TWENTY ONE time Zimbabwe football champions Dynamos FC have been ranked on 13th place on the African continent by one of the world’s leading data collection football sites.
This is despite the fact that the Glamour Boys have not won a league title in the last six years and are in the midst of their second longest barren run, in search of the league championship since their formation in 1963.
This dry spell matches a similar fruitless six-year search, without a league title, between 1970 and 1976.
However, their longest barren spell remains the 10 years the club spent staggering in the darkness, without being champions, between 1997 and 2007.
They have virtually disappeared from the jungles of continental inter-club football, where they used to be one of the regular participants, usually punching way above their weight, if one considered their lack of resources.
A magical run into the final of the CAF Champions League in 1998 represented the high point of their battles on the continent.
Then, a dozen years ago, David Mandigora also took them on a merry run, in the same tournament, as they reached the semi-finals.
British newspaper, The Guardian, even hailed their tale as world sport’s finest achievements that year.
Since Callisto Pasuwa left, having led them to four straight league titles, the best they have done, was when they finished second to FC Platinum in the 2017 championship race.
Only two points separated the top two clubs and DeMbare were comfortably clear of third-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars, with five points separating them from that chasing pack.
However, providing the blue sandwich, for the two platinum-backed clubs, painted the picture of the changing landscape, on the domestic football scene.
Superiority would now be determined, not by legacy, but by the size of the bank account.
Although the Glamour Boys have since faded from the continental radar, they have been ranked the 13th top club in Africa by one of the world’s leading data collection football sites, footballdatabase.com.
“FootballDatabase uses the adapted Elo Rating formula and applies it to a number of important football club competitions around the globe, with the aim to provide fans a mathematical ranking of World Football Clubs (taking) into consideration:
The team’s old rating
The considered weight of the tournament
The goal difference of the match
The result of the match
The expected result of the match
FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Champions League and Copa Libertadores
AFC Champions League, CAF Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Europa League and the Copa Sudamericana
OFC Champions League
“The different weights of national competitions, ratings tend to converge on a team’s true strength, relative to its competitors after about 30 matches.’’
According to the Footballdatabase rankings released this month, Egyptian powerhouse, Al Ahly, are the top club on the continent.
They are followed, in that order, in the top 10 by Esperance (2), TP Mazembe (3), Al Merreikh (4), Al Hilal (5), Zamalek (6), Etoile du Sahel (7), Wydad Casablanca (8), Raja Casablanca (9) and Mamelodi Sundowns (10).
CS Sfaxien (11), Vita Club (12), Dynamos (13), Primero de Agosto (14), Stade Malien (15), Orlando Pirates (16), Kaizer Chiefs (17), Djoliba (18), Atletico Petro Luanda (19) and Bidvest Wits (20) make their top 20.
Highlanders (33), Gunners (43), Chicken Inn (54), CAPS United (63), FC Platinum (72) and Hwange (86) are the other Zimbabwean clubs ranked in their top 100 on the continent.
Footballdatabase rivals, Soccerverse, have Al Ahly as the leading African club followed by TP Mazembe 92); Esperance 93); Zamalek (4); Sundowns (5); DC Motemba Pembe (6); Wydad Casablanca (7); Raja Casablanca (8); Simba SC (9); Al Hilal (10) in their top 10.
They both use the same method of calculating their rankings.
The two football data collecting websites are in agreement that, as of now, German giants, Bayern Munich, the European champions, are the world’s top-ranked football club.
Footballdatabase give Bayern 2082 points while Soccerverse give the Bavarians 1957 points.
But, they differ on who should be in the top three and top 10 around the world.
Footballdatabase have Liverpool in second place; Paris St-Germain (3); Rea Madrid (4); Barcelona (5); Atalanta (6); Manchester City (7); Inter Milan (8); Sevilla (9) and Atletico Madrid (10).
Brazilian giants, Flamengo, are the top non-European club, in their rankings, in 16th place, while Manchester United are ranked in 26th place, which despite all the controversy related to such rankings, appears to be a fair reflection of where the Red Devils stand right now.
Tino Kadewere’s French club, Lyon, are ranked in 43rd place.
The Soccerverse rankings have Barcelona in second place, Liverpool in third place, PSG in fourth place, Manchester City in fifth place, Juventus (6); Real Madrid (7); Borussia Dortmund (8); Atalanta (9) and Manchester United (10).
Argentine powerhouse, Boca Juniors, are their top non-European club, in 13th place.
“Officially, there is no world ranking of club-level football, as for example for national teams,’’ Soccerverse explain on their website.
“Over several years, we gathered results of football matches in over 200 countries of more than 7000 teams. We adapted the FIFA ranking to fit club-level football to provide an always up-to-date ranking of teams around the globe.
“If you check all these ranking sides, you will notice subtle differences in all rankings. But, which one is the most accurate? Is it even possible to judge that?
“Regardless of accuracy, world rankings are fun and provide enough fuel for conflict for heated discussions among football fans around the globe.’’