Aberdeen 1983-84: Jim Leighton, Stewart McKimmie, Alex McLeish, Willie Miller, Doug Rougvie, Neil Simpson, Gordon Strachan, Doug Bell, Neale Cooper, Ian Angus, Peter Weir, Billy Stark, Mark McGhee, John Hewitt, Eric Black.
Achievements: Scottish League Champions 1979-80, 1983-84 and 1984-95; Scottish Cup Winners 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1986. European Cup-Winners Cup Winners 1982-83; Scottish League Cup Winners 1986. Five year league record: 2, 3, 1, 1, 4
Manager: Alex Ferguson
Key men: Alex McLeish, dependable central defender. Willie Miller, described as the “best penalty box defender in the world”, by Ferguson. Gordon Strachan, perceptive midfielder once tipped to be Britain’s first £2m player.
Perception: Exciting “new firm” outfit that broke the mould in Scotland and helped end the Glasgow duopoly. Alex Ferguson’s prototype for Manchester United.
Accra Hearts of Oak 1999-2000: Sammy Adjei, Dan Quaye, Jacob Nettey, Edward Agyeman-Duah, Stephen Tetteh, Joe Ansah, Charles Allotey, Emmaneel Adjogu, Adjah tetteh, Edmond Copson, Ishmael Addo, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, Charles Taylor, Osmanu Amadu, Yaw Amankwah Mireku.
Manager: Cecil Jones Attuquayefio
Achievement: 1997-98 – Ghanaian League champions; 1999 – Ghanaian League champions and FA Cup winners; 2000 – CAF Champions League winners, Ghanaian League champions and FA Cup winners; 2001 – Ghanaian League champions; 2002 – Ghanaian League champions.
Key men: Daniel Quaye, a tough defender, capped by Ghana. Sammy Adjei, durable goalkeeper who won 37 caps and had three spells with Hearts of Oak. Ishmael Addo, prolific scorer nicknamed the “baby-faced assassin”.
Perception: Considered to be the finest batch of players to come out of Ghanaian football. Well-drilled and focused.
AC Milan 1906-1907: Attilio Trere, Herbert Kilpin, Andrea Meschia, Alfred Bosshard, Oscar Giger, Hans Heuberger, Guido Pedroni, Giuseppe Rizzi, Guerriero Colombo, Ernst Widmer, Sandro Trere, Guido Moda, Guido Piazza, Hans Walter Imhoff, Johann Mädler
Manager: Herbert Kilpin/ Daniele Angeloni
Achievement: Serie A champions 1906, 1907
Key men: Herbert Kilpin, exiled Englishman and versatile player. Founded AC Milan. Giuseppe Rizzi, midfielder capped by Italy.
Perception: Early champions of Italian football, driven by an Englishman.
AC Milan 1961-1963: Giorgio Ghezzi, Mario David, Mario Trebbi, Victor Benitez, Sandro Salvadore, Giovanni Trapattoni, Cesare Maldini, Luigi Radice, Dino Sani, Jose Altafini, Gianni Rivera, Bruno Mora, Paulo Barison, Gino Pivatelli
Manager: Nereo Rocco
Achievement: Serie A champions 1961-62, European Cup winners 1962-63
Key men: Jose Altafini – Brazil-born striker who scored prolifically in Italy – quick, skilful and powerful; Gianni Rivera, graceful midfielder and “golden boy” of Italian football; Cesare Maldini, elegant long-serving defender.
Perception: Arch exponents of catenaccio, but capable of stunning, fast, counter-attacking football.
AC Milan 1967-69: Fabio Cudicini, Angelo Anquilletti, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Roberto Rosato, Nevio Scala, Saul Malatrasi, Giovanni Trapattoni, Giovanni Lodetti, Kurt Hamrin, Angelo Sormani, Gianni Rivera, Pierino Prati.
Manager: Nereo Rocco
Achievement: Serie A champions 1967-68; European Cup-Winners’ Cup winners 1967-68; European Cup winners 1968-69
Key men: Gianni Rivera, graceful midfielder and “golden boy” of Italian football; Pierino Prati, sharp shooting forward, good in the air. Hat-trick in European Cup final 1969; Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, German full-back known as the Volkswagen for his relentless energy.
Perception: Continued the Milan expertise in Catenaccio, but with a little more attacking flair.
Ajax Amsterdam 1971-72: Heinz Stuy; Wim Suurbier, Barry Hulshoff, Horst Blankenburg, Ruud Krol; Johan Neeskens, Arie Haan, Gerrie Muhren, Sjaak Swart; Johan Cruyff, Piet Keizer; Dick van Dijk
Achievements: 1970-71 European Cup winners, KNVB Cup winners; 1971-72 Eredivisie champions, KNVB Cup winners, European Cup winners; 1972-73 Eredivisie champions, European Cup winners. Five year league record: 1, 2, 1, 1, 3
Manager: Rinus Michels/ Stefan Kovacs
Key men: Johan Cruyff, the legendary Dutch midfielder/forward, possibly Europe’s all-time great; Ruud Krol, calmness and aggression in one; Johan Neeskens, the perfect foil for Cruyff.
Perception: The arch exponents of “total football”. Arguably the greatest European team after Real Madrid of the 1950s. A team of their time in more ways than one!
Ajax Amsterdam 1994-95: Edwin van der Sar, Michael Reiziger, Danny Blind, Frank de Boer, Frank Rijkaard, Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Jari Lirmanen, Finidi George, Ronald de Boer, Marc Overmars, Winston Bogarde, Nwankwo Kanu, Patrick Kluivert.
Achievement: 1994-95 – Eredivisie champions, UEFA Champions League winners. 1995-96 Intercontinental Cup winners, Eredivisie champions, UEFA Champions League runners-up. Five year league record: 1, 1, 1, 4 , 1
Key men: Edgar Davids, a fiercely competitive midfielder. Patrick Kluivert, prodigious forward who netted 21 goals in 37 games in 1994-95. Frank de Boer, central defender/sweeper who was capped more than 100 times for Holland.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Perception: Unbeaten in the league in 1994-95 and victorious against a strong Milan in the UCL final, Ajax revived memories of their glorious 1970s period with a young and vibrant team.
Al-Ahly SC 2004-2009: Essam El Hadary, Amir Abdul Hamid, Islam El Shater, Tarek Said, Emad El-Nahhas, Wael Gomaa, Shady Mohamed, Emad Moteab, Hossam Ashour, Mohamed SHawky, Mohamed Aboutrika, Flavio da Silva Amado, Hassan Mostafa, Ahmad Sedik.
Manager: Manuel Jose
Achievement: 2005: CAF Champions League winners, Egypt Premier League winners. 2006: CAF Champions League winners, Egypt Premier League winners, Egypt Cup winners. 2007: Egypt Premier League winners, Egypt Cup winners. 2008: CAF Champions League winners, Egypt Premier League winners. 2009: Egypt Premier League winners.
Key men: Essam El Hadary, one of the best goalkeepers in African football history. Emad Moteab, a prolific striker. Mohamed Aboutrika, rated one of Egypt’s best ever forwards.
Perception: One of the best teams to come out of African continent. Reliant on fast-moving front men.
Anderlecht 1975-78: Jan Ruiter, Michel Lomme, Hugo Broos, Gilbert Van Binst, Jean Thissen, Jean Dockx, Johnny Dusbaba, Ludo Coeck, Francois Van der Elst, Peter Ressel, Arie Haan, Robbie Rensenbrink, Franky Vercauteren, Benny Nielsen
Key men: Francois Van der Elst, right winger who played 44 times for Belgium. Rob Rensenbrink, an introverted member of the famous Dutch national team of 1974.
Achievements: 1976 European Cup-Winners Cup winners; 1977 ECWC runners-up; 1978 ECWC winners. Belgian Cup winners 1975, 1976.
Manager: Hans Croon/ Raymond Goethels
Perception: Total football’s Belgian cousin – a team based on fast attacking play.
Arbroath 1885: Jim Milne Sr, Bill Collie, Tom Salmond, Hen Rennie, Jim Milne Jr, Dyken Bruce, John Petrie, Johnny Tackett, Jim Marshall, David Crawford, Daniel Neil.
Achievements: 36-0 victory in the Scottish Cup on September 12 1885 – a world record.
Key men: John “Jocky” Petrie, an 18 year-old right winger who scored 13 times in the game and tormented the Bon Accord defence. Jim Milne Junior, a powerful header of the ball.
Perception: Record-breaking team that will forever be listed in the history books.
Argentinos Juniors 1984-85: Enrique Vidalle, Carmelo Villalba, Jose Luis Pavoni, Jorge Pellegrini, Adrian Domenech, Miguel Lemme, Caros Mayor, Emilio Commisso, Jorge Olguin, Sergio Batista, Renato Corsi, Mario Videla, Juan Jose Lopez, Claudio Borghi, Armando Dely Valdes, Carlos Ereros.
Key men: Claudio Borghi, attacking midfielder once considered to be the next big thing; Sergio Batista, midfielder who played in the 1986 World Cup final for Argentina; Adrian Domenech, defender who had a long career with the club.
Achievements: 1984 Primera (Metropolitano) winners; 1985 Copa Libertadores winners; 1985 Primera (Nacional) winners; 1985 Copa Interamericana winners.
Manager: Jose Yudica
Perception: Young, attacking team from Buenos Aires whose stay at the top was relatively short-lived.
Arsenal 1929-1931: Dan Lewis, Charlie Preddy, Tom Parker, Alf Baker, Eddie Hapgood, Bob John, Bill Seddon, Herbie Roberts, Joe Hulme, Alex James, Jack Lambert, David Jack, Cliff Bastin, Charlie Jones, David Halliday
Manager: Herbert Chapman
Achievements: 1929-30 FA Cup winners; 1930-31 Football League champions. 1931-32: Football League runners-up, FA Cup runners-up. Five year league record: 9, 14, 1, 2, 1
Key men: Herbie Roberts, the first “stopper” centre half; Alex James, gifted inside forward; David Jack, £11,500 inside forward, one of the stars of the era.
Perception: The first London team to win the league, this was Herbert Chapman’s first great Arsenal line-up. Set a record for points won in 1930-31 and scored 127 goals in 42 games. With big sums paid to secure big names, this was also very much a title that was “bought”.
Arsenal 2001-2005: Jens Lehmann, David Seaman, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Sol Campbell, Martin Keown, Kolo Toure, Oleg Luzhny, Patrick Vieria, Robert Pires, Fredrik Ljungberg, Ray Parlour, Edu, Gilberto Silva, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord, Nwankwo Kanu
Manager: Arsene Wenger
Achievements: 2001-02 Premier League winners, FA Cup winners; 2002-03 FA Cup winners; 2003-04 Premier League champions; 2004-05 FA Cup winners. Five year league record: 1,2, 1, 2, 4
Key men: Patrick Vieria, Senegalese-born midfielder, power and precision. Dennis Bergkamp, sublime skills and spectacular goals. Thierry Henry, pace and intricate skill in abundance.
Perception: Unbeaten in the Premier League 2003-04, the last great side produced by Arsenal and Wenger. Excellent footballing team.
Achievements: Football League Champions, FA Cup winners. Pre: FL Cup runners-up 1968 and 1969, Inter Cities Fairs Cup winners 1970. Post: FA Cup finalists 1972. Five-year league record: 4, 12, 1, 5, 2
Key men: Frank McClintock, veteran skipper; George Graham, strolling midfielder; Ray Kennedy, powerful striker; and Charlie George, precocious local lad.
Manager: Bertie Mee
Perception: Dull, consistent and workmanlike. Effective.
Argentina 1928-30: Juan Botasso, Angel Bossio, Francisco Varallo, Jose Della Torre, Juan Evaristo, Ludovico Bidoglio, Fernando Paternoster, Segundo Medici, Adolfo Zumelzu, Luis Monti, Juan Evaristo, Mario Evaristo, Alfredo Carricaberry, Domingo Tarasconi, Pedro Suarez, Manuel Ferreira, Feliciano Perducca, Raimundo Orsi, Guillerme Stabile, Carlos Peucelle.
Manager: Francisco Olazar
Achievement: Olympic Games silver medalists 1928, World Cup runners-up 1930, Copa America winners 1927, 1929
Key men: Raimundo Orsi – Quick-footed left winger, one of the greatest of his time. Adolfo Zumelzu, half back who knew how to score goals. Guillerme Stabile, free-scoring centre forward. Luis Monti, midfield player who was rugged and ruthless.
Perception: Only Uruguay could claim to be the best on the planet at the time. Skilful, full of flair, perhaps lacking method and discipline.
Argentina 1978: Ubaldo Filol; Jorge Olguin, Luis Galvan, Daniel Passarella, Alberto Tarantini; Americo Gallego, Osvaldo Ardiles, Daniel Bertoni, Oscar Alberto Ortiz; Leopoldo Luque, Mario Kempes. Rene Houseman, Norberto Alonso, Omar Larrosa.
Achievement: World Cup 1974: Last eight; Copa America 1975: Round One; World Cup 1978: Winners – 3-1 v Holland; Copa America 1979: Round One
Key men: Daniel Passarella, tough skipper; Osvaldo Ardiles, tricky and nimble in midfield; Mario Kempes, top scorer in World Cup 1978.
Manager: Cesar Luis Menotti
Perception: Assisted by home advantage in 1978. Exciting going forward.
Argentina 1986: Neri Pumpido, Jose Luis Brown, Jose Cuciuffo, Oscar Ruggeri,Ricardo Giusti, Julio Olarticoechea, Sergio Batista, Hector Enrique, Diego Maradona, Jorge Burruchaga, Jorge Valdano, Marcelo Trobbiani, Ricardo Bochin, Carlos Daniel Tapia, Pedro Pasculli.
Achievement: World Cup winners 1986.
Key men: Diego Maradona, who recovered from a disappointing 1982 competition to lead his country to victory. Jorge Valdano, fast-moving forward who became an accomplished football administrator.
Manager: Carlos Bilardo
Perception: Heavily reliant on Maradona, then the best player in the world – he drove them through the 1986 World Cup with a series of virtuoso – and often controversial – performances.
Achievements: 1893-94 FL Champions; 1894-95 FA Cup Winners; 1895-96 FL Champions; 1896-97 FA Cup Winners and FL Champions. Five year league record: 3, 1, 1, 6, 1
Key men: Charlie Athersmith, England winger; Jimmy Cowan, Scottish half-back, renowned for his speed; Fred Wheldon, England inside left who joined the club in 1896 and topped scoring list with 21 goals.
Manager: George Ramsay
Perception: Victorian England’s most successful club. Influential, consistent and packed with impressive players.
Aston Villa 1912-13: Sam Hardy, Tom Lyons, Tommy Weston, Tommy Barber, Jimmy Harrop, Jimmy Leach, Charlie Wallace, Clem Stephenson, Harry Hampton, Harold Halse, Joseph Bache, Albert Hall, William Morris, Sam Whittaker.
Manager: George Ramsay
Achievement: 1912-13 FA Cup winners, runners-up Football League. Five year league record: 2, 6, 2, 2, 14
Key men: Sam Hardy, England goalkeeper who was one of the best of his generation – known as “safe and stead Sam”. Clem Stephenson, cultured inside forward who later played for Herbert Chapman’s Huddersfield. Harry Hampton – England international forward who scored 30 goals in 1912-13.
Perception: Went neck-and-neck with Sunderland for both major honours, Villa winning the FA Cup and Sunderland edging them out in the league title race.
Aston Villa 1980-1982: Jimmy Rimmer, Kenny Swain, Gary Williams, Colin Gibson, Dennis Mortimer, Ken McNaught, Allan Evans, Gordon Cowans, Des Bremner, Tony Morley, Gary Shaw, Peter Withe. David Geddis, Brendan Ormsby, Nigel Spink, Andy Blair.
Manager: Ron Saunders/Tony Barton
Achievement: 1980-81 – Football League Champions; 1981-82 – European Cup winners. Five year league record: 8, 7, 1, 11, 6
Key men: Dennis Mortimer, swashbuckling midfielder. Gordon Cowans, talented youngster capped 10 times by England. Peter Withe, under-rated centre forward.
Perception: Often overlooked, Villa not only overcome the more popular Ipswich but also surprised Europe by beating Bayern Munich a year later in the European Cup final.
Athletic Bilbao 1933-36: Gregorio Blasco, Jose Ispizua, Luis Uribe, Issac Oceja, Luis Zabala, Martin Calvo, Angel Zubieta, Roberto, Jose Muguerza, Manuel Yurrebasco, Guillermo Gorostiza, Jose Iraragorri, Bata, Elices, Jose Careaga, Javier Moronati, Leonardo Cilaurren, Jose Castellanos, Juan Jose Urquizio
Manager: Fred Pentland/ Patricio Caicedo
Achievement: 1931-32: Copa del Rey winners; 1932-33: Copa del Rey winners; 1933-34: La Liga champions; 1935-36: La Liga champions. Five year league record: 2, 2, 1, 4, 1
Key men: Guillermo Gorostiza, prolific goalscorer who netted 106 goals in 146 games for Bilbao. Bata (Agustín Sauto Arana) a menacing striker who was known as El terror de San Mames. Gregorio Blasco, goalkeeper who won the prestigious Ricardo Zamora award three times.
Perception: Exciting, fast-moving team full of talented forwards that dominated Spanish football for a few years.
Atletico Madrid 2011-14: Thibaut Courtois, Juanfran, Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Miranda, Arda Turan, Tiago, Koke, Gabi, Diego Costa, David Villa, Adrian, Raul Garcia, Toby Alderweireld, Sosa, Radamel Falcao
Manager: Diego Simeone
Achievements: 2011-12 Europa League winners, 2012-13 Copa del Rey winners, 2013-14 La Liga winners, UEFA Champions League runners-up. Five year league record: 5, 3, 1, 3, 3
Key men: Thibaut Courtois, young Belgian goalkeeper on loan from Chelsea; Raul Garcia, central midfielder with an eye for goal; Diego Costa, Brazilian-born forward who stepped into the role vacated by Falcao.
Perception: Broke the Real-Barca duopoly with their high-octane style. Went so close to winning the Champions League against arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Atletico Nacional 1989-1991: Rene Higuita, Hugo Almeida, Gillardo Gomez, Pablo Escobar, Geovanis Cassiani, Leonal Alvarez, Luis Herrera, Luis Carlos Perea, Jaime Arango, Alexis Garcia, Gustavo Restrepo, Niver Arboledo, John Trellez, Albeiro Usuriaga.
Manager: Pacho Maturano
Achievement: Copa Libertadores winners 1989; Colombian Primera A winners 1991 – runners-up 1988, 1990.
Key men: Rene Higuita, flamboyant goalkeeper famed for his scorpion kick.
Perception: Rated one of South America’s top 20 clubs, arguably Colombia’s finest.
Australia 2015: Matt Ryan, Ivan Franjic; Trevor Sainsbury, Matthew Spiranovic, Jason Davidson, Mark Milligan, Mile Jedinak, Massimo Luongo, Robbie Krusa, Matthew Leckie, Tim Cahill, James Troisi, Matt McKay, Tomi Juric.
Achievement: AFC Asian Cup winners 2015; World Cup finals qualification 2014 and 2018
Manager: Ange Postecoglou
Key men: Massimo Luongo, named player of the 2015 Asian Cup with the most assists. Played for QPR. Italian descent; Tim Cahill, attacking midfielder who played for Millwall and Everton, among others.
Perception: Much travelled band of players that benefitted from their experiences to become Asian champions.
Austria 1932-34: Peter Platzer, Franz Cisar, Karl Sesta, Walter Nausch, Franz Wagner, Josef Smistik, Johann Urbanek, Anton Schall, Rudolf Viertl, Josef Bican, Matthias Sindelar, Matthias Kaburek, Franz Binder, Johann Horvath, Karl Zischek.
Achievements: World Cup semi-finals 1934; Central European International Cup 1931-32.
Manager: Hugo Meisl
Key men: Matthias Sindelar – frail, skilful and influential forward. Johann Horvath, an extremely technical player and prolific scorer. Josef Bican, scorer of over 600 goals in his career. Walter Nausch, captain and versatile member of team.
Perception: Das Wunderteam – the forefathers of “Total football” and arguably one of the best teams never to have won the World Cup.
FK Austria Vienna 1933-1936: Johann Billich, Rudolf Zoehrer, Karl Andritz, Karl Sesta, Karl Graf, Walter Nausch, Karl Adamek, Matthias Najemnik, Johann Mock, Karl Gall, Josef Molzer, Franz Riegler, Josef Stroh, Matthias Sindelar, Camillo Jerusalem, Rudolf Viertl.
Manager: Josef Blum, Robert Lang, Walter Nausch
Achievement: Mitropa Cup winners 1933, 1936; Austrian Cup winners 1933, 1935, 1936
Key men: Matthias Sindelar, the legendary “man of paper”, skilful and influential forward. Full back Walter Nausch, captain of the “wunderteam” and supremely fit. Rudolf Viertl, winger who played for Austria in the 1934 World Cup.
Perception: Aligned to the Austrian “wunderteam” and full of class. Better in cup competitions than in the league.
Barcelona 1958-1961: Antoni Ramallets, Foncho, Ramon Larraz, Celdrán, Carlos Medrano, Ferran Olivella, Jose Pinto, Rodri, Brugué, Gracia Rifé, Goicotea, Biosca, Sigfrid Gracia, Hermes González, Jesus Garay, Joan Segarra, Enric Gensana, Marti Vergés, Flotats, Ladislao Kubala, Evaristo, Eulogio Martínez, Luis Suárez, Zoltan Czibor, Sandor Kocsis, Luis Coll, Justo Tejada, Suco, Sampedro, Ramon Villaverde, Ribelles, Estremo
Manager: Helenio Herrera / Enrique Orizaola
Achievement: 1957-58 – Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners; 1958-59 – Lia Liga champions, Copa del Rey winners; 1959-60 – La Liga champions, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners; 1960-61 – European Cup finalists.
Key men: Luis Suarez, Spanish international striker who became world’s most expensive player in 1961. Ladislao Kubala, Hungarian-born forward who scored 131 goals in 186 games for Barca.
Perception: Multi-national team fashioned by Herrera, reliant on the awesome striking power of Suarez and Kubala.
Barcelona 1973-74: Salvador Sadurni, Jesus De La Cruz, Joaquim Rife, Antonio Torres, Juan Manuel Asensi, Juan Carlos, Marcial, Enrique Costas, Hugo Sotil, Carlos Rexach, Johan Cruyff, Gallego, Juanito, Manuel Tome
Manager: Rinus Michels
Achievements: 1973-74 La Liga champions. Five year league record: 3, 2, 1, 3, 2
Key men: Johan Cruyff, the legendary Dutch international, who drove Barca to their first title in 14 years; Carles Rexach, winger who formed a successful partnership with Cruyff; Juan Manuel Asensi, goalscoring midfielder.
Perception: Inspired by Cruyff, then the best player in the world, Barca ended a long, lean spell to secure the title.
Barcelona 2008-2011: Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Dani Alves, Yaya Toure, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Sylvinho, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Alexis Sanchez, Lionel Messi, David Villa, Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o, Pedro, Isaac Cuenca
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Achievement: La Liga champions 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11; Copa del Rey winners 2008-09; UEFA Champions League winners 2008-09, 2010-11; FIFA World Club Cup winners 2009, 2011.
Key men: Lionel Messi, sublimely talented Argentinian international; Andreas Iniesta, often under-estimated midfielder; Xavi, precise and energetic midfielder.
Perception: The epitome of tiki-take, total football and latin flair. One of the great teams of the modern era.
Bayern Munich 2000-01
Oliver Kahn, Thomas Linke, Willy Sagnol, Samuael Kuffour, Patrick Andersson, Bixente Lizarazu, Hassan Salihamidžić, Mehmet Scholl, Owen Hargreaves, Thorsten Fink, Michael Tarnet, Jens Jeremies, Stefen Effenberg, Ciriaco Sforze, Giovane Élber, Paulo Sergio, Carsetn Jancker, Alexander Zickler, Roque Santa Cruz
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Achievement: DFB Pokal winners 1999-00, Bundesliga champions 2000-01, UEFA Champions League winners 2000-01, Intercontinental Cup winners 20001. Five-year record: 1 – 1 – 1 – 3 – 1
Key men: Oliver Kahn, goalkeeper with excellent reflexes and agility, as well as a superb big game temperament; Steffen Effenberg, captain and central midfielder, named UEFA club player of the year in 2001; Giovane Élber, top scorer, Brazilian international prolific throughout career.
Perception: Relatively uninspiring, multi-national Bayern were controversial league champions and ground out a Champions League win on penalties against Valencia.
Bayern Munich 2012-13
Manuel Neuer, Dante, Jéròme Boateng, Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Franck Ribèry, Javi Martinez, Arjen Robben, Xherdan Shaqiri, Thomas Müller, Luiz Gustavo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Tony Kroos, Mario Mandžukić, Mario Gomez
Achievement: DFB Pokal winners 2012-13, Bundesliga champions 2012-13, UEFA Champions League winners 2012-13. Five-year record: 3 – 2 – 1 – 1- 1
Key men: Manuel Neuer, one of the most successful sweeper-keepers with sharp reflexes and skilful footwork; Philipp Lahm, known as “magic dwarf” owing to his diminutive appearance. Defence or midfield, skipper of the team. 113 caps for Germany; Tony Kroos, the archetypal modern attacking midfielder. Superb passing ability and technique.
Perception:Record-breaking team, (30 records broken in 2012-13), playing with pace, power and patience.
Bayern Munich 1973-1976: Sepp Maier, Johnny Hansen, Bjorn Andersson, Paul Breitner, Udo Horsmann, Hans-Grog Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Franz Roth, Conny Torstensson, Rainer Zobel, Gerd Mueller, Uli Hoeness, Jupp Kapellmann, Bernd Duernberger, Klaus Wuender, Sepp Weiss, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Hugo Robl
Manager: Udo Lattek/ Dettmar Cramer
Achievement: 1971-72 – Bundesliga champions; 1972-73 – Bundesliga champions; 1973-74 – European Cup winners, Bundesliga champions; 1974-75 – European Cup winners; 1975-76 – European Cup winners.
Key men: Sepp Maier, giant goalkeeper with huge hands. Franz Beckenbauer, Der Kaiser, the quintessential libero. Gerd Mueller, a goal machine for club and country.
Perception: Machine-like at times, the epitome of German football in the 1970s.
Benfica 1960-1962: Alberto da Costa Pereria, Mario Joao, Germano de Figueiredo, Angelto Martins, Jose Neto, Fernando Cruz, Jose Augusto, Joaquim Santana, Jose Aguas, Mario Coluna, Domiciano Cavern, Eusebio, Antonio Simoes.
Manager: Bela Guttmann
Achievement: 1959-60 – Primeira Liga champions; 1960-61 – European Cup winners, Primeira Liga champions; 1961-62 – European Cup winners, Taca de Portugal winners; 1962-63 – Primeira Liga champions; 1963-64 – Primeira Liga champions, Taca de Portugal winners.
Key men: Eusebio, Mozambique-born striker, one of the all-time greats. Mario Coluna, powerful midfielder. Jose Augusto, right winger.
Perception: Fast and skilful side crafted by Guttmann. Broke the Real Madrid hegemony in 1961.
Billericay Town 1979: Paul Norris, Paul Blackaller, Billy Bingham, Dave Groom, Steve Bone, John Pullin, Charlie Knott, Alan Russ, Mark Carrigan, Arthur Coughlan, Paul Scott, Phil Whettell, Terry Fearey, Doug Young, Jamie Reeves, Freddie Clayden
Manager: John Newman/ Colin Searle
Achievement: 1974-75 Essex Senior League champions; 1975-76 FA Vase winners, Essex Senior League champions; 1976-77 FA Vase winners; 1977-78 Athenian League champions; 1978-79 FA Vase winners, Athenian League champions.
Key men: Freddie Clayden, prolific goalscorer who topped Billericay’s scoring list throughout the 1970s; Doug Young, in 1979, scored the first hat-trick at Wembley since Geoff Hurst’s 1966 treble; Arthur Coughlan, inspirational skipper.
Perception: Non-league football’s success story of the mid-to-late 1970s, laying foundation of Billericay Town.
Bishop Auckland 1954-1957: Harry Sharratt, David Marshall, Childs, Tommy Stewart, Bob Thursby, Bob Hardisty, Corbett Cresswell, Jimmy Nimmins, Jack Major, Warren Bradley, Derek Lewin, Ray Oliver, Seamus O’Connell, Benny Edwards, Billy Russell, Frank McKenna.
Achievement: 1953-54 – FA Amateur Cup runners-up, Northern League champions; 1954-55 – FA Amateur Cup winners Northern League champions; 1955-56 – FA Amateur Cup winners, Northern League champions; 1956-57 – FA Amateur Cup winners.
Key men: Bob Hardisty, England and Great Britain international and legendary half back figure in amateur football; Derek Lewin, forward capped by England and Great Britain. Went on to become a successful football administrator.
Perception: The leading amateur club of their day, Bishop Auckland epitomised everything that was good about the game outside the Football League. A fine footballing side whose reputation extended beyond Britain.
Coach: Jack Hunter
Achievement: FA Cup winners 1882-83
Key men: John Yates, left winger who went on to play for England; Jack Hunter, half back capped by England, he coached the Olympic team.
Perception: Backed by a local foundry owner, Sidney Yates, Olympic’s team of tradesmen and weavers broke the dominance of the “gentleman” teams of the south.
Blackburn Rovers 1994-95: Tim Flowers, Henning Berg, Graeme Le Saux, Colin Hendry, Ian Pearce, Tony Gale, Tim Sherwood, Stuart Ripley, Jason Wilcox, Mark Atkins, Paul Warhurst, Chris Sutton, Alan Shearer, Robbie Slater
Coach: Kenny Dalglish Key men: Alan Shearer, England centre forward signed from Southampton for £ 3.5m. Chris Sutton, striker who cost £5m when signed from Norwich. Colin Hendry, uncompromising central defender.
Achievement: Premier League champions 1994-95. Five year league record: 4, 2, 1, 7, 13
Perception: Funded by lifelong fan and multi-millionaire, Jack Walker, Rovers were accused of “buying” the title, mostly by disgruntled Manchester United fans who had seen their team win the previous two Premier League championships. Success was relatively short-lived.
Boca Juniors 1977-1978: Hugo Gatti, Carlos Rodriguez, Vincente Pernia, Francisco Sa, Roberto Mouzo, Alberto Tarantini, Carlos Veglio, Mario Zanabria, Enresto Mastrangelo, Daniel Pavon, Dario Felman, Jorge Ribalzi, Jose Tesare, Carlos Ortiz, Hector Bernabitti, Miguel Bordon, Jorge Benitez, Ruben Sune, Carlos Salinas, Hugo Perotti.
Manager: Juan Carlos Lorenzo
Achievement: 1976 – Primera Division champions (Metropolitano and Nacional); 1977 – Copa Libertadores winners; 1978 – Copa Libertadores winners.
Key men: Ruben Sune, midfielder who played 300 games in two spells with Boca. Capped six times by Argentina. Hugo Gatti, unorthodox and outstanding. Saved penalty in Libertadores final in 1977. Roberto Mouzo, 400 plus games in defence for Boca. Alberto Tarantini, wild-haired defender who had an aborted spell in England.
Perception: Underpinned by steely defence, experience and the speed of forwards like Mastrangelo and Felman. This Boca side was widely considered to be the best since the club’s first golden age of the 1960s.
Bologna 1963-64: William Negri, Carlo Furlanis, Mirko Pavinato, Paride Tumburus, Francesco Janich, Romano Fogli, Marino Perani, Giancomo Bulgarelli, Harald Nielsen, Helmut Haller, Ezio Pascutti, Antonio Renna
Manager: Fulvio Bernardini
Achievement: 1963-64 – Serie A champions Five year record: 4, 4, 1, 6, 2
Key men: Harald Nielsen, free-scoring Danish forward; Helmut Haller, West Germany inside forward. Fast and tricky. William Negri, kept 18 clean sheets in 34 games in Serie A.
Perception: Unfancied Bologna stunned Italian and European champions Inter by lifting the title.
Bolton Wanderers 1923-1929: Dick Pym, Bob Haworth, Harry Greenhalgh, Fred Kean, Alex Finney, Harry Nuttall, Jimmy Seddon, Billy Jennings, Billy Butler, Jim McClelland, Harold Blackmore, George Gibson, David Jack, Jack Smith, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard, Willie Cook.
Manager: Charles Foweraker
Achievement: FA Cup winners 1923, 1926 and 1929. Five-year league record (starting in 1922-23): 13, 4, 3, 8, 4
Key men: Dick Pym, dependable and consistent goalkeeper. David Jack, one of the most sought-after forwards of his generation. Ted Vizard, Welsh left winger who gave Bolton 18 years.
Perception: FA Cup specialists who were not quite consistent enough for league success.
Bordeaux 1983-1987: Christian Delachet, Dominique Dropsy, Raymond Domenech,Leonard Specht, Jean-Ch. Thouvenel, Zoran Vujovic, Alain Roche, Gernot Rohr, Jean Tigana, Rene Girard, Dieter Mueller, Bernard Lacombe, Jose Toure, Philippe Vercruysse, Patrick Battiston, Alain Giresse, Antoine Martinez, Bernard Zenier, Thierry Tusseau, Michel Audrain, Fernando Chalana, Uwe Reinders, Marc Pascal, Zlatko Vujovic, Philippe Fargeon.
Manager: Aimé Jacquet
Achievement: 1983-84 – Ligue 1 champions; 1984-85 – Ligue 1 champions; 1985-86 – Coupe de France winners; 1986-87 – Ligue 1 champions, Coupe de France winners. Five-year league record: 1, 1, 3, 1, 2
Key men: Alain Giresse, intelligent playmaker in midfield. Bernard Lacombe, goal-hungry striker. Jean Tigana, outstanding box-to-box midfielder.
Perception: A team built with significant amounts of money, luring a cluster of French internationals to the club.
Borussia Dortmund 1964-1966: Hans Tilkowski, Gerhard Cyliax, Theodor Redde, Dieter Kurrat, Wolfgang Paul, Hermann Staschitz, Wilhelm Sturm, Alfred Schmidt, Reihard Wosab, Friedhelm Konietzka, Lothar Emmerich, Rudi Assauer, Reinhard Libuda, Siegfried Held.
Manager: Hermann Eppenkhoff/ Willi Multhaup
Achievement: 1963 German champions and Cup finalists; 1964-65 German Cup winners; 1965-66 European Cup-Winners Cup winners, Bundesliga runners-up. Five-year league record: 4, 3, 2, 3, 14
Key men: Hans Tilkowski, goalkeeper who played between 1963 and 1967, 39 caps for West Germany; Siegfried Held, exciting midfielder/forward signed from Kickers Offenbach. Scored in the ECWC final; Lothar Emmerich, free scoring winger who netted 115 goals in 183 Bundesliga games. Also scored in ECWC final.
Perception: Arguably the best German side before Bayern’s 1970s team.
Borussia Dortmund 1997: Stefan Klos, Matthias Sammer, Jürgen Kohler, Martin Kree, Julio Cesar, Stefan Reuter, Jörg Heinrich, Bodo Schmidt, Michael Zorc, Steffen Freund, Patrik Berger, Lars Ricken, Andreas Möller, Knut Reinhardt, Thomas Franck, Paul Lambert, Karl-Heinz Riedle, Ruben Sosa, Paulo Sousa, Stephane Chapuisat.
Manager: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Achievement: 1994-95 Bundesliga champions; 1995-96 Bundesliga champions; 1996-97 UEFA Champions League winners.
Five-year league record: 1, 1, 3, 10, 8
Key men: Matthias Sammer, captain born in East Germany, capped by both DDR and unified Germany; Andreas Möller, attacking midfielder who won 85 caps for Germany; Stephane Chapuisat, Swiss striker named as his country’s best player of all time.
Perception: Surprise UCL winners in 1997, beating Juventus. A powerful unit.
Bradford City 1910-11: Mark Mellors, Robert Campbell, David Taylor, George Robinson, Willie Gildea, Jimmy McDonald, Peter Logan, Jimmy Speirs, Frank O’Rourke, Archie Devine, Frank Thompson, Bob Torrance.
Manager: Peter O’Rourke
Key men: Jimmy Speirs, Scottish forward sadly killed at Ypres 1917. Scored winning goal in 1911 cup final. Archie Devine, Scottish midfielder who also played for Arsenal.
Achievement: FA Cup winners 1910-11. Five year league record: 18, 7, 5, 11, 13
Perception: Bradford’s best ever season was assisted by Newcastle, their FA Cup final opponents, being without key players.
Manager: Flavio Costa
Achievement: 1949 – Copa America winners; 1950 – World Cup runners-up.
Key men: Ademir, golden boot winner in 1950 World Cup, fast and powerful. Zizinho, described by Pele as the “most complete player I ever saw.” Midfield or forward. Bauer, one of the finest midfielders of his time.
Perception: Lost to Uruguay in 1950 final but everyone’s favourites to win the World Cup that year.
Manager: Vicente Feola/Aymore Moreira
Achievement: 1958 – World Cup winners; 1962 – World Cup winners.
Key men: Garrincha, the “little bird” at his best on the flank. Gilmar, rated Brazil’s best ever goalkeeper. Vava, striker rated one of the best of his time. Didi, midfielder who was a dead-ball specialist, possibly the first ever. Djalma Santos, one of the greatest full backs of all time. Pele, young talent who burst onto the scene in 1958.
Perception: Packed with ball-playing skill and trickery, this was the first Brazil side to capture the imagination of the rest of the world.
Manager: Mario Zagallo Achievement: 1970 – World Cup winners.
Key men: Carlos Alberto, skipper and overlapping full back. Pele, the great, charimastic talisman of the team. Gerson, chain-smoking midfield genius. Jairzinho, goalscoring front man, strong and agile – nicknamed “the hurricane”.
Perception: Steeped in the tradition of Brazilian teams from the 1950s and 1960s, this team, with Pele at his peak, is arguably the all-time great international XI.
Manager: Tele Santana
Achievement: 1982 – World Cup second stage; 1983 – Copa America runners-up.
Key men: Socrates, technical playmaker with great vision and passing ability. Zico, heralded as a successor to Pele, he was a flair player who could score great goals. Falcao, a deep-lying playmaker with a powerful shot.
Perception: The “people’s champions” in 1982 World Cup, beaten by Italy in the second stage. Flowing football, sublime free-kicks, but weaknesses in defence and up front.
Manager: Sepp Herberger Achievement: One defeat in 11 games. 8-1 victory against Denmark in May 1937 in Breslau.
Key men: Otto Stiffling, a clever forward who scored four times in that game with Denmark. Fritz Szepan, Schalke forward who lacked pace but had the uncanny ability to make the ball do the work for him. Prolific in front of goal.
Perception: A team that was never allowed to fulfill its potential.
Burnley 1920-21: Jerry Dawson, Cliff Jones, Len Smelt, Billy Watson, David Taylor, George Halley, Tommy Boyle, Alf Basnett, Eddie Mosscrop, Billy Nesbitt, Walter Weaver, Joe Anderson, Benny Cross, Bob Kelly.
Manager: John Haworth
Achievement: 1920-21: Football League Champions. Five year league record (starting in 1919-20): 2, 1, 3, 15, 17
Key men: Joe Anderson, Scottish centre forward who netted 25 goals in the league campaign. Tommy Boyle, underrated half back who captained Burnley to FA Cup glory in 1914. Bob Kelly, another free-scoring forward who went on the break the record transfer record when he moved to Sunderland in 1925.
Perception: Fine footballing side that set a 30-game unbeaten record that stood until 2003-04.
Manager: Harry Potts
Achievement: 1959-60 – Football League champions. Five year league record: 6, 7, 1, 4, 2
Key men: Ray Pointer, prolific goalscorer who was capped by England three times. Jimmy McIlroy, superb passer of the ball in midfield. One of Burnley’s all-time greats. John Connelly, tricky winger who was capped 20 times by England. Played in the 1966 World Cup.
Perception: Cultured footballing team that surprised a few people in the post-Munich years. Eclipsed only by Tottenham’s 1960-61 double side.
Manager: Manlio Scopigno
Achievement: Italian Serie A champions 1969-70. Runners-up 1968-69. Five year league record: 9, 2, 1, 7, 4
Key men: Luigi Riva, powerful, legendary striker for Cagliari and Italy. Scored 21 goals in 1969-70; Enrico Albertosi, consistent goalkeeper for club and country; Angelo Domenghini, fast and agile striker with great technical ability.
Perception: A team that broke the northern stranglehold on Serie A and became a local legend on Sardinia.
Achievement: FA Cup winners 1926-27, Football League Runners-up 1923-24, FA Cup finalists 1924-25. Five year record: 2, 11, 16, 14, 6
Manager: Fred Stewart
Key men: Fred Keenor, a hard-tackling character a fiercely loyal to Cardiff City. A Welsh international; Len Davies, free-scoring forward from Splott; Hughie Ferguson, scored the winning goal in the 1927 FA Cup final against Arsenal.
Perception: The golden age of Cardiff City, taking the FA Cup out of England for the only time.
Celtic 1904-1910: David Adams, Don McLeod, William Strang, James Weir, Hugh Watson, Joseph Dodds, Daniel Munro, William Orr, Jim Young, James Hay, Alec McNair, John Graham, James McMenemy, William Loney, Alex Bennett, Edward Garry, Jimmy Quinn, Peter Somers, David Hamilton, Peter Johnstone, William Kivlichen.
Achievement: 1904-05 – Scottish League champions; 1905-06 Scottish League champions; 1906-07 – Scottish League champions and Scottish Cup winners; 1907-08 – Scottish League champions and Scottish Cup winners; 1908-09 – Scottish League champions; 1909-10 – Scottish League champions.
Manager: Willie Maley
Key men: Jimmy Quinn, free-scoring forward who switched from the wing to centre and scored 216 goals in 331 appearances for the club; Alex McNair, intelligent and composed right back who spent 21 years with Celtic; Jim Young, right half nicknamed “Sunny”; Jimmy McMenemy, nicknamed “Napoleon”, a long-serving forward who scored 144 goals in 456 games.
Perception: The dominant force in Scotland at the time, thanks to the consistent backbone of the team.
Ronnie Simpson, John Fallon, Evan Williams; Jim Craig, Tommy Gemmell, David Hay, Jim Brogan, Billy McNeill, John Clark; Bobby Murdoch, Bertie Auld, Willie Wallace, Jimmy Johnstone, Joe McBride; Steve Chalmers, Bobby Lennox, John Hughes, George Connelly.
Manager: Jock Stein
Achievement: Scottish League Champions 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70; Scottish Cup Winners 1966-67, 1968-69; Scottish League Cup Winners 1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68, 1968-69, 1969-70; European Cup Winners 1966-67. Five year record: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1.
Key men:Billy McNeill, commanding centre half and captain; Tommy Gemmell, attacking full back, good eye for goal; Jimmy Johnstone, tricky winger, known as “jinky”; Bertie Auld, midfielder or wide man, a big character.
Perception: Brilliant, attacking football, one of Britain’s best-ever teams.
Peter Bonetti, Ron Harris, Eddie McCreadie, John Boyle, John Dempsey, David Webb, Marvin Hinton, John Hollins, Alan Hudson, Charlie Cooke, Steve Kember, Peter Houseman, Tommy Baldwin, Chris Garland, Peter Osgood, Ian Hutchinson, Keith Weller.
Achievement: FA Cup winners 1970; European Cup-Winners’ Cup 1971; Football League Cup runners-up 1972. Five year record (68-72): 6 – 5 – 3 – 6 – 7
Manager: Dave Sexton
Key men: Peter Osgood, supremely skilful forward and a club legend; Charlie Cooke, outstanding dribbler; John Hollins, hard-working and reliable midfielder with an eye for goal; Alan Hudson, teenage prodigy in midfield.
Perception: Lacked the professionalism and drive to challenge for league honours, but a great cup side.
Charlie Thomson, Bill Robertson, Stan Willemse, Peter Sillett, Stan Wicks, Derek Saunders, Ron Greenwood, John Harris, Ken Armstrong, Seamus O’Connell, Johnny McNichol, Roy Bentley, Les Stubbs, Frank Blunstone, Jim Lewis, Eric Parsons.
Achievements: Football League champions 1954-55.
Manager: Ted Drake
Key men: Roy Bentley, England centre forward who netted 21 goals in the title-winning campaign; Eric Parsons, flying winger who had an outstanding season, known as “Rabbit”; Ken Armstrong, dependable right half; Peter Sillett, young full back.
Perception: A team for a season that failed to build on its success.
Peter Cech, Paulo Ferreira, Wayne Bridge, Asier Del Horno, Glen Johnson, John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho, William Gallas, Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard, Tiago, Michael Essien, Arjen Robben, Damien Duff, Joe Cole, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Mateja Kezman, Didier Drogba, Eidar Gudjohnsen, Hernan Crespo.
Achievements: Premier League Champions 2004-05, 2005-06; Football League Cup winners 2004-05. Five-record (2003-2008): 2 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 2
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Key men: Frank Lampard, goalscoring midfielder, very consistent; John Terry, old-style English central defender, inspirational leader; Michael Essien, bullish midfielder, tough and creative; Didier Drogba, awkward centre forward.
Perception: Wonderfully consistent, ruthless and focused.
Misael Escuti, Adan Goday, Raul Sanchez, Carlos Contreras, Eladio Rojas, Jamie Ramirez, Jorge Toro, Honorino Landa, Leonel Sanchez, Manuael Rodriguez, Armando Tobar, Carlos Campos, Sergio Navarro.
Achievement: Third place, World Cup 1962 (as hosts)
Manager: Fernando Riera
Key men: Leonel Sanchez, joint top scorer in the 1962 World Cup. Fractious left-sided forward with an eye for goal; Jorge Toro, attacking midfielder and dangerous in front of goal; Jaime Ramirez, a winger with great technique, fast. Nicknamed “Superclase”.
Perception: Tenacious side who made the most of their host status in 1962.
Claudio Bravo, Gary Medel, Francisco Silva, Marcelo Diaz, Mauricio Isla, Charles Aranguiz, Arturo Vidal, Jean Beausejour, Jorge Valdivia, Eduardo Vargas, Alexis Sánchez, Matias Fernandez, Angelo Henriquez, Gonzalo Jara, José Pedro Fuenzalida, Edson Puch, Nicolas Castillo.
Achievements: Copa America winners 2015 and 2016.
Manager: Jorge Sampaoli (2015), Juan Antonio Pizzi (2016)
Key men: Eduardo Vargas, quick and dynamic forward, capable of creativity and goals; Arturo Vidal, hard-working versatile midfielder; Alexis Sanchez, winger or forward, quick and busy.
Perception: Despite some outstanding players, lacked breadth of quality, hence failed to qualify for 2018 World Cup.
Manager: Johnny Haddow
Achievement: Scottish Cup winners 1957-58.
Key men:Harry Haddock, played 500-plus games at left back for Clyde and included in Scotland World Cup squad; Tommy Ring, outside left who scored winner in the 1955 cup final; John Coyle, a member of the 1958 Scotland squad for the World Cup. Scored frequently in second half of 1957-58 season.
Perception: Hard-working team that also finished fourth in the Scottish League and semi-final of the Scottish League Cup.
Achievement:FA Cup giant-killers 1970-71; Watney Cup winners 1971
Manager: Dick Graham
Key men:Ray Crawford, veteran former England striker plucked from non-league at the age of 34. Scored over 30 goals in 1970-71, including two against Leeds.
Perception:Pulled off one of the great FA Cup giant-killings in beating the mighty Leeds United. Beat West Brom in the short-lived Watney Cup in the next pre-season.
Danijel Subašić, Šime Vrsaliko, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida, Ivan Strinić, Marcelo Brizović, Ante Rebić, Luka Modrić, Ivan Perišić, Ivan Rakitić, Mario Mandžukić, Andrej Kramarić, Marko Pjaca, Vedran Ćorluka, Milan Badelj, Josip Pivarić.
Manager: Zlatko Dalić
Achievement: World Cup finalists 2018
Key men: Luka Modrić, hard-working and clever midfielder; Ivan Rakitić, a quick-passing midfielder with Barcelona, often under-rated; Ivan Perišić, covered more ground than any other player in the World Cup 2018.
Perception: Performed against the odds, beating hosts, Russia, and Argentina on the way to the final. An intelligent side, making the most of their strengths.
Crystal Palace 1980
John Burridge, Billy Gilbert, Peter Nicholas, Jim Cannon, Jerry Murphy, Kenny Sansom, Dave Swindlehurst, Vince Hilarie, Barry Silkman, Mike Elwiss, Tony Sealy, Ian Walsh, Steve Lovell, Nicky Chatterton.
Manager: Terry Venables
Achievement: Second Division champions 1978-79. Five year record: 3+,9+,1+, 13, 22.
+Football League Division Two.
Key men: Kenny Sansom, talented full back who went on to win 86 caps for England as an Arsenal player; Vince Hilaire, skilful midfielder.
Perception: Built on Palace’s FA Youth Cup-winning team of 1977 and 1978, an example of how hype can lead people getting carried away with expectation. Dubbed “team of the 80s”, the side never fulfilled its potential.
Czechoslavakia 1960-62: Viliam Schrojf, Jirí Tichy, Ján Popluhár, Svatopluk Pluskal, Ladislav Novák, Tomáš Pospichal, Titus Bubernik, František Šafránek, Andrej Kvašnák, Josef Masopust, Pavol Molnár, Josef Jelínek, Adolf Scherer, Vlatimil Bubnik, Milan Dolinsky, Josef Kadraba.
Achievement:European Championship 1960 third place, World Cup runners-up 1962.
Manager: Rudolf Vytlačil
Key men:Ladislav Novak, captain and defender, reliable and strong. 75 caps; Josef Masopust, supremely skilful and European Footballer of the Year in 1962.
Perception:Very talented, highly-skilled team.
Czechoslavakia 1976: Ivo Viktor, Anton Ondruš, Ján Pivarnik, Koloman Gögh, Jozef Čapkovič, Karol Dobiaš, Jozef Móder, Antonin Panenka, Marian Masny, Zdenêk Nehoda, Ján Švehlík, Ladislav Jurkemik, František Vesely.
Achievement: European Championship winners 1976
Manager: Václav Ježek
Key men: Zdenêk Nehoda, striker/winger who netted a goal every three games. Played for Dukla and then went to play in Belgium, France and Germany later in his career; Marián Masny, skilful winger, rated among the world’s best, from Slovan Bratislava; Antonin Panenka, attacking midfielder, famous for his jinked penalty that won the Euros.
Perception: Surprise winners of the Euros, but skilful in attack. Inconsistent.
Troels Rasmussen, Ole Qvist, John Sivebaek, Morten Olsen, Søren Busk, Ivan Nielsen, Henrik Andersen, Frank Arnesen, Jens Bertelsen, Klaus Berggreen, Søren Lerby, Michael Laudrup, Preben Elkjaer, Jesper Olsen, Jan Mølby, John Eriksen, Allan Simonson
Achievement: Euro 1984 Semi-final; World Cup round of 16 1986
Manager: Sepp Piontek
Key men: Michael Laudrup, wonderfully skilful forward, tricky and clever; Frank Arnesen, polished midfielder; Morten Olsen, calm in defence.
Perception: Free-flowing, skilful football team that should have achieved more. An 1980s version of Total Football. Defining moment, 6-1 against Uruguay in Mexico 1986.
Deportivo La Coruna 1999-00
Jacques Songo’o, Emrique Romero, Noureddine Naybet, Gabriel Schuerrer, Victor Sanchez, Mauro Silva, Donato, Manuel Pablo, Djalminha, Flavio Conceicao, Slaviska Conceicao, Slaviska Jokanovik, Fran, Jaime, Fernando, Lionel Scaloni, Roy Makaay, Turu Flores, Pauleta.
Achievement: La Liga champions 1999-00; Five year record: 12 – 6 – 1 – 2 – 2
Manager: Javier Irureta
Key men: Roy Makaay, free-scoring Dutch striker, 22 goals in 99-00. 43 Dutch caps. Djalminha, eccentric Brazilian attacking midfielder. Mauro Silva, Brazilian holding midfielder.
Perception: Expensively assembled multi-national team that challenged the big two in Spain. Played extravagant football at times.
Derby County 1971-1975
Colin Boulton, Rob Webster, Peter Daniel, David Nish, Rod Thomas, John Robson, Terry Hennessey, Roy McFarland, Colin Todd, Bruce Rioch, Alan Durban, Archie Gemmill, John McGovern, Alan Hinton, Henry Newton, John O’Hare, Kevin Hector, Francis Lee, Roger Davies
Achievement: Football League champions 1971-72 and 1974-75
Manager: Brian Clough (1972), Dave Mackay (1975)
Key men: Roy McFarland, towering centre half and skipper; Colin Todd, cultured defender; Archie Gemmill, tenacious midfielder; Kevin Hector, legendary striker.
Perception: Good footballing side schooled by Brian Clough. Played the game the right way.
Dinamo Bucharest 1961-65
Ilie Datcu, Iulius Cezer Ut, Dumitru Ivan, Ion Nunweiler, Cornel Popa, Vasile Alexandru, Constantin Stefean, Vasile Anghel, Haralambie Eftimie, Constantin Fratila, Ion Pircalab, Ion Tircovnicu, Gheorghe Ene, Aurel Ungurolu, Iosif Varga, Emil Petru, Octavian Popescu, Radu Nunweiler.
Achievement: Romanian champions 1961-62, 1962-63, 1963-64, 1964-65. Romanian cup winners 1963-64.
Manager: Traian Ionescu, Constantin Teasca, Dumitru Nicolae, Angelo Niculescu
Key men: Ion Nunweiler, one of five brothers, a tough defender who won 40 caps for Romania. Radu Nunweiler, central midfielder. Constantin Fratila, small free-scoring forward.
Perception: Powerful and robust unit built on strong defence. First Romanian double winners.
Dinamo Tbilisi 1978-1981
Otar Gabelia, Tamaz Kostava, Aleksandre Chivadze, Nodar Khizanishvili, Giori Tavadza, Vitaly Daraselia, Zaur Svanadze, Tengiz Sulakvelidze, Vladimir Gutsaev, David Kipiani, Ramaz Shegelia, Nugzar Kakilasjvili, Shota Khinchagashvili, David Mujiri, Munachar Machaidze, Vakhtang Koridze, Gocha Machaidze, Vakhtang Koridze
Manager: Nodar Akhalkatsi
Achievements: Soviet League champions 1978, Soviet Cup winners 1979, European Cup-Winners’ Cup winners 1980-81
Key men: Ramaz Shengelia, USSR international striker and USSR player of the year in 1978n and 1981. Skilful and prolific. David Kipiani, elegant midfielder with good dribbling and passing skills. Vitaly Daraselia, energetic midfielder who died tragically young in 1982.
Perception: Georgian team capable of stunning football played at pace.
Pat Liney, Robert Slater, Bobby Cox, Alex Hamilton, Bobby Seith, Ian Ure, Alex Stuart, George Ryden, Andy Penman, Gordon Smith, Hugh Robertson, Bobby Wishart, Ken Cameron, Doug Houston, Alan Gilzean, Alan Cousin.
Achievement: Scottish League champions 1961-62; European Cup semi-finalists 1962-63, Scottish Cup finalists 1963-64
Manager: Bob Shankly
Key men: Alan Gilzean, skilful and aggressive striker; Ian Ure, powerful defender; Alan Cousin, tricky forward known as the “king of the double shuffle”.
Perception: Tenacious, skilful team considered to be the best produced in Scotland between 1945 and 1961. Bucked the old firm trend.
Dundee United 1982-83: Hamish McAlpine, Derek Stark, Maurice Malpas, Richard Gough, Paul Hegarty,Dave Narey, Eamonn Bannon, Ralph Milne, Billy Kirkwood, Paul Sturrock, Davie Dodds, Iain Phillip, John Reilly, John Holt.
Achievement: Scottish League champions 1982-83 Five year record: 3, 3, 1, 3, 3
Manager: Jim McLean
Key men: Richard Gough, commanding central defender; Eamonn Bannon, skilful playmaker who had a brief spell in England; Davie Dodds, 22-goal target man.
Perception: Unlikely but deserving champions who also made a mark in Europe in the 1980s.
Dynamo Moscow 1945
Aleksey Khomich, Vsevolod Radikorsyky, Mikhail Semichastny, Boris Stankevich,Vsevolod Blinkov, Leonid Solovyov, Yevgenly Arkhangeslsky, Vasiliy Kartsev, Konstantin Beskov, Vsevolod Bobrov, Sergey Solovyov, Vasiliy Trofimov, Boris Oreshkin
Achievement: Russian spring champions 1945, 1949 Unbeaten on tour of England in 1945.
Manager: Mikhail Yakushin
Key men: Aleksey “Tiger” Khomich, brave goalkeeper with superb reflexes; Konstantin Beskov, prolific striker who later managed USSR; Vsevolod Bobrov, striker who turned to Ice Hockey.
Perception: Highly skilled and fit team that went on an ambassadorial tour of the UK in 1945, winning friends and showing the world a different brand of football.
East Germany 1974
Juergen Croy, Lothar Kurbjuweit, Bernd Bransch, Konrad Weise, Hans-Juergen Kreischem Siegmar Waetzlich, Reinhard Lauckm Juergen Sparwasser, Harald Irmscher, Gerd Kische, Martin Hoffmann, Joachim Fritsche, Joachim Streich, Erich Hamann, Juergen Pommerkenke, Peter Ducke, Eberhard Vogel.
Manager: Georg Buschner
Achievements: Olympic Games 1972 bronze medal, World Cup 1974 second stage
Key men: Juergen Croy, goalkeeper with outstanding reflexes, named GDR player of the year 1972, 1976 and 1978. Joachim Streich, striker capped 98 times by the GDR, scoring 53 goals. Juergen Sparwasser, scorer of the goal that beat West Germany in 1974 World Cup.
Perception: An outstanding eastern bloc team that came to fruition in the 1972-74 period. Functional, but also capable of highly technical football.
Horace Bailey, Bob Crompton, Walter Corbett, Jesse Pennington, Ben Warren, Billy Wedlock, Bob Hawkes, Jock Rutherford, Vivien J Woodward, George Hilsdon, Jimmy Windridge, Frank Bradshaw, Arthur Bridgett.
Manager: England selection committee
Key men: George Hildson, nicknamed “gatling gun” for his sharp-shooting, scored eight on the European tour in four games; Vivien J Woodward, a gentleman amateur, skilful and sporting; Billy Wedlock, stout centre half, known for his power. Nicknamed “fatty” or “the India rubber man”.
Achievement: Home International champions, 1908; GB XI winners of Olympic gold medal 1908; Unbeaten on first Continental European tour, 1908, goal-difference of 28-2.
Perception: Skilful team with devastating forwards. Ahead of the field in Europe.
Frank Swift, Laurie Scott, John Howe, Billy Wright, Neil Franklin, Henry Cockburn, Stanley Matthews, Stanley Mortensen, Tommy Lawton, Wilf Mannion, Tom Finney, George Hardwick, Stan Pearson, Raich Carter.
Key men:Frank Swift, giant keeper with a handspan of almost 12 inches. Tragically died in the 1958 Munich crash; Billy Wright, dependable and skilful defender, first England player to win 100 caps; Stanley Matthews, legendary figure in the English game, excellent close control and dribbling; Tom Finney, named by Bill Shankly (a team mate at Preston) as the greatest to have played the game.
Achievement: 1947-48 Home International champions; beat Italy, reigning world champions, in Turin 4-0.
Perception: An ageing collection of players whose careers were impacted by war, but some of the great post-war names from English football.
Gordon Banks, George Cohen, Ray Wilson, Nobby Stiles, Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, Alan Ball, Roger Hunt, Bobby Charlton, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Jimmy Greaves, Ian Callaghan, John Connelly, Terry Paine
Manager: [Sir] Alf Ramsey
Achievements: World Cup winners 1966
Key men: Bobby Charlton, winger turned midfielder, fierce shot. Ambassador of the game. Bobby Moore, cultured defender, immaculate timing. Geoff Hurst, tall inside forward who netted a hat-trick in the World Cup final. Gordon Banks, occasionally spectacular but mostly safe and reliable goalkeeper.
Perception: Often underated world champions whose style didn’t endear them to the media at the time. Reputation had grown with time and a realisation that it was a unique occasion.
Alberto Jose Poletti, Oscar Malbernat, Ramon Aguirre Suarez, Raul Madero, Jose Hugo Medina, Carlos Bilardo, Carlos Pachame, Nestor Togneri, Felipe Ribaudo, Marcos Conigliaro, Juan Ramon Veron, Juan Echecopar, Christian Rudzki, Errea, Ruben Paganini, Jorge Solari.
Manager: Oscar Zubeldia
Achievements: Argentine champions 1967; Libertadores Cup winners 1968, 1969, 1970; Intercontinental Cup winners 1968.
Key men: Juan Ramon Veron, known as “the witch”, a highly technical player who could line-up in midfield or up front. Prolific scorer. Carlos Bilardo, midfielder anchor, tenacious. Carlos Pachame, fearsome battler in midfield.
Perception: Very skilful team, too often distracted by over robust tactics.
Everton 1931-33: Ted Sagar, Billy Cook, Warney Cresswell, Ben Williams, Jock Thomson, Charlie Gee, Archie Clark, Cliff Britton, Ted Critchley, Albert Geldard, Tommy White, Jimmy Dunn, Dixie Dean, Tommy Johnson, Jimmy Stein.
Achievement: Football League Champions 1931-32, FA Cup winners 1932-33.
Manager: Tom McIntosh
Key men: Dixie Dean, 45 goals in 1931-32, excellent in the air and a legend of the inter-war years; Tommy Johnson, 22 goals in 1931-32, powerful left foot; Cliff Britton, classy playmaker signed from Bristol Rovers.
Perception: Free-scoring, powerful team.
Everton 1962-63: Gordon West, Alex Parker, Mick Meagan, George Thomson, Jimmy Gabriel, Brian Labone, Brian Harris, Alex Scott, Dennis Stevens, Tony Kay, Alex Young, Roy Vernon, Billy Bingham, Johnny Morrissey
Manager: Harry Catterick
Key men: Alex Young, creative midfielder known as “the golden vision”; Roy Vernon, heavy smoking inside forward, prolific in front of goal; Jimmy Gabriel, powerful midfielder, adding grit to the defence.
Achievement: Football League champions 1962-63. Five-year record: 5 – 4- 1 – 3- 4
Perception: Skilful team that combined flair with a certain hard edge.
Achievement: Football League champions 1969-70, FA Cup finalists 1968. Five year record: 5, 3, 1, 14, 15
Manager: Harry Catterick
Key men: Alan Ball, England World Cup winner, foraging midfielder; Joe Royle, young striker, superb in the air; Brian Labone, England centre half.
Perception: Exciting team that finished nine points ahead of Leeds United to win the title. Failed to build on success.
Fenerbahçe 1967-68: Yavuz Simsek, Hazim Cantez, Levent Engineri, Yilmaz Sen, Sukrü Birand, Numan Okumus, Özcan Köksoy, Selim Soydan, Fuat Saner, Ziya Sengüi, Ogün Altiparmak, Yasar Mumcuoglu, Nedim Dögan, Abdullah Çevrin, Erdinç Sandalci, Can Bartu.
Achievements: Turkish League champions 1967-68, Turkish Cup winners 1967-68.
Manager: Ignác Molnár
Key men: Yilmaz Sen, strong central defender, 24 years old, capped 18 times by Turkey; Ogün Altiparmak, leading scorer, two spells with the club. 32 caps for Turkey.
Perception: Defence-orientated team, conceding just 12 goals in the league.
Achievements: Hungarian champions 1925-26, 1926-27, 1927-28. Runners-up 1928-29, 1929-30; Magyar Kupa winners 1926-27, 1927-28; Mitropa Cup winners 1927-28.
Manager: Istvan Toth
Key men: Márton Bukovi, defender who went on to become an innovative coach who helped develop the 4-2-4 formation; József Takács, prolific goalscorer from Budapest who won 32 caps for Hungary.
Perception: Fast, attacking team who scored 26 goals in six games to win the Mitropa Cup.
Ferencváros 1964-68: István Géczi, Dezsö Novak, Sándor Mátrai, László Horvath, István Juhász, Pál Orosz, Janos Orosz, Janos Karaba, Zoltán Varga, Flórian Albert, Gyula Rákosi, Máte Fenyvesi, Miklós Páncsics, Sándor Havasi, Lajus Szöke, László Balint, Sándo Katona
Achievements: 1964 Hungarian League champions, 1964-65 Inter-Cities Fairs’ Cup winners; 1965 Hungarian League runners-up, 1966 Hungarian League runners-up, 1965-66 Hungarian Cup finalists; 1967 Hungarian League champions; 1968 Hungarian League champions, 1967-68 Inter-Cities Fairs’ Cup finalists.
Managers: József Mészáros, Oszkár Vilezsál, Sándor Tátri, Károle Lakat.
Key men: Flórian Albert, elegant midfielder who was named European Footballer of the Year in 1967. Nicknamed “the emperor”; Zoltán Varga, much-travelled midfielder who won Olympic gold; Gyula Rákosi, midfielder who played in World Cups and Olympics.
Perception: Tough, cultured team, difficult to beat in Hungary.
Feyenoord 1970: Eddie Pieters Graafland, Piet Romeijn, Theo Laseroms, Rinus Israël, Theo van Duivenbode, Wim Jansen, Franz Hasil, Wim van Hanegem, Henk Wery, Ove Kindvall, Coen Moulijn, Guus Haak, Ruud Geels.
Achievements: 1968-69 Eredivisie champions, KNVB Cup winners; 1969-70 European Cup winners; 1970-71 Eredivisie champions.
Manager: Ernst Happel
Key men: Rinus Israël, nicknamed “Iron Rinus” for his solid defending, captain of the team and Dutch international (47 caps); Wim van Hanegem, superb passer of the ball, strong tackler and very tactical in his play, one of the Netherlands’ greatest players; Ove Kindvall, Swedish striker who was the first non-Dutch leading scorer in the Eredivisie (1969, 1970, 1971). Scored winning goal in European Cup final 1970.
Perception: Less celebrated exponents of a more pragmatic style of “Total Football” but an excellent team that confounded the odds by winning the European Cup against highly-fancied Celtic.
Fiorentina 1955-1957: Giuliano Sarti, Ardico Magnini, Sergio Cervato, Guiseppe Chiappella, Francesco Rosetta, Armando Segato, Alberto Orzan, Julinho, Guido Gratton, Giuseppe Virgili, Miguel Montuori, Maurilio Prini
Achievements: 1955-56, Serie A champions; 1956-57 Serie A runners-up, European Cup finalists; 1957-78 Serie A runners-up; 1958-59 Serie A runners-up; 1959-60 Serie A runners-up.
Manager: Fulvio Bernardini
Key men: Giuliano Sarti, excellent goalkeeper who went on to star in the Grand Inter team of the mid-1960s; Julinho, Brazilian who was one of the great right wingers in history; Miguel Montuori, Argentinian-born forward whose career was plagued by injuries.
Perception: An exciting team with outstanding individuals in Julinho and Montuori. Lost just one game in 1955-56 and were unlucky to come up against all-conquering Real Madrid in the European Cup final 1957.
First Vienna 1930-1933: Karl Horeschovsky, Karl Rainer, Josef Blum, Willi Schmaus, Leopold Hofmann, Leonhard Machu, Anton Brosenbauer, Josef Adelbrecht, Fritz Gschwéidl, Gustav Tögel, Franz Erdl.
Achievements: Austrian Champions 1931 and 1933; Austrian Cup winners 1930; Mitropa Cup winners 1931.
Manager: Ferdinand Frithum
Key men:Josef Blum, uncompromising defender and captain, won 51 caps for Austria; Leopold Hofmann, spent 15 years with the club, a skilful half-back who played in the 1934 World Cup. Won 27 caps for Austria. Josef Aldebrecht, much-travelled forward.
Perception: Early adopters of the Danubian style.
Achievements: Campeanato Brasileiro Série A winners 1980, 1982, 1983; Libertadores Cup winners 1981; Campeanato Carioca (Rio state championship) 1981. World Club champions (Intercontinental Cup) 1981.
Manager: Paulo César Capegiani
Key men: Zico, the “white Pele” who won over 70 caps for Brazil. Attacking midfielder, two-footed and a free-kick specialist; Júnior, attacking left-sided full back who could play in midfield; Leandro, one of Brazil’s all-time great defenders, a right wing-back with good dribbling skills.
Perception: Attacking team who enjoyed their best ever season in 1981. Packed with talent and typical Brazilian skill.
Achievements: Western Germany Champions 1931; German Championship winners 1933.
Manager: Heinz Körner
Key men:Paul Janes, one of the best full backs of his era, alsoplayed sweeper. Techniclaly brilliant, he was one of the first players to perform the bicycle kick; Jakob Bender, midfielder who played in the 1934 World Cup for Germany; Georg Hochsegang, veteran forward, also an international; Stanislaus Kobierski, forward who scored Germany’s first ever goal in the World Cup.
Perception: Underdogs who won the German championship against FC Schalke.
France 1982-1986: Joël Bats, Patrick battiston, Yvon Le Roux, Maxime bossis, Marius Tresor, Gerard Janvion, Jean-François Domergue, Luis Fernández, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana, Michel Platini, Bernard Lacombe, Bruno Bellone, Manuel Amoros, Christian Lopez, Dominique Rocheteau, Bernard Genghini, Didier Six, William Ayache, Yannick Stopyra.
Achievements: World Cup semi-finalists 1982 and 1986; European Championship winners 1984.
Manager: Michael Hidalgo, Henri Michel
Key men: Michel Platini, one of the all-time greats. Skilful, elegant, strategic and an eye for goal, along with superb dead-ball ability; Alain Giresse, attacking or central midfielder who acted as a playmaker and possessed pace and stamina; Jean Tigana, box-to-box midfielder with great movement, pace, defensive ability and teamwork ethic.
Perception: Wonderful midfield, marshalled by Platini. Flowing, dynamic football.
France 1998-2000: Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thurum, Frank Leboeuf, Marcel Desailly, Bixente Lizaru, Didier Deschamps, Christian Karembeu, Emmanuel Petit, Zinedine Zidane, Youri Djorkaeff, Stephane Guivarc’h, Patrick Vieira, Christoph Dugarry, Laurent Blanc, Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires.
Achievements:World Cup winners 1998, European Championship winners 2000.
Managers: Aimé Jacquet, Roger Lemerre
Key men: Zinedine Zidane, one of the finest players of his generation. Elegant playmaker and attacking midfielder with an eye for goal; Didier Deschamps, intelligent and hard-working defensive midfielder and captain; Marcel Desailly, powerful sweeper/central defender born in Ghana.
Perception:Exciting, skilful side with superb individuals.
France 2018: Hugo Lloris, Benjamin Pavard, Raphaël Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kanté, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Blaise Matuidi, Olivier Giroud, Steven Nzonzi, Corentin Tolisso, Nabil Fakir.
Achievements: 2016 European Championship finalists; 2018 World Cup winners.
Manager: Didier Deschamps
Key men: Paul Pogba, tall, powerful midfielder, skilful but often temperamental; N’Golo Kanté, busy, hard-working midfielder who provides link between defence and attack; Kylian Mbappe, young striker brimming with skill and goal power.
Perception: The best side in an entertaining World Cup in Russia.
Górnik Zabrze 1964-1967: Hubert Kostka, Stefan Florenski, Jan Kowalski, Roman Lentner, Włodzimierz Lubanski, Jerzy Musiałek, Edward Olszowska, Stanisław Oslizło,Ernest Pohl, Waldemar Słomiany, Erwin Wilczek, Zygfryd Szołtysik, Jan Gomola, Rainer Kuchta, Norbert Gwosdek, Alfred Olek.
Achievements: Polish League champions 1964-65, 1965-66, 1966-67; Polish Cup winners 1964-65.
Manager: Ferenc Farsang, Władyslaw Giergiel, Geza Kalocsai.
Key men: Włodzimierz Lubanski, fast and prolific in front of goal. Injury robbed him of a place in Poland’s 1974 World Cup team. Second highest scorer for Polish national team; Hubert Kostka, goalkeeper who placed for the national team for a decade; Zygfryd Szołtysik, diminutive midfielder nicknamed “Zyga”, won 46 caps for Poland.
Perception: Fast-moving team, fearsome on their own patch.
Achievements: Swiss League champions 1936-37, Swiss Cup winners 1936-37, Swiss Cup winners 1937-38
Manager: Karl Rappan
Key men: Willy Huber, strong goalkeeper who played in two World Cups for Switzerland, winning 16 caps; Severino Minelli, one of the first sweepers, a calm defender who won 80 caps in a long career with Grasshopper; Alfred Bickel, tough striker who played 71 times for Switzerland.
Perception: Innovative team coached by Rappan, early adopters of catenaccio system “the bolt” and use of sweepers.
Great Britain Olympic XI 1912: Ronald Brebner, Thomas Burn, Arthur Knight, Joseph Dines, Edward Hanney, Henry Littlewort, Doug McWhirter, Harold Stamper, Gordon Wright, Harold Walden, Vivien Woodward, Arthur Berry, Gordon Hoare, Ivan Sharpe.
Achievements: Olympic Gold medal, 1912 in Stockholm.
Key men: Ivan Sharpe, fast winger who went on to become a leading football writer; R.G. Brebner, outstanding goalkeeper who sadly signed two years on from a head injury sustained in a football match; Harold Walden, goalscoring forward to was later a music hall star.
Perception: Cultured team, full of the Corinthian spirit.
Greece 2004: Antonios Nikopolidis, Giourkas Seitaridis, Michalis Kapsis, Traianos Dellas, Takis Fyssas, Kostas Katsouranis, Theodoros Zagorakis, Angelos Basinas, Angelos Charisteas, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Zisis Vryzas, Stylianos Venetidis, Dimitris Papadopoulos.
Achievements:European Championship winners 2004
Manager: Otto Rehhagel
Key men: Angelos Charisteas, tall striker who scored the winning goal in the final against Portugal, won more than 80 caps for Greece; Theodoros Zagorakis, captain of the team – a battling, industrious midfielder; Antonios Nikopolidis, one of the best Greek goalkeepers of all time and absolutely vital during Euro 2004.
Perception: Dour side, pragmatic and made best of limited resources. Shock winners.
Grêmio 1994-1996: Danrlei, Francisco Arce, Adilson Batista, Roger, Catino Rivarolo, Goianio, Carlos Miguel, Arílson, Paulo Nunes, Jardel, Alexandre Gaucho, Nildo, Dinho, Luciano Dias.
Achievements: Copa Brasil 1994, Copa Libertadores 1995, Brazil Série A champions 1996.
Manager: Luiz Felipe Scolari
Key men: Catino Rivarolo, sought-after Paraguayan defender; Paulo Nunes, prolific scorer signed from Flamengo, two caps for Brazil, formed a powerful partnership with Jardel; Jardel, another excellent scorer with good positional ability who later had a good career with Porto, topping Europe’s goalscoring charts for three seasons.
Perception: Skilful, fast attacking team with superb individuals.
Hamburg 1978-79: Rudolf Kargus, Manny Kaltz, Peter Nogly, Ivan Buljan, Peter Hidien, Kevin Keegan, Jimmy Hartwig, Casper Memering, Horst Bertl, Felix Magath, Horst Hrubesch, Willi Ramann, Bernd Wehmeyer.
Achievement: Bundesliga champions 1978-79, European Cup runners-up 1979-80, Bundesliga runners-up 1979-80, 1980-81.
Manager: Branko Zebec
Key men: Kevin Keegan, buzzing forward, high work rate and team play. England captain. Felix Magath, captained the team, central and attacking midfielder, tough and capable of fierce shooting. Manny Kaltz, right back who possessed excellent crossing ability. Penalty taker. Horst Hrubesch, old fashioned centre forward, good in the air and tough for defenders to mark.
Perception: Attacking team, well-drilled and fit.
Gordon Marshall, Wilson Brown, John Lough, Bobby Kirk, Tom Mackenzie, Bobby Parker, George Thomson, Jimmy Milne, Billy Higgins, Andy Bowman, Davie Mackay, John Cumming, Ian Crawford, Jimmy Wardhaugh, Bobby Blackwood, Johnny Hamilton, Alex Young, Willie Bauld, Jimmy Murray.
Achievement: 1955-56 Scottish Cup winners; 1956-57 Scottish League runners-up; 1957-58 Scottish League champions, Scottish League Cup winners; 1958-59 Scottish League runner-up, Scottish League Cup winners; 1959-60 Scottish League champions.
Manager: Tommy Walker
Key men: Davie Mackay, tough, uncompromising midfield/half back who became one of the legends of the post-war game. 22 caps for Scotland, joined Spurs in 1959 where he won the fabled ‘double’; Alex Young, the ‘golden vision’, a talented forward who went on to play for Everton; Jimmy Wardhaugh, an excellent goalscorer who had sublime dribbling skills. 206 goals in 303 league games for Hearts.
Perception: Tough, fast-moving team, one of Scotland’s best teams of the 1950s.
Tommy Younger, John Grant, Hugh Howie, John Ogilvie, Bobby Combe, Archie Buchanan, Jock Paterson, Pat Ward, Eddie Turnbull, Gordon Smith, Bobby Johnstone, Lawrie Reilly, Willie Ormond, Tommy McDonald, James Mulkerrin.
Achievement: 1949-50 Scottish League runners-up; 1950-51 Scottish League champions; 1951-52 Scottish League champions; 1952-53 Scottish League runners-up.
Manager: Hugh Shaw
Key men: Lawrie Reilly, long-serving forward who won 38 caps for Scotland, scoring 22 goals; Bobby Johnstone, inside forward who enjoyed success at Hibs and Manchester City, possessed elegant ball control; Willie Ormond, left-winger who played over 500 games for Hibs, going on to manage the Scottish national team later in life.
Perception: Exciting team that was built around a superb five-man forward line, ‘the famous five’.
Hungary 1938: Antal Szabô, Sándor Bíró, Gyula Polgár, Gyula Lázár, Antal Szalay, György Szücs, Gyula Zsengellér, Jenõ Vincze, Pál Titkos, György Sárosi, Ferenc Sas, Vilmos Kohut, Geza Toldi, Lajos Koranyi, Istvan Balogh.
Achievement: World Cup finalists 1938
Manager: Alfréd Schaffer
Key men: György Sárosi, outstanding footballer who was versatile and very tehnical. Played for Ferencvaro and won 62 caps, scoring 42 goals for Hungary. Captained the team that finished second in the 1938 World Cup. Gyula Zsengellér, Ujpest striker, top scorer in Hungary for five years. Also had a successful and long managerial career.
Perception: Attacking, often overlooked team. Very technical.
Independiente 1964-1965: Miguel Ángel Santoro, Héctor Zerrillo, Thomás Rolan, Roberto Ferreiro, David Acevedo, Jorge Maldonado, Raúl Bernao, Osvaldo Mura, Luis Suárez, Mario Rodriguez, Raúl Savoy, Juan C. Guzmán, Prospitti, Roque Avallay, Rubén Navarro, Raul Decario, Jose Paflik, Vicente De La Mata Jr.
Achievements: 1963 Primera División; 1964 Copa Libertadores; 1965 Copa Libertadores
Manager: Manuel Giúdice
Key men: Mario Rodriguez, goalscoring forward who was strong and powerful. Won 10 caps for Argentina; Raúl Savoy, much-travelled forward, who was prolific in front of goal, known as “Raulito”; Jorge Maldonado, captain and midfield dynamo, tough holding player.
Perception: Well organised, strong defence with an indomitable team spirit.
Inter Milan 1962-1966: Lorenzo Buffon, Guiliano Sarti, Tarcisio Burgnich, Giacinto Facchetti, Carlo Tagnin, Franco Zaglio, Gianfranco Bedin, Aristide Guarneri, Saul Malatrasi, Armando Picchi, Angelo Domenghini, Jair, Joaquin Peiró, Sandro Mazzola, Beniamino Di Giacomo, Luis Suárez, Mario Corso, Humberto Machio, Aurelio Milani
Achievement: Serie A champions 1962-63, 1964-65, 1965-66; European Cup winners 1963-64, 1964-65. Runners-up 1966-67.
Manager: Helenio Herrera
Key men: Giacinto Facchetti, one of the first and best attacking full backs, discliplined, great stamina, elegant and hard-working. National team manager, winning 94 caps. Powerful shot and excellent crosser of the ball; Sandro Mazzola, 70 caps for Italy. Quick, skilful and versatile midfidlder. Son of Valentino Mazzola of the great Torino side that perished in air crash; Angelo Domenghini, winger or striker. Excellent technical ability and speed.
Perception: The “grande Inter” team that used catenaccio to devastating effect, thanks to the intense methods of Helenio Herrera.
Inter Milan 1988-89: Walter Zenga, Giuseppe Bwergomi, Andreas Brehme, Gianfranco Mattedi, Ricardo Ferri, Andrea Mandorlini, Bianchi Alessandro, Nicola Berti, Ramón Diaz, Lothar Matthäus, Aldo Serena, Giuseppe Baresi, Conrdado Verdelli.
Achievements: Serie A winners 1988-89 Five-year record: 3 – 5 – 1 – 3 – 3
Key men: Walter Zenga, consistent and athletic goalkeeper, great shot-stopper. 58 caps for Italy; Ramón Diaz, a contemporary of Maradona in Argentina, goalscorer signed from Fiorentina, 22 caps for Argentina; Lothar Matthäus, strong, powerful German midfielder, World Cup winner in 1990. Joined from Bayern Munich in 1984.
Manager: Giovanni Trapattoni.
Perception: Record breaking team (58 points), had the goalscoring ability that fought off the challenge of Napoli and AC Milan.
Achievement: Football League Champions 1961-62.
Manager: Alf Ramsey
Key men: Ray Crawford, prolific goalscoring centre forward, good in the air. Capped twice by England in a long, much-travelled career. Ted Phillips, striker who scored 150 goals in 250 games for Ipswich. A Suffolk man who packed a punch with his dead ball skills. Jimmy Leadbetter, experienced winger who acted a a winthdrawn midfielder, thus paving the way for Ramsey’s “wingless wonders” of the 1966 World Cup.
Perception: A short-lived team that played beyond its ability to win the title, thanks to Ramsey’s inventive approach.
Ipswich Town 1980-81: Paul Cooper, George Burley, Mick Mills, Terry Butcher, Russell Osman, Arnold Mühren, John Wark, Frans Thijjsen, Eric Gates, Paul Mariner, Alan Brazil, Steve McCall, Kevin O’Callaghan.
Achievement: UEFA Cup winners 1980-81, FA Cup semi-finalists 1980-81, Football League runners-up 1980-81. Five year record: 6 – 3- 2 – 2 – 9
Manager: Bobby Robson
Key men: Terry Butcher, towering centre half who became a pivotal figure in the England squad. John Wark, outstanding midfielder who score over 30 goals in 1980-81. Arnold Mühren, elegant Dutch midfielder signed from Twente. Won the European Cup with Ajax in 1973. Frans Thijjsen, superb Dutch midfielder also signed from Twente, won 14 caps for his country and spent four years with Ipswich before joining Nottingham Forest.
Perception: An excellent footballing team whose resources were stretched as they competed on all fronts. Arguably a better team than the Villa side that pipped them to the title in 1981.
Italy 1934: Gianpiero Combi, Eraldo Monzeglio, Luigi Allemandi, Attilio Ferraris, Luis Monti, Luigi Bertolini, Enrique Guaita, Guiseppe Meazza, Giovanni Ferrari, Raimundo Orsi, Angelo Schiavio, Felice Borel, Armando Castellazzi, Mario Pizziola
Achievement: World Cup winners 1934.
Manager: Vittorio Pozzo
Key men: Raimundo Orsi, Argentinian-born winger, quick left-footed, excellent dribbler with sublime technical ability; Giuseppe Meazza, tricky forward, capable of mazy runs and dancing a decent tango! A great character who played for Inter, AC Milan and Juventus; Luis Monti, another Argentinian-born, strong tackling defensive midfielder.
Perception: Tough, fast-moving team with a high level of skill.
Italy 1968: Dino Zoff, Giacinto Facchetti, Tarcisio Burgnich, Aristide Guarneri, Ernesto Castano, Giovanni Lodetti, Giorgio Ferrini, Antonio Juliano, Sandro Mazzola, Angelo Domenghini, Pierino Prati, Pietro Anastasi, Luigi Riva.
Manager: Ferruccio Valcareggi
Achievement: European Championship winners 1968, beating Yugoslavia in the final and the USSR in the semi-final. In the previous rounds, overcome Bulgaria, Romania, Switzerland and Cyprus.
Key men: Pierino Prati, AC Milan forward who was opportunistic in front of goal. Strong all-round player, good in the air and full of pace – could also play on the wing; Dino Zoff, imposing goalkeeper who was pragmatic rather than flamboyant. Played for Napoli from 1967 to 1972 before joining Juventus. Won the World Cup in 1982 during a 112-cap career with Italy; Giacinto Facchetti, Inter Milan and Italy skipper who played 94 times for Italy and made over 600 appearances for Inter. Combined pace, stamina and power to become one of the best full backs in the world.
Perception: Defence-minded team, hard to beat, strategically savvy.
Italy 1982: Dino Zoff, Gaetano Scirea, Claudio Gentile, Fulvio Collovati, Giuseppe Bergomi, Antonio Cabrini, Gabriele Oriali, Marco Tardelli, Bruno Conti, Francesco Graziani, Paolo Rossi, Giancarlo Antognoni, Gianpiero Marini, Alessandro Altobelli
Achievement: World Cup winners 1982, European Championship fourth place 1980.
Manager: Enzo Bearzot
Key men: Dino Zoff, imposing goalkeeper, unspectacular but reliable and steady. One of the all-time great keepers (112 caps) and captain of the Italian team; Claudio Gentile, Tripoli-born hard man, tough, tenacious and uncompromising, 71 caps for Italy; Marco Tardelli, hard-tackling but skilful midfielder with a powerful shot. 81 caps; Paolo Rossi, returned from a ban to become leading scorer and player of the tournament in the 1982 World Cup. Quick, agile and prolific.
Perception: Not necessarily the best team in 1982, but a focused side that came to its peak in the competition.
Italy 2006: Gianluigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Gianluca Zambrotta, Andrea Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Marco Matterazzi, Fabio Grosso, Mauro Camoranesi, Simone Perrotta, Alessandro Del Piero, Daniele De Rossi, Alberto Gilardino, Vincenzo Laquinta, Alessandro Nesta.
Achievement: World Cup winners 2006; European Championship Quarter-finals 2008.
Manager: Marcelo Lippi
Key men: Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus goalkeeper, calm, agile and strong. A great shot-stopper; Fabio Cannavaro, central defender and captain, read the game superbly, versatile and tactically intelligent; Francesco Totti, Roma legend who played almost 800 games for the club, attacking midfielder, versatile; Andrea Pirlo, gifted AC Milan midfielder, excellent vision and passing ability.
Perception: Underrated and unfancied winners of the World Cup. Some good individuals, strong in defence.
Italy 2021: Gianlugi Donnarumma, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Emerson, Nicolà Barella, Jorginho, Marco Verrati, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, Leonardo Spinazzola, Manuel Locatelli, Federico Bernardeschi, Bomenico Berardi, Andrea Belotti, Alessandro Florenzi, Bryan Christante.
Achievement: Euro 2020 winners 2021, beating England on penalties in the final.
Manager: Roberto Mancini
Key men: Gianluigi Donnarumma, giant goalkeeper, moved from AC Milan to Paris Saint-Germain in tournament, strong with good technique; Giorgio Chiellini, veteran Juventus centre back who combined aggression with excellent timing and tackling as well as aerial ability; Federico Chiesa, fast and skilful winger with Fiorentina, outstanding in Euro 2020.
Perception: Great team ethic, determined after failing to qualify for 2018 World Cup, and consistent. Euro victory was their 33rd game without defeat.
Japan 1992: Kazuya Maekawa, Takumi Horiike, Tetsuji Hishiratani, Masami Ihara, Satoshi Tsunami, Mitsunori Yoshida, Tsuyoshi Kitazawa, Ruy ramus, Masahiro Fukuda, Takuya Takagi, Kazuyoshi Miura, Toshinobu Katsuya.
Achievements:AFC Asian Cup winners 1992
Key men:Kazuyoshi Miura, the famous “Kazu” or “King Kazu” who is still playing at 51. Skilful forward who won 89 caps for Japan, scoring 55 goals; Masahi Nakayama, outspoken and humorous player who refuses to retire.
Perception:Skilful, neat team who won the Asian Cup for the first time on home soil.
Juventus 1957-1961: Carlo Mattrel, Giuseppe Vavassori, Giuseppe Corradi, Bruno Garzena, Flavio Emoli, Rino Ferrario, Umberto Colombo, Bruno Nicolé, Giampiero Boniperti, John Charles, Enrique Sivori, Gino Stacchini, Benito Sari, Ernesto Castano, Sergio Cervato, Gianfranco Leoncini.
Managers: Ljubisa Brocic, Renato Cesarini, Carlo Parola
Achievements: 1957-58 Serie A champions; 1958-59 Coppa Italia winners; 1959-60 Serie A champions and Coppa Italia winners; 1960-61 Serie A champions.
Key men: John Charles, Welsh international who could play at centre half or centre forward. Powerful in the air, he cost Juve a British record £ 65,000 and repaid them with 108 goals in 155 Serie A games. Won 38 caps for Wales; Giampiero Boniperti, versatile player who spent 15 years with Juv, scoring 179 goals in 459 games; Enrique Sivori, Argentine-born diminutive forward also capped by Italy. Audacious and brilliant, quick and technically gifted.
Perception: Powerful team boosted by the inclusion of foreigners Charles and Sivori.
Juventus 1971-1977: Dino Zoff, Pietro Carmignani, Gianpietro Marchetti, Giuseppe Furino, Francesco Morini, Sandro Salvadore, Helmut Haller, Franco Causio, Pietro Anastasi, Fabio Capello, Roberto Bettega, Jose Altafini, Antonello Cuccureddu, Claudio Gentile, Gaetano Scirea, Giuseppe Damiani, Marco Tardelli, Roberto Boninsegna, Romeo Benetti.
Managers: Cestmir Vycpalek, Carlo Parola, Giovanni Trappatoni
Achievements: 1971-72 Serie A champions; 1972-73 Serie A champions, European Cup finalists; 1974-75 Serie A champions, 1976-77 Serie A champions, UEFA Cup winners.
Key men: Dino Zoff, tall goalkeeper signed from Napoli in 1972 at the age of 30. Went on to stay 11 years, winning six Serie A titles. An effective keeper who favoured efficiency over flamboyance. Won 112 caps for Italy, winning the World Cup in 1982. Pietro Anastasi, fast and agile forward who joined Juve in 1968 from Varese for a record 650 million Lire. Won 25 caps for Italy and scored 78 goals in 205 Serie A games. Fabio Capello, a dynamic and intelligent holding midfielder, signed from Roma in 1967. Won 32 caps for Italy. Franco Causio, had two spells with Juve, playing over 300 Serie A games. A wide midfielder, creative and very nimble. 63 caps for Italy. Roberto Bettega, strong and intelligent forward who played for Juve from 1969 to 1983. Capped 42 times by Italy.
Perception: Exponents of catenaccio, highly skilled but also ruthless.
Juventus 1981-1986: Dino Zoff, Stefano Tacconi, Antonello Cuccureddu, Antonio Cabrini, Giuseppe Furino, Claudio Gentile, Gaetano Scirea, Franco Causio, Marco Tardelli, Roberto Bettega, Liam Brady, Pietro Fanna, Domenico Maroccchino, Claudio Prandelli, Sergio Brio, Giuseppe Galderisi, Pietro Virdis, Massimo Bonini, Domenico Penzo, Paolo Rossi, Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek, Beniamino Vignola, Nicola Ciaricda, Luciano Favero, Lionella Manfredonia, Aldo Serena, Michael Laudrup.
Managers: Giovanni Trappatoni
Achievements: 1980-81 Serie A champions, 1981-82 Serie A champions, 1982-83 Coppa Italia winners, European Cup finalists, 1983-84 Serie A champions, 1984-85 European Cup winners, 1985-86 Serie A champions.
Key men: Claudio Gentile, a touch, ruthless defender who could play full back or centre half. Won the World Cup with Italy, for whom he won 71 caps. Joined Juve from Varese in 1973. Zbigniew Boniek, signed from Widzew Łódz in 1982, a Polish great, winning 80 caps. A versatile midfielder, known for his pace and ability to accelerate past defenders. Michel Platini, one of the all-time greats, a superb passer and deadball expert. Scored nine goals in five games in the Euro 1984 finals. Won 72 caps for France, scoring 41 goals. Gaetano Scirea, sadly died young in a car crash a year after finishing his playing career. A talented sweeper who could also play in midfield. Another member of the 1982 Italian World Cup winners.
Marco Tardelli, forever remembered for his goal celebration in the 1982 World Cup final. A hard-tackling but elegant midfielder, quick and tenacious.
Perception: An all-star team who combined Italian steel and organisation with the flair of international acquisitions.
Kaiserslautern 1951-53: Willi Hölz, Werner Liebrich, Werner Kohlmeyer, Fritz Walter, Otto Render, Werner Baßler, Ernst Liebrich, Horst Eckel, Willi Wenzel, Karl Wanger, Ottmar Walter, Erwin Schleffler, Heinz Klee, Erich Folz, Helmut Rasch, Heinz Jergens, Bernard Fuchs.
Achievement: German national champions 1951 and 1953
Manager: Richard Schneider
Key men: Fritz Walter, captain of the West German World Cup winning team of 1954. Cultured midfielder/inside forward who could score spectacular goals. 61 caps for his country; Ottmar Walter, brother of Fritz, prolific striker, 307 goals in 275 games for the club. Elegant player with a powerful shot; Horst Eckel, defensive workhorse with exceptional passing skills. Like the Walters, a member of the 1954 West German side.
Perception: Exponents of fast and fluid football.
Leeds United 1966-69: Gary Sprake, Paul Reaney, Willie Bell, Terry Cooper, Billy Bremner, Jack Charlton, Norman Hunter, Mike O’Grady, Albert Johanneson, Jimmy Greenhoff, Peter Lorimer, Johnny Giles, Paul Madeley, Mick Jones, Eddie Gray.
Achievement:1966-67, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup finalists, FA Cup semi-finalists; 1967-68, Football League Cup winners, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners, FA Cup semi-finalists; 1968-69, Football League champions. Five-year record (66-67 to 70-71): 4, 4, 1, 2, 2
Manager: Don Revie
Key men: Billy Bremner, tigerish midfielder and captain of the team. Scottish international who came through the ranks and acted as Don Revie’s Lieutenant on the pitch; Johnny Giles, Irish midfielder, cultured passer of the ball with a tough side to his nature; Jack Charlton, tough centre half who was a member of the 1966 England World Cup winning team. Deadly at corners and set-pieces due to his extraordinary heading ability.
Perception: Ultra-professional side drilled by Revie, consistent over a long period, competing on multiple fronts.
Leeds United 1973-74: David Harvey, Paul Reaney, Trevor Cherry, Billy Bremner, Gordon McQueen, Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Johnny Giles, Paul Madeley, Allan Clarke, Mick Jones, Joe Jordan, Terry Yorath.
Achievement: 1970-71, Inter-Cities Fairs Cup winners; 1971-72, FA Cup winners; 1972-73, FA Cup finalists, European Cup-Winners’ Cup finalists; 1973-74, Football League champions. Five-year record (69-70 to 73-74): 2, 2, 2, 3, 1
Manager: Don Revie
Key men: Billy Bremner, tigerish midfielder and captain of the team. Scottish international who came through the ranks and acted as Don Revie’s Lieutenant on the pitch; Allan Clarke, one of the great predatory strikers, known as “sniffer” for his ability in the penalty area; Gordon McQueen, imposing centre half, Scottish international.
Perception: A more relaxed Leeds side reaching maturity with a more expansive style of football. Their 1974 title proved to be the end of an era as Revie moved on and many of the team passed their peak.
Leeds United 1991-92: John Lukic, Tony Dorigo, Mel Sterland, Chris Fairclough, John McClelland, Chris Whyte, Steve Hodge, Gary McAllister, Gary Speed, Gordon Strachan, David Batty, Lee Chapman, Eric Cantona, Rod Wallace.
Achievement: Football League champions 1991-92
Manager: Howard Wilkinson
Key men: Eric Cantona, French forward signed in January 1992 from Nimes and proved to be the catalyst for Leeds to win the title, despite scoring only three goals in 18 games. By November 1992, he had joined Manchester United after falling out with Leeds; Gordon Strachan, industrious veteran midfielder signed from Manchester United. 50 caps for Scotland. Although in his mid-30s, was outstanding as he captained Leeds to the title; Gary McAllister, versatile midfielder signed from Leicester who was a dead-ball specialist. Won 57 caps for Scotland.
Perception: Hard-working team with an outstanding midfield. Unable to maintain their success – a team for a season.
Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Tommy Lucas, Don McKinlay, Jock McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow, Bill Lacey, Dick Forshaw, Dick Johnson, Harry Chambers, Danny Shone, Cyril Gilhesby, Harry Lewis, Fred Hopkin
Achievement: Football League champions 1921-22 and 1922-23
Five-year record (1919-1924): 4 – 4 – 1 – 1 – 12
Manager: David Ashworth/ Matt McQueen
Key men: Elisha Scott, legendary goalkeeper, 31 Irish caps, great agility. Liverpool’s longest serving player; Harry Chambers, nicknamed “smiler”, powerful left foot and leading scorer; Don McKinlay, Scottish international full back. Tough player who spent 19 years with the club; Tom Bromilow, local lad and England international half back.
Perception: Fast-moving and consistent team built on a very strong defence. The best team in the immediate post WW1 years.
Tommy Lawrence, Gerry Byrne, Tommy Smith, Ron Yeats, Ronnie Moran, Chris Lawler, Geoff Strong, Ian Callaghan, Gordon Milne, Jimmy Melia, Willie Stevenson, Peter Thompson, Roger Hunt, Ian St. John, Alf Arrowsmith.
Achievement: Football League champions 1963-64 and 1965-66; FA Cup winners 1964-65; European Cup-Winners’ Cup finalists 1965-66.
Five-year record (1962-1967): 8 – 1 – 7 – 1 – 5
Manager: Bill Shankly
Key men: Ron Yeats, strong centre half and skipper. Tough and outstanding in the air. Scottish international, 2 caps, he was a formidable opponent; Roger Hunt, quick, strong and skilful goalscorer (244 goals for the club) and a member of the England 1966 World Cup winners; Ian St. John, strong and tricky forward, great in the air. 21 caps for Scotland.
Perception: Shankly’s first successful Liverpool squad, a combination of hard-work, power and skill.
Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, Joey Jones, Emlyn Hughes, Tommy Smith, Phil Thompson, Alan Hansen, Alan Kennedy, Ray Kennedy, Jimmy Case, Peter Cormack, Graeme Souness, Ian Callaghan, Terry McDermott, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, John Toshack, Steve Heighway, David Fairclough, David Johnson.
Achievement: Football League champions 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79; UEFA Cup winners 1975-76; European Cup winners 1976-77, 1977-78.
Five-year record: 2 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 1
Manager: Bob Paisley
Key men: Kevin Keegan, one of the outstanding English players of the mid-1970s, a busy, tireless forward, good in the air, despite his size. Won 63 caps for England, scoring 21 goals. Joined Hamburg for £ 500,000 in 1977; Kenny Dalglish, Keegan’s replacement, signed from Celtic for £ 440,000. A natural goalscorer, no small measure of skill. Won over 100 caps for Scotland; Ray Clemence, towering goalkeeper who won 61 caps for England. Good positional sense and quick reflexes; Graeme Souness, uncompromising midfielder but skilful. Joined from Middlesbrough for £ 350,000.
Perception: Machine-like at times, but powerful, brilliant and intelligent.
Magdeburg 1973-1975: Ulrich Schulze, Klaus Decker, Manfred Zapf, Axel Tyll, Wolfgang Abraham, Detlef Enge, Jürgen Pommerenke, Helmut Gaube, Wolfgang Seguin, Detlef Raugust, Jürgen Sparwasser, Martin Hoffmann, Siegmund Mewes, Bodo Sommer, Hans-Jürgen Hermann.
Achievements: DDR Oberliga champions 1973-74 and 1974-75; European Cup-Winners’ Cup winners 1973-74
Manager: Heinz Krügel
Key men: Jürgen Pommerencke, young attacking midfielder who played in the 1972 Olympics and 1974 World Cup for East Germany and was named DDR player of the year in 1975. Won 53 caps for his country; Jürgen Sparwasser, forward who won 49 caps for DDR and made history with the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup against West Germany; Martin Hoffmann, striker who was a pivotal figure in DDR’s World Cup and Olympic 1976 team. 62 caps, 15 goals.
Perception: Functional but full of fitness, arguably the best team to come out of the DDR.
Manchester City 1902-1905: Jack Hillman, Johnny McMahon, Herbert Burgess, Sammy Frost, Tommy Hynds, Sam Ashworth, Billy Meredith, George Livingstone, Billie Gillespie, Sandy Turnbull, Frank Booth, Lot Jones, John Edmondson, George Dorsett, Irvine Thornley.
Manager: Tom Maley
Achievements: 1902-03 – Football League Division Two champions; 1903-04 FA Cup winners, Football League Division One runners-up.
Five year record (1901-02 to 1905-06): 18 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 5
Key men: Billy Meredith – Iconic winger who won 48 Welsh caps. A winger with superb balance and agility, capable of excellent crosses and long-range shooting; Billie Gillespie – Bustling centre forward who scored 126 goals in 218 league games for City; Sandy Turnbull – Scottish inside forward who played for City and United. Also banned during the bribery scandal. Died in the first world war in Arras.
Perception: A team of individuals who went close to winning the double in 1904. Exciting but occasionally haphazard combination of players.
Manchester City 1967-1970: Harry Dowd, Ken Mulhearn, Joe Corrigan, Glyn Pardoe, David Connor, Tony Book, George Heslop, Tommy Booth, Mike Doyle, Alan Oakes, Mike Summerbee, Colin Bell, Neil Young, Tony Coleman, Francis Lee, Ian Bowyer, Tony Towers.
Manager: Joe Mercer
Achievements: Football League champions 1967-68, FA Cup winners 1968-69, Football League Cup winners 1969-70, European Cup-Winners’ Cup winners 1969-70.
Five-year record (1967-68 to 1971-72): 1 – 13 -10 – 11- 4
Key men: Colin Bell – High energy midfielder known as “Nijinsky” after the race horse. Signed from Bury and became one of the most dynamic midfield players of the 1970s. England international, 48 caps; Francis Lee – Stocky striker who was tenacious and direct. Signed from Bolton Wanderers, he won 27 England caps. Scored 112 league goals in 249 games before joining Derby in 1974; Mike Summerbee – Fiery right winger who was signed from Swindon Town. Won eight England caps.
Perception: Exciting young team, managed by Mercer and coached by the innovative and often wayward Malcolm Allison. Attack-minded, with some exceptional individuals.
Manchester City 2017-2019: Ederson, Kyle Walker, Danilo, Vincent Kompany, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Ilkay Gündogan, Nicolás Otamendi, Fabian Delph, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Agüero, Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling.
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Achievements: Premier League champions 2017-18 and 2018-19, FA Cup winners 2018-19, Football League Cup winners 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Five-year record (2014-15 to 2018-18): 2 – 4 – 3 – 1 – 1
Key men: Kevin De Bruyne – Versatile midfielder who rose to prominence at Wolfsburg after an aborted spell at Chelsea. Signed for City in 2015 for £ 55 million and became a pivotal figure in the club’s success. 72 caps for Belgium; Raheem Sterling – Signed by City from Liverpool in 2015 for £ 44 million. A versatile player who can play as striker, winger or attacking midfielder; Sergio Agüero – World-class striker, prolific goalscorer with a high level of tactical intelligence.
Perception: Outstanding footballing team built by wealthy owners, combining ruthless efficiency with individual skill and rapier-like finishing.
Manchester United 1907-1911: Harry Moger, Hugh Edmonds, Vince Hayes, George Stacey, Alex Bell, Alex Downie, Dick Duckworth, Charlie Roberts, Jimmy Bannister, Harold Halse, Billy Meredith, Jack Picken, Jimmy Turnbull, George Wall, Enoch West, Herbert Burgess, Thomas Homer, Anthony Donnelly, George Livingstone.
Manager: Ernest Magnall
Achievement: Football League champions 1907-08 and 1910-11; FA Cup winners 1908-09.
Five-year record (1907-08-1911-12): 1 – 13 – 5 – 1 – 13
Key men: Billy Meredith, Welsh international winger, controversial figure who played with a toothpick in his mouth. Played 300 games for each of the Manchester clubs; Sandy Turnbull, bustling forward who died during WW1. Involved in scandals that led to him being banned from football; Charlie Roberts, strong and skilful centre half who was capped by England. Both he and Meredith were instrumental in establishing the players’ union.
Perception: Highly-skilled and expensive team packed with characters.
Manchester United 1955-1958: Ray Wood, Harry Gregg, Roger Byrne, Bill Foulkes, Jackie Blanchflower, Eddie Colman, Duncan Edwards, Mark Jones, Johnny Berry, David Pegg, Tommy Taylor, Dennis Viollet, Colin Webster, Billy Whelan, Bobby Charlton, John Doherty.
Manager: Matt Busby
Achievement: Football League Champions 1955-56 and 1956-57; FA Cup finalists 1956-57 and 1957-58.
Five-year record (1953-54 – 1957-58): 4 – 5 – 1 – 1 – 9
Key men: Duncan Edwards, strong, physical, versatile and high on stamina. A defensive midfielder who could dominate games. Tragically dies after the Munich air crash, aged just 21; Roger Byrne, captain of the United team, a defender who became one of the first attacking full backs. Won 33 caps for England but also died in Munich in 1958; Eddie Colman, the youngest of the “Busby Babes” to die in the Munich disaster, his trademark was his body swerve, which earned him the nickname, “Snakehips”; Tommy Taylor, strong centre forward signed from Barnsley for £ 29,999 who scored 137 goals in 237 games for United. Won 19 caps for England, scoring 16 goals. Another player who died in Munich.
Mexico 1997-1999: Jorge Campos, Salvador Carmona, Rafael Márquez, Claudio Suárez, Germán Villa, Pável Pardo, Miguel Zepeda, Ramon Ramirez, Cuauhtémoc Blanco, José Manuel Abunois, Francisco Palencia, Isaac Terrazas, Jésus Avellano, Luis Hernández, Rafael Garcia.
Manager: Manuel Lapuente
Achievements: FIFA Confederations Cup winners 1999; Copa America semi-finalists 1997 and 1999; CONCACAF Gold Cup winners 1996 and 1998; World Cup 1998 last 16.
Key men: Jorge Campos – eccentric goalkeeper who acted in the role of sweeper-keeper. Relatively small for his position, he was well organised, agile and highly athletic; Rafael Márquez, regarded as the best defender in Mexican football history, versatile and durable, his career lasted 22 years and included 200-plus games with Barcelona and 147 caps for his country; Luis Hernández, long-haired striker known as El Matador, he enjoyed a 25-year career that included stints in the US and Argentina.
Perception: A team that included some outstanding players who took advantage of host status to win the Confederations Cup in 1999, beating Brazil in the final.
Nacional 1971: Manga, Luis Ubiña, Atilio Ancheta, Juan Masnik, Juan C Blanco, Julio Montero Castillo, Victor Espáraggo, Ildo Maneiro, Luis Cubilla, Luis Artime, Julio Morales, Ignacio Prieto, Juan Mammelli, Rubén Bareño.
Achievement: Copa Libertadores winners 1971; Uruguayan champions 1969, 1970, 1971, 197
Manager: Zezé Moreira
Key men: Luis Cubilla, winger who played in three World Cups for Uruguay. Also played for Peñarol, River Plate and Barcelona in Spain. Won 38 caps for Uruguay and later had a good managerial career; Luis Artime, Argentinian prolific scorer, scored 24 goals in 25 internationals. Clubs also included River Plate, Palmeiras, Fluminense and Independiente; Victor Espárrago, midfielder who won 67 caps for Uruguay. Also played for Sevilla.
Perception: Hard, well organised team.
Northern Ireland 1982: Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Chris Nicholl, John McClelland, Mal Donaghy, Martin O’Neill, Sammy McIlroy, David McCreery, Norman Whiteside, Gerry Armstrong, Billy Hamilton, Jim Platt, Sammy Nelson.
Achievement: World Cup second stage 1982; British Home Championship winners 1980 and 1984.
Manager: Billy Bingham
Key men: Martin O’Neill, busy midfielder who was part of Nottingham Forest’s European Cup winners in the late 1970s. Won 64 caps for Northern Ireland over 13 years; Norman Whiteside, broke Pelé’s record as the youngest player to appear in the World Cup (17 years, 41 days), and won 38 caps for NI. Injury forced him to retire at just 26; Billy Hamilton, striker who scored twice in the 1982 World Cup finals. Won 41 caps.
Perception: Workmanlike team who put 100% into every game at the 1982 World Cup.
Napoli 1987- 1990: Claudio Garella, Giuliano Giuliai, Giuseppe Bruscolotti, Ciro Ferrara, Salvatore Bagni, Moreno Ferrario, Alessandro Renica, Andrea Carnevale, Fernando De Napoli, Bruno Giordano, Diego Maradona, Francesco Romano, Giuseppe Volpecina, Luigi Caffarelli, Luciano Sola, Massimo Crippa, Giovanni Francini, Careca, Alemao, Marco Baroni, Luca Fusi, Masimo Mauro, Giafranco Zola, Giancarlo Corradini.
Manager: Ottavio Bianchi
Achievement: Serie A winners 1986-87 and 1989-90; UEFA Cup winners 1988-89; Coppa Italia winners 1987-87.
Key men: Diego Maradona, legendary Argentinian who joined Napoli from Barcelona in 1984 and won the World Cup with his country in 1986. Sublime skill, huge personality, massive idol with the fans. Career also laced with scandal and controversy. Died sadly young in 2020; Careca, joined Napoli from São Paulo and became one of the great Brazilian strikers. Fast and prolific; Fernando De Napoli, versatile Italian midfielder, tenacious and combative. 54 caps for Italy; Andrea Carnevale, journeyman striker who won 10 caps for Italy. Joined from Udinese in 1986.
Perception: A team driven on the back of Maradona and all the emotion, intrigue and drama that went with it
Newcastle United 1968-69: Iam McFaul, David Craig, Frank Clark, Tommy Gibb, Ollie Burton, Bobby Moncur, Jim Scott, Bryan Robson, Wyn Davies, Preben Arentoft, Jackie Sinclair, Alan Foggon.
Manager: Joe Harvey
Achievement: Inter-Cities’ Fairs Cup winners 1968-69.
Key men: Wyn Davies, tall Welsh international forward, good in the air. A much travelled player who won 34 caps for Wales; Iam McFaul, Coleraine-born goalkeeper signed from Linfield. A sound keeper who was limited to a handful of caps for Northern Ireland due to the presence of Pat Jennings; Bobby Moncur, Scottish left half who scored three goals in the two Fairs Cup final games. Captain of the team.
Perception: Workmanlike team with some outstanding individuals. Beat some very strong opposition on the way to winning the Fairs Cup including 1970 European Cup winners Feyenoord, Glasgow Rangers, Sporting Lisbon and Ujpest.
New York Cosmos 1977- 1978: Shep Messing, Jack Brand, Bobby Smith, Bob Iarusci, Werner Roth, Giuseppe Wilson, Carlos Alberto, Nelsi Morais, Terry Garbett, Vladislav Bogievic, Franz Beckenbauser, Dennis Tueart, Tony Field, Pelé, Giorgio Chinaglia, Steve Hunt, Seninho, Vitro Dimitrijevic, Erol Yasin.
Manager: Eddie Firmani
Achievement: NASL Soccer Bowl winners 1977, 1978
Key men: Steve Hunt, speedy winger who revitalised his career in the US before returning to England, winning two caps for his country. A powerful shot from long distance; Franz Beckenbauer, legendary West Germany captain who won the World Cup as a player and manager; one of the original liberos; Giorgio Chinaglia, Italian international striker who had a very physical style. Top scorer in the NASL for four consecutive seasons 1978- 1981.
Perception: Star-studded team that briefly made the NASL an attractive proposition.
Newell’s Old Boys 1992: Norberto Scoponi, Gustavo Raggio, Fernando Gamboa, Mauricio Pochettino, Julio Saldaña, Alfredo Berti, Gerardo Martinoi, Eduardo Berizzo, Julio Alberto Zamora, Ricardo Lunari, Alfredo Mendoza, Christian Domizzi, Fabián Gartagnoli, Juan Manuel Llop.
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
Achievement: Argentina Primeira division Clausura winners 1992; Copa Libertadores runners-up 1992.
Key men: Gerardo Martimo, attacking midfielder capped by Argentina, named best player of all-time in a poll by Newell’s fans; Mauricio Pochettino, centre back who won six caps for Argentina and spent six years with the club before moving to Spain with Espanyol. Enjoyed a fruitful period in management at Tottenham.
Perception: Fast-paced and intense team coached by Bielsa.
Olimpia, Ascunción 1979: Hugo Almeida, Roberto Paredes, Rubén Jiménez, Alicio Solalinde, Carlos Kiese, Miguel Piazza, Evaristo Isasi, Luis Ernesto Torres, Enrique Villalba, Hugo Talavera, Osvaldo Aquino, Jorge Guasch, Rigello Delgado.
Manager: Luis Cubilla
Achievement: Copa Libertadores winners 1979; Paraguayan Division One winners 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982; Intercontinental Cup winners 1979; Copa InterAmerica winners 1979.
Key men: Ever Hugo Almeida, Uruguayan-born goalkeeper who excelled at saving penalties. Won 22 caps for Paraguay; Carlos Kiese, tough defensive midfielder, much travelled and played in Brazil, Argentina and. Bolivia; Evaristo Isasi, fast striker who possessed brilliant dribbling skills.
Perception: Well organised side who demonstrated their defensive prowess in the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors.
Olympique Lyonnais 2007-08: Gregory Coupet, Anthony Réveilleire, Sébastien Squillaci, Fabio Grosso, Sidney Govou, Jéremy Toulalan, Juninho Pernamucano, Kim Kallström, Fred, Karim Benzema, Kader Keita, Mathieu Bodmer, Francois Clerc, Rémy Vercoutre, Hatem Ben Arfa.
Manager: Alain Perrin
Achievement: Ligue 1 winners 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08; Coupe de France winners 2007-08.
Key men: Karim Benzema, Lyon-born of Algerian descent, hard-working striker with superb aerial ability, subsequently starred for Real Madrid. Ligue 1 top scorer in 2008; Juninho Pernambucano, Brazilian midfielder signed from Vasco da Gama, dead ball specialist whop spent eight years with Lyon.
Perception: Outstanding hard-working team who completed seven consecutive league titles in 2008.
Olympique Marseille 1990-1993: Pascal Olmeta, Fabien Barthez, Manuel Amoros, Eric Di Meco, Basile Boli, Carlos Mozer, Bruno Germain, Bernard Casoni, Franck Sauzée, Marcel Desailly, Jocelyn Angloma, Jean-Jacques Eydelie, Chris Waddle, Trevor Steven, Didier Deschamps, Laurent Fournier, Abedi Pele, Jean-Pierre Papin, Rudi Völler, Alen Bokšić, Marc Libbra, Philippe Vercruyse, Dragan Stojković.
Manager: Raymond Goethals
Achievement: Ligue 1 winners 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93 (stripped of title); European Cup runners-up 1990-91; Champions League winners 1992-93.
Key men: Jean-Pierre Papin, lethal and fast striker, specialising in volleys. 300-plus goals in 540 games in his career. Ballon d’Or winner in 1991; Didier Deschamps, French midfielder with over 100 caps who won the World Cup as both player and manager; Basile Boli, Ivory Coast-born defender who won 45 caps for France, scored winner in 1993 Champions League final; Abedi Pele, Ghanaian forward who was named African Footballer of the Year three times and the African player of the 20th century by IFHSS. Speedy with excellent close control and dribbling skills.
Perception: Expensive teams constructed during the Bernard Tapie era at OM. Exciting talent assembled to combat the top Italian and Spanish sides of the era, laced with controversy such as match-fixing scandal that saw them stripped of 1993 French title.
Orlando Pirates 1995: Willy Okpara, Edward Motali, Mark Fish, Gavin Lane, Bruce Ramokadi, Jerry Sikhhosana, Marks Maponyane, Helmen Mkhalele, Brendan Silent, Phiri Tsotetsi, John Moeti, Oumisa Ngobe, Innocent Mcwango, Marc Bachelor, Vincent Sokhela.
Manager: Joe Frickleton/ Ronald Mkhandawine
Achievement: South African National League Champions 1994; CAF Champions League winners 1995; Nedbank Cup winners 1996.
Key men: Gavin Lane, imposing defender known as the “stability unit”, also played for Giant Blackpool and Moroka Swallows; Mark Fish, impressive defender who also appeared for Lazio, Bolton and Charlton, winning 62 caps for South Africa; Edward Motale, strong defender who captained the team in the final of the Champions League and also featured in South Africa’s African Cup of Nations victory in 1996.
Perception: Solid team with reliable defence that kept six clean sheets in their 10 Champions League games. Had three coaches during the season.
Sevilla 1945-46: José Busto, Joaquín Jiménez Postigo, Diego Villalonga, Pedro Alconero, Pedro Eguiluz, Félix Garcia, José Campos, Juan Arza, José Palacios Herrera, José López, Juan Araujo.
Manager: Ramón Encinas
Achievement: La Liga champions 1945-46
Key men: Juan Arza, stocky forward who was known as the “golden boy”. A powerful player who scored 182 goals in 349 games for Sevilla; José Campos, top scorer, fast and skilful; José López, a member of a forward line known as the “stuka”, a reference to a WW2 German fighter plane.
Perception: Surprise league champions who won the title on final day of season.
Spain 1964: José Angel Iribar, Feliciano Rivilla, Isacio Calleja, Ignacío Zoco, Ferran Olivella, Josep Maria Fustré, Carlos Lapetra, Luis Suárez, Marcelino Martinez, Jesús Maria Pereda, Amancio Amaro.
Manager: José Villalonga
Achievement: European Championship winners 1964, beating USSR in the final and before that, Romania, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
Key men: Jesús Maria Pereda, Barcelona midfielder who also played briefly for Real Madrid. Catalan-born players who won 15 caps for Spain. Had a very good eye for goal; Luis Suárez, Galician-born inside forward or attacking midfielder, an elegant player possessing an explosive shot. Starred for Barcelona and also played for Inter Milan and Sampdoria; Amancio, outside right who was known as El Brujo (the magician). Played 14 years with Real Madrid and won 42 caps for Spain.
Perception: Skilful but inconsistent team of individuals.
USSR 1960: Lev Yashin, Giri Chokheli, Anatoly Krutikov, Anatoli Maslyonkin, Yuriy Younov, Igor Netto, Slava Metreveli, Viktor Ponedelnik, Valentin Ivanov, Valentin Bubukin, Mikheil Meskhi.
Manager: Gavriil Kachalin
Achievement: European Championship winners 1960 – beating Hungary, Czechoslavakia and Yugoslavia to win the competition.
Key men: Lev Yashin, considered the world’s best goalkeeper at the time, renowned for his bravery and athleticism. Vocal and very authoritive both for the USSR and his club, Dynamo Moscow; Igor Netto, captain of the team and one of the Soviet Union’s greatest players. An intelligent central midfielder who played for Spartak Moscow; Slava Metreveli, fast winger who was born in Georgia and played for Dinamo Tbilisi. Won 48 caps for USSR.
Perception: Muscular team who were too physical and strong for their opponents.
West Germany 1972: Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, Horst-Dieter Höttges, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Paul Breitner, Herbert Eimmer, Uli Hoeneß, Günter Netzer, Juup Heynckes, Erwin Kremers, Gerd Müller.
Manager: Helmut Schön.
Achievement: World Cup third place 1970, European Championship winners 1972.
Key men: Franz Beckenbauer, one of Germany’s greatest of all time, “Der Kaiser” was one of the outstanding players of the 1970s, captaining his country and Bayern Munich. Midfielder, sweeper or central defender; Günter Netzer, powerful charismatic midfielder who played for Borussia Mönchengladbach before moving to Real Madrid. 1972 was his year, by the time 1974 World Cup came along, he was out of favour; Gerd Müller, prolific goalscorer for West Germany and Bayern Munich, top scorer in both the 1970 World Cup and 1972 Euros.
Perception: Wonderful team, full of energy, power and skill. Arguably stronger than in 1974 when they were World Cup winners.