By Peter Alegi | July 2nd, 2012 5 Comments
Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, and now Euro 2012 champions. Spain’s 4-0 demolition of Italy in yesterday’s final in Kiev secured their third consecutive major tournament victory in the last four years. The question many are asking today is whether La Roja is the greatest team in the history of football.
Hundreds of millions of TV viewers watching the final in pubs, homes, and public venues around the world witnessed Spain’s best performance of the Euros. Propelled by Xavi’s sudden resurgence and Del Bosque’s flawless tactics, lineup, and game management, the Spanish tiki-taka approached a near-perfect synthesis of art and science. Meanwhile Italy’s tired legs and coach Prandelli’s naive decision to deploy 2 strikers, no defensive midfielders, and field injured Chiellini, De Rossi and even Motta (as a final substitute!) exposed the substantial qualitative gap separating the two finalists.
While my emotional wounds from enduring such a hideous hiding are still raw, I’m interested in what people have to say about how Spain 2008-12 compares, say, with Brazil 1970? Germany 1972-74? Or even Uruguay 1924-1930 and Hungary 1950-54 if we delve into a radically different media era? Should we consider club teams too? Real Madrid 1955-60, Ajax 1971-73, Milan 1989-90, and Barcelona 2009-2011 immediately come to mind.
Here are my top 5:
1. Uruguay 1924-30 (winners of 1924 & 1928 Olympics and 1930 World Cup)
2. Spain 2008-2012
3. Brazil 1970 (good case for the best ever, but won only one title)
4. Hungary 1950-54 (undefeated, 42 wins and 7 draws).
5. Barcelona 2009-11 (FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011; Champions League: 2008–09, 2010–11; UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011; La Liga: 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11; Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12; Supercopa de España: 2009, 2010, 2011)
What do you think? Share your rankings in the comment section!
Filed under: The Players