Best Soccer Teams in History: Choosing the best soccer team in history is not something that is easy. We find many applicants spread over the more than one hundred years of history of this sport. To do this, we will have the best analysis per season, taking into account the titles achieved, as well as the way to do it.
Best Soccer Teams in History
As when it comes to ranking the best players in the world, statistics will also be important. It is still a classification in which we try to compare teams from different times, with different circumstances that always make it difficult to match between them.
This is How we Make the Ranking of the Best Football Teams (clubs) in History:
In order to come to fruition with this ranking of the best teams in the world , we need to establish a series of criteria that allow us to classify each team. We go with the criteria first and then with the score percentages:
- Only one period per team will be chosen, the best year or set of years of each per squad.
- Only clubs will be included (not selections), there will be an expansion with other teams that have been left out of the ranking.
- Teams from all over the world will be included, giving greater prominence to groups from European leagues due to the level of the competitions.
To choose the best team, we will base ourselves on the following parameters:
- TITLES: 30%.
- STYLE: 30%.
- EPIC: 40%.
We refer to epic to the relationship between the achievements achieved and the quality of the players .
10. Valencia CF (2003-04):
- Titles: LaLiga and UEFA.
- Eleventh gala: Santiago Canizares | Amadeo Carboni/Fabio Aurelio, Pelegrino / Marchena, Ayala, Curro Torres | Rufete / Angulo, Albelda, Baraja, Vicente Rodriguez / Kily González, Pablo Aimar | Juan Sanchez / Mista.
- Coach: Rafael Benítez.
The Valencia CF Rafa Benitez was one of those rocky teams without stars but with an insurmountable strength as a whole. Its success based on its strong defense, with an attack powered by its bands made its rivals were tied up, with hardly any space to play or create danger.
A defense led by an imperial Fabián Ayala, an Argentine central defender, a friend of few, feared by all forwards. In the core, the pair of Baraja-Albelda and the dagger of Vicente Rodríguez and Kily González stood out . Under sticks a certain Santiago Cañizares being the goalkeeper with the least thrashed of the season … Almost nothing.
By making Mestalla (one of the best stadiums in the world) a fortress, the Madrid coach’s team became the best team in Europe that season. Undoubtedly, the most brilliant stage in Valencian history that celebrated its centenary last season.
9. Inter Milan (2009-10):
- Titles: Champions League, Serie A and Coppa de Italia.
- Gala Eleventh: Julius Caesar | Maicon, Zanetti, Materazzi, Lucio | Cambiasso, Sneijder, Dejan Stanković, Pandev | Diego Milito and Samuel Eto’o.
- Coach: José Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho created a unique team. The controversial Portuguese coach’s Inter Milan became on their own merits the best team of the 2009-2010 season, despite coinciding in the first part of the season with Guardiola’s ‘sextete’. In fact, he managed to remove Pep’s team from the highest European competition before becoming champion.
The Italian football is best defined by its domain periods of a team, and at that time, no club has been more dominant than Inter Milan.
In the 2009-10 season, Inter reached its peak, sweeping Serie A with its fifth consecutive title, conquered the Coppa d’Italia, and was about to also win the Italian Super Cup if it were not for Lazio. But the defeat against the Romans allowed them to reach the final of the Champions League with the intention of closing the year with a triplet.
With one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Julio César, a powerful attack led by Diego Milito, Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder, and a solid defense, Inter were the best team this season.
The achievement of the Club World Cup allowed Inter to become world champion for the first time in its history, and crowned one of the most impressive races in recent times.
OTHER STAGES: Here we had to put Inter de Mou in and not the one from the 1964-65 season. ‘The Special One’ deserved special mention for everything achieved with an Inter that by no means had the best squad on the continent.
8. Ajax (1971-72):
- Titles: Champions League and Eredevisie.
- Gala Eleven: Heinz Stuy, Johan Neeskens, Piet Keizer, Sjaak Swart, Wim Suurbier, Barry Hulshoff, Gerrie Mühren, Johnny Rep, Ruud Krol, Velibor Vasović, Johan Cruyff
- Coach: Rinus Michels.
It is said that this Ajax is probably the team that reinvented football. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Dutch style of “total football” caught on, and no team embodied the concept better than Ajax.
The Dutch monsters were captained by the indomitable Johan Cruyff, whose skills in midfield were unmatched.
In 1972, Ajax reached the pinnacle of world dominance, achieving a true treble by winning the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup and the European Cup . Led by Cruyff and national team stars such as Dick van Dijk, Ruud Krol, Gerrie Muhren, Nico Rijnders and Heinz Stuy, the club added an Intercontinental Cup, and it was unbeatable.
But then, like all great things, it came to an abrupt end in 1973-74. Cruyff headed to Barcelona, signaling the end of “Total Football” at Ajax, and in 1974, he lost to CSKA Sofia in the European Cup.
Still, the 1971-72 installment of Ajax remains one of the most famous clubs in history , and with their combination of talent and titles, they deserve this spot.
OTHER STAGES: Another stage that is worth rescuing in the history of the Dutch is that of 1994-95. Another great team with De Boer, Seedorf, Rijkaard, Litmanen, Patrick Kluivert …
7. Santos (1962-63):
- Titles: Copa Libertadores, Liga de Brasil and Copa Intercontinental.
- Eleventh gala: Gilmar, Calvet, Geraldino, Mauro Ramos, Joel Camargo, Zito, Elizeu, Lima, Pele, Coutinho, Pepe.
- Coach: Lula.
Few teams in the history of the sport can boast of having the kind of talent that the Brazilian team Santos had in the 1960s. They featured names like Pelé , Pepe, and Coutinho, and they claimed unprecedented global dominance, peaking in 1962-63.
The superiority on the Latin American continent was overwhelming on the part of the Cariocas. They took the Brazilian national title, the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental in both 1961-62 and 1962-63, proving to be unrivaled.
Such was the power of this team, that a whole Real Madrid of the time chaired by Santiago Bernabéu, drew against this team. It was rumored that the president himself declared that his team would never play against that Santos again, not even in their stadium.
It is clear that the punch of this Santos was unparalleled at the time and that only the distance prevented it from being compared with other great teams in Europe.
6. Liverpool (1983-84):
- Titles: League Cup, Premier League and Champions League.
- Gala Eleventh: Bruce Grobbelaar; Phil Neal, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Alan Kennedy; Craig Johnstone, Sammy Lee, Souness; Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Michael Robinson.
- Coach: Bob Paisley.
Under Bob Paisley, Liverpool had become one of the most powerful teams in Europe until Pasley left and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan in the 1983-84 season.
Not that it mattered much, as the talented Reds embarked on one of the most glorious seasons in their history. They won the League Cup in December, the English league title in May, and finally, they conquered the European Cup in June, engraving their names in the history books.
With names like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, Craig Johnston, Ian Rush, Ronnie Whelan, Sammy Lee as well as the crazy goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar backing up a formidable Anfield defense. it is clear why this Liverpool team is considered one of the best of all time.
OTHER STAGES: If we take a look at last season (2018-19) , we can find Liverpool European champion and Premier League runner-up.
5. AC Milan (1989-90):
Titles: European Cup, Serie A.
Gala eleven: Galli, Maldini, Van Basten, Anchelotti, Rijkaard, Massaro, Costacurta, Baresi, Roberto Donadoni, Fuser, Tassotti.
Coach: Arrigo Sachi.
From 1988 to 1990, AC Milan was the team of Italy, and possibly the entire world Known as “Gli Immortali” (The Immortals), AC Milan reached its peak in 1989-90, sweeping Serie A and the European Cup for the second consecutive season. They also took home the Intercontinental Cup for the second season in a row, crowning themselves as one of the greatest teams the world has ever known.
Led by forwards Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit, midfielders Frank Rijkaard, Marco Donadoni and Carlo Ancelotti . This cast of footballers was accompanied by the typical Milan defense against which few could score goals as they embarked on an unprecedented streak of success.
OTHER STAGES: He had a continuation of this success in the 1993-94 season, in which he also formed a team for eternity.
4. Manchester United (1998-99):
- Titles: Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League.
- Gala Eleventh: Peter Schmeichel | Gary and Phil Neville, Jaap Stam and Dennis Irwin | Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, David Beckham | Andy Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
- Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson.
This Manchester United won it all from the hand of one Sir Alex Ferguson, knighted in England. The 1998-1999 Red Devils were the favorites to win the Premier League that season, but few expected the overwhelming dominance with which they subdued other teams.
From goalie Peter Schmeichel, through a baseline with Gary and Phil Neville, Jaap Stam and Dennis Irwin, to one of the greatest midfielders of all time, with Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and a guy Called David Beckham, passing forwards Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham, it was hard to find many flaws at Old Trafford.
By the end of the season, United had reached unprecedented territory: the treble , clinching the FA Cup, the Premier title and the Champions League title.
Let’s break down why this was awesome; To win the Premier League, United needed 35 games without losing (22 wins, 13 draws) out of 38 games.
In addition, they had to play eight games in the FA Cup to become champions, thanks to a couple of repetitions in the quarterfinals and semi-finals, all against the best league in the world.
Finally, there was the Champions League, a grueling 13-match game against the best teams in Europe. There are 59 games in the course of a season. Normally English clubs drop one of the three titles as a discard, to avoid playing such a brutal schedule, but not United.
The following season, United achieved an Intercontinental Cup victory, and although they were left without the first FIFA Club World Cup, that was more of a product of fatigue and Ferguson did not care much about the event.
For their unprecedented achievement, this United is one of the best teams in football history.
OTHER STAGES: Manchester United in the 1957-58 season and in the 2006-07 season. Not as impressive as the one we have chosen, but very complete and winning squads.
3. Real Madrid (1959-60):
- Titles: European Cup, Intercontinental and LaLiga.
- Eleventh gala: Domínguez, Santamaría, Marquitos, Miche, Vidal, Ruiz, Didi, Gento, Herrera, Puskás, Di Stéfano.
- Coach: Manuel Fleitas Solich.
The last year of Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe (at that time) was also one of the best seasons of all time. With players of the stature of Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo di Stefano ( the best player in the history of Real Madrid ), José Santamaría and Luis del Sol directing the show.
The Chamartín team swept through almost all the competitions and continental titles imaginable. They beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in the final of the European Cup, in addition to being a finalist in the King’s Cup.
In addition, after winning the top European title, he also won the Intercontinental Cup against Peñarol from Uruguay.
- IN DEEP. The Real Madrid of the Galacticos, the Florentino Team.
- ANALYSIS: Zinedine Zidane’s volley goal in the 2002 Champions League final.
OTHER STAGES: As already mentioned, we have only taken one stage per team, having to leave out other great stages for Real Madrid. Being the most successful club in history, it has staged such as the Seventh (1998) or closer, that of Zidane as coach (2014-2018), with great seasons full of titles.
2. Bayern Munich (1973-74):
- Titles: European Cup, Bundesliga.
- Eleventh gala: Maier, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbeck, Hansen, Kapellmann, Roth, Zobel, Breitner, Dürnberger, Gerd Müller, Hoeneß.
- Coach: Udo Lattek.
The Bayern Munich of this time is, without a doubt, the most unstoppable of all. In the midst of their dominance in the mid-70s, the 1973-74 season was notable for the dominance of the German giants .
Franz Beckenbauer led the team from the rear and the Uli Hoeneß-Gerd Müller duo (one of the top scorers in history) swelled to score goals. Bayern was a roller wherever he went.
What characterizes this team is their dominance both at home and abroad, as Bayern took the Bundesliga title as well as the European Cup, winning both with relative ease.
The Germans refused to participate in the Intercontinental Cup, missing the opportunity to get a world title. Even without one, this team is listed as one of the greatest, deepest and most talented teams to ever parade down a football field.
OTHER STAGES: Special mention also for Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern who achieved the treble in 2012-13 with an overwhelming dominance in all competitions. Also noteworthy is the team of the 2019/2020 season after conquering a new treble, imposing its hegemony throughout Europe. It remains to be seen if they will get the famous ‘sextet’.
1. FC Barcelona (2008-09): The Best Team in History
- Titles: LaLiga, Copa del Rey, Champions League , Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup and Club World Cup.
- Eleventh gala: Víctor Valdés | Abidal, Puyol, Piqué, Dani Alves | Busquets / Yaya Touré, Xavi, Iniesta | Henry, Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto’o.
- Coach: Pep Guardiola.
Pep Team analysis: The ‘sextete’ of FC Barcelona.
The best soccer team in history was forged from possession. In so-called tiki-taka football, the ‘Pep Team’ achieved something that no other team has achieved until now: the sextete. FC Barcelona with a legendary team, everything is said, but the way they play and everything they have achieved elevate them to first place in this ranking.
Few teams in the history of world football can claim the dominance that FC Barcelona held in the 2008-09 season.
The squad was packed with talent on all lines, with Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry up front, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta (two of the best Spanish players in history) and Yaya Touré in midfield, and Carles Puyol, Gerard Piqué, Dani Alves and Eric Abidal in defense, with Víctor Valdés in goal, and the indomitable Pep Guardiola directing, it was almost a predictable conclusion that Barca was going to clinch all the titles historically.
He won the league, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League, the Club World Cup, as well as the European and Spanish Super Cups. In those eleven were some of the best players in the history of FC Barcelona, how could it be otherwise.
With its modernized version of “Fútbol Total”, the Catalan monster was not only entertaining to watch, but was almost unstoppable. It will be difficult for us to see such a good team again, play so well and achieve everything they did.
Other Legend Soccer Teams:
As we could not put all the teams that we would like in the ranking of the 10 best in history, we include other teams that have also marked an era in this sport. Here are many other references in the history of football that deserve a place in this ranking:
- Arsenal (2004-05): The Invincibles.
- Millionaires (1950-54)
- Benfica (1961-62)
- Nottingham Forest (1978-79)
- Leicester City (2015-16)
- Torino (1946-47)
- Juventus (1984-86)
- Porto (2003-04)
- Red Star of Belgrade (1991-92)
- Boca Juniors (2005-06)
- River Plate (2014-2015)