set to take part whenever it begins.
In all honesty, most of these owners are just looking to fill out their already heavy pockets rather than try to compete for honours based on merit.
It did prompt a debate in the Ladbrokes office however, if admission to the Super League was based on previous performance rather than the owners desperately trying to hold onto some semblance of relevance.
We went through the Champions League results of the last decade to find the best performing clubs on the European stage to see who should participate.
They Can Stay
It’s pretty self-explanatory to start off with, not only were Real one of the driving forces behind the ESL concept, they remain one of Europe’s powerhouse clubs.
They have made the Champions League Semi Finals in nine of the last 11 years and have won it four times during that run.
Another dominant club both domestically and Europe.
Assuming Lionel Messi stays with the Catalan side they will have one of the best players in the world and should be a presence going forward.
He really is a magician and we could be seeing more of this going forward.
To be totally honest, all three Spanish clubs that have agreed to join this competition have a legitimate case to be considered European super teams.
Atletico might not have the distinguished trophy cabinet of their La Liga rivals but they are a two time Champions League finalist and would allow their biggest rivalries to continue on the continental stage.
City might be one of the newer members of Europe’s elite but Pep Guardiola’s side absolutely warrants a place at the grown ups table.
English champions in three of the last four years (presuming they don’t get kicked out of the Premier League before this season ends), they are yet to break through on the continental stage but they do have one of the best players in the world in Kevin De Bruyne.
Love them or hate them, people flock to watch Liverpool.
If you know a fan of the Merseyside Reds, you would have undoubtedly heard ad nauseum how they won their sixth European title in 2019 and were crowned Premier League champions in 2020.
Jurgen Klopp is one of the most popular managers in all of football and probably would not take part in a Super League if he is true to his word, but Liverpool have once again risen to the top.
They might be the least stable club in the competition but somehow, Chelsea always seem to get results.
The 2012 Champions League winners have made the final four in 2021 and with Thomas Tuchel in charge, they have become one of the most resolute sides in Europe.
Two words: Cristiano Ronaldo.
Oh, and dominating Serie A for the bulk of the last decade too.
Kick Them Out
This is not the Manchester United we became used to under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer might be in the process of rebuilding this side but nobody is mistaking them for football’s elite anymore.
Unless they go and re-sign Ronaldo.
15 years ago, Arsenal would have been one of the first clubs to be on the list of “Super” teams.
Since then the glory days have disappeared and the rebuilding project at the Emirates looks set to continue for at least another season.
The only reason they should get in is on their history and also if clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid need to boost their goal difference.
Basically a smaller version of Arsenal, but with no league titles since 1961 and no major trophies since 1991 (the League Cup is not a major trophy Spurs fans).
The only similarity they have to clubs that made the Super League is they sacked Jose Mourinho just like Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The most recent Champions League winners to not get included in the Super League, Inter’s form since that victory in 2010 is not impressive.
In fact, Milan is in a full blown trophy drought with their last Serie A title coming in 2010 and the most recent Coppa Italia in 2011.
They last exited the Champions League Group Stage in 2012 and endured a seven-season absence from the pinnacle of European football.
The AC Milan brand is massive in world football, but it is not exactly synonymous with recent success.
2014 was the last time they participated in the Champions League and they have made it beyond the Round of 16 once since their 2007 triumph.
The European Super League would be better off just skipping over Milan entirely.
Although at least we would get to see Zlatan on the biggest stage.
Bring Them In
PSG is in a similar boat to Manchester City, one of the biggest clubs in its respective country but still yet to break through for a maiden European crown.
They came oh so close last year losing the Champions League Final to Bayern and are in a great position to try and win it all this year.
With Neymar and Kylian Mbappe on their squad, you have to include them in any competition with the biggest clubs in the sport.
Arguably the biggest club in the world right now, Bayern (alongside Borussia Dortmund) have thus far refused the advances of the Super League.
While it would be a phenomenal statement by the German giants to not join the breakaway competition, they certainly have a case to be included in elite competition.
Champions League mainstays and a club that produces (or brings in) some of the best young talent in Europe.
Not to mention the iconic yellow wall of fans at their home games when they are allowed in.
The Cinderella story of 2019 have undergone a bit of an overhaul since their miracle run that year still have plenty going for them.
After all they have had more European success in the last five years than half the clubs that have been admitted.
Skip AC Milan, skip Inter Milan and bring in this team.
They play all out attacking football and have been a welcome revalation since their entry to the Champions League in the last two seasons.
Outside of the “Big 5” leagues, Porto might be the most consistent Champions League side.
They have made the knockout phase in four of the last five years, advancing to the Quarter Finals twice and would undoubtedly put up more of a fight than Arsenal and Tottenham.