Football is a universal sport and it is undoubtedly the most loved game in the entire world. A lot of people play the game and an equal number of people support their favorite football clubs. A certain Bill Shankly quote comes to mind when stressing the importance of the game, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.” Without wasting further time, let’s take a look at some of the nations that has been able to play the sport a lot better than the rest.
It seems injustice not to mention Brazil when a list of some of the greatest football nations is formulated. No other team bar Brazil has been able to win 5 World Cups. Brazil has the distinct honor of being the only nation to qualify for every FIFA World Cup editions since its inception. The country has also been able to lay its hands on the FIFA Confederations Cup 4 times; an unmatched feat so far. Never short on talent, the Brazilians are renowned worldwide for their flair and amazing dribbling techniques.
Italy is a nation renowned for producing some of the game’s greatest players. The nation has more than held its own in the biggest football event, the FIFA World Cup. In terms of bagging the world cup, the country is the second most successful country in the world. Their fourth and recent World Cup victory came in 2006 at the expense of France. The Italy football team bears the nickname Gli Azzurri. Italy has regularly performed exceptionally well at the European Championship too, managing to land the coveted trophy in 1968.
The German national football team is a ruthless disciplined football team that always manages to leave its mark in any major football event. The country has managed to bag 3 FIFA World Cups and 3 European championships. The country has had its share of heartache as well; they have finished runners up in the World Cup on 4 occasions. They’ve also lost 3 Euro Championships finals. The decorated team manages to produce great footballers on a regular basis and some of the greats the country has produced are Oliver Kahn, Franz Beckenbauer, and Gerd Muller etc.
Before 2008, Spain was known as the biggest choker in the game. Their inability to land major trophies, even with a vast pool of talent at their disposal, led everyone to count them out in major tournaments. All the taglines were firmly displaced to the bins after Spain’s majestic triumph in Euro 2008. With their new found success and confidence, Spain captured the 2010 FIFA World Cup playing exceptional football. Spain was truly set on making up for all the disappointing years and there was no stopping the nation. A Euro championship followed again in 2012.
Argentina comes second to none when it comes to producing some of the world’s biggest football stars. Greats such as Maradona and Messi have donned the Argentina jersey and have led the country to several victories. The country has been able to win the FIFA World Cup twice. Besides that, the country has also had successful stints at the Copa America; the country has won the prestigious trophy 14 times. The nation has also seen success in the Olympics, managing to win 2 Olympics football tournaments.
Known as Les Bleus, the French national football team has performed admirably in some of the biggest football stages. No major football trophy has eluded the French. They’ve laid their hands on the FIFA World Cup once and the Euro Championships twice. The country has also won 2 FIFA Confederations Cup. Besides Argentina, France is the only other country who has managed the feat of winning 3 major titles organized by football’s governing body, FIFA. The last time France packed a punch in a major football tournament was in the 2006 FIFA World Cup when they finished runners up to Italy.
The small nation has been able to punch above its weight in several major football tournaments. Known as La Celeste, the nation’s football team has been able to win 2 FIFA World Cups. The country has also been able to win the Copa America a record 15 times. 2 Summer Olympics gold medals followed in 1924 and 1928. The nation looks set to take the world by storm in the 2014 FIFA World Cup with its current crop of football stars, Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez.