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5 Great football teams that should have won a trophy

Monday, 17 June 2019 15:56:39 Europe/London News , By Brook Chalmers

Ferenc Puskas

Everybody remembers the winning team. For example, when we think of our most recent Champions League winners, Liverpool, many fans can recite the starting 11, as well as who sat on the bench during the game. However, who will remember Tottenham Hotspur's starting 11?

Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen anybody? Some great players were in the game and they’ll no doubt be remembered for many other achievements in football, but will they be remembered as Champions League finalists who came home with a runners up medal? Maybe.

In this post, we’re going to look at some of the greatest teams in history that didn’t quite make it. Whether they were knocked out in the final, suffered an embarrassing early exit from a competition or just didn’t quite live up to expectations, we’ll have some surprising teams for you to look at.


Hungary - 1954 World Cup

The 1954 Fifa World Cup was held in Switzerland and right from the beginning of the competition, Switzerland’s Central European neighbours, Hungary were out and out favourites to take home the greatest trophy on the football stage home with them.

Unfortunately for the Hungarians, the biggest Alp-lause went to the West Germans, who defeated the competition hungry Magyars in the final, beating them 3 goals to 2.

Hungary’s star player, Ferenc Puskas, would later state to the media that something was afoot and he didn’t mean a pair of skis. He felt his team of Hungarian superstars had been cheated out of the cup.

Having taken a kick and injuring his ankle earlier on in the group stages playing against West Germany, Puskas was not his usual self in the final. This, however, wasn’t the only suspicion Budapest Honvéd’s talismanic forward had about Hungary’s unexpected defeat. He would go on to accuse West German players of breaking doping rules, saying they had injected themselves with methamphetamines at half-time.

Here’s arguably Hungary’s best-ever national squad.

 

GK

1

Gyula Grosics

RB

2

Jenő Buzánszky

CB

3

Gyula Lóránt

LB

4

Mihály Lantos

RH

5

József Bozsik

LH

6

József Zakariás

CH

9

Nándor Hidegkuti

OR

11

Zoltán Czibor

OL

20

Mihály Tóth

IR

8

Sándor Kocsis

IL

10

Ferenc Puskás (c)

Arguably this was the most successful Hungarian team of all time to date. Although they do have a respectable competition record in the World Cups and Olympics of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, recent decades haven’t been as successful for the Mighty Magyars.


Leeds United - 1975 European Cup

Leeds United against Barcelona

After seeing off John Cryuff’s Barcelona squad on their way to the final fans would have been forgiven for thinking such a triumph would Leeds this team to be winners of the overall competition.

The final was held in Paris and although the team was now managed by Jimmy Armfield, they were still very much former manager Revie’s boys. Revved up and determined to make an impact on the European stage, Leeds were beaten by Bayern Munich 2 - 0 in a game full of controversies.

‘Robbed’ is a term that’s often used to describe what happened to Leeds in this game. The legendary Franz Beckenbauer had been accused of handling the ball earlier in the game and later fouled Allan Clarke. A harsh decision to rule out a goal from Peter Lorimer contributed to Leeds fans rioting in the stands.

Here’s a look at the starting lineup for the final.

 

GK

1

David Stewart

DF

2

Paul Reaney Yellow card 7'

DF

3

Frank Gray

MF

4

Billy Bremner (c)

DF

5

Paul Madeley

DF

6

Norman Hunter

MF

7

Peter Lorimer

FW

8

Allan Clarke

FW

9

Joe Jordan

MF

10

Johnny Giles

MF

11

Terry Yorath



Netherlands - 1974 World Cup

Netherlands 1974 World Cup Squad

Sometimes referred to as one of the greatest failures in football history, the men in the orange shirts were left red-faced when their brand of ‘total football’ was defeated by the industrious West Germans. At points in the game, the Dutch superstars were visibly frustrated that their efforts just weren’t paying off.

The West German team was led by the legendary defender Franz Beckenbauer and the Dutch side’s opposing captain was none other than the Netherlands creative, talismanic forward Johan Cruyff, who made an almost instant impression on the game. After just one minute of play, Cryuff made a dramatic solo run but was brought down by Uli Hoeneß in the penalty area. The Dutch took their chance with Johan Neeskens converting the penalty before the West Germans had even touched the ball.

The Germans struggled to recover from the early penalty against them and in the minds of spectators all over the world, the Netherlands team was being visualised as world champions. However, this all changed in the 25th minute when West Germany was awarded a penalty for a foul on Bernd Hölzenbein. This gave them a chance to put the score level again and Paul Breitner made the chance pay, scoring the penalty, much to the dismay of the onlooking Dutch supporters.

West Germany pushed on and their winner eventually came in the 43rd minute when Gerd Müller scored.

During the second half, there were chances for both sides. The linesman flagged offside for a goal Müller thought he has scored and Hölzenbein was brought down in the penalty area in the 85th minute but denied a penalty by the referee who believed him to be simulating a foul.

There weren’t any more goals in the second half and when the final whistle blew the West Germans were crowned champions. The Netherlands golden era, football innovators were left speechless.

The Netherlands team of total footballers was as follows.

 

GK

8

Jan Jongbloed

RB

20

Wim Suurbier

CB

17

Wim Rijsbergen

CB

2

Arie Haan

LB

12

Ruud Krol

DM

6

Wim Jansen

CM

13

Johan Neeskens

CM

3

Willem van Hanegem

RW

16

Johnny Rep

LW

15

Rob Rensenbrink

FW

14

Johna  Cryuff


Juventus Relegated 2005 - 2006

Pavel Nedved

Not strictly a failure of the team. Due to a match-fixing scandal, this incredible team was relegated to Serie B because of an enforced points deduction.

Before the trial for match-fixing, Juventus would have been runaway league winners with 91 points. However, having been accused of corruption they were relegated from Italy’s top flight, in turn saving Messina, who currently play their football in Serie D, from relegation.

The full team that Juventus had during this season is something to marvel at. Just take a look at it.

 

GK

1

Gianluigi Buffon

GK

12

Antonio Chimenti

GK

32

Christian Abbiati

DF

3

Giorgio Chiellini

DF

6

Robert Kovač

DF

7

Gianluca Pessotto

DF

14

Federico Balzaretti

DF

19

Gianluca Zambrotta

DF

21

Lilian Thuram

DF

26

Gladstone

DF

27

Jonathan Zebina

DF

28

Fabio Cannavaro

MF

4

Patrick Vieira

MF

8

Emerson

MF

11

Pavel Nedvěd

MF

16

Mauro Camoranesi

MF

20

Manuele Blasi

MF

23

Giuliano Giannichedda

MF

24

Rubén Olivera

FW

9

Zlatan Ibrahimović

FW

10

Alessandro Del Piero

FW

17

David Trezeguet

FW

18

Adrian Mutu

FW

25

Marcelo Zalayeta



Newcastle United 1995/ 1996 Premier League Season

Known as the ‘Entertainers’ the 1995/96 Premier League squad of Newcastle United at one point had a 12-point advantage. However, they let their advantage slip even though Manager Kevin Keegan had put together one of the most entertaining sides in Premier League history.

The side contained David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Peter Beardsley and they were on course to win the title in style. At the top of the league in January, Newcastle began to lose their footing and Man Utd had an impressive run of wins, including a 1-0 win over Newcastle. Eventually, Man Utd would beat Newcastle to the title, which would have been their first since 1927.

This is the squad and if you follow the Premier League, you’ll recognise many of the names.

 

GK

1

Pavel Srníček

GK

15

Shaka Hislop

DF

2

Warren Barton

DF

3

John Beresford

DF

4

Darren Peacock

DF

6

Steve Howey

DF

12

Marc Hottiger

DF

19

Steve Watson

DF

26

Robbie Elliott

DF

27

Philippe Albert

MF

5

Ruel Fox

MF

7

Rob Lee

MF

8

Peter Beardsley

MF

10

Lee Clark

MF

11

Scott Sellars

MF

14

David Ginola

MF

17

Jimmy Crawford

MF

18

Keith Gillespie

MF

22

David Batty

MF

23

Chris Holland

FW

9

Les Ferdinand

FW

11

Faustino Asprilla

FW

16

Darren Huckerby

FW

25

Paul Brayson

FW

28

Paul Kitson