Following a week in which:
Borussia Dortmund won 5-1.
[Cutting in] I’d consider myself a realist, alright? But in philosophical terms I’m what’s called a pessimist.
Liverpool won 2-1.
[Cutting in] You’re trapped by that nightmare you keep waking up into.
Atletico Madrid won 1-0.
[Cutting in] I think the honourable thing for our species to do is to deny our programming. Stop reproducing. Walk hand in hand into extinction. One last midnight, brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.
Jesus Rust, please stop.
And, finally, we’ve reached the infernal plane. Here’s this week’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings, in association with 歷’True Detective’ Season One.
For @90min_Football https://t.co/NWhj1AXQzG
— Wilfred Laurence (@WilfredLaurence) August 20, 2019
We at 90min rank the top 15 teams in Europe using quotes from the ever soul crushingly pessimistic Rust Cohle and the rest of the gang from the loveable family sitcom True Detective, season one.
15) Sheffield United (New Entry)
“I’m not racing to a red light.”
Every single person in the world predicted that Sheffield United would go straight back down to the Championship this season, finishing 20th with a record breaking five points tallied up after 38 games.
Don’t lie! We all did!
That in mind, you can say that their weekend win over Crystal Palace, and four points from their first two games, has come as somewhat of a shock. Maybe, just maybe, everyone was wrong, and maybe, just maybe, Sheffield United are racing to safety rather than relegation.
14) Olympiacos (New Entry)
“Top-notch walk this morning. Top-notch constitutional. It’s been weeks since I left my mark…would that they had eyes to see.”
Top-notch stuff from Olympiacos this week as they turned on the style to beat Krasnodar in the first leg of their Champions League play-off.
Top-notch performance from a top-notch football team; making their mark on the biggest stage of them all.
13) VfL Wolfsburg (New Entry)
“Just a regular type dude”
VfL Wolfsburg kick-started their 2019/20 Bundesliga campaign in a similar fashion to how they finished their 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign: by winning.
Sure, it wasn’t as emphatic as their 8-1 victory over Augsburg, but three points are three points, and the win over Koln was the perfect start to what promises to be a pretty exciting season for the VW lovers.
12) Atletico Madrid (New Entry)
“Exact same thing they do now. Just out in the open.”
We’d heard he was the second coming. We’d seen the odd clip on Twitter. We’d read a few crazily impressive stats. But let’s face it, no one really watches the Primeira Liga, so no one had really seen Joao Felix play before this past weekend.
When we all did, we were shocked AT HOW GOOD THIS CHILD IS AT FOOTBALL.
At the age of four, Felix might already be the best footballer of all time.
11) Wolves (Up 4)
“You know, I’ve seen all the different types. We all fit a certain category – the bully, the charmer, the, uh, surrogate dad, the man possessed by ungovernable rage, the brain – and any of those types could be a good detective, and any of those types could be an incompetent sh*theel.”
You know, I’ve seen all the different types. They all fit a certain category – the ‘big six’ side, the hipster’s choice, the uh, team with the fugly kit, the team possessed by an ungovernable desire to win the Champions League (Juventus), the financially sound club.
Wolves are currently the hipster’s choice, but after Ruben Neves (Football Manager Demi-God – hence the hipster’s choice categorisation) rifled the ball into the roof of David de Gea’s net on Monday night, it was abundantly clear that Santo’s team are on the brink of breaking the glass ceiling and becoming a ‘big six’ side.
10) Athletic Club (New Entry)
“Get on out of here, you’re classin’ the place up.”
Aritz Aduriz get on out of here, you’re classin’ the place up with your incredible feats of athleticism, your incredible goalscoring ability, your incredible ability to defy time, roll back the years AND SCORE OVERHEAD KICKS AT THE AGE OF 38.
9) Olympique Lyonnais (Up 1)
“I was steady.”
Goals Scored: 9
Goals Conceded: 0
It’s fair to say that Lyon have enjoyed a pretty perfect start to their Ligue 1 campaign; made all the more perfect by Paris Saint-Germain’s insistence on dropping points at home to Rennes.
8) Manchester United (Down 4)
“Is sh*tting on any moment of decency part of your job description?”
Yeah, Gary it probably wasn’t a good idea to lead a wholly unnecessary tirade against a footballer for missing a penalty which would then lead to racial abuse for said player online.
Yeah, that probably wasn’t a good idea.
7) Real Madrid (New Entry)
“This is a world where nothing is solved. You know, someone once told me time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.”
Time is a flat circle.
Real Madrid were once great and they are seemingly great once again (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but a necessary one for the bit).
They will be great over and over and over again.
6) Rennes (New Entry)
“I’m not supposed to be here.”
Rennes aren’t supposed to be here.
Someone born in 2002 isn’t supposed to be playing professional football in the French top flight.
Paris Saint-Germain aren’t supposed to drop points.
And yet here we are.
Rennes are sixth in the Definitive European Power Rankings.
Eduardo Camavinga is making us all feel old.
And Paris Saint-Germain are dropping points.
It’s a weird world.
5) RB Leipzig (New Entry)
“I know who I am. And after all these years, there’s a victory in that.”
The rest of Germany may hate them – really, really, really hate them – but credit where it’s due: RB Leipzig know who they are.
Unlike a lot of other clubs, RB Leipzig have a plan, and with the probable retention of Timo Werner, the array of exciting young talent at the club and the appointment of boy-wonder Julian Nagelsmann, it looks as like they’re sticking to it.
There’s a victory in that.
4) Manchester City (Down 2)
“You figure it’s all a scam, huh? All them folks? They just wrong?”
1 like = 1 tear.
Pour one out for Manchester City, the holders of the domestic treble who feel that, despite VAR helping the referee to make the right decision, the sky is falling in on them.
Life isn’t fair…even if it is…
3) Tottenham Hotspur (-)
“Once there was only dark. If you ask me, the light’s winning.”
Do you know what’s great?
Do you know why?
Because on Saturday evening Tottenham Hotspur were so nearly robbed of a point at the Etihad Stadium, but weren’t, because VAR came to the aid of the referee to disallow Gabriel Jesus’ last minute goal.
2) Borussia Dortmund (New Entry)
“Every time I think you’ve hit a ceiling, you, you keep raising the bar.”
Last season on 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings, Wilf Dutton and I declared that Borussia Dortmund were ‘must watch tv’.
This season, with the signings of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard, Borussia Dortmund are not just ‘must watch tv’, but ‘absolutely must watch, under no circumstances – not even the birth your first child – can you afford to miss tv’.
BVB are getting better, and better, and better.
1) Liverpool (-)
The win over Southampton wasn’t very impressive; as they just about beat them.
But a win’s a win, therefore nothing’s changed.
Liverpool are top of the Premier League, the current Champions League holders and – most importantly – top of 90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings.