Team of the Decade 1950-1960

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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

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Team of the Decade 1955-1965

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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

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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

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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 »

Team of the Decade 1970-1980

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Manager: Rinus Michels

Bench: Maier, Jennings, Hellström; Facchetti, Junior, Cabrini; Hulshoff, Schwarzenbeck, Scirea, Passarella, Luis Pereira, Trésor; Suurbier, C. Alberto, Gentile; Clodoaldo, Souness, Neeskens; Haan, Bochini, Bremner; Zico, Overath, Rivera; Dalglish, Heynckes, Dzajic; Lato, Rensenbrink, K. Fischer; Grabowski, Keegan, Simonsen

Best Player: Johan Cruyff

Best Team: Ajax Amsterdam 1970-1973

Best Club: Bayern Munich

Best Match: Ajax Amsterdam – Independiente, Intercontinental Cup 1972

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Euro 2016 XI

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Inclusion in this team is based on quantity and quality of performance alone.

Manager: Chris Coleman

Bench: Buffon, Patricio; Chiellini, de Sciglio; Hummels, Koscielny, Sigurdsson, A. Williams; Srna, Kimmich; Allen, Kante; Modric, Pogba; Iniesta, Ramsey; C. Ronaldo, Payet; Gomez, Pelle; Nani, Perisic

Best Player of the Tournament: Antoine Griezmann

Best Team of the Tournament: Germany

Best Match of the Tournament: Germany – Italy

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Team of the Decade 1975-1985

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Manager: Bob Paisley

Bench:

Schumacher, Fillol, Gatti; Cabrini, Junior, Camacho; Olsen, Stielike, Hansen, Krol, Bossis, Förster;  Gentile, Neal, Gerets; Tardelli, Breitner, Schuster; Giresse, Socrates, Conti; Maradona, Bochini, Boniek; Dalglish, Keegan, Kempes; Cruyff, Fischer, Simonsen; Blokhin, Bertoni, Hrubesch

Best Player: Graeme Souness

Best Team: Liverpool FC 1977-1985

Best Club: Liverpool FC

Best Match: Liverpool – Roma, European Cup Final 1984

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 fifth 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 1970-1980 Team of the Decade, the last one was about the 1980-1990 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.
Read More »

Team of the Season 2015-16

Since 2008-09 I have been compiling my Team of the Season at the end of every season. While my selection is certainly influenced by my limited knowledge and my personal preferences, I try not to build a team of my favourite players, but of the players who performed the best during that season. In order to establish which player performed the best in a given position, I look at quantity and quality of performance only.

So here’s my Team of the Season 2015-16. I define ‘2015-16’ as starting with the final whistle of the Champions League final 2015 and ending with the final whistle of the Champions League final 2016.

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Manager: Claudio Ranieri

Best Player: Sergio Busquets

Best Team: FC Barcelona (Atletico would have won the title if not for their weak and uncharacteristic performance in the final of the CL)

Best Match: FC Liverpool – Borussia Dortmund

Bench: Navas, Buffon, Neuer; Filipe Luis, Alaba, Alba; Boateng, Piqué, Godin, T. Silva, Mascherano, Ramos; Juanfran, Carvajal, Mariano; Kroos, Weigl, Kanté; Vidal, Gündogan, Gabi; Iniesta, Ibrahimovic, Mahrez; Griezmann, Neymar, Vardy; Higuain, Kane, Lewandowski; Müller, Benzema, Özil

 

David de Gea

A lot of the players chosen for this team come from teams who have performed well this season. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Their fine performances were a key reason why their respective teams did well. The case of de Gea is a bit different. Manchester United, still his club after a summer move to Real Madrid collapsed under the most hillarious of circumstances, had a rough year. But not because of de Gea, but despite him. While his season started badly, he was omitted from the squad after said transfer saga, he quickly reached his by now usual level and bailed his team out with fantastic saves time and time again. Potentially Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world. However, he had one of his weaker seasons. While he continued to be great on the line, it was his trademark sweeper-keeper game that let him down this season. He made too many uncharacteristic mistakes to make the team. Keepers like Navas, Buffon and Oblak had fine seasons, too. But from what I’ve seen de Gea has deserved the place.Read More »

Team of the Decade 1980-1990

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Manager: Arrigo Sacchi

Bench: Pfaff, Dasajew, Shilton; Brehme, Junior, Amoros; Hansen, Augenthaler, Koeman, Ruggeri, Butcher, Migueli; Gerets, Tassotti, Kaltz; Matthäus, Tardelli, Batista; Cerezo, Souness, Fernandez; Burruchaga, Zico, Giresse; Rummenigge, Hoddle, Gullit; van Basten, Careca, Elkjaer; Rush,Valdano, Lineker

Best player: Diego Maradona

Best club: FC Liverpool

Best team: AC Milan 1987-1990

Best match: France – Portugal 3-2 after extra time, Euro 1984

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 sixth 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 1975-1985 Team of the Decade, the last one was about the 1985-1995 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.

Inclusion in this team is based solely on quantity and quality of performance during the respective period of time. It’s not about whether a player has won a lot of trophies, or fits some artistic ideal, even whether a player was ahead of his time in itself isn’t a criterion. It’s about performance and performance alone. You don’t necessarily have to get top marks for both quantity and quality of performance to be included. If the quality of your performances was outstanding, you will have a chance to be included even if, for example, you only performed on that level for, say, 5 of the 10 years. But the lack of quantity of performance will speak against you. Also, the chances of any given player to be included, of course,  heavily depend on the quality and quantity of performance of other players who played in the same position during the same period of time. This is all still a bit vague, but since fantasy football teams are far from being exact science to begin with, I think that’s okay. The main point that I want to emphasize is that both quantity and quality of performance matter.

I define the 1980-1990 decade as starting with the final whistle of the 1980 European Cup final and ending with the final whistle of the 1990 European Cup final.

Finally, a massive thank you to Javier from @footballiaweb. It’s an honour to have you on board as a guest author.

Toni Schumacher

Your quintessential 80s goalkeeper. Great reflexes, a fantastic athlete, able to stop seemingly unstoppable shots, great in one-on-one’s, and, maybe his greatest strength, ferociously competitive. Like his distant successor Oliver Kahn, Toni Schumacher was an intimidating presence on the field.Read More »

Team of the Decade 1985-1995

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Manager: Arrigo Sacchi

Bench: Schmeichel, Köpke, Zubizaretta; Brehme, Pearce, Amoros; Bergomi, Julio Cesar, Belodedici, Blanc, Costacurta, Blind; Tassotti, Jorginho, Chendo; Sammer, Alemao, Dunga; Stojkovic, Deschamps, Hagi; Hässler, Stoichkov, Rai; Donadoni, Baggio, Mancini; Völler, Butragueno, Rush; Klinsmann, Romario, H. Sanchez

Best player: Franco Baresi

Best club: AC Milan

Best team: AC Milan 1991-1994

Best match: Juventus Turin – AC Milan, Serie A, 1991-92

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 fifth 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 1980-1990 Team of the Decade, the last one was about the 1990-2000 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.
Read More »