Thanks for the A2A.
I think the general consensus of answers are leaning towards Brazil simply because of their plethora of legendary world class attacking talent. Heck even their defenders are world renowned for their attacking capabilities. ( Roberto Carlos etc).
My answer will sound like I am answering a question of who can beat the All Time Brazilian XI because I believe they will be the clear favorites by far so I have to phrase my answer that way.
However to brilliantly answer that, football is a team game after all. I am in no way criticizing the Brazilian team for being self orientated, however I believe there is a country who can give the Brazilian team a run for their money, and might even beat them.
So for the sake of diversity and healthy debate, I am not going to go with the flow for this one. The nation I am picking is the one I will root for every major international competition simply they embody the values of consistency, teamwork and winning attitude all in one team.
The nation is none than Die Mannschaft, the German National Football Team.
Brazil has won the ultimate prize 5 times, however Germany is close behind with 4 and Germany participated in 2 fewer world cups, ( 1 for not entering the first, the other for being banned due to WW2). Let me remind you, Germany was divided into West and East Germany, which meant the best of the East were separated from their more successful Western Compatriots. Although there were not many world renowned East German players, there were certainly some players who can supplement the West German squad (Joachim Streich, Hans-Jürgen Dörner etc) .
Yes I wasn’t even born yet to see them play however after doing some research, I believe that a Unified Germany will allow a more complete and better squad to compete for more titles. I might be wrong in this section so I welcome any correction but I’ll stick with this for now.
Brazil have immortal legends in their all time best however you can only fit 11 football players on the pitch. I don’t expect to chuck 6–8 offensive minded players without caring about defensive balance.
This is the beauty of the German Side. Their all time talent pool is filled with enormous depth and ability to boot.
- Oliver Kahn ( Monster In Goal, Best In his Era.)
- Manuel Neuer ( Sweeper Keeper, Best In His Era)
- Hans- Jorg Butt ( Crazy Goal Record For A Keeper. )
- Sepp Maier ( Legendary German Keeper, Possibly Bayern’s best keeper, beating Kahn and Neuer)
- Jens Lehmann ( Underrated but a very good goal keeper in his day.)
The Brazilian keepers are great, ( Dida, Taffarel, Gilmar but better than Kahn? I don’t think so.)
- Der Kaiser, Franz Beckenbauer ( Possibly the greatest defender of all time. )
- Matthias Sammer ( Versatile, can play as a defensive midfield or a defender , he excelled in both, his goal scoring record for a defender as well. )
- Lothar Matthaus ( Perhaps Germany’s most important for this game. A box to box machine who can play sweeper as well. Not exactly a defender but still able to perform at a high level there. You have to include Matthaus. Even Maradona says he is his greatest rival.
- Philip Lahm ( Small but almost indispensable to the side. He will be able to deal with the Brazilian threats alongside the rocks beside him. Lahm isn’t some scrub he is one of the world’s best right backs for a reason)
- Jurgen Kohler ( A lion in defence one of the best of all time)
- Andreas Brehme ( Set Piece specialist and crossing threat. Almost Roberto Carlos like.)
The Brazilian full backs ( Cafu, Roberto Carlos) are definitely way better than their German counter parts however, the centre back paring of Beckenbauer alongside any of the defenders I mentioned above will make the back 4 a well oiled defensive machine. Carlos Alberto and Domingos Da Guia are perhaps one tier lower than the The Emperor himself. A very close fight, but when your anchor is Beckenbauer, your defense has the edge. As Beckenbauer sweeps, Kohler will guard Ronaldo like a rash, and will try to keep El Phenomeno as quiet as possible.
I might be cheating by repeating but..
- Lothar Mathaus
- Matthias Sammer
I mean come on. These 2 players are midfielders by right and when facing Brazil’s attacking juggernaut, your midfield has to consist of defensive rocks while also have the capability to contribute at the offensive end.
Just slot Kohler beside Beckenbauer and you will be choking the Brazilian attack and midfield connection. It will be no easy feat, but those guys are all great leaders as well and they will treat the 90 mins as if their lives depended on it.
- Michael Ballack ( The link to the defense and offense. His shot can snatch a goal out of no where as well. One of Germany’s greatest players. )
There are many other German midfielders out there who can play Ballack’s role as well so the depth is apparent for all to see. ( Research them if you are interested.)
The midfield is to simply work together tirelessly to subdue the Brazilian firepower, midwhile hitting on the counter when the Brazilian full backs are on the overlap. If Maradona views Matthaus as his greatest rival, I believe he is more than capable to match up against Pele or Ronaldinho who plays in midfield while Sammer can help out Matthaus if the need arises. Beckenbauer will probably be at his sweeping best and can act as an additional midfielder. Ballack can play defensive if need be but he will most likely be the one to unleash the front 3 on the counter.
- Der Bomber, Gerd Muller ( One of the greatest goalscorers and poachers of all time, he is the best guy to depend after parking the bus for 80+ minutes. You want your striker to be clinical and deliver the sucker punch.)
- Karlheinz Rummenigge ( Will be a great partner for Muller and his goalscoring record will be an added plus.)
- Jurgen Klinsmann ( Another great striker to complete the front three)
The front three will need to be at their sharpest as they need to be clinical. With Gerd leading the way while Rummenigge and Klinsmann will try to stretch the wing backs.
With all that being said, it will be an extremely close fight. Betting against Brazil seems ludicrous however if I had to, I have to roll with Germany. I apologise for not being that detailed as it will take very freaking long to include all the other contenders. Thankfully,brilliantly summed up the other dark horses and traditional powerhouses so please refer to his answer for the other teams.
*Note* Anyone who believes Brazil will still triumph is free to think so. I have nothing to dispute as Brazil is really stacked and have the best players a manager can hope to have. However like me, I love to cheer the underdog and the team who plays in perfect unison and always seem to find the moment to snatch the victory.
As Gary Lineker simply puts it…