These teams have produced some great moments on the field.
Every once in a while, there comes a team that personifies sports to such an extent that they become the flag-bearers of hope and success. From the double three-peats of the Chicago Bulls to the dominance of the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. From the eras of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Manchester United to the supremacy of the New York Yankees, history has witnessed a few of the greatest dynasties in sports.
But, apart from association sports, national teams have also left their mark with their sheer brilliance and superiority on the field. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at the five greatest teams on the international circuit:
5. Cuba Men’s National Baseball Team
If we look through a broader lens, the Cuban Baseball Team has 64% of the Baseball World Cup trophies, which translates to 25 titles out of a total of 39. Along with that, they also were runners-up on four occasions. The game is majorly played by the countries in the American hemisphere and Cubans have dominated the scene. The World Cup used to take place every two years and their command on the sport was such that Cuba went home with 12 WC titles in 13 editions from 1978 to 2005, which was the last time they won.
The World Cup was replaced in 2013 by the World Baseball Classic and it ironically also ended the reign of Cuba. The 2005 win remains the last time when the Cubans lifted a trophy in the international circuit.
4. Australian National Cricket Team
One can never get enough of talking about that Australian Cricket Team. The Aussies made the world bow to them in the decade of 1999-2009, when they created history by winning three ICC World Cup in a row – an unprecedented feat in the history of the sport. But, apart from that, Australia also won 25 test series out of a total of 31 and registered the streak of 16 successive test victories on two occasions!
The core of the team consisted of Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, as they went on to beat every nation there is. During this time, they defeated each Test playing nation, both home and away at least once and even bettered an ICC World XI in 2005.
3. United States Men’s National Basketball Team
Prior to the 1992 Olympics, professional NBA players were not allowed to participate in the quadrennial event. But, that year the United States assembled a roster of 12 of the best players, which included the famed Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson among other stars. The team is considered the ‘most illustrious collections of talents’ in the history of sports.
The dominance of the team was such that head coach Chuck Daly didn’t feel the need to take a single timeout during that edition. The dream team won every game by an average of 43.8 points. Thereafter, the US strengthened its grip on the international circuit, although with various sets of teams, as it won six gold medals in seven editions in Olympics Men’s Basketball.
2. Brazil National Football Team
The Brazil National Team has won the most number of FIFA World Cup titles in history. Football is the most viewed game in the world and much credit would be given to the Selecao. The superiority of Brazil has been cemented by two successful eras. The former period which included Pele and his heroics is well known.
1958 marked the inception of a teenage sensation, Pele, who sparked three World Cup wins in four editions and there was no looking back. Brazil just lost two games in four FIFA World Cups, which came in their first round exit in 1966 when Pele was out injured.
1. New Zealand Rugby Union Team
The Kiwis’ rugby team is synonymous with being superior to the rest. They have registered a 77% win rate in the overall 597 games of their history. The game’s turning point came in 1995 when it became professional. Since then they have maintained a wins ratio of 83%. Nothing can eclipse what the team has done in the past decade. Since 2010, they have won 72 of 80 matches, which includes 70 games against Tier 1 teams.
In 2013, New Zealand became the only team since 1995, to complete a perfect season after winning all 14 of their matches. The Kiwis maintained an average 19-point winning margin during those 80 games in the last five years.