We took a few weeks off, but the SBI European Club Top 25 is back.
You would think there would be a major shake-up in the rankings after taking a month off, but the reality is there were few dramatic shifts. Eight of the teams in the last Top 10 remain, with Arsenal seeing the biggest fall over the course of the past four weeks.
That doesn't mean the English Premier League's overall standing in the rankings has suffered. Tottenham and Aston Villa have creeped into the Top 25, while Manchester City stands poised to jump in as well if it can continue its recent hot streak.
Also enjoying a jump in the standings in recent weeks is AC Milan, which has erased the bad memories of its awful start to the season by rattling off a 12-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, including a five-match winning streak in Serie A.
These rankings could actually change quite a bit in the next four days as European tournaments kick off and teams secure their places in the knockout rounds of both the Champions League and Europa League.
Now, here are this week's SBI European Club Top 25:
SBI EUROPEAN CLUB TOP 25
1. (1) BARCELONA (11-0-3)
2. (2) CHELSEA (12-3)
3. (5) MANCHESTER UNITED (11-3-1)
4. (6) REAL MADRID (10-2-1)
5. (4) INTER MILAN (11-2-2)
6. (8) FK RUBIN KAZAN (19-5-6)
7. (10) BORDEAUX (10-4-1)
8. (13) AC MILAN (9-2-4)
9. (7) JUVENTUS (9-3-3)
10. (11) WERDER BREMEN (7-1-7)
11. (9) Sevilla (8-2-3)
12. (3) Arsenal (9-4-1)
13. (16) Olympiakos (10-0-3)
14. (15) Bayer Leverkusen (8-0-7)
15. (21) Dinamo Kiev (12-0-3)
16. (12) Fiorentina (7-5-3)
17. (23) Valencia (8-1-4)
18. (19) Twente Enschede (14-0-2)
19. (14) Lyon (7-3-5)
20. (NR) Tottenham (8-4-3)
21. (NR) Besiktas (9-2-4)
22. (18) Shakhtar Donetsk (10-1-4)
23. (24) Braga (9-1-2)
24. (NR) Aston Villa (7-3-5)
25. (25) Benfica (9-1-2)
OTHERS RECEIVING CONSIDERATION:
Manchester City (6-1-7), PSV Eindhoven (13-0-3), Galatasaray (9-3-3), Hamburg (6-2-7), Marseille (7-3-4), Fenerbahce (10-4-1), Deportivo La Coruna (8-4-1), Panathanaikos (10-1-2), Bayern Munich (7-2-6), Schalke 04 (8-3-4) 2-1, Roma (7-5-3), Sampdoria (7-5-3), Ajax Amsterdam (11-2-3), Wolfsburg (6-4-5), Feyenoord (9-3-4)
Rubin Kazan completed its domestic season and repeated as Russian League champions. Despite the team's impressive Champions League form, the club has yet to secure a berth into the Round of 16. If Rubin falls short, we will remove the club from the rankings after next week since the club will be out of season.
Bordeaux has shaken off a slump to move up the rankings on the strength of its strong showing in a Champions League group that includes Juventus and Bayern Munich.
AC Milan is rolling and part of the reason for the success is a rejuvenated Ronaldinho, who is starting to look like the Ronaldinho from his better days at Barcelona.
If you wonder why Werder Bremen is ahead of Bayer Leverkusen despite trailing them in the Bundesliga standings, Bremen is playing in Europa League, while Leverkusen is not competing in Europe.
How did Dynamo Kiev move up six spots despite being in danger of falling out of all European competitions? Andriy Shevchenko's club is still alive in the Champions League Group of Death (with Barcelona, Inter and Rubin Kazan) and recently smoked Shakhtar Donetsk in league action.
Fenerbahce pulled off a rather impressive road win in Europa League against FC Twente recently, but fell out of the rankings. Why? An inexplicable three-match losing skid in the Turkish league caused the slide.
Sticking with Turkey, Besiktas enters the ranking on the strength of a Champions League upset of Manchester United as well as its first-place tie atop the Turkish League.
You might wonder why Tottenham moved up so much despite coming off a tie vs. Everton. Remember, these are the first rankings we've done in a month, so Tottenham's recent run before the Everton draw led to the move. Tottenham is also geting healthy now and look poised for a run at the Big Three in the EPL.
What team has quietly moved up the pecking order the most? Don't look now, but Roma is creeping toward the Top 25. Having already qualified for the knockout round of the Europa League, Francesco Totti's squad has also put things together in Serie A and should be a serious threat in the second half of the season.
That's all for now. What do you think of this installment of the Top 25? Which team do you think wasn't rated highly enough? Is there a team missing that you believe should be in the Top 25?
Share your thoughts below.