Ranking the top 10 best football clubs in Asia currently based on Opta Power Rankings
Teams from the Saudi Pro League dominate the list of top Asian clubs
It is difficult to measure which football clubs are strong and what makes them better than others. However, experts at Opta, through their Power Rankings system have made a valiant effort to do so.
Firstly, the Opta Power Rankings system assigns a score between 0 to 100 to a football club. This score strives to give an idea of the club’s strength on paper regarding personnel, financial strength and more. The ability score has several uses; one is to use it as a reference point while comparing football clubs and players from these clubs.
In terms of Asian football, there are several high-profile clubs that score high in the Opta Power Rankings. Here is a look at the top 10 best football clubs in Asia according to the ability score:
Jeonbuk Motors play in the K-League’s first tier and are one of the strongest clubs in Asia with an ability score of 76. In terms of global rank, the club stands at 274th place. The 10th strongest Asian club according to Opta Power Rankings has won the K-League on nine occasions.
Sepahan FC of Iran plays in the Gulf Pro League and is the ninth-strongest club in Asia according to Opta Power Rankings. It has an ability score of 77.6 out of 100. They have won the Iran’s top division on five occasions.
Saudi Pro League’s Al-Shabab is the next club on the list with an ability score of 77.9 according to Opta’s Power Rankings system. Players like Grzegorz Krychowiak and Ever Banega play for the club. Mumbai City FC of the Indian Super League came face to face with Al-Shabab in the AFC Champions League in 2022.
Esteghlal is one of the strongest Asian clubs that play in the Persian Gulf Pro League of Iran. They are nine-time champions of the Iranian top division. Their ability score of 77.9 pits them in seventh place in the list of strongest Asian clubs.
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Yokohama F. Marinos
Yokohama F. Marinos play in Japan’s top division, J1 League. They won the league in 2022 and have won it a total of five times. The outfit has also won the Japanese Cup seven times in the past. According to Opta’s Power Rankings, Marinos have an ability score of 78.2.
Ulsan Hyundai FC of South Korea is the fifth strongest club in Asia as per the Opta Power Rankings. They won the K League 1 convincingly in 2023. The outfit has also won the AFC Champions League on two occasions and has an ability score of 78.2.
Persepolis of Iran plays in the Persian Gulf Pro League. They have won the country’s top division on 15 occasions, including the 2022-23 season. The side has an ability score of 79.2 which makes them the fourth best in Asia.
Al-Nassr made headlines by signing Cristiano Ronaldo and bringing the Portuguese superstar to the Saudi Pro League. The nine times Saudi Arabian champions were unable to win their league during the 2022-23 season but remain one of the most talked about Asian clubs with an ability score of 80.8 as per the Power Rankings.
Saudi Pro League’s Al-Hilal is the second biggest club in Asia according to the Opta Power Rankings. Its ability score stands at 81.0 and its global rank at 119. The outfit made an ambitious move to sign Lionel Messi but lost him to Inter Miami. Odion Ighalo and Luciano Vietto play for the Saudi Arabian club.
Al-Ittihad were the winners of the 2022-23 edition of the Saudi Pro League. They have bolstered their squad by signing Karim Benzema for the new season.
According to the Opta Power Ranking system, Al-Ittihad is the strongest Asian club with an ability score of 82.9. Interestingly, the nine times Saudi champions are the only Asian outfit with a global rank of less than 100 (84).