I have already made my list of the top 10 best players of 2005. Something I have found much more difficult, was to make my list of best teams of 2005. There have truly been some remarkable team performances in 2005. My final (and as always, very personal list) is as follows:
- 10) Ghana: The "Black Stars" this year qualified for their first World Cup ever. This was a tremendous achievement for a country that has produced so many great players. I was personally delighted, living in Ghana, and will look forward to seeing them in Germany 2006.
- 9) Mexico U-17: The Mexican side for the U-17 World Cup in Peru destroyed the defending Champions of Brazil in the final, to give Mexico their first World title in football ever.
- 8) Argentina U-21: Led by a marvelous Lionel Messi, the Argentinian U-21 won their 5th World Cup title in the Netherlands this summer.
- 7) Olympique Lyon: The French side has won the French league and been very strong in the Champions League. They are one of the teams to watch next year.
- 6) Brazil: It is difficult to make a list like this without Brazil Although starting the year with some problems, they had an excellent performance winning the 2005 Confederations Cup, and later qualifying for the World Cup. With the many star players on the team, they must be considered favourites to win the World Cup title.
- 5) Boca Juniors: The legendary Argentinian side is among the top teams in the World. This year they finished greatly by winning the Argentinian tournament, as well as the South American Cup after a dramatic match against UNAM Pumas from Mexico.
- 4) Chelsea: In 2005 the London club with the many stars won their first Premier League title in decades. Still the club is far more ambitious, and the Champions League is their targets. The team has started the new season strongly, and they are heading straight for a new Premier League title.
- 3) Barcelona: The Catalan side has played entertaining and attacking football, and their stars are shining brightly. Most of all Ronaldinho. The team took a deserved Spanish title, and they have taken a strong lead in the Spanish league. They also won their group in the Champions League, and we will be witnessing a clash of champions between Barcelona and Chelsea in February.
- 2) Liverpool: Liverpool lived up to their history. And they gave us the most memorable game of the year, and one of the most dramatic finals in history. I will never forget their victory in the Champions League in Istambul, coming back from being behind 3-0 against AC Milan, and finally winning on penalties. I thank Liverpool for such a great football-experience!
- 1) Sao Paulo: The Brazilian side won the Copa Libertadores in June by defeating Atlético Paranaense over two matches. In December, they won the FIFA Club World Championship, defeating Liverpool in the final.
The top five positions have been especially difficult to place. In the end I gave Sao Paulo the top spot for having won two of the most prestigious international titles, as compared to Liverpool, who only won one. Also, the only reason I ranked Barcelona above Chelsea, is that I like Barcelona better...