There are some very outstanding teams that have affected the way football is played. These teams have perfected the lovely game and look to be unstoppable on the field at all times. It is a challenging task to select the top best football teams of all time. We included both national and club teams that have won several trophies and established dominance for their respective country or clubs.
Barcelona, Spain (2008-2011)
Pep Guardiola, a long-time Barcelona fan, took over as coach in 2008, and the 3 years that followed thrilled football supporters in Spain and around the world. The coach went out on a mission to impose the famed ‘La Masia’ junior program on the senior squad. Every aggressive member on this team sublimated their own flamboyance for the sake of the team.
This playing style, known as tiki-taka, is based on the fundamental idea that the opponent cannot score unless he has control of the ball. Barcelona, under Guardiola, took pride in their ability to spread the ball; even against the best opponents, their little players passed the ball amongst themselves with such sluggish elegance and ridiculous ease that those chasing the ball appeared to be asleep.
Their midfield had two of the game’s finest minds: Andres Iniesta, whose calm genius could fire any match, and Xavi Hernandez, whose vision made it appear as to whether he could pass football through the eye of the needle as easily as a barn door.
The legendary Zidane displayed his class by orchestrating France’s World Cup and Euro 2000 victories. Vieira, Henry, Thuram, & Blanc played well together in premier games around Europe and the world. They upset a superb Brazil squad in the 1998 Cup Finals and made up a strong showing in the Euros in 2000. When Aimi Jacquet, a French coach, started playing without wingbacks in 1998, he ignited a technical revolution.
The ball was played up to the central striker, and the attacking midfield, led by the legendary Zinedine Zidane, was the primary source of goals and creativity. They also had an excellent defense, with players such as Blanch and Thurram efficiently shutting down opposition attackers. Many consider France’s squad to be one of the best in the world.
The great Liverpool sides of the 1970s and 1980s completely dominated English and European soccer. Bill Shankly created Liverpool as one of England’s best clubs, while Bob Paisley took the club to greater levels, cementing it as one of the best teams of all time. Kenny Dalglish’s arrival in 1977 altered the course of Liverpool football, as he went on to become perhaps the greatest player to wear the famous red jersey.
Liverpool produced some of the most exhilaratingly dominating football ever seen, cementing their dominance both domestically and globally. In 1983, his assistant manager, Joe Fagan, took over and ensured that the renowned Liverpool engine did not run out of steam. The squad won four European Championships and five English Championships. Liverpool’s superb team under Bob Paisley & Joe Fagan never reached those dizzying heights again.
Bayern Munich (1974-1976)
Bayern constructed their team around probably the finest exponent of Total Football ever – Franz Beckenbauer – and played Total Football with a very German flavor. There was not a bit of grass on the pitch that Der Kaiser did not completely control. The formidable hitting combo of Gerd Mueller and Uli Hoennes, the legendary goalkeeper Sepp Maier, and the real multi-purpose footballer Paul Breitner all came under one Beckenbauer’s charismatic leadership to form an awe-inspiring footballing squad.
They played aggressive football with characteristic German brutality and pragmatism. Up front, Mueller always seemed to find a way for the ball to settle in the back of the net; couple that with the Beckenbauer-led defense that was an invisible wall behind which stood one of the best goalkeepers of all time, and this was the ultimate dominating unit of its period. Bayern Munich won three European Championships in a row from 1974 to 1976, and they also controlled the West German Bundesliga, making them one of the best football teams of all time.
Ajax Amsterdam (1970-1973)
The legendary Ajax squad of the 1970s played football in a beautiful fashion and was one of the teams that revolutionized the game. The Ajax dream team was really fantastic. The late renowned Johan Cruyff was its unquestioned star.
Ajax played a football style known as ‘Total Football,’ in which there’s no defined structure and defenders would transform into attackers at any time, while forwards turned to defense to cover for them. The appointment of Romanian Stefan Kovacs as coach in 1971, spearheaded by Rinus Michels, catapulted total football and Ajax to previously unheard-of heights.
The team was loaded with talent. Johan Cruyff was skillfully aided by players who were as talented and outstanding, such as Johan Neeskens, Jeseai Swart, & Piet Keizer. The Ajax team of the 1970s achieved history by capturing three consecutive European Championships as well as several Eredivisie titles. With the transfer of Johan Cruyff to Barcelona, Ajax’s golden period came to an end. Ajax created some of the most visually beautiful football ever witnessed at their peak.
The best football teams of all time do not always have the best players. Team spirit, leadership, and a desire to collaborate to win are just as crucial as raw talent.