Team of the World Cup 2018


Manager: Roberto Martinez

Bench: Courtois, Pickford; Hernandez, Kolarov; Miranda, Gimenez, Maguire, Granqvist; Trippier, Fagner; Casemiro, Rakitic; Pogba, Quintero; Coutinho, Messi; Griezmann, Perisic; Kane, C. Ronaldo; Cavani, Cheryshev

Best Player: Mbappé (but see below)

Best Team: Brazil

Best Match: France – Argentina


The selection is, as always, based on quality and quantity of performance alone. This is about who played the best (not the most iconic, memorable, most improved, etc.).

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Team of the Season 2017-2018


Manager: Pep Guardiola

Bench: ter Stegen, Oblak, Ederson; Marcelo, Kolarov, Robertson; Hummels, Thiago Silva, Ramos; Naldo, Vertonghen, Varane; Carvajal, Walker, S. Roberto; Kanté, Fernandinho, Casemiro; Kroos, James, Modric; Iniesta, Eriksen, Firmino; Neymar, Sané, Mané; Kane, Cavani, Griezmann; Hazard, Bale, Aspas

Best Player: Lionel Messi

Best Team: Manchester City

Best Match: Manchester City – SSC Napoli 2-1Read More »

Teams of the Decade: An Overview

Some people have approached me saying that it would be nice to have an overview over the Teams of the Decade I compiled. Who am I to disagree?

Lukas Fesca in particular was so kind to create a game in which you can choose which eleven, in your opinion, is the strongest.

Here are the results:


I agree with most of the selections, especially with the collective verdict that ’05-’15 and ’65-’75 are the two front-runners and that there is very little separating them.

Thanks again to Lukas Fesca!

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Who Is the Best Footballer of All Time?

For the last two years I’ve watched my way through (male) football history. I wrote about what I saw in a series of blogposts on Teams of the Decades. Starting in 2015 and working my way back in five year steps, I concluded that project this April with the Team of the Decade 1950-1960.

This blogpost is the second and final one of a mini-series of extra blogposts that are intended to bring closure to the whole project. In the first one I compiled what I think is the best team in football history. In this one I will write about who is, in my (hopefully educated) opinion, the best football player of all time, whereby “all time” is defined as 1950-2017. (Impossible to judge before that.)Read More »

Team of Football History 1950-2017

During the last ten years I’ve watched my way through (male) football history. At first I did so without any specific plan. Whatever got me interested landed on my watch list. But during the last two years my viewing schedule got more structured. As many of you will know, I’ve compiled Teams of the Decade and published them on this blog. Starting with the 2005-15 team, I have worked my way back in five year steps to the 1950-60 team. After that I stopped because the lack of footage for players before 1950 makes it impossible to form an opinion on them that is truly my own. Working on this project meant that I had to watch many more matches in order to form an educated opinion on the great players of the past. By now I think I have a decent knowledge about football history.Read More »

Team of the Season 2016-2017



Manager: Zinedine Zidane

Bench: Buffon, Courtois, Donnarumma; A. Sandro, Azpilicueta, Rose; Ramos, Umtiti, Chiellini; Martinez, D. Luiz, Varane; Lahm, Walker, D. Alves; Busquets, M. Dembélé, Casemiro; Kroos, N. Keita, Hamsik; B. Silva, Alli, Isco; Hazard, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez; Benzema, Suarez, Aubameyang; Robben, O. Dembélé, Mbappe

Best Player: Lionel Messi

Best Team: Real Madrid

Best Match: Real Madrid – Bayern Munich 4-2 a.e.t., 18.04.2017Read More »

Team of the Decade 1950-1960


Manager: Sepp Herberger

Bench: Yashin, Gilmar, Ramallets; Zebec, Hannapi, Kohlmeyer; Bellini, Lorant, Jonquet; D. Santos, Happel, Marquitos; N. Rossi, Blanchflower, Wright; Schiaffino, Liedholm, Masopust;  F. Walter, Didi, Zizinho; Czibor, Zagallo, Hamrin; Kocsis, Nordahl, Fontaine; Boniperti, Lofthouse, Evaristo; Kopa, Rahn, Garrincha

Best Player: Alfredo Di Stéfano

Best Team: Hungary 1950-1956

Best Club: Real Madrid

Best Match: England – Hungary, 1953 Friendly

Read More »

Team of the Decade 1955-1965


Manager: Helenio Herrera

Bench: Gilmar, L. Buffon, Schrojf; Angelo, Cervato, Jusufi; Santamaria, Bellini, C. Maldini; Cavém, Armfield, Bergmark; Coluna, Zito, Bozsik; Didi, del Sol, Netto; Zagallo, Czibor, Charlton; Kopa, Masopust, Seeler; Charles, Vava, Fontaine, Altafini, Kocsis, Pepe; Hamrin, Kubala, Sivori

Best Player: Pelé

Best Team: Real Madrid 1955-1960

Best Club: Real Madrid

Best Match: Real Madrid – Eintracht Frankfurt, European Cup Final 1960Read More »

Team of the Decade 1960-1970


Manager: Helenio Herrera

Bench: Banks, Iribar, Costa Pereira; Schnellinger, Marzolini, Gemmell; Beckenbauer, Schulz, Picchi, Figueroa, Germano, Shesternyov;  C. Alberto, Jair, Jusufi; L. Suarez, Rattin, Rivera, Masopust, Gérson, Del Sol; Albert, Johnstone; Law, Altafini, Best; Seeler, Hurst, Greaves; Garrincha, Sivori, Amancio

Best Player: Pelé

Best Team: Santos FC 1960-1965

Best Club: Benfica Lissabon

Best Match: England – Portugal 2-1, 1966 World Cup

A preliminary remark: when people compile Teams of the Decade, they most often restrict the meaning of the term ‘decade’ to something like the 80s or the 90s. I don’t. When I say ‘decade’, I simply mean a time span of 10 years. This post is the tenth in a series of articles in which I compile Teams of the Decade. I will work my way back in time in 5 year steps. After this post, the next one will be about the 1955-1965 Team of the Decade, the last one was about the 1965-1975 Team of the Decade. I’ll work my way back in time until the 1950-1960 Team of the Decade. I will stop there because the lack of footage for players before 1950 makes it impossible for me to form an opinion about them that is truly my own. I chose to go back in steps of 5 years, because that seems to be a good compromise. Going back in steps of 10 years is unfair towards those players who have performed the best around the turn of a decade (take Xavi, for example). Smaller steps would mean a lot of repetition: the 2004-2014 Team of the Decade won’t be that different from the 2005-2015 Team of the Decade.
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Team of the Decade 1965-1975


Manager: Rinus Michels

Bench: Maier, Jennings, Zoff; Schnellinger, Pavoni, Krol; Vasovic, Hulshoff, Schwarzenbeck, Israel, Shesternyov, Perfumo; Vogts, Burgnich, Suurbier; Bremner, Netzer, Overath; Clodoaldo, Albert, Charlton; Dzajic, Johnstone, Keizer; Mazzola, Rivera, Best; Riva, Heynckes, Tostao; Jairzinho, Grabowski, Amancio

Best Player: Franz Beckenbauer

Best Team: Ajax Amsterdam 1970-1973

Best Club: Ajax Amsterdam

Best Match: Ajax Amsterdam – Independiente, Intercontinental Cup 1972Read More »