10 greatest teams in the history of sport as Kevin Durant joins Golden State
Robbie Purves | July 12, 2016
Basketball’s Kevin Durant rocked the world of sport by announcing his move to Golden State Warriors this summer. The future Hall of Famer joins a team already considered one of the greatest of all-time, and recorded a historic 73-9 season last year.
Durant will team up with a roster stacked full of exceptional talent, including perhaps the greatest shooter of ever, Steph Curry. Warriors look nailed on to become 2017 NBA Champions and Coral have Durant odds-on at 8/11 to do it in his first season.
Through decades of professional sport, there have been world beating teams. So, Coral take a look at some of the best in history…
Leeds Rhinos (2015)
Rhinos completed a treble of trophies after triumphing 22-20 against Wigan Warriors in the 2015 Rugby League Grand Final. The Yorkshire outfit won three titles in four months and three men stood out.
Kevin Sinfield, a one-club man, dedicated his life to the Rhinos and led him to become the nation’s captain – he raised the trophy aloft seven times during his time in Leeds.
Jamie Peacock is another adored by the Headingley masses. The warrior battled through the season and teamed up with Kylie Leuluai, who lived up to the nickname ‘Concrete’.
The achievement and them quitting the sport brought an end to the golden era of Rhinos rugby and have severely struggled this year, finishing bottom of the Rugby League regular season.
The 2012 London Olympics saw one of the best relay teams ever descend upon the track. Jamaica’s 4x100m men’s roster included the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
Jamaica had already beaten the world record in 2011 with a time of 37.04 seconds, and smashed their own in London with a time of 36.84 seconds. The Caribbean nation were so far in front, Bolt began to slow down 25 metres from the end.
La Roja dominated both club and international football during this period, which culminated in a European Championship win in 2012.
After 44 trophy-less years of baron international football, the Spanish snapped their streak with a Euro 2008 win thanks to a Tiki Taka revolution. The squad was bursting with world class talent, including Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and David Villa, on which success was built.
Their precise passing and buzzing movement confused teams, and pounced at any lapse of their opponent’s concentration. They went on to ease their way to a World Cup title, this time under manager Vicente del Bosque, winning every knockout game 1-0.
Spain’s powers reached their zenith in 2012 where they became the first nation to retain the European Championship, conceding zero goals in the knockout stages. La Roja are 8/1 to lift the World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
In the 2008/09 season, Barca started a fresh era with a new manager, as former player Pep Guardiola took charge and ushered in a period of success.
They won the first treble in Spanish football history, even after selling off high-profiled players such as Deco and Ronaldinho. The Catalan club played scintillating football throughout the season, winning the Copa del Rey, La Liga and the Champions League.
Guardiola’s squad is considered as one of the best in history, with Thierry Henry, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi leading their formidable forward line.
Clive Woodward’s rugby team of 2003 was a force to be reckoned with, boasting Lawrence Dallaglio, Jonny Wilkinson and captain Martin Johnson to name a few.
England won the Six Nations with a Grand Slam and went on to claim the World Cup in November of 2003, thanks to a dramatic late Wilkinson drop-goal against rivals Australia.
The Aussies dominated cricket in the early noughties and boasted a star-studded side, Steve Waugh’s record-breaking Test cricket team won 16 consecutive Test matches from 1999 to 2001.
Australia had it all during that period, their bowling attack rivals that of any team in history. Glenn McGrath finished his career as the highest pace bowling Test wicket taker, while leg-spinning superstar Shane Warne sits second of the all-time leaderboard. Both are considered by many as the best in their particular style of bowling.
To round off the team, Waugh possessed Ricky Ponting – who scored the second highest amount runs in Test matches.
Manchester United (1999)
The 1998/99 season was the most successful season in the history of United. After finishing the previous season without winning any titles, the Red Devils won a treble of trophies; the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League – the first side in English side to achieve the feat. During the campaign, Sir Alex Ferguson’s outfit lost only five times.
United’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich was won in typical United fashion, with two late iconic goals sending the Scottish manager wild.
Chicago Bulls (1996)
In the 1995/96 season, Michael Jordan’s Bulls set the record for most wins in an NBA regular season, finishing with 72 victories and 10 losses. That feat is still considered the best in basketball history, though Golden State Warriors finished 73–9 last year, but didn’t go on to win the Championship.
Chicago started the campaign 37–0 at home and their 33 road wins were the most ever. Bulls are still the only team in NBA history to lead the league both in offence and defence.
Miami Dolphins (1972)
The Floridians remain the only team in NFL history to go undefeated for an entire season, which is a record that will likely stand for many years to come.
Dolphins boasted Hall of Famers all over the field, and will always be known as one of the best teams in the history of American Football. The team went on to win SuperBowl VII in front of 90k fans in Los Angeles.
The Samba nation’s 1970 outfit are often regarded as one of the greatest football sides in the history of the sport. Man-for-man, the Brazilians were exceptional and played the sort of football that made the world fall in love with the nation.
Pele was of course the star, but Jairzinho, Carlos Alberto Torres and Gerson were just as important and stylish. Brazil are 9/1 to win the 2018 World Cup and emulate their 1970 counterparts.