====================================================== From: email@example.com (Karel Stokkermans) Subject: My top-50 (was Re: OK!! HERE ARE 50 GREAT CLUBS!!) Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 12:13:24 MDT Here's my personal top-50, alphabetically ordered. Some of them are probably open to contention; I listed a few teams I've also considered at the bottom. Some remarks: my basic requirement for a club was at least 10 domestic titles and tangible continental success, where the domestic success should have been sustained over a long period of time, but not necessarily very recently. Teams like Nottingham Forest (2 Champions Cups, but only 1 national league title) and Estudiantes of La Plata (3 Copa Libertadores within 3 years but not a great team at home in Argentina) have been excluded. They are the only "major continental trophy winners" missing. I've included two African teams. Al Ahly, with over 20 Egyptian titles, 6 continental trophies (three of them champions cups) and an enormous following should be self-explanatory. The other one is Cameroonian record champions Canon Yaounde; only nine titles but the Cameroonian league is not that old, and with 4 continental trophies (3 champion cups) the second most successful African side. Someone suggested WAC Casablanca and Club Africain but they haven't been that dominant. Other inclusions that may need some justification: Santos may have had only a few really brilliant years, but they have also a respectable number of state championships in Sao Paulo (15 from 1935-84); Tottenham Hotspur have only 2 league championships but also 3 european trophies and are record winners of the FA cup - in England considered to be just as important as the league; Bologna come in thanks to 7 league titles won in a 40 year period and 2 Mitropa Cups (before the war a competition with a similar standing as the Champions Cup now); Hamburg won only 6 German titles, less than Schalke or Nuernberg, but proved themselves in Europe; and finally Olympique Marseille, though having won only 8 titles, less than Saint Etienne, still make it as the only French club in the list thanks to their European trophy, their 10 national cups (a French record), and the dedication of their supporters. In all, the list contains 30 European, 18 South American, and 2 African teams. 1.Ajax (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 2.Al Ahly (Cairo, Egypt) 3.Anderlecht (Brussel, Belgium) 4.Arsenal (London, England) 5.Aston Villa (Birmingham, England) 6.Atletico Mineiro (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) 7.Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain) 8.Bayern Muenchen (Muenchen, Germany) 9.Benfica (Lisboa, Portugal) 10.Boca Juniors (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 11.Bologna (Bologna, Italy) 12.Canon Yaounde (Yaounde, Cameroon) 13.Celtic (Glasgow, Scotland) 14.Colo Colo (Santiago, Chile) 15.Corinthians (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 16.Cruzeiro (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) 17.Crvena zvezda (Beograd, Yugoslavia) 18.Dynamo Kiev (Kiev, Ukraine) 19.Everton (Liverpool, England) 20.Ferencvaros (Budapest, Hungary) 21.Feyenoord (Rotterdam, Netherlands) 22.Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 23.Fluminense (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 24.Gremio (Porto Alegre, Brazil) 25.Hamburger SV (Hamburg, Germany) 26.Independiente (Avellaneda, Argentina) 27.Internacional (Porto Alegre, Brazil) 28.Internazionale (Milano, Italy) 29.Juventus (Torino, Italy) 30.Liverpool (Liverpool, England) 31.Manchester United (Manchester, England) 32.Milan (Milano, Italy) 33.Nacional (Montevideo, Uruguay) 34.Olimpia Asuncion (Asuncion, Paraguay) 35.Olympique Marseille (Marseille, France) 36.Palmeiras (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 37.Penarol (Montevideo, Uruguay) 38.Porto (Porto, Portugal) 39.PSV (Eindhoven, Netherlands) 40.Racing Club (Avellaneda, Argentina) 41.Rangers (Glasgow, Scotland) 42.Rapid (Vienna, Austria) 43.Real Madrid (Madrid, Spain) 44.River Plate (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 45.Santos (Santos, Brazil) 46.Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo, Brazil) 47.Sparta Praha (Praha, Czech Republic) 48.Sporting CP (Lisboa, Portugal) 49.Steaua (Bucuresti, Romania) 50.Tottenham Hotspur (London, England) Teams regretfully left out: Athletic Bilbao, Austria Wien, Botafogo, FC Brugge, Fiorentina, 1.FC Nuernberg, Saint-Etienne, San Lorenzo, Schalke '04, Spartak Moskva, Standard Liege, Torino, Ujpest (Dozsa), and Vasco da Gama. ------------------------------------------------- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marco Paserman) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 15:03:36 MDT Well done Karel! A really excellent list, and I thought it was impossible to compile one. For the moment, I have only one major complaint: Torino (that you put on your list of "regretfully excluded") should be on the list in place of Bologna. They have the same number of titles won, but Torino can probably boast the strongest team ever in the history of the Italian league, the one that dominated the immediate post-war era, before tragically losing all of its members in the Superga plane crash. I know that you made your picks on the basis of national and continental success, but some other less mechanical criteria should also be adopted; on the same grounds, I also wonder why the great Honved of Puskas, Kocsis etc. is not in the list. >Teams regretfully left out:[...], Fiorentina, I'm afraid that if there is another Italian team on this list it should be Roma, not Fiorentina. After Juventus and Inter (never relegated) I think that Roma is the only team that has been only one season in Serie B. Still, I don't think that either belong on the above list. ------------------------------------------------------ From: email@example.com (Karel Stokkermans) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: Sun, 29 Jan 95 20:45:39 MDT Bologna is indeed the most debatable team in the list (as an Athletic Bilbao supporter eloquently argued), and I mainly put them in because I thought 3 Italian teams was a bit thin (compared to for instance the number of English teams :) and Bologna also has 2 Mitropa cups to its credit. However, Torino's claims are indeed just as valid. As for Honved, of course they had one very good side and are a dominant force in Hungarian football, but the original poster asked for teams "expected to win throughout their history" and in Hungary Honved are (historically) clearly second behind "Fradi" (who also boast European success - of course, European competition came to early (Mitropa cups) and too late (European cups) for Honved). As for the guy claiming that Newcastle should be there based on a 10th place in some obscure (but surely based on success in this season) World Soccer ranking - sorry, but they are simply not there. I might as well include Sheffield Wednesday (no offense to either team intended). The one change I would now make to my original list is to include Athletic Bilbao at the expense of Bologna. ======================================================= From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Daniel Windler) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: Thu, 26 Jan 95 20:14:37 MDT Thank you! This is an excellent list and I'm happy that you listed the criteria at the beginning of the post. Any criticism would really be nit-picking, so I intend the only possible change I would make as an idea rather than a criticism, because I doubt that anyone could have done a better job compiling the list. First, let me say I'm happy (although not surprised) that my team Boca is on the list - I would have repeatedly flamed anyone who would have excluded them. And, although I'm glad that San Lorenzo was considered, I think I'd put them before Racing Club. I realize that under the criteria selected that Racing would be the chosen one, on the basis of their Libertadores and Intercontinental victory (San Lorenzo has never won a continental tournament). However, in the last 30 or so years, Racing has become more or less of a joke, and San Lorenzo, although winning few tournaments, consistently fights the top spots of the championship. I would conjecture that if there were a UEFA cup equivalent in S. America (I know there is now, but it just started, and its not taken too seriously), San Lorenzo would have won its share of tournaments. This is not a criticism, since it takes in depth knowledge of the particular league to make such suggestions (and even with this, I'm not sure most Argentines would agree with me). I must also admit my bias, even though I am a Boca fan, I am from Almagro (San Lorenzo's neighborhood) and have always had some sympathy for that team. Also, for some reason, I hate Racing even more than River Plate. ======================================================= From: marcelo@apollo.HP.COM (Marcelo Weinberger) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: Fri, 27 Jan 95 00:22:30 MDT Karel, your list is indeed based on sound criterions and very balanced. I think however that you should reconsider a few aspects. It's difficult to compare clubs from different continents, and this is open to endless debate, so let's accept your 30-18 division between Europe and South America, which sounds reasonable to me. Your 18 South American clubs include 10 from Brasil and 4 from Argentina, and this sounds much less reasonable. Given that the two Uruguayan big clubs must be in any list as well as Olimpia from Paraguay, and given that you may want to include at least one representative from the Pacific coast (Colo-Colo is indeed the best choice), you end up with 14 clubs to allot between Argentina and Brasil. I understand that you wanted to include the most important clubs from the 4 major Brasilian cities (football-wise). And possibly you wanted to allot as many clubs to Sao Paulo as to Buenos Aires (4, considering Avellaneda as part of the great Buenos Aires, and being Santos located in the state of Sao Paulo). But the end result (10 against 4) is totally out of proportion considering these facts: 1) Argentinian football has been far more successfull than the Brasilian one at the club level. It suffices to look at the Libertadores history, although it doesn't go beyond 1960. Apart from factors related to the strength of the local talent which are reflected in the national teams, which are summarized below, you must also take into account that the Argentinian league has attracted more and better foreign players since the very beginning of professional football in that part of the world (early thirties). 2) Taking into account about a century of football history, Brasil's success is "relatively recent." I mean, Brasil started to be something only in the late thirties, unlike Argentina, which has consistently been a football power since the beginning of the century until now. During that period, you can see a Brasilian superiority only during some 25 years (say, 1955-1975, and 1990-95). Before 1955 Argentinian football was superior, and after 1975 until this decade it has been either at a similar level or superior. 3) These facts are not reflected into WC's, where Brasil had a great success, but if you look at the stats of Copa America, which cover a longer period, you will see what I mean. Add to these facts some awesome teams that San Lorenzo de Almagro had, despite their relative continental success, some extraordinary players like Sanfilippo, and the fact that I like them, and you will agree with me that they should be included instead of one of the Brazilian clubs (I would exclude Atletico Mineiro). As for Europe, I think that 6 English clubs against 4 Italian and two Spanish is totally out of proportion: Torino should definitely be in. ------------------------------------------------ From: email@example.com (Ricardo Nunes) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: 27 Jan 1995 13:22:59 -0500 Hi Marcelo! Being a Brazilian, I must say I think your points are mostly well taken. I think that at the club level the 10/4 ratio between Brasil/Argentina is far too unreasonable (even discounting the population and size-of-country factors). You mention Atletico Mineiro and rightly so. They are always a major force at the national level in Brasil but pretty much unheard of at the international scene. They took part in the Libertadores 3 times with no success whatsoever, and won the Comenbol once, that being a tournament of very little impact, perhaps for being so new. Neverthelees I would like to offer some of my opinions on the matter: You should remember (and being Uruguayan you happly will), that Brasil was probably the best team in the world in 1950. I know that Argentina refused to play in 1950, and I have no knowledge of the strength of the Argentinian side at the time. Assuming they were very good, I would find it difficult to believe they were superior to Brasil (at the same level maybe). You don't trash all European teams that cross your way, like Brasil did in 1950, without having an excellent team (even at home). Also, in 1938 Brasil was already a major international power, and I see little substance in your claim that Argentina was much better than Brasil until 1955. As for another period you mention, the 1975-1990, I would add a piece of information here. From 1970 to 1990 the statistics of Brasil x Argentina confrontation favours Brasil heavily. There was even a period of years without a single win by the Argies (I don't have the stats with me, unfortunately). Actually, when Argentina beat Brasil in the 1990 WC, it broke a long streak of winningless games against Brasil. Actually, Brasil was, after 1970, able to balance the history of the Arg x Bra confrontation that was strongly favourable to Argentina before 1970. At the club level I think Argentina and Uruguay (the latter until few years back) have been much more consistent than Brasilian clubs. I see only three Brasilian teams that can claim to having a consistent international appearance: Santos (though in this case more history than present), Sao Paulo and Cruzeiro. Cruzeiro won the Libertadores in 1976, was a runner-up to Boca the following year (penalty kicks, Argentina seem to never loose one) and won the Supercopa twice in a row: 1991-1992. As for the Copa America stats, although I hate this kind of excuse, Brasil don't always take it very seriously (which I think is regretful). To my memory, since 1975 the only time Brasil sent a full strenght squad was in 1989 ('cause it was at home). In 1977 (year may be wrong) a team formed out players from Cruzeiro and Atletico lost to Peru in the final. In the last one, out of the 22 players Brasil sent to Equador only 3 were in the WC roster (Cafu, Zinho and Zetti). The others were not even subs. ------------------------------------------------------ From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Karel Stokkermans) Subject: Re: My top-50 Date: Tue, 31 Jan 95 22:25:43 MDT To save some time, I'll deal with several replies at once. Marcelo Weinberger wrote: > so let's accept your 30-18 division between Europe and South America, > which sounds reasonable to me. Okay - but please keep in mind that I did not set that division _a priori_; I just happened to find 30 European and 18 South-American teams that came close enough to meeting my criteria. > Your 18 South American clubs include 10 from Brasil and 4 from Argentina, > and this sounds much less reasonable. I know. Argentina (and Uruguay) had much more continental success than Brazil. The basic reason that the split turned out this way is that I considered the Brazilian state championships to be not much below a national championship for most leagues - at least for the four "big" states, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and Rio Grande do Sul. I'll grant you that the latter two only have two decent teams in the championship, so Gremio, Internacional, Cruzeiro and Atletico Mineiro had relatively easy rides to make this list. (The same holds for Celtic and Rangers; especially the latter enjoyed virtually no continental success, but because of their domestic dominance they certainly merit an inclusion in a list of teams "expected to win".) The Brazilian national championship does not go back long enough for any of those teams to have amassed ten titles (if I'm not mistaken, Flamengo holds the record with six). The original poster asked for teams "used to success", and Atletico Mineiro with their 34 or so state championship surely are that. It's true that in their case I dropped the "international success" cri- terion - but apart from Estudiantes or perhaps America Cali and Nacional Medellin I don't see which other South American team can claim to have been significantly more successful on the international level (with all due respect for undeniably strong teams like San Lorenzo). > Given that the two Uruguayan big clubs must be in any list > as well as Olimpia from Paraguay, and given that you may want to include > at least one representative from the Pacific coast (Colo-Colo is indeed Well, it's not that I _wanted_ to include any team. Colo Colo have an overwhelming amount of Chilean championships (compared to other Chilean teams) and one Copa Libertadores. Cobreloa lost two Libertadores finals, but that wouldn't have made them my second choice from Chile (had I chosen to include a second Chilean team that is; probably Barcelona from Guayaquil or Universitario Lima would have come before any other Chilean team). > I understand that you wanted to include the most important clubs from the > 4 major Brasilian cities (football-wise). And possibly you wanted to allot > as many clubs to Sao Paulo as to Buenos Aires (4, No, I didn't want to allot anything. Fifty is a rigid number - I decided four Sao Paulo (state) teams would come into my top-50, just as four teams from greater Buenos Aires. > But the end result (10 against 4) is totally out of proportion Certainly a top-100 would include no more Brazilian teams, and up to 4 (San Lorenzo, Newell's Old Boys, Estudiantes, Rosario Central) more Argentinian teams. But a top-50 was asked, so I made a (personal) top-50; and some Brazilian teams "just" made it into that top-50. But please keep in mind that I didn't make the allocation countrywise - I made it clubwise. > and you will agree with me that they [San Lorenzo] should be included > instead of one of the Brazilian clubs (I would exclude Atletico Mineiro). Well, I'm no expert on South American football, obviously, and if enough of you insist that San Lorenzo merits an inclusion in a list of this kind more than say Atletico Mineiro, fine. But similar cases can, I believe, be made for many clubs: Austria Wien had several great teams and boasted Matthias Sindelar, they had their fair share of domestic success and won the Mitropa-Cup twice in a time that Central European football was on an internationally competitive level. > As for Europe, I think that 6 English clubs against 4 Italian and two > Spanish is totally out of proportion: Torino should definitely be in. In my "basic" list only 3 Italian teams figured, and Bologna came in mainly because I indeed thought that was a bit meagre. Similarly convincing cases could have been made for Austria Wien, Athletic Bilbao, FC Brugge or Schalke '04; of those, I would now include Athletic (instead of Bologna) because of their record of Spanish cup wins. Of the English teams, I think Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal are "unquestionable"; whether Everton's "always there", Villa's "early dominance and sustained success" or Tottenham's "cup record and reputation for style" indeed merits inclusion - I think so, but obviously opinions and tastes differ. Daniel Windler wrote: > First, let me say I'm happy (although not surprised) that my team Boca > is on the list. I would have repeatedly flamed anyone who would have > excluded them. That's the main reason I included them :-). > Racing has become more or less of a joke, and San Lorenzo (although > winning few tournaments) consistently fights the top spots I understand - but that's not exactly saying they are a team "expected to win", like the original poster asked for. A list of "best teams" or "most popular teams" would certainly look different from this one; even if I were to compile it... > Also, for some reason, I hate Racing even more than River Plate. Aha :-). Finally, Jose Angel Hernaiz-Cotrina: > Sorry to say but you've forgotten quite a number of teams which should be > there as well as including others which shouldn't be. I'm sure. > How can you forget teams such as Atletico Madrid? Well, actually, I didn't. Although, admittedly, I didn't list them as "regretfully omitted". Their domestic success is however limited to 8 championships and a few cups and can't compare to Athletic Bilbao's (which would have been my third choice for a Spanish team). Okay, so they won one Cup Winners Cup (so did KV Mechelen) and lost a Champions Cup final (as did Malmo FF). That, to me, was not enough to include them in a top-50 of teams "used to success". I'm sorry - I would have considered IFK Goeteborg ahead of them. > Please try to do a few changes. The only one someone has managed me to convince of: Athletic Bilbao instead of Bologna. You're welcome to try and convince me to include Spartak Moskva, Atletico Madrid, or Borussia Moenchengladbach - but you'll have to come with something better than the above.