Decent XIs

The Spoiler’s 10 Greatest ever football teams

Including this Milk Cup winning side…

Liverpool 1984

Should this year’s Barcelona manage to retain the Champions League, and keep Real from pipping them in La Liga, they might yet be considered one of the greatest sides of them all.

So, with that in mind, The Spoiler thought it high time to compile a little list of some wonderful teams from years gone by. You can enjoy video clips of all of them after the jump… 

Brazil, 1982

Valdir Peres, Leandro, Oscar, Luisinho, Cerezo, Junior, Socrates, Serginho, Zico, Eder, Falcao

A stunningly good football XI, Brazil 82 produced some masterful moments before crashing out of the World Cup after a dramatic 3-2 loss against Italy. The match still known as the “Sarrias Disaster” – named after the stadium where it all took place.

England, 1966

Banks, Cohen, J Charlton, Moore, Wilson, Stiles, Ball, B Charlton, Peters, Hurst, Hunt

Some argue that the 1970 England team was actually better than the World Cup winning one from 1966. Those people are wrong. At least six of this team would probably make the current England line up… were they not really really old/dead now.

Real Madrid, 1960

Dominguez, Marquitos, Santamari, Pachin, Vidal, Zarraga, Canario, Del Sol, Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento

It was a close call, with the Real Madrid 2002 team very nearly scraping it, but in the end the 1960 outfit proved impossible to ignore. Partly because they were amazing, and partly because their clip features some rather soothing classical music. Perfect for a Wednesday.

Liverpool, 1984

Grobbelaar, Neal, Kennedy, Hansen, Lawrenson, Whelan, Dalglish, Lee, Rush, Johnston, Souness

Liverpool produced loads of decent sides from around the mid-1970s to the 1990s, and The Spoiler will forever carry a torch for the 1990 team, featuring Barnes and Beardsley on top form. But the best of the bunch has to be the class of 1984, with Rush bashing them in, Dalglish zipping about, Souness smashing people up, and a couple of MOTD pundits doing what they always did best.

Holland, 1974

Jongbloed, Krol, Rijsbergen, Suurbier, Haan, Van Hanegem, Jansen, Neeskens, Cruyff, Rensenbrink, Rep

A magnificent side, famed for three things. Firstly, for inventing “total football”. Secondly, for not winning the World Cup. And thirdly, for their gorgeous orange tops – very popular with ravers/acid heads at one stage.

AC Milan, 1989

Galli, Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini, Ancelotti, Rijkaard, Colombo, Donadoni, Gullit, Van Basten

Quite probably the finest football blend imaginable - mixing Italian defenders with Dutch attackers - AC Milan 1989 won lots of shiny silverware, and the majority of fashion fans would agree that Ruud Gullit was going through his most impressive dreadlock period. He’s shaved it all off now.

France, 1984

Bats, Battiston, Le Roux, Bossis, Domergue, Giresse, Tigana, Fernandez, Platini, Lacombe, Genghini

It’s easy to forget that Michel Platini was once an excellent footballer, but seriously, he was. Really good in fact. So good that, in 1984, he guided France to European glory, in a team featuring the adrogynous electo-pop singer, Le Roux. Presumably there for a sing-song.

Celtic, 1967

Simpson , Craig, Gemmell, Murdoch, McNeill, Clark, Johnstone, Wallace, Chalmers, Auld, Lennox

The first British team to ever become crowned the champions of Europe, Celtic fans still dine out on these heady times. In many ways, Jimmy Johnstone was their Lionel Messi.

Brazil, 1970

Felix, Brito, Piazza, Carlos Alberto, Everaldo, Clodoaldo, Gerson, Jairzinho, Tostao, Pele, Rivelino

Probably the most celebrated team of the lot, mainly because of that brilliant goal where everyone touched the ball, before finally smashing it in against Italy. They also wore iconic yellow shirts that became hugely popular with dope smoking students in the 1990s.

Man United, 1999

Schmeichel, Neville, Stam, Johnsen, Irwin, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, Yorke, Cole

For not only winning the treble, but also for producing one of the greatest comebacks of all time, United had it all – a fledgling Beckham, Keane snarling like a rabbid pup, Schmeichel with tools like solid Glad Hands, Yorke and Cole dancing a merry dance up front. Not to mention a lucky charm on the bench all the way from Norway - a country where it’s pretty much dark the whole time, fact fans.

Any more for any more?

Name your favourite ever teams in the comments section…

13 responses so far
  • Raph88 // April 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Glaring omission alert: Hungary circa Ferenc Puskas. This list is way too European Cup-era biased (although I would still say early 90s Milan is untouchable). There were some ridiculously pioneering teams from the 20s onwards. And also plenty in the old Soviet bloc, like Dinamo Kiev.

  • doggmeister // April 7, 2010 at 11:55 am

    You also forgot the Invincibles of 2003/04

  • BVBFan // April 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Man U 99 wasnt even the best team in that year!How can a team that was absolutely dominated and outplayed over 90 minutes in the 99 CL-Final be one of the best teams ever?(Bayern would have won the triple as well…would they be included?)Btw Bundesliga was above Premier League at that time, so the argument that Bayerns triple wouldnt be so impressive because of weaker league wouldnt count…

    From my german point of view i want to give an honourable mention to Bayer Leverkusen 2002, a team that finished second in all competitions. Look at their cl-campaign:
    They have beaten teams like Liverpool,Man U,Arsenal,La Coruna,Juventus and Lyon and were very unlucky to lose by 1 freak goal of Zinedine Zidane in the final (against a RM- team which would have nearly made this list as well)
    But the most impressive thing about them was, that they played great attacking football which is comparable to Arsenal in their best days)
    The likes of Ballack,Ze Roberto,Lucio,Emerson,Berbatov,Kirsten,B.Schneider were all playing for them in that year…

  • viktor // April 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Anti-Arsenal!!!!! where’s the undefeated team?
    btw I would like to see a top 10 world cup teams only, cheers.

  • Mate // April 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Not enough british teams

  • randomsausage // April 7, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Bollix. Whit aboot POW XI.

    Stallone, Moore, Caine, Dayna, Ardiles, Van Himst, Wark, Osman, Pele, Summerbee.

    Actually….nucleus of a pretty good team there!

  • bob // April 8, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    How did i know there wasn’t going to be the 03-04 invincibles and instead there would be man utd sooooo biassedd biaatchhh!!

  • f1sh // April 9, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Arsenal invincibles? What esle did u win that year apart from the league? Maybe a cup or something, quite a bit short of being a greatest team ever, lol. Arse-anal rather :)

    No mention of Barcelona 2008-09 season, really? Won every trophy!!!! U cannot get any better than that!!

  • Jay // April 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Barcelona’s Cruyff led Dream Team from the early 90′s anyone?

    Won 4 leagues, European Cup, Cup Winner’s Cup and a few other minor trophies.

  • Didn't See Zee Incident // April 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Arsenal crybabies whining as always. Just like their pitiful manager

  • Titus // April 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    If the 99 Man U treble winners are included, then there is absolutely no logical reason to not include 2008/2009 Barcelona based on trophies, goals scored, points etc

  • jim // April 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Real Madrid 2002-2003 and Milan 88-89 were the two best teams I’ve ever seen.

    Real Madrid – Casillas, Salgado, Helguera, Hierro, R.Carlos, Makelele, Guti, Zidane, Figo, Raul, RONALDO

    They would have destroyed just about every team here.


    Milan 88-89 were the strongest team i’ve ever seen. Barcelona 08-09 were very close.

  • Paul Ashmore // April 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Gooners, the reason your “unbeaten” season isn’t included is because you weren’t actually unbeaten. You lost 7 games, it just so happened that they were all in the cups. Put it another way, United only lost 6 games in total in 99, and ended up with 3 trophies. Doesn’t sound such a massive achievement now does it….

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