Best Teams Ever bracket: Club soccer edition, Round 2

Yahoo Sports

Welcome to the Best Team Ever bracket series, where the greatest of all time have their most dominant seasons stacked up against each other until we ultimately crown a champion in each sport. The tournament will be decided by fan vote, so be sure to submit yours below! Check out the first round of voting right here. The second round of polling closes at noon ET on Thursday, April 2.

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Best Teams Ever bracket: Club soccer edition, Round 2. (Yahoo Sports illustration)
Best Teams Ever bracket: Club soccer edition, Round 2. (Yahoo Sports illustration)
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2008-09 Barcelona vs. 1994-95 Ajax

No. 1: 2008-09 Barcelona

  • Won Spain’s first treble

  • Earned six trophies total

  • Playing style ushered in new era

Certainly, this epic incarnation of Barca was Pep Guardiola’s grand arrival on the managerial stage, but it was also Lionel Messi’s first season cracking 20 goals. He got 38 in all competitions, in fact, and has never failed to score at least that many since.

No. 8: 1994-95 Ajax

  • Won Champions League and Dutch Eredivisie

  • Scored 106 goals in league play

  • Stocked with future stars at bigger clubs

The Champions League final may have been won by 18-year-old Patrick Kluivert, but he was hardly the only teenager to play for Ajax that day. Nwankwo Kanu was 18 as well. Clarence Seedorf had just turned 19.

2019-20 Liverpool vs. 2016-17 Real Madrid

No. 5: 2019-20 Liverpool

  • On pace to smash EPL points record.

  • Went a record 27 league matches before first loss.

  • Spent all but one matchweek in first place.

In a quirk of its scheduling, Liverpool somehow had to play in the Club World Cup and the League Cup on consecutive days. So manager Jurgen Klopp decided to send his under-23 team to play the latter instead, and did so again when an FA Cup replay was scheduled during the side’s anticipated winter break. The upshot was that, amazingly, fully 44 different players had made a first-team appearance for Liverpool three-quarters of the way through the season.

No. 4: 2016-17 Real Madrid

  • First Champions League/La Liga double in club history

  • Collected four trophies in all

  • Scored two or more goals in 52 matches

A lasting irony of this side of Galacticos is that when they were truly at their apex, they bought almost nobody for a few years in a row. Before this season, their only major acquisition was Alvaro Morata, to offer some depth to the striker position.

1998-99 Manchester United vs. 2007-08 Manchester United

No. 2: 1998-99 Manchester United

  • First and only treble in English history

  • Lost four games total all campaign

  • At best in pressure-filled moments

The amazing thing about this treble-winning team is that it didn’t have a dominant goalscorer in its squad. No player broke 20 goals in the Premier League. First-string strikers Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke had 17 and 18, respectively – supersub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had 12.

No. 10: 2007-08 Manchester United

  • Won Champions League and Premier League

  • Avoided defeat in 13 Champions League matches

  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored 42 goals in all competitions

In the shadow of a young Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez, it’s easy to forget about this side’s utterly dominant backline of Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and, um, Wes Brown. But between the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup, they gave up just 30 goals in 55 games.

2014-15 Barcelona vs. 2012-13 Bayern Munich

No. 6: 2014-15 Barcelona

  • Became only European club to win second treble

  • Scored 175 goals across all competitions

  • Knocked Man City, PSG, Bayern, Juventus out of Champions League

In the inaugural season of the MSN front line (Messi-Suarez-Neymar) the three scored an astounding 122 combined goals. And the rest of the squad put together? Just 49.

No. 3: 2012-13 Bayern Munich

  • First German treble winner

  • Won Bundesliga by 25 points

  • Only three losses in all competitions

Here are some records this Bayern side broke: Bundesliga points total, adding 10 points to the old mark; biggest Bundesliga lead, putting up nine more points than the previous biggest margin; most league wins, gaining four more than the old record; conceding just 18 goals, three fewer than Bayern’s old record; and a goal difference of +80, 16 points better. The numbers beggar belief.

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