10. France 1998
France achieved only their first World Cup trophy when the world flooded into Western Europe and in France for the World Cup in the late 1990’s. Zinedine Zidane and Emmanuel Petit got the goals in a 3-0 thrashing of Brazil in the final that year but the likes of Laurent Blanc, Fabian Barthez, Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Youri Djorkaeff, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desially and Lillian Thuram blended to make a new European powerhouse in football. They would go onto beat Italy in the European Championships in 2000, only Spain have managed such a feat since.
9. Real Madrid 2003
This Real Madrid side is one of four teams in this list that didn’t actually win anything. It is a controversial decision and perhaps an unconventional decision but the likes of David Beckham, Roberto Carlos, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Iker Casillas, Luis Figo and Ronaldo make for one of the best designed teams of all time and definitely for the best designed teams not to win anything. Steve McManaman played there for a bit too.
8. Hungary 1954
Hungary humbled England at Wembley, becoming the first international side outside of the United Kingdom to beat them in the capital, winning 6-3 and then went onto thrash them 7-1 in Budapest. They were largely tipped to win the 1954 World Cup as they had remained unbeaten for the previous 32 matches in the run-up to the tournament. Ferenc Puskas featured in the 8-3 thrashing of West Germany, whom they would meet in the final but suffered an ankle injury. Without him they beat the two sides who contested the previous World Cup final – Brazil and Uruguay. Puskas would score in the final but Germany overturned a two-goal deficit to win the match, as underdogs. They still hold the record for the number of goals scored at a finals which is 27.
7. Arsenal 2004
Any team to go the whole season unbeaten in the best league in the world deserves to be in this list and that’s exactly what Arsenal achieved. The likes of Henry, Ljungberg and Pires were the trio striking fear into English hearts and with all three in their prime, they enjoyed 49 matches unbeaten in the Premier League, before having it ended at Old Trafford in 2004.
6. Brazil 1982
The team that Brazil possessed were impressing everyone and some were predicting a return to the glory days of their wins in 1958, 1962 and 1970. They wouldn’t add a fourth World Cup in 1982 despite being one of the favourites at the tournament and with the likes of Zico, Socrates and Falcao they crashed out at the second round where they lost to eventual winners Italy thanks to a Paolo Rossi hat-trick.
5. Holland 1970’s
How Holland didn’t win a World Cup in the 1970’s, nobody will know. The brand of total football that the likes of Johan Cruyff brought to the world seemed like the perfect brand to play. They reached two successive finals only to lose to the respective host nations in Argentina and West Germany.
4. Barcelona 2010’s
Barcelona, especially under the guidance of Pep Guardiola, have shone thanks to Lionel Messi who recently picked up a third Ballon d’Or, making the Argentine the third person to achieve such a feat. The likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Gerard Pique and Victor Valdes have all hit their peak almost coincidentally the same time and with an illustrious youth system, Barcelona aren’t about to go anywhere, especially after achieving a six trophy haul in 2009.
3. Liverpool 1980’s
We all know that the likes of Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly led Liverpool to their brightest days yet. Bob Paisley almost took a clean sweep of the trophies, gaining three European cups along with six league titles in his nine-year spell. Before you knew it the likes of Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, John Barnes, Jan Molby, Bruce Grobbelar, Ian Rush and John Aldridge were blossoming into true greats of the game and they soon scooped another European Cup in 1984 and the lost the following year to Juventus in the infamous Heysel Stadium disaster. All in all, a truly astounding team.
2. Manchester United 1999
Whilst the Liverpool side of the 1980’s were the first team to achieve the unconventional treble, Ferguson’s 1999 side pipped Arsenal to the Premier League by a point before defeating Newcastle United and Bayern Munich, all within ten days of each other to cap off a glorious treble. Ferguson received a knighthood all down to the midfield which turned the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Roy Keane into household names. If Yorke and Cole’s partnership up front wasn’t good enough, their replacements in Sheringham and Solskjaer’s late goals in the Champions League final sunk Bayern Munich to complete the treble.
1. Brazil 1970
This team won pretty much the lot – three World Cup’s to their name and arguably the best player to ever live in Pele guided them from the age of 17 to his dwindling days, thrashing Italy in the 1970 final which featured that Carlos Alberto goal to cap off a perfect tournament and final for the Brazilians. Many a great Brazilian team has been manufactured but none like Pele, Rivelino and Jairzinho who all scored in the 4-1 drubbing of Italy.