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Manchester City Treble: You Tell US the Greatest Side You Have Ever Seen

Following Manchester City’s incredible season by winning the Treble, we asked you for your selections for the greatest side you’ve ever seen.

We also asked our chief football writer Phil McNulty to give us his thoughts after spending decades watching some of the great sides.

Thank you to everyone who sent in an entry, and apologies to those whose submissions we couldn’t include. We just had too many to use them all, so what follows is only a small selection.

That Spanish team of 2008-2010 were a one off and they delivered. Each player was the backbone of all respective domestic teams they represented and internationally they delivered. Remarkable to witness. Finn Fraser, Carmarthenshire

Pep’s Barcelona 2008-2012 by a country mile. They were so good that you pretty much knew they would win before they kicked a ball. Won pretty much every trophy in that period. Take their best player, Messi, out of the team and you get Spain, who won three major tournaments in a row. Sam, Devon

Manchester City 2022-23. City have done what no other team has done, and that is to create a plan B. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool struggled this season because of no plan B. Barca, no plan B as shown when Chelsea and Inter Milan stopped them from playing. Pep Guardiola can break teams down or be direct. True total football. Robert, London

The Bayern Munich team of 2013 under Jupp Heynckes, who went on to win the Treble, were so devastating. On the flanks, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery was a joy to watch. After losing the 2012 Champions League trophy to Chelsea, they came back in style and dominated football. Pep Guardiola later on inherited a well-oiled team. Taban Godwin, Kampala, Uganda

Leicester City 2015-16. Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Kasper Schmeichel. King Claudio. Only three losses. Record breaking goal-scoring run. Vardy volley v Liverpool. Mahrez goal v Manchester City and Chelsea. The King Power Stadium was a cauldron that season. 5000-1! John, Leicester

Mourinho’s Chelsea glory boys. I fell in love with Chelsea after seeing them lift the FA Cup in 2000. But I never thought they would win the Premier League. Seeing them win with style and look nearly invincible was a joy. Jose did a great job and players such as Frank Lampard, John Terry, Petr Cech, Didier Drogba, Damien Duff, Arjen Robben and all others played a huge part. Qamber, Karachi, Pakistan

Brighton and Hove Albion 2023. Even when losing by several goals the side consistently displayed amazing levels of energy and entertainment that really stunned and won the respect of the opposition. When I watch football I want entertainment – the win is a bonus. Trevor Watson, Brighton

Wales Euro 2016 team. Getting to the semi-final and that performance against Belgium was as good as winning it. The togetherness of the squad, passion of the manager and the odd superstar made them a side capable of winning any game. Rhodri, Wales

Possibly unconventional but the Arsenal Invincibles. The style of football was ahead of its time and was a thing of beauty. I remember we were quite excited to see Arsenal play at Villa Park as Villa fans. Not had that with any other team. Don’t have the longevity of other teams or European pedigree but for that short era, they were definitely up there. Jon, West Midlands

Plymouth Argyle 2022-23. One of the smallest budgets in League One. Big injury loss to our goalkeeper, Michael Cooper. And still won the league with 101 points after being written off by everyone all season long. Ewan Mann, Stafford

In February 2015, Swansea beat Manchester United 2-1. My dad took me to my first game when I was six and football was a symbol of our relationship. That month he was hospitalised with a few weeks to live. We saw TV highlights of our team completing a league double over United and the team that gave us that final treasured moment will always be the greatest. David Jones, Swansea

1980s and 1990s

Man United celebrate Champions League win

Manchester United 1999. Win the title on the last day, pipping one of Arsenal’s best-ever squads. Win the FA Cup, beating Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle. Win the Champions League by going unbeaten against Brondby, Barcelona, Bayern Munich (x3), Inter Milan and Juventus. A squad based on homegrown youth product. Unbeaten after Christmas. Paul Moss, Manchester

Rotherham United, 1980-82. ‘Rotherham 6-0 Chelsea’ – tells you everything you need to know about how truly great that team was. Tel Sutton, Mexborough

The Everton side from the 1984-85 season was very close to doing a treble. Won the league and the European Cup Winners’ Cup and after that match three days later had to play the FA Cup final against Manchester United and lost to that Norman Whiteside goal. That team never got the credit they deserved or competed in the European Cup after Heysel. Wal Blackhall, Newton le Willows, Merseyside

Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle “Entertainers” side in full flow were the most exciting I have ever seen for all-out attacking entertainment. You always got good value for your ticket money when they were playing. Lawrence Connelly, Newcastle

Liverpool 1984 would take some beating for the greatest English club side. They won the league and the League Cup before winning the European Cup final in Rome against Roma. Competent and elegant, they had it all. Bruce Grobbelaar, Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush. That is some spine and the rest of the team complemented them entirely. J. Robert, Hampshire

Norwich in the early 1990s – punched way above their weight and were the first English team to beat Bayern Munich at their ground! Mitch, Creswell

France 1998-2002. Won the ultimate prize of the World Cup and two years later the European Championship with arguably the greatest European player of all time in Zinedine Zidane. Mahdi, UK

Marcelo Lippi’s 1996-1997 Juventus team were formidable. They had an aura of superiority. Angelo Peruzzi, Ciro Ferrara, Paolo Montero, Antonio Conte, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Attilio Lombardo, Vladimir Jugovic, Alessandro del Piero, Nicola Amoruso, Christian Vieri and Alen Boksic – just some of the names in a massively talented and physically strong squad. They would have destroyed Manchester City, I have no doubt at all of that. Russell Bolton, Alford

The Aberdeen team of the early 80s under Alex Ferguson – a team of all Scottish players who dominated the game in Scotland and culminated in the European Cup Winners Cup and Super Cup success in 1983. Aberdeen remain the last side to beat Real Madrid in a European final. Dave Steele, Aberdeen

Ajax 1995 – still the only team to win their domestic league and the Champions League in the same season unbeaten. Edwin van der Sar, the De Boer brothers, Danny Blind, Finidi George, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Marc Overmars, Patrick Kluivert, Michael Reiziger, Nwankwo Kanu, Jari Litmanen, Frank Rijkaard. No massive outlay and not from one of the ‘big five’ leagues. David M, Scotland

The Borussia Dortmund side that won the German Bundesliga back-to-back in 1995 and 1996 and then the Champions League in 1997, beating a Juventus side with Didier Deschamps, Alessandro del Piero and Zinedine Zidane in the side. They won the league with some serious injury problems, relying on young academy players who then matured and Lars Ricken scored with his first touch to decide the game. Alex, Surrey

Ipswich 1981. Bobby Robson’s team were voted the best in Europe that year. For a small club, they came so close to winning a treble that season, but fell just short because of injuries and fatigue caused by having a very small squad. Kevin Mower, Saxmundham

Alan Buckley’s Grimsby Town of 1997-98 that swept all before them by winning the Auto Windscreen Shield and Division Two play-off final. The team had the magnificent Wayne Burnett and captained by the great Paul Groves. Full of homegrown youth such as John McDermott, Mark Lever, Daryl Clare, Jack Lester and Danny Butterfield. Buckley was a great manager. Matthew Jason Brown, Cleethorpes

Aston Villa – European Cup winners of 1982. Has to be the best of all. They won, unexpectedly, having to change their goalkeeper halfway through the first half. They won against a hugely fancied Bayern Munich. Champions for a season in the days before financial overspending became vogue. Brendan O’Brien, Worcestershire


Chelsea celebrate 1970 FA Cup win

Chelsea 1970-1971. I saw them in the 1970 FA Cup final against Leeds, drawing at Wembley and winning the replay at Old Trafford, then going on to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1971. The whole team was strong and Peter Osgood was exceptionally talented. Phil B, south east England

Manchester United’s Busby Babes. They tragically never reached their peak as a result of the Munich air disaster. However I recall a game at Stamford Bridge when they defeated Chelsea 6-5. A tremendous game in which United played some tremendous football. Believe you me, they were a wonderful team and would have dominated football but for Munich. John Kelvin, London

Johan Cruyff’s Ajax in the 1970s were the start of a lot of the possession football we see today. Compare their style with the Leeds v Chelsea ‘battles’ of that era and it’s difficult to imagine it being the same game. Ajax dominated with their ‘Total Football’ and Cruyff took his footballing philosophy to Barcelona, where he inspired a young Pep Guardiola. Froggy, Birmingham

Jock Stein’s all conquering 1967 Celtic side. They won the domestic treble and became the first northern European side to win the European Cup. In Stein’s own words, they played “pure beautiful inventive football” showing that attacking football could be more successful than the defensive Italian catenaccio system. Plus they had Jimmy Johnstone! Stephen Donnet, Dunblane

Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side for me. From a struggling side to a team feared in Europe for three years. None of the squad rotation we see today. Appreciate the standards of today’s football but you are only as good as the times you perform in. Stephen Richard Harris, Derbyshire

West Bromwich Albion, 1953-54. Fabulous and exciting to watch. Missed out on winning the league but won the FA Cup. What a season and I was only 10. John Follows, West Yorkshire

1968 Manchester United. Champions of Europe v Benfica at Wembley. I was a 15-year-old fortunate enough to witness the ultimate Busby moment. George Best, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, Pat Crerand, Alex Stepney, Bill Foulkes, Tony Dunne. This laid the foundation for the ‘Fergie’ years despite the lost-in-the-wilderness seasons. All United fans know the club heritage. Edward O’Neill, Kingswood, Surrey

The Tottenham team from 1960 to 1963. Danny Blanchflower’s quote: “The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style, about going out and beating the other lot and not waiting for them to die of boredom.” That sums up Bill Nicholson’s fantastic team of that period. Patrick Collins, Australia

The Brazil World Cup side of 1982 with Socrates, Zico, Eder, Falcao and Junior who lost to Italy in the quarter-finals. They were an amazing team who became too complacent and were punished by a young rising star called Paolo Rossi. Ian C Thomson, Cumbernauld

The greatest team I saw in the flesh would have to be Don Revie’s Leeds United. With the quartet of Billy Bremner, Johnny Giles, Peter Lorimer and Eddie Gray. They combined football brilliance with steel and grit. A team for all seasons. Stephen Kemp, South Yorkshire

Holland 1974. They set the bench mark for total football. What Pep is doing at Manchester City now, Cruyff and co did it way back then – not as technical granted but the innovators of the style. John Crook, Lancashire

Northampton Town 1986-87. These were Graham Carr’s Invincibles – made up of non-league signings and a club run on a shoestring. They scored 103 goals and amassed 99 points to win the Fourth Division. Quite simply, we knew that, even if they fell behind to one or even two goals, they were going to win. Breathtaking attacking play. Just marvellous! David Webster, Bedford

The 1960 Real Madrid team that beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in the European Cup final with Luis del Sol, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo di Stefano and Francisco Gento as part of an unbeatable team in Europe was the best team I have ever seen in nearly 70 years watching European football. The entire team were world class and played incredible attacking and attractive football. Alan Railton, Hong Kong

Wolves in the late 1950s. They just scored so many goals in the league, won three titles and the FA Cup, defeated Honved (after Hungary had battered England 6-3) and Real Madrid (with Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo di Stefano). Just a magical team with a legendary manager in Stan Cullis. Ivan Evans, Wolverhampton

Source : BBC