With over 4 billion fans worldwide, the Association Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. Continuing its tremendous popularity worldwide, today, almost half of the world’s population consider themselves to the football fans. The renowned club teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United have fanfare worldwide.

But how exactly do you decide which are the greatest football teams of all time?

Soccer betting sites analyze and evaluate the team and their potential performance all the time. But they are limited to offering you soccer odds and making profits. This article is not going to help you with the football odds, but it’s a memoir of the overall triumphs of some of the greatest football teams that the world has ever seen.

To pick the five greatest soccer teams, we considered not only their wins and losses but also the playing style that kept the fans glued to their seats and entertained. Both club teams, as well as national soccer teams, were part of our consideration. We struggled with the tally as club teams play a lot more matches than national teams, but you got to admit, you recognize a top team when you see one.

Here are the top 5 football teams of all time. After you’ve read about these past teams, read up on current footy news at Times Football!

5. AC Milan (1989 to 1994)

What do you expect when you combine the smoothened grace of the Netherlands with the defensive dourness of Italy?

The AC Milan of the late 80s and early 90s!

Setting the benchmark for excellence in world football, the team won 3 Series A titles and 3 European Cups during the 1989-1994 period. Easily winning over the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona, AC Milan, under the tactical guidance of their coach Arrigo Sacchi showed the world who the greatest of all football teams is.

The glory of their talent easily makes AC Milan’s players of the era, serious contenders for the all-time world eleven. Outstanding players like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, and Marco Van Basten made it thrillingly entertaining to watch the team play. The players were ably supported by Carlo Ancelotti, Alessandro Costacurta, Marcel Desaillly, and Ruud Gullit. These names made Milan go down in history as a team that quite possibly had the most solid midfield and greatest back 4 of all time.

In 1991, Sacchi stepped down as their team manager, and Fabio Capello took charge of AC Milan and proved to be an equally successful leading team to domestic and continental glory.

The pinnacle of their performance was the game against Cruyff’s Barcelona in the Champions League final that AC Milan won by 4-0.

4. Barcelona (2008 to 2011)

During the 2008-2011 period, Barcelona completely took over world football, winning 2 Champions League and 2 LaLiga titles in just three years.  The masters of the possession-based football, Barca continued their strategy to keep stringing one pass after another and employing high-pressure/short passes to keep opponents at the edge.

Likes of Lionel Messi, Charles Puyol, and Andres Iniesta under the training of their coach and former Barca player Pep Guardiola made the team invincible for several seasons. It’s not so long ago that Barcelona beat Machester United in the Champions League finals of 2008-09 and 2010-11, and did we mention quite comfortably! But that’s not the only acclaim of the team. The royal thrashing of Real Madrid in a LaLiga match that Barcelona won 6-2 cemented their position amongst the greatest football teams of all time.

After Guardiola left Barcelona for Bayern Munich in 2012, the team hasn’t been able to repeat the performance of their golden years. But we still show our gratitude for the “tiki-taka” legacy Barca gave the world.

3. Spain (2008 to 2012)

The rise in prominence of Spanish football in late 2010 was largely contributed by the meteoric rise of Barcelona in club football. Between late 2010 and early 2012, Spain had 7-8 Barcelona players in the starting eleven that made the team one of the greatest. Names like David Villa, Iniesta, Busquets, Puyol, Xavi and Gerard Pique made Spain simply indomitable.

The legacy of the team winning 2 European Championships and 1 World Cup remains unbroken as no other has ever managed to win all three major competitions. Spain was able to win the World Cup without losing any match that tells a lot about their dominance in the game. Beating teams like Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands in various games, the best performance of Spain was the total annihilation of Italy by 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final.

2. Real Madrid (1998 to 2003)

Arguably the most glamorous of all football clubs, Real Madrid was filled with biggest world football stars during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The team had the best lineup with brilliant midfielders like Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, home-grown stars like Raul and Iker Casilla, but the greatest of all, Brazil’s Ronaldo Guti, Michel Salgado, Ivan Helguera, and Santiago Solari were other dependable names in the team.

During the period, Madrid won 3 Champions League and also clinched two LaLiga titles. It was a pure pleasure watching Real beat Juventus, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich quite comfortably. Rightly referred to as ‘the Galacticos’, there have been only a few teams in the history of the game that can match their play and performance.

1. Brazil (1969 to 1970)

Pele is the name that symbolized Brazil during the 1970 World Cup. Regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Pele was quite an advantage Brazel national team had during the tournament, but there were legends in the team as well.

Names like Carlos Alberto, Tostao, Jairzinho, Rivellino, and Clodoaldo defined Brazil’s magnificent talent pool. Brazil coached by 2-time World Cup winner Mario Zagallo played the highest quality football in the 1970 World Cup. In their quest for the 3rd World Cup trophy, the team beat England, Uruguay, and Italy to carve their name in the stone as one of the greatest football teams.