The best teams in the world not only have a fantastic starting XI, but they also have a superb squad with top quality players in reserve. It’s a necessity to have a squad with quality and depth to win major trophies and these five teams from Europe’s Top 5 leagues have the best squads at the moment.
5. REAL MADRID (La Liga)
The proper utilisation of their world-class squad is one of the reasons why Real Madrid is the three-time defending European Champion.
Starting from the back, they’ve Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and Kiko Casillas as goalkeeping options. The defence which is led by the captain Sergio Ramos consists of Raphael Varane, Nacho, Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Álvaro Odriozola and youngsters Jesus Vallejo and Sergio Reguilón.
The midfield is Real Madrid’s biggest strength. They have some fantastic players with varied skillsets which offer the manager a lot of tactical flexibility. The midfield consists of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro, Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos and the young and promising Federico Valverde.
Real Madrid’s attacking department has been weakened after Cristiano Ronaldo left in the summer but they still have Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vasquez, Mariano Díaz and Vinicius Jr within their ranks. In fact, if Ronaldo was still at the club, then Real Madrid would have easily been on top of this list.
Real Madrid has built their squad with an eye on the future which is why they have some highly promising players with the first team at the moment in addition to a few others on loan like Andriy Lunin, Achraf Hakimi, Theo Hernández, Mateo Kovačić, Rodrygo Goes and Martin Ødegaard.
4. BAYERN MUNICH (Bundesliga)
The only reason why Bayern Munich aren’t highest up the list is that they have an ageing squad but its a fantastic one nevertheless. In goal, they have the ever-reliable Manuel Neuer and Sven Ulreich who has already proved that he’s a fantastic understudy.
In defence, they have German internationals Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Joshua Kimmich and Nicklas Sule aided by David Alaba and Rafinha. The backline clearly consists of players with a lot of top-flight experience.
The midfield has received a lot of revamping in recent years but the Spaniards Javi Martinez and Thiago have been at the club for many years now. These guys are joined by the younger Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka and Renato Sanches. The Bavarians also have James Rodriguez on loan with an option to buy and given his performance, the club will exercise that option.
Bayern’s only real concern is the wingers in the side as Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry are 34 and 35 years old respectively. However, they also have the 22-year-old Kingsley Coman and the 23-year-old Serge Gnabry in the team. The attacking department is completed by Thomas Muller, Sandro Wagner and the last but not least, Robert Lewandowski.
Once Bayern find replacements for the ageing Robben and Ribery, they’ll have superb squad that can compete on all front for many more years.
3. FC BARCELONA (La Liga)
The current Barcelona squad looks much weaker than the sides they had a few years back but after some smart signings in the summer, the Catalan club have a fantastic squad at their disposal.
Their goal is safe in the hands of Marc-André ter Stegen and the Dutchman, Jasper Cillessen, might be one of the best backup goalkeepers in the world. They’ve made several defensive signings in recent years and that has left them with the likes of Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Clément Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Nélson Semedo and Thomas Vermaelen. Then there is also Sergi Roberto who can operate in midfield or as a right-back.
The Spanish Champions had the best midfield in the world a few years ago. Although that isn’t the case anymore, they are stocked in that department with Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Arturo Vidal, Rafinha and Denis Suarez, who are all players of different strengths.
Barcelona’s attack needs no introduction as it is led by the prolific Leo Messi and Luis Suarez. The experienced forwards are supported by the youngsters Ousmane Dembélé, Malcom and Munir El Haddadi.
A defensive signing to reinforce the backline should make Barcelona even more formidable.
2. MANCHESTER CITY (Premier League)
Manchester City has spent a lot of money in the last couple of years to give Pep Guardiola the squad that he needs and unsurprisingly, they won the Premier League last season in emphatic fashion.
City roped in Ederson last season only a year after they signed Claudio Bravo. The former has proved to be a fantastic addition and the latter a good backup option. Last season, Guardiola also changed all of his full-backs by signing Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy. City’s centre-back options were also improved after Aymeric Laporte joined Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi earlier this year.
Central midfield might be the only part of the pitch where City still need another player. Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are City’s major options in midfield but Guardiola has also used the likes of Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez in midfield when De Bruyne was unavailable. The Citizens also have the promising Phil Foden to call upon if the need arises.
Man City’s attack is stocked and they have at least two world class players for each position. Guardiola is spoilt for choices as he can choose from Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez.
1. JUVENTUS (Serie A)
Juventus has had a fantastic squad for many years now but this season, the quality of that squad has been raised following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Juve had some major departures this summer notably that of Gianluigi Buffon but they signed Mattia Perin to compete with Wojciech Szczęsny. They also bolstered their defence by signing João Cancelo and resigning Leonardo Bonucci. The two summer signings joined an already strong defence comprising of Giorgio Chiellini, Medhi Benatia, Andrea Barzagli, Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro.
The Serie A champions also added to their midfield by signing Emre Can on a free transfer and the German will fight for a starting place with Miralem Pjanić, Sami Khedira, Blaise Matuidi and Rodrigo Bentancur.
The defence and midfield which is brimming with quality are well complemented by their attack. Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala, Douglas Costa, Mario Mandžukić, Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado gives Massimiliano Allegri quality and flexibility most managers can only dream of.