While there are numerous Football Clubs throughout the world, the list of the best-of-the-best is quite limited. There’s much debate about who the best team in the history of football was. However, experts’ short list of the all-time top 10 teams includes many of the same squads/seasons. Three of the teams that make most top-10 lists are the 1960 Read Madrid squad, the 1999 Manchester United, and 1970 Brazil. Starting with the 1960 Real Madrid, the squad was the European Cup winners, and the Intercontinental Cup winners. Arguably the best player on the squad was Alfredo di Stefano. The 1960 European Cup Final was the European Cup’s fifth final in its history. Spain’s Real Madrid went up against Germany’s Eintracht Frankfort. Madrid was victorious with a 7-3 trouncing of their opponents. How good was the Real Madrid squad? Two of their players, Stefano and Puskas were two of only three players who ever scored a hat-trick (three goals) in a Champions League or European Cup final.
Another Football Club that’s also on many experts’ top 10 list is Manchester United (1999). It included Beckham, and a perfect blend of a few veterans and tons of younger footballers. The squad that earned the Champions League, English League, and FA Cup crowns included several superstars representing the UK region. Interestingly, Manchester United turned that year’s dull European Cup into a thrilling one. In fact, the 1998-1999 season was Manchester United’s most successful season ever. It was the first British football squad to win the “treble” of trophies. In the amazing season, the team only had five losses, which included only one at home. Amazingly they had a 33-game win streak that started on December 26.
No list of all-time top 10 Football Clubs is complete without mentioning Brazil (1970). This was the last World Cup of the great Pele, and arguably the greatest squads in the history of football. In fact, perhaps it also included the top team goal in the history of football, versus Italy. The match wasn’t even close: 4-1. What made Brazil so impressive wasn’t simply that it won the World Cup, but also the way it achieved it. Brazil defeated England, which had won the World Cup four years earlier. In the semi-final Italy defeated West Germany in the “Match of the Century.” It goes without saying that Brazil’s team was loaded with superstars, beginning with Pele. But not only were they superstars, but each player complemented the team, making it even better than it was on paper.
When comparing the greatest Football Clubs of all time, we must use a degree of subjectivity. It’s not an exact science. However, most experts agree that teams such as Real Madrid (1960), Manchester United (1999), and Brazil (1970) should be on any all-time top 10 lists. What made these teams great wasn’t merely what they achieved in their dream seasons, but also how they achieved those things. The fact that they could theoretically defeat other great teams in the history of Football Clubs proves that they deserve their place at the top.
The history of football clubs is quite fascinating. There is much debate about which clubs were the first ones in the world, and which ones were the first ones in various nations. One reason is that the first football clubs excluded the word “football” from their club’s name. That differs from today, in which clubs typically include “club” or “FC” in their names. Another factor is that rugby clubs often referred to their clubs as “football.” Yet another issue is that “club” usually refers to an independent group. However, the first football clubs typically weren’t independent of the schools they were connected with. That said, historians generally give credit to Dublin University Football Club as being the world’s first football club. In 1854 it was founded at Trinity College. Some historians believe that Guy’s Hospital Football Club was actually founded one year early, making it the world’s first football club.
The first football clubs started in Britain, perhaps as far back as the 1400s. However, little documentation exists about these clubs, and now they’re defunct. Organizations that existed during this time included The Brewers’ Company (1421-1423) and The Gymnastic Society (1700s). However it’s important to note that these “football clubs” were not strictly dedicated to football. The first documented club that was 100% football and referred to itself as a football club could have been The Foot-Ball Club in Edinburgh, Scotland. It existed from 1821-1841. Interesting rules of the club allowed holding and pushing, but prohibited tripping. An account of one game mentioned almost 40 players participating. Other historical accounts refer to other clubs, such as ones in Leicestershire, Lancashire, and Newcastle.
Meanwhile, other historians believe that different football clubs were actually the first ones in the world. According to some, Sheffield F.C. (1857) was the first football club established. This was six years before The Football Association met to record the rules of the sport. It was also three years before Sheffield F.C. had a team to play against! Their first competitor was Hallam F.C. And today those teams have the oldest football rivalry in the entire world. In 2004 Sheffield F.C. became one of two football clubs to receive the Order of Merit from FIFA, due to their being the world’s first football club. The only other team to have received his award was Real Madrid. Hallam F.C. was established in 1860. It seems that in 1867 Hallam won the first football tournament. Also, the team holds the Guinness Book of Records for playing on the world’s oldest sport ground.
While the history of the first football clubs isn’t completely true, it’s certainly fascinating. There were even issues at first about what “football” and “club” meant. For that reason there’s some debate about what was the first football club was. Arguably it was Sheffield F.C., followed a few years later by Hallam F.C. Other experts argue that the first football club was The Brew’s Company. Regardless of how the world of football clubs started, there’s no doubt that they’re certainly an outstanding spectator sport today.