In no particular order, below is a list of some of the best national soccer teams in the world, based on performance, popularity and FIFA rankings over the years:
Brazil holds the tag as the best national soccer team in the world having the world cup a record six times, most recently in 2002. They are also the only national team to have played in every world cup. Brazil has itself produced some of the greatest names in the sport such as Pele, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Zico and Socrates. The Brazilian way of football is always characterized by individual skill, devastating attacking play and an eye for spectacular goals. In every major tournament they participate in, they are usually billed as outright favourites.
The Argentinean national team has always been full of talented players; players such as Maradona, Batistuta and Veron need no introduction. Its current team were the gold medallists in the 2008 Olympics and are therefore potential world beaters. Currently, they boast of having the best player in the world in the form of Lionel Messi who now captains the side, and a host of other world class players such as Tevez, Di Maria, Aguero and Higuain. With these current crops of stars, they are surely one of the teams to watch in the forthcoming World Cup to be hosted in their rival nation, Brazil.
Up to 2008, Spain had always been considered as one of the most under achieving national soccer teams in the world but has silenced critics in the since then. They won the 2008 European Championships and 2010 World Cup in amazing fashion and currently top the FIFA World Rankings. They have two of the best midfielders in the world in Xavi and Iniesta and other household names such as Cassillas, Torres, Silva and Fabregas. With their current status, they are favorites to clinch this year’s European Championships.
The German national team must be one of the unluckiest teams in the world of soccer. They always manage to reach either semi- finals or finals of major tournaments but somehow miss out on the top prize. They were finalists in the 2002 world cup, finalists in 2008 European Championships and semi-finalists in both the 2006 and 2010 World cups. Current manager Joachim Low has injected a unique brand of compact and possession football that has attracted the eyes of many. Few can dare bet against them in major tournaments and they will surely want to clinch their first European Championship this year since 1996.
Italy has always produced formidable sides and is well known around the world for their astute defending and counter attacking football. This style of play won them the 2006 World cup. Players such as Maldini, Cannavaro and Nesta and Buffon have been the rock of the Italian defense in the recent past and they have been completed with sharp shooting attackers such as Del Piero, Vieri, Baggio and Totti. With the up and coming star players such as Balotelli, Marchisio and Rossi in their ranks, the future of Italian football looks as bright as ever.