After an awe-inspiring victory at the fortress of Eden Park this past Saturday night the question has to be asked, where do the All Blacks rank among the greatest sporting teams in the world?
The All Blacks were under immense pressure from the week before, where their foes, the Wallabies, were able to sustain a draw in Sydney.
Leading up to the game, the All Blacks’ aura was questioned as people queried whether they were still the dominant undefeated force of 2013. Amidst all the criticism, they dished out one of the strongest performances on any rugby level and sent out a huge message to the other countries waiting in line.
After the 2011 World Cup the All Blacks have stepped it up a level, winning 30 out of a possible 33 matches, with two draws and only one sole loss. This winning percentage of 90 per cent has the All Blacks riding high, but where would they rank among the world’s best sporting teams?
Every sport has their dominant side that always seem to reign supreme. Many teams may have staked their claims as the world’s best team, but truly, with all taken into accordance, who would the best team be and why?
There are five teams that may match up to the All Blacks on a global aspect of superior dominance to be considered as the greatest sporting team in the world. Here they are.
German football team
The current world champions get the nod over the Brazilian national team (who have more World Cup titles) only due to being in more finals matches. Ironically only one game separates these two great national teams.
This incredible unit always perform on a global stage, bagging home four World Cup titles. If that is a note of their dominance on the world stage, they also have the highest World Cup goalscorer of all time in Miroslav Klose. This national team are a genuine contender for the best team in the world.
USA men’s basketball team
The “Dream Team” of 1992 is arguably the greatest team assembled in sports history. Of all the 12 players selected, 11 players are now Hall of Famers, and there has never been such dominance at the Olympics than by that team.
The US men’s team is always a shoo-in for a gold medal spot (bar the Athens debacle), and they will always provide the best show of the Olympics and have the accolades to back it up. Out of 20 performances in their Olympic history, they have 17 gold medals, along with four World Cup titles, seven Americas Championships and eight Pan-American games gold medals. Quite a tally don’t you think?
New York Yankees
The Yankees’ emblem is as famous as a sport logo can get. Despite only winning one World Series in the past 12 years, if you were to think about Major League Baseball it would still be the New York Yankees.
They have 27 World Series wins, 51 years of playoff berths, 18 Hall of Fame players and are one of the richest sporting teams in the world. Fair to say the Yankees can rank very highly among the best teams in the world, even without being a national team.
On a global scale, this team is nowhere near the validity of the other teams mentioned. In regards to the sport of rugby league itself, the Kangaroos dominate this sport as much as any team previously mentioned.
Current World Champs with a steady number one ranking, the Kangaroos’ current team could go down as the greatest ever. Despite there are only three teams who compete for the number one ranking, the Kangaroos’ dominance is nothing to neglect. This team should be Australia’s national team, in that they actually succeed, unlike the Wallabies.
Canadian men’s hockey team
Team Canada dominate this sport continuously. Fresh off a gold medal performance at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year, they have equal gold medals than their rivals Russia (formerly known as the Soviet Union) and Sweden combined.
Nine Olympic gold medals and 24 World Championships says it all, and having the best ice hockey player of all-time in Wayne Gretzky also helps.
Given all these teams dominate their respective sports, the All Blacks have the highest winning percentage overall, with a whopping 78 per cent of all Tests won.
This tiny country, with only about 4.5 million people, find enough players to dominate the world rugby against much larger populated countries. The USA basketball team, German football team and Canadian hockey team, all have much larger populations, yet New Zealand continues to produce strong talent from such a smaller catchment.
In today’s game, if you selected a World XV, I dare say you would get at least 10 All Blacks players. There is a fair argument other teams not mentioned could have a strong case based on history and tradition, but who can really stake their claim as the greatest sporting team in the world?