Is there anything in the world that compares with professional sports? Not in our book. It’s a unique activity and culture, one that’s beloved in all corners of the world. There has to be a good reason why a professional athlete can make in a single year more than most people earn in their lifetimes.
One of the more interesting things about professional sports is that it’s not something that always brings pleasure. You go to a concert and expect to have a good time. You’d rightly be annoyed if you didn’t. But if you go to a professional sports match — which can cost a lot of money — then there’s every chance that you’ll leave not only without having a good time, but in misery. We all know the heartbreak that accompanies seeing your favorite team lose an important match.
Indeed, that’s the experience of most sports fans. The majority of teams never taste glory. While the fans may hope at the beginning of the season that it’ll be their year, they know in their hearts of hearts that it’s not going to be a successful year. If they get anywhere near glory, then it’ll have been a memorable year.
That’s most sports fans. But then there are the lucky few, who happen to support a successful team. They start each campaign knowing that there’s a realistic chance that they’re going to end the season with a trophy — in fact, in some cases, it’s almost expected.
So who are these lucky clubs, who seem to always be on the verge of glory? They are the world’s most successful sports teams. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at clubs in a variety of sports that have historically dominated.
Home Run Success
There’s one team that stands out when we talk about baseball. The New York Yankees begin each campaign fully expecting that they’ll be in the world series. If they’re not, then something has gone wrong. And they’ve earned the right to be so confident. Over the years, they’ve amassed more than 27 World Series wins. They have nearly as many as the next three biggest winners combined — and let’s not forget that those teams trailing the Yankees are the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Athletics, all of whom can be considered hugely successful in their own right.
So how do you account for the success of the Yankees? There are a couple of key things. First, they have a lot of money. If there’s a big player in the league, then there’s a very good chance that the Yankees will go for them — and that they’ll offer them a huge amount of cash if the player will don the famous Yankee jersey. Another big factor is the city in which they’re located. New York will always be a big draw for big players, who are more likely to choose to move to the Big Apple rather than a smaller city. A big-time baseball player can live a good life and also be fairly anonymous in New York, in a way that just wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.
On the Soccer Pitch
A lot of American sports titles have ‘world’ in them, but let’s face facts: most American sports are limited, geographically, to North America alone. There’s one sport that is truly the world, however, and that’s soccer. This is the biggest and most-watched sport in the world, and there are many iconic teams who could rightly vie for the title of ‘most successful.’
There are, of course, clubs all over the globe, but let’s just focus on Europe for a moment. This is the headquarters for soccer, and there are many legendary clubs over there.
In Spain, you’ve got the two giants, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. People usually prefer one over the other, since you’re not allowed to like both — the rivalry is too fierce for that. While Barcelona has had a lot of success in the past two decades, and also boasts the world’s — maybe history’s — best player in Lionel Messi, Real Madrid edge it in terms of trophies. They are hugely successful. They’ve won the prestigious European Cup a record 13 times, including three in a row in recent years. They’ve also won the Spanish La Liga competition a record 34 times. While Barcelona has caught up in recent years, they still have a long way to go if they’re going to overtake their Madrid rivals.
In England, the two most successful clubs are Manchester United and Liverpool. Liverpool were once many miles ahead of all their rivals, but that dominance began to fade in the 1990s. Between 1990 – 2013, Manchester caught up to Liverpool in terms of championship wins and ultimately overtook them. It looked like Manchester would gallop out of sight, but then something happened: Manchester United faded away, and Liverpool rose to prominence again. In the past two years, Liverpool won two major trophies — the Champions League and The English Premier League — to put them back on top of the list.
One of the reasons why so many people tune in to watch the NBA is because there really isn’t any clear winner. There are many outstanding teams, and it’s extremely difficult for one team to dominate over an extended period. The sides that two achieve legendary status. If you take a look at a list of NBA champions, you’ll see many recurring club names. The Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls have all won the trophy multiple times. Boston led the way with seventeen wins, but the Celtics are just behind them with sixteen.
What’s interesting about the Boston Celtics is that, while they’ve won many trophies, in the past thirty years they’ve only won the title once, and that was way back in 2008. They were dominant in the 1950s and 60s — indeed, they won it every year apart from one during the 60s. This shows just how important history is when it comes to all-time success. There are many clubs that can rise to prominence, but it’ll likely take them decades before they get anywhere near catching the all-time greats list.
It’ll come as no surprise to find that the New England Patriots lead the way when it comes to Super Bowls. They’ve been an outstanding side in the 21st century, at all. Behind them you’ll find other NFL heavyweights the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Giants. The team with the best win-loss record is the Dallas Cowboys.
Now, admittedly, you might think it’s a little strange to include rugby on this last. After all, it’s a pretty fringe sport in the United States. But there’s a reason why we’re including it in this article, which concerns itself with the most successful sports teams. It’s because the most successful team in sports is a rugby team. The New Zealand National Rugby Team has a sensationally good win percentage. Indeed, in the past few years they’ve won an astonishing 89% of the games that they’ve played — and let’s not forget that it’s not easy to win a rugby match, there are many excellent teams out there. If you stretch back through their entire history, then you’ll find a win percentage of 77% — that’s a ridiculously high win percentage, especially when you consider that they’ve been playing for more than 110 years.
All this could change in the coming decades however. You just don’t know what’s going to happen in the crazy world of sports!