Strongest Ever National Team XI

strongwalker

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2014 WC winning german team with Reus and a world class striker would be hard to beat by anyone
 

devilish

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A Cannavaro v Nesta debate then. My take is that Nesta had the stronger career at club level but Cannavaro the better at international level - and his 2006 World Cup is one of the greatest series of performances by any player at any time. Ultimately if the teams were a reflection of international football, then the back five would have to include Facchetti - Cannavaro - Baresi - Scirea - Maldini - as all five shone on that stage.
Facchetti as RB?
 

harms

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Was Rossi overrated or something? No one seems to be including him
Depends on what team we are doing here. The team of the best players that the nation produced or the team of the players that performed better for the National team.
He was brilliant but overall his career was fecked by the 2-years ban for match-fixing and injuries. Definitely stepped up on the big occasions though - he was more impressive in Europe for example, than in the league for Juventus (which was built around Platini and not him). He would've made my team if I would've judged players by their national form, of course, he was immense on both 78 and 82 WC's.

Sad thing about that ban though - he was fantastic for Vicenza, and was on his was to become one of the world greats but didn't quite made it after all. Still holds the legendary status, but he should've achieved more.
 

Cina

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The Dutch really have had a lot of unbelievable footballers when you consider their size in contrast to other nations.
 

sun_tzu

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Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
A Cannavaro v Nesta debate then. My take is that Nesta had the stronger career at club level but Cannavaro the better at international level - and his 2006 World Cup is one of the greatest series of performances by any player at any time. Ultimately if the teams were a reflection of international football, then the back five would have to include Facchetti - Cannavaro - Baresi - Scirea - Maldini - as all five shone on that stage.
Thats true - though lets not forget Nesta was out of that competition and who knows if cannavaro would have shone as much with Nesta as his partner - perhaps they would have taken a more equal share of mopping up problems?

the truth is Italy have had some fantastic defenders - with Gentile and Picci (who played sweeper and midfield in his career) being the two that jump out to me in addition to the ones you mentioned.

So much of these type of things are guesswork as a big part of defence is that partnership and understanding and of course we dont know how Picci would play with Cannavaro for example and indeed the game is very different between the eras they were active - one thing that is for sure though is that Italy has produced some fantastic defenders over the years and certainly a better crop of centrebacks / sweepers than I can recall coming from any other nation
 

Sly

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Portugal:

Vítor Baía
João Pinto
Miguel
Fernando Couto
Ricardo Carvalho
Paulo Sousa
Rui Costa
Deco
Figo
Eusébio
C. Ronaldo
Who's Miguel? The right back from Benfica and Valência?
 

sun_tzu

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Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
The Dutch really have had a lot of unbelievable footballers when you consider their size in contrast to other nations.
Indeed - Especially when you consider that there are not many names from pre 70's that people are picking out in their teams whereas the Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, England teams would all have players dating back further.
That total football / Rinus Mikels total football team and indeed his 1988 euro team were quite spectacular and seem to have created a real template for the future of Dutch football as well

For me Id pick this lot but there are lots of options and its so telling that when you try to pick the dutch team several of them could occupy multiple positions (notably cruyff, Gullitt, Neeskins, Rijkaard and Krohl)

 

Balu

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Has anyone ever done a Denmark team? Should be brilliant in attack, not sure if you can find a somewhat decent defence though.

B. Laudrup - Elkjaer - Simonsen
M. Laudrup
Lerby ----- ???
??? - Olsen - ??? - ???
Schmeichel
So far it's pretty easy. Vilfort maybe as the 2nd midfielder, not sure how great he really was, but he scored that annoying goal in the Euro final in '92.
The only leftback that comes to mind is Jan Heintze from PSV's European Cup winning team.
Both Thomas Helveg and Johnny Hansen could play rightback and centerback as far as I know, not sure which way around is the better choice.


B. Laudrup - Elkjaer - Simonsen
M. Laudrup
Lerby --- Vilfort
Heintze - Olsen - Helveg - Hansen
Schmeichel​
 

Brwned

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Zoff

Facchetti
Maldini
Scirea
Burgnich

Pirlo
Tardelli
Rivera

Conti
Meazza

Riva

Zoff and Scirea were at the heart of the most dominant Italian team in history and their partnership elevates them above marginally better individuals in Buffon and Baresi. You have to have both Facchetti and Maldini in there but no matter what you do it, it's going to be lopsided and odd to look at. Ultimately any defence with Facchetti in it is going to be a 3-man defence for a lot of the game and any three man defence has two stoppers and a sweeper, so Maldini and Burgnich flanking Scirea fits perfectly for me.

Pirlo and Rivera in the same midfield is a bit flimsy but Tardelli does the work of two men and only a ultra-pragmatic manager like Capello would leave Rivera out for Gattuso. Conti's mobility gives the team something very different and he's the perfect supplier for Italy's standout #9 and anyone leaving Meazza out is mad IMO...he's one of just two Italians to have played in the starting XI of two World Cup winning sides and was obviously a key player in both. Baggio was the key player in a team that almost won the World Cup.
 
Last edited:

harms

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Zoff

Facchetti
Maldini
Scirea
Burgnich

Pirlo
Tardelli
Rivera

Conti
Riva
Meazza

Zoff and Scirea were at the heart of the most dominant Italian team in history and their partnership elevates them above marginally better individuals in Buffon and Baresi. You have to have both Facchetti and Maldini in there but no matter what you do it, it's going to be lopsided and odd to look at. Ultimately any defence with Facchetti in it is going to be a 3-man defence for a lot of the game and any three man defence has two stoppers and a sweeper, so Maldini and Burgnich flanking Scirea fits perfectly for me.

Pirlo and Rivera in the same midfield is a bit flimsy but Tardelli does the work of two men and only a ultra-pragmatic manager like Capello would leave Rivera out for Gattuso. Conti's mobility gives the team something very different and he's the perfect supplier for Italy's standout #9 and anyone leaving Meazza out is mad IMO...he's one of just two Italians to have played in the starting XI of two World Cup winning sides and was obviously a key player in both. Baggio was the key player in a team that almost won the World Cup.
Great team. Only thing that I don't agree with Gattuso being the first to replace Rivera, Benetti is better both physically and technically.
About Meazza - it's almost impossible to include both Meazza and Baggio in the same team and it's hard to say who was the better player. I just went with Baggio because he is one of my favorite players.

P.S. actually, Monti can be included here as well - ahead of both Benetti and Gattuso as well.
 

antohan

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I still believe that this would be a better balanced side - yours lacks wing threat that Conti provided.

----------- Baggio -- Riva
--------------- Rivera ----- Conti
Facchetti ---- Pirlo -- Tardelli
-------Maldini - Baresi - Bergomi
---------------- Zoff​
I'd go with that but agree with @devilish on swapping Bergomi for Burgnich, that's Burgnich's role right there, not Bergomi's or Gentile's, they were good at fulfilling it but Burgnich was the gold standard for that role.

What doesn't make any sense is to add a 4th centerback and leave Meazza out of the team. Italians knew how to defend and didn't have to do it in numbers. Oh and I said my suggestion looks wrong and is only about including the big names, I'm not argueing that it's the best team like you do with your questionable suggestion.
It's the usual tough decision you have to make with Best XIs. Personally I'd keep Meazza and drop Baggio, two World Cups do all the talking there for me however much I rate Baggio. You can't keep both, Riva balances things out better than the copout of playing both Meazza and Baggio.

--------- Meazza -- Riva
--------------- Rivera ----- Conti
Facchetti ---- Pirlo -- Tardelli
-------Maldini - Baresi - Burgnich
---------------- Zoff

Edit: Scirea or Baresi is the only big decision left. I can't fathom not playing Baresi but @Brwned has a point and Scirea probably better suits this setup while taking pressure off Pirlo.​
 

17 Van der Gouw

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As I said, he's my favourite United player but England's always been a mess. In fact I'm not sure any combination of Robson, Gerrard and Scholes would work well. We have never had a convincing Makelele.
Ah sorry, I missed that part. I agree, although I do think he's one the best CM we've ever had, I think him and a defensive midfielder would have worked well.
 

Balu

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Is Zoff > Buffon a given? I'd probaly go with Zoff if it's Scirea, but with Buffon if Baresi is playing. Agree with the rest though. If you want to have the best possible team, it's clearly the right approach. Everything else is just shoehorning big names in.
 

antohan

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Is Zoff > Buffon a given? I'd probaly go with Zoff if it's Scirea, but with Buffon if Baresi is playing. Agree with the rest though. If you want to have the best possible team, it's clearly the right approach. Everything else is just shoehorning big names in.
Play one in each half, sorted, and you won't even notice.
 

Theon

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Except that it hasn't been the Brazilian way since about 1986... And let's just say I'm rather skeptical of the "out-scoring" ability of XIs where players like Didi or Kaká are burdened with such crucial organisational & defensive roles as portrayed here (resp. as a halfback and a holding/deeplying mid).




The 'passing' comment wasn't meant to imply those players aren't excellent passers, was just putting the period when teams lined up with 7 or 8 forwards (ie. until the late 1800s) into context by pointing out that direct dribbling and hoofing was preferred over a build-up through passing.

Re: your WM-formation, lots of issues with shape and personnel; 1. Didi was NOT a halfback, he was primarily an inside-right who started dropping deeper when the Brazil NT adopted the 4-2-4, becoming something akin to a modern CM (who still spent most of his time in the attacking third; for example in his short stint at Real Madrid he deployed as an inside-forward), which in no way qualifies him to sit next to someone like Falcão and expect them to do an adequate job of tracking back or marking opp. inside-forwards/AMs, 2. Ronaldinho isn't an outside-left, he'll constantly come inside and clog the centre, 3. you have two centre-forwards, a WM only has one (nominal) CF, so which of Ronaldo/Romário is going to drop deeper in this scenario? On technical merit that would have to be Romário, I guess.. a rather poor choice as an inside-forward, especially considering Brazil's depth in that role or any later equivalent of it.




Interesting. Rubén Sosa ahead of Suárez on the bench? I don't exactly remember him setting the world on fire at any continental/international tournament apart from the UEFA Cup he won with Inter. Where would you rate Suárez among Uruguay's all-time forwards at the moment?




I think you mean Monti, who by several accounts was a real thug on the pitch -- but an effective one. On that note, not sure where these legendary defensive abilities of Redondo come from to be honest... fairly ironic too, considering he's most known for a typical enganche flair move. Surely guys like Rattín, Néstor Rossi, Mascherano, even Simeone are more reliable defensively? That said, in the context of that XI Redondo-Monti actually looks really well balanced, it's further up the field where you'll have issues with three playmakers occupying each other's space.
You need to chill out man, you're just moaning about everyones picks :lol: Lighten up.

On the passing comment, I'm not sure why you made it when it has no relevance to anything.

On that not being a being a WM formation.. I know, which is why I put 'MM' i.e. 3-2-3-2. It's a different formation. Not that it even matter what it's called.

Ronaldinho would be absolutely fine on the left, it's where he played most of his career. You're looking for things to moan about.

Your point about which of Romario or Ronaldo would have to drop deeper is, incredibly, driven by how you perceive a WM formation should be played - "A WM only has one forward, so one of them simply must drop deeper"... Okay. I've already told you that it isn't a WM. Not that it matters anyway, it's a really strange point. They quite clearly wouldn't have to drop deeper at all with Pele, Didi and Falcao in the side. Why would they?

But Aye, on the general point that it's weak defensively, 'no shit' is the phrase that comes to mind. You're pointing out the obvious. That clearly was not the theme of the team, which given it's an AllTime Brazilian XI doesn't bother me.

For what it's worth here is an AllTime Brazilian XI from an actual Brazilian. You should tell him how shit his team is too, which is clearly crying out for Dunga, Cerezo and Mauro Silva.

Gilmar

Roberto Carlos
Domingos da Guia
Luis Pereira
Cafu

Falcao
Zico
Ronaldinho

Pele
Romario
Ronaldo

who cares about defending anyways?
So yeah, I'm sticking with my very attacking Brazilian XI :)

 

Theon

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Oof, there's a real contrast in force and flair there. Could go either way but I think that Romario/Ronaldo combo would be too much to handle around the box.

I had Netzer in my German team. His long range passing would be good against that Brazilian side hitting them on the counter.

How would the Dutch fair against those two I wonder - I borrowed this idea from @Stadjer and think it looks great.

Stam is the only one who looks out of place but he actually played right back at Milan at times and did well. I think he would be fine in that RCB role - Van Hanegem and Neeskens suit those midfield positions and Gullit is with Van Basten again. Cruyff not being central is the only shame but I don't think there is any way around that.

 

Skorenzy

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You need to chill out man, you're just moaning about everyones picks :lol: Lighten up.

On the passing comment, I'm not sure why you made it when it has no relevance to anything.

On that not being a being a WM formation.. I know, which is why I put 'MM' i.e. 3-2-3-2. It's a different formation. Not that it even matter what it's called.

Ronaldinho would be absolutely fine on the left, it's where he played most of his career. You're looking for things to moan about.

Your point about which of Romario or Ronaldo would have to drop deeper is, incredibly, driven by how you perceive a WM formation should be played - "A WM only has one forward, so one of them simply must drop deeper"... Okay. I've already told you that it isn't a WM. Not that it matters anyway, it's a really strange point. They quite clearly wouldn't have to drop deeper at all with Pele, Didi and Falcao in the side. Why would they?

But Aye, on the general point that it's weak defensively, 'no shit' is the phrase that comes to mind. You're pointing out the obvious. That clearly was not the theme of the team, which given it's an AllTime Brazilian XI doesn't bother me.

For what it's worth here is an AllTime Brazilian XI from an actual Brazilian. You should tell him how shit his team is too, which is clearly crying out for Dunga, Cerezo and Mauro Silva.

So yeah, I'm sticking with my very attacking Brazilian XI

Moaning? My first (indirect) reply on your XI was a fairly light-hearted observation that wasn't even aimed at any specific XI (the one I originally quoted was just a great example), but questioning the logic behind why most people still stuck with fairly modern (read: conservative) formations when clearly realism isn't a factor and most people tend to think of attacking players as the best ones. Hence the 1-1-8 comment I made in jest. The reference to your XI was just because I felt the same "shipping goals" comment still applied there, even when your XI is actually right on the money wrt the point I was trying to make. After your reply I got caught up in the minutiae, but I don't see how my tone is moany exactly... for what it's worth I was going for formal.

Re: WM-MM, ah, I misread, thought you'd specifically said it was WM, which had me confused. My bad.

Re: Ronaldinho & CFs, well my concerns came from a real-world perspective, so nevermind then for the purposes of this thread.


*moan moan* like the look of your Dutch XI, and was gonna reply the exact same thing you mention about Stam being the odd one out (stylistically speaking) before I read your post :D *moan moan*
 

antohan

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Oof, there's a real contrast in force and flair there. Could go either way but I think that Romario/Ronaldo combo would be too much to handle around the box.

I had Netzer in my German team. His long range passing would be good against that Brazilian side hitting them on the counter.
I went for graft though, that midfield trio would run them into the ground and Matthäus, Schweinsteiger, Breitner, Brehme and Beckenbauer can still pick a pass alright.

How would the Dutch fair against those two I wonder - I borrowed this idea from @Stadjer and think it looks great.

Stam is the only one who looks out of place but he actually played right back at Milan at times and did well. I think he would be fine in that RCB role - Van Hanegem and Neeskens suit those midfield positions and Gullit is with Van Basten again. Cruyff not being central is the only shame but I don't think there is any way around that.

Cruyff with van Basten ahead is a difficult conundrum as the whole false 9 idea is shot. I'm not sure I would play Robben, with so many greats around I'd prefer a more team-oriented cog in the wheel.

With Rijkaard likely having to regularly drop into defence I'd task Cruyff with the central role as he would be far more familiar with dropping into midfield and hunting in packs alongside Van Hanegem and Neeskens.

I'd play Haan ahead of Stam and probably wouldn't play Koeman TBH, Blind would do a better job of holding the fort. Again, not a matter of individual quality but style, you lose his passing but the coherence and tactical adherence from all involved should prevail in their setup.

 

Tim Henman

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This is great. Sorry if it has been done before, but it's a great way to learn about older players for some of us in our mid 20s (and below).
 

Annahnomoss

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Just the thought of Ronaldinho and Garrincha on the same pitch would put a smile on your face. Though I do feel Jairzinho would like a word with Ronaldinho!
Jairzinho was more of a central AM or RW. He wasn't as good on the left, and even Jairzinho in his best role would arguably not push Ronaldinho away.
 

TheShedEnd

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Is this greatest national team players of all time or greatest players by nation?
 

anchan1989

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USA :(

I'm sticking O'Brien at LB where he played most of his appearances for Ajax. I'm choosing Holden for subs despite his constant injuries, and leaving out Harkes. I'm tempted to select Gibbs as a defensive sub despite his injuries that practically halted his progression into possibly the best defender in Nats history (which isn't saying much) and cost him a starting spot ahead of the 2006 WC. Taking Dooley over Onyewu.

------------Friedel------------
Sanneh--Pope--Balboa--O'Brien
Ramos-Reyna--Bradley-Donovan
------------Dempsey----------
------------McBride-----------

Subs: GK-Howard, GK-Keller; CD/LB-Bocanegra, RB-Cherundolo, CD/CM Dooley, CD-Lalas; LW-Beasley, MF-Holden, WG-Jones, FW/WG-Stewart; FW-Mathis, FW-Wynalda
I think that you can be quite happy; in 1990 the best USA eleven would look very dreadful.
But after the last 25 years with small but steady grow you can be proud.
An average team but its getting forward.
 

AllezLesDiables

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Belgian XI

GK Preud'Homme
LB Swartenbroeks
CB Kompany
CB Verbiest
RB Gerets
CM Van Der Elst
CM Van Moer
CAM Scifo
CAM Ceulemans
ST Van Himst
ST Braine
 

saivet

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England

Banks

G. Neville Ferdinand Moore Pearce

Robson Edwards

Beckham Charlton Finney

Greaves
I like Neville and during my time, he's the best England right back I've seen. However, is he really the best right back England have produced?
 

AllezLesDiables

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Ludo Coeck


ps


Jean marie pfaff was way better then Preud'Homme
Both were quite good although Courtois will be better than both.
Coeck was very good but as far as forwards go he's way down the pecking order. I'd put him below Jurion, Mermans and a few others
 

TheShedEnd

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I like Neville and during my time, he's the best England right back I've seen. However, is he really the best right back England have produced?
I'd say so, not many better. Now as for Ferdinand and Edwards, they're silly inclusions. By all accounts though it's difficult to put anyone from the last 15 years into that side, bar Ashley Cole.

Lots of solid perfomers, none who reached their full potential with the International team as they did at Club level.
 

Paul the Wolf

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I'd say so, not many better. Now as for Ferdinand and Edwards, they're silly inclusions. By all accounts though it's difficult to put anyone from the last 15 years into that side, bar Ashley Cole.

Lots of solid perfomers, none who reached their full potential with the International team as they did at Club level.
Why are Ferdinand and Edwards silly inclusions, can't think of anyone better at RCB and Edwards unfortunately lost his life at 21 but had already won 18 caps and scored 5 goals by that time and was being lined up for the captaincy of England in the 58 WC
 

montpelier

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I've watched England since before the 1966 World Cup and struggling to find a better one
Jimmy Armfield was very good by all accounts and might have been captain in '66 but got injured (think I read that somewhere, anyway)

(re the Nev RB question)
 

TheShedEnd

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Why are Ferdinand and Edwards silly inclusions, can't think of anyone better at RCB and Edwards unfortunately lost his life at 21 but had already won 18 caps and scored 5 goals by that time and was being lined up for the captaincy of England in the 58 WC
Exactly, Through tragic circumstances Edward's barely managed 20 caps and has a big reputation among the younger fans based on Charlton's comments.

I'll leave you to argue over who the best English centre-half of the last 20 years is, but I can tell you right now Ferdinand most certainly wasn't England's best defender in that period. Adams, Terry or Campbell have a bigger case for that.

That leads me to the question I made above - is this the best by nationality or best by International form?