Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may have been the two best players on the globe heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but as eventual Champions Germany proved it takes a complete team to win football’s biggest prize, not an individual. With this in mind, here is Premier Sports Memorabilia’s list of the top 10 World Cup teams of all time:
10. England 1966
England may have only won the FIFA World Cup once, but this tightly-packed squad brimmed with sublime talents such as Bobby Charlton while being led by the legendary Bobby Moore. And deservingly so, they were crowned champions in front of their fans and since then the Three Lions haven’t gotten close to repeating the feat.
9. Brazil 1994
This was called the ‘least talented Brazil side ever’, but yet they are on this list. Why? It’s simple! Because they completely overturned the National philosophy of attacking football with Samba flair and instead focused on discipline from the back to secure their title, something which Brazilian football is clearly not famous for!
8. Italy 2006
Italy had all the right ingredients for success in 2006; a leader in the shape of Fabio Cannavaro, a majestic presence in Buffon and of course a controversial star in Marco Materazzi. They fought with grit and earned their just reward by lifting the trophy in Germany.
7. France 1998
This was the first time that the world laid its eyes on the gleaming talent of Zinedine Zidane. ‘Zizou’ announced his arrival on the International stage and took everyone by storm to claim World Cup glory with a certain panache that remains unmatched even today.
6. Argentina 1986
Argentina had some talented players in 1986. They also had Diego Maradona. The magician was clearly at the peak of his powers in Mexico and singlehandedly won the FIFA World Cup for the Sky Blues; which remains their only triumph so far.
5. Portugal 1966
Powered by European star Eusebio, Portugal were desperately unlucky not to reach the final and were pitted against England with their home support and a sudden change of venue in the semi-finals. Nonetheless, with Eusebio’s prowess, this remains a fearsome team that had the potential to beat anyone, anywhere.
4. Netherlands 1974
Beautiful football. That’s how Holland’s passing carousel captured the imagination of the adoring crowds during the 1970’s. While the football was sublime and the goals spectacular, World Cup glory eluded them despite having featured in three finals to date.
3. Brazil 2002
Ronaldinho. Rivaldo. Ronaldo. These three ran riot in the Far East and sumptuously danced their way into the final and eventually landed the trophy, all the while entertaining viewers and playing football the right way with a smile on their faces.
2. Spain 2010
Holland started it. Barcelona practiced it. Spain perfected it. With utmost harmony and precision, Spain passed their way into World Cup success after Iniesta scored in South Africa to secure their inaugural win and start one of the most spectacular reigns International football has ever seen.
While Spain could clearly match this squad in an impossible game. This team had one star that glittered like no other – Pele. Spain has world-class players in every position, but Pele was simply not from this world and backed by the likes of Garrincha, this side could have reigned supreme no matter who came up against them.
So who do you think is the best World Cup team of all time?
Who have we left off the list? Sound off in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.