Soccer, or football as it is known outside the U.S., is the world’s most popular sport. Its rich history and global appeal have given rise to some of the best soccer teams of all time. From the best soccer teams by country to the best by U.S. state, this guide explores these remarkable teams’ excellence, achievements, and impact.

The Singular Best Soccer Team of All Time

Soccer’s tapestry is rich with legendary teams, iconic players, and unforgettable matches. The Brazil National Team of 1970, led by unparalleled talents such as Pelé, Jairzinho, Tostão, and Rivelino, has become emblematic of the best soccer team of all time.

Brazil National Team, 1970

Often hailed as the best soccer team of all time, the Brazil National Team of 1970 embodied everything beautiful about the game. Led by the legendary Pelé and featuring stars like Jairzinho, Tostão, and Rivelino, this team captured the hearts of fans worldwide.

Style of Play

Their style of play was fluid, inventive, and breathtakingly skillful. The team played with joy and creativity that became synonymous with Brazilian soccer.


Winning the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico, Brazil’s third World Cup title, allowed them to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently. Their final match against Italy is still regarded as one of the greatest games ever played.


The Brazil 1970 team’s impact goes beyond trophies and titles. They inspired a generation of players and fans, setting a standard of excellence and artistry that continues to influence the game today. It is no surprise this team is largely regarded as one of the best soccer teams of all time.

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Best Soccer Team by U.S. State (All-Time)

Soccer is growing rapidly in the United States, with each state boasting its team. Here’s a look at some of the best soccer teams by U.S. State.


LA Galaxy (2011)

  • Achievements in 2011:
    • MLS Cup champions
    • Supporters’ Shield winners
  • Notable Players: Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane

LA Galaxy is the first team to win five MLS Cups. The signing of David Beckham in 2007 was a watershed moment for the league, bringing international attention. Landon Donovan, the all-time leading scorer for the L.A. Galaxy and the U.S. Men’s National Team, played a pivotal role in the club’s success. Robbie Keane’s partnership with Donovan during the early 2010s was one of MLS’s most lethal attacking duos.


Colorado Rapids (2010)

  • Achievements in 2010:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Conor Casey, Omar Cummings

The Rapids’ home stadium, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, is known for its high altitude, presenting a unique challenge for visiting teams. Pablo Mastroeni played for the Colorado Rapids from 2002 to 2013 and is one of the club’s most iconic players. The club’s crest features the Rocky Mountains, symbolizing the state of Colorado.


Orlando City SC (2014 – USL)

  • Achievements in 2014:
    • USL Pro Champions
  • Notable Players: Kevin Molino, Luke Boden

Orlando City’s passionate fan group, “The Wall,” is known for creating a vibrant atmosphere at matches. Kaká, the Brazilian superstar, joined Orlando City in their inaugural MLS season, bringing significant attention to the club. Orlando City Stadium features 49 rainbow-colored seats in memory of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.


Atlanta United (2018)

  • Achievements in 2018:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Josef Martínez, Miguel Almirón

Atlanta United broke multiple attendance records, with a single-match record of 72,548 fans in 2019. The club’s home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, features a state-of-the-art retractable roof. Josef Martínez’s 31-goal season in 2018 broke the previous MLS single-season scoring record.


Chicago Fire FC (1998)

  • Achievements in 1998:
    • MLS Cup champions
    • U.S. Open Cup winners
  • Notable Players: Peter Nowak, Luboš Kubík

The club’s name, Chicago Fire, commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Soldier Field, an iconic stadium primarily used for American football, serves as the home ground for Chicago Fire. Cuauhtémoc Blanco, one of Mexico’s greatest players, played for the Fire from 2007 to 2009, enhancing the team’s appeal.


Sporting Kansas City (2013)

  • Achievements in 2013:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Matt Besler, Graham Zusi

Sporting K.C. underwent a significant rebrand in 2010, transitioning from the “Kansas City Wizards.” The club’s home stadium, Children’s Mercy Park, consistently sells out, showcasing the sport’s growth in the Midwest. Graham Zusi and Matt Besler, long-time stalwarts for Sporting K.C. and the U.S. Men’s National Team, played pivotal roles in the club’s successes.


New England Revolution (2005)

  • Achievements in 2005:
    • MLS Cup runners-up
  • Notable Players: Taylor Twellman, Shalrie Joseph

Owned by Robert Kraft, who also owns the NFL’s New England Patriots. Taylor Twellman scored 101 goals in 174 appearances and is the club’s all-time leading scorer. The New England Revolution’s Gillette Stadium is one of the largest venues in MLS.

New Jersey

New York Red Bulls (2018)

  • Achievements in 2018:
    • Supporters’ Shield winners
  • Notable Players: Bradley Wright-Phillips, Aaron Long

Thierry Henry, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, played for the New York Red Bulls from 2010 to 2014. The Red Bull Arena, with a seating capacity of 25,000, is known for its European-style design. The club has a strong academy system, producing talents like Tyler Adams.


Houston Dynamo (2007)

  • Achievements in 2007:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Brian Ching, Dwayne De Rosario

The Dynamo won back-to-back MLS Cups in their first two seasons (2006 & 2007). Their home, BBVA Stadium, was one of the first soccer-specific stadiums in the U.S. with a downtown location. Brian Ching, a key figure in the club’s early success, had a testimonial match in 2013, showcasing his impact.

New York

New York City FC (2019)

  • Achievements in 2019:
    • Eastern Conference Regular Season champions
  • Notable Players: Maxi Moralez, Héber

NYCFC is affiliated with Premier League club Manchester City. Italian legends Andrea Pirlo and David Villa played for the club, bringing a wealth of experience and skill. Yankee Stadium’s unique dimensions, originally designed for baseball, present a distinct home-field advantage.

District of Columbia

DC United (1998-1999) 

  • Achievements in 1998-1999:
    • MLS Cup champions in both years
  •  Notable Players: Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry 

1998 and 1999 marked back-to-back MLS Cup wins for D.C. United, establishing the team as a powerhouse in the league’s early years. The contributions of Jaime Moreno and Marco Etcheverry were vital to the team’s dominance. The club’s passionate fan base and significant impact on U.S. soccer have made them a standout team in the history of the sport in the country.


Columbus Crew SC (2008)

  • Achievements in 2008:
    • MLS Cup champions
    • Supporters’ Shield winners
  • Notable Players: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Frankie Hejduk

The Columbus Crew was one of MLS’s original ten charter clubs when it began in 1996. Their former home, Mapfre Stadium, was the first soccer-specific stadium in the league. The “Save The Crew” movement by fans in 2017-2018 successfully prevented the team from relocating.


Portland Timbers (2015)

  • Achievements in 2015:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe

The Timbers Army, one of the most passionate supporter groups in MLS, creates a European-like atmosphere at home games. The tradition of Timber Joey cutting a log slice for every goal scored is unique in world football. Diego Chara and Diego Valeri have been central figures in the Timbers’ MLS era.


Philadelphia Union (2020)

  • Achievements in 2020:
    • Supporters’ Shield winners
  • Notable Players: Alejandro Bedoya, Andre Blake

Their Supporters’ Shield win came in a unique season affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Homegrown talent Brenden Aaronson emerged as a star in 2020 before moving to R.B. Salzburg. The Philadelphia Union’s mascot, Phang, is a snake, reflecting the “Join or Die” political cartoon.


Seattle Sounders FC (2019)

  • Achievements in 2019:
    • MLS Cup champions
  • Notable Players: Nicolás Lodeiro, Raúl Ruidíaz

Before joining MLS, the Seattle Sounders had a rich history in various other U.S. soccer leagues. Clint Dempsey, one of the best U.S. Men’s National Team players, played for the Sounders from 2013 to 2018. Sounders fans are known for their “March to the Match” before home games, a tradition that amplifies the atmosphere.

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Best Soccer Team by Country

Around the world, national pride often centers on soccer. Here’s a glimpse of the best soccer team by country.

Brazil: Flamengo (1981)

Flamengo is one of the most supported clubs in the world, boasting an estimated 40 million supporters. Their 1981 Copa Libertadores victory marked the pinnacle of the club’s success, led by the legendary Zico. Flamengo’s red and black colors are iconic in Brazilian football, symbolizing a rich tradition. It is no surprise that this team is the best soccer team of all time in Brazil.

Italy: AC Milan (1988-1994)

AC Milan’s golden era in the late ’80s and early ’90s included back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990. Coached by Arrigo Sacchi, the team revolutionized football with a high-pressing style. Iconic players like Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, and Marco van Basten played pivotal roles in the team’s success.

Spain: FC Barcelona (2008-2012)

Under Pep Guardiola, Barcelona played a style of football that has often been described as the most beautiful ever seen. Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez, and Andres Iniesta were the core of a team that won an unprecedented sextuple in 2009. The philosophy of “tiki-taka” football has influenced many teams globally.

Germany: Bayern Munich (1972-1974)

Bayern’s team of the early ’70s, featuring Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, and Sepp Maier, won three consecutive European Cups. Beckenbauer’s role as a “libero” redefined football tactics. Bayern’s red and white colors have become synonymous with success in German football.

England: Liverpool FC (1976-1984)

Liverpool’s dominance in the late ’70s and early ’80s saw them win four European Cups. Players like Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, and Graeme Souness became legends at the club. Anfield, Liverpool’s home ground, is famous for the anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” creating a unique matchday atmosphere.

France: Olympique de Marseille (1992-1993)

Marseille’s 1992-1993 season was highlighted by winning the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first French team to achieve this feat. The team featured standout players like Didier Deschamps and Rudi Völler. The club’s passionate supporters and the Stade Vélodrome’s intimidating atmosphere are renowned.

Argentina: Boca Juniors (2000-2003)

Boca Juniors won three Copa Libertadores titles in four years during this period, cementing their status as South American giants. The play of Juan Román Riquelme and Carlos Tevez was instrumental in this success. La Bombonera, the team’s stadium, is famous for its vertical sides, creating an intense noise level. It is clear that the Boca Juniors is the best soccer team of all time in Argentina.

Netherlands: Ajax Amsterdam (1971-1973)

Ajax’s “Total Football” philosophy, led by coach Rinus Michels and star Johan Cruyff, won three consecutive European Cups. The club’s youth academy, known as “De Toekomst” (The Future), has produced countless talents. Ajax’s emphasis on developing homegrown talent continues to influence clubs worldwide.

Portugal: SL Benfica (1960-1962)

Benfica’s back-to-back European Cups in 1961 and 1962 featured the legendary Eusébio. The “Eagle” (Águia) is a symbol of the club, and a real eagle flies around the stadium before home matches. Benfica’s Estádio da Luz is one of the largest and most modern stadiums in Europe.

United States: DC United (1998-1999)

DC United’s back-to-back MLS Cup wins in the early years of Major League Soccer established them as a force in U.S. soccer. Players like Jaime Moreno and Marco Etcheverry were instrumental in the team’s success. DC United’s black and red colors and passionate fan base have made them a standout club in the league’s history.

Belgium: RSC Anderlecht (1975-1978)

Anderlecht’s dominance in the mid-’70s included winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976 and 1978. The club has a rich history of developing young Belgian talent and has the most Belgian First Division A titles. Their home stadium, Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, is a fortress in Belgian football. RSC Anderlecht is widely known as the best soccer team of all time in Belgium.

Mexico: Club América (1983-1984)

Club América’s golden era in the early ’80s saw them win back-to-back league titles. Iconic players like Zague and Cristóbal Ortega contributed to this success. The team’s yellow and blue colors and their home stadium, Estadio Azteca, are iconic in Mexican football.

Uruguay: Peñarol (1960-1961)

Club Atlético Peñarol’s victories in the first two editions of the Copa Libertadores in 1960 and 1961 set a standard in Uruguayan football. Legendary players like Alberto Spencer played a key role. The club’s yellow and black colors and many championships have made them one of South America’s most successful clubs.

Turkey: Galatasaray SK (1999-2000)

Galatasaray’s UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup victories in 2000 marked a historic achievement for Turkish football. Coached by Fatih Terim, the team featured standout players like Gheorghe Hagi and Okan Buruk. The club’s passionate supporters and intimidating home atmosphere are well-known in European football.

Greece: Olympiacos (1997-1998)

Olympiacos’ dominance in Greek football includes a run of consecutive league titles in the late ’90s. Players like Predrag Đorđević and Stelios Giannakopoulos were key during this period. The club’s red and white colors and fervent supporters have made them the standard-bearer in Greek football. The Olympiacos stand out as the best soccer team of all time in Greece.

Scotland: Celtic FC (1966-1967)

Celtic’s 1966-1967 season saw them become the first British club to win the European Cup. Led by Jock Stein, the “Lisbon Lions” were all born within 30 miles of Celtic Park. Celtic’s green and white hoops and unique fan culture have made them a symbol of Scottish football.

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Find Your Role in the Soccer Industry

The world of soccer is not just confined to the pitch. It offers a plethora of opportunities for those passionate about the sport. Whether you are an aspiring athlete, coach, analyst, marketer, or journalist, the soccer industry has a place for you.

Are you interested in turning your passion for soccer into a rewarding career? Explore the exciting and diverse Jobs in Sports and find your perfect match. From internships to full-time positions, discover opportunities that align with your skills and interests. Join the vibrant world of soccer and become a part of the legacy. You may even end up on one of the best soccer teams of all time. Sign up for a free account today. Your dream job in sports awaits!