Monthly Archives: November 2013

Great International Teams that Never Won: Hungary 1950-1956

Hungary line up for the 1954 World Cup Final

Hungary line up for the 1954 World Cup Final

For four years, they were unbeatable, unmatchable and invincible. From August 1949, Hungary went on an impressive run of unbeaten games. It was certainly one of the most impressive successive runs in international football history. By 1956, they had still suffered only one defeat. Their record of a further 42 wins and seven draws within that period gave them a win percentage of 91% in six years.

That is why they were known as the Magnificent Magyars. The Magical Read the rest of this entry

Great International Teams that Never Won: Austria 1931-1936

Matthias Sindelar was the soul of the Austrian Wunderteam

Matthias Sindelar was the soul of the Austrian Wunderteam

In 1930’s Vienna, the coffee houses bred an intellectual culture. These became the meeting points at which intellectual men — mostly Jewish — met to discuss intellectual matters. As they philosophised over politics, art, literature, music and religion, it took only a matter of time before football joined in the ranks.

It is here — long before AS Roma with Francesco Totti and Barcelona with Lionel Messi — where the idea of the false9 was first conceptualised. It was an idea that had already been informally used by teams prior to this. But in the coffee houses of Vienna,

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Great International Teams that Never Won

David Beckham looks on dejected

David Beckham looks on dejected

Introduction

There was no denying that France was the best team in Europe in the year 2000. Yet, with seconds of the Euro 2000 final remaining, Marco Delvecchio’s header was all that stood between Italy and the European Championship trophy.

But then, Sylvain Wiltord squeezed the ball in from an improbably acute angle to equalize for France. In golden goal extra time, it would be David Trezeguet’s left foot strike past Francesco Toldo that finally clinched it. From near disappointment, France had turned it around to state the truism of their supremacy.

Not many other teams have done that.

Indeed, on the international stage, circumstances have arisen where superior sides have bottled it when they Read the rest of this entry

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