Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Top 5 Best teams that never won a World Cup

With the World Cup coming up, the World Cup historical geeks start discussing before games. An interesting one I heard recently was the a discussion on the top 5 best teams that had not won a World Cup. I have spent some time thinking about this list. I find it a big difficult, because should it entail teams that almost won it? Teams that played very well but did not make it far, or teams that should have won it, but lost after huge upset?
My very personal top 5 (which I will defend any time though) is:

5. Brazil 1950: Brazil should have won its first World Cup ever in 1950, at home in Maracana, in front of a record crowd of 200,000 spectators. Instead, facing all the adversity in the world, little Uruguay put a stop to the celebrations in all Brazil, to give the Brazilians their most painful defeat ever, by winning 2-1. Brazil has still never won the World Championship on own soil.

4. Czechoslovakia 1934: The Czechoslovaks had one of the best teams of the world in the mid 1930's, although playing a World Cup final in Rome during Mussolini was never going to be an easy task. Il Duce made sure that Italy would have all advantages, even a very friendly referee. In spite of this, the Italians only managed a narrow 2-1 victory after extra time.

3. Brazil 1982: 1982 and 1986 probably were the two World Cups with most of the legendary players assembled at one time. The teams were amazing, and it is difficult to choose one that could not have been a worthy champion (France, Germany, Poland...). However, I have chosen Brazil, because it was undoubtfully one of the most talented generations of Brazilian football: Zico, Socrates, Falcao, Junior, Cerezo, etc. In spite of their magic, they never lifted the trophy.

2. Netherlands 1974: This team, led by the legendary Johann Cruyff, took the world with storm with its relaxed attitude and marvelous "Total Football". They were a beauty to watch, and were far superior to every team in 1974 in Germany. Until the final, they had cruised through, even trashing the mighty Brazilians. In the final in Munich, they started with a pentalty goal in the first minute against the West German hosts. However, the Germans managed to fight back to win 2-1 in one of the most legendary finals of all time.

1. Hungary 1954: In the first half of the 1950's, Hungary had the best team in the world. Led by legendary Puskas, and with amazing strikers such as Hidegkuti and Koscic, Hungary entered the 1954 World Cup without having lost a game for 3 years. In Switzerland, they started amazing, scoring amazing 25 goals in 4 games. In the final against Germany, they started by getting ahead 2-0 after 8 minutes, and the whole world thought that was the end... However, in one of the most amazing comebacks ever, West Germany won 3-2, to get their first World Cup ever. Hungary has never really recovered...

This was my list. Any opinions?

No comments: