Great World Cup teams that never were

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by Tom Stevens, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. Tom Stevens

    Tom Stevens Member+

    Dec 12, 2012
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    This is a thread to discuss teams that could have been great in WCs but never got a chance to compete because of the WC being canceled (Argentina sides of the 40s), countries choosing not to attend (England in the 30s), or teams that were incomplete due to countries policies on players moving abroad for club football (Sweden 1950).

    Off the top of my head the big ones are:

    England: 1930, 1934, 1938, 1942, 1946. All these teams would have had a great chance to win, the Arsenal centric teams of the 30s the beat Italy post WC 34, and especially the teams from the time of the war that would have featured prime Matthews, Lawton, Mercer, and Carter.

    Scotland: 1930. This would have caught the tail end of their golden generation of attackers: Alex James, Alex Jackson, Hugh Gallacher, Jimmy McGrory, and Alan Morton etc.

    Austria 1938. Sindelar could have had another shot at the title with a slightly different but still strong supporting cast.

    Hungary 1946 and 1950: It would have been great to see what an all time enigma like Deak could have done joined by a young Puskas and an experienced Zsengeller. It also would have been very interesting to see Kubala integrated into 1950 or 1954 teams. 1950 could have really been great with Deak, Puskas, and Kubala as an inside trio, wow.

    Argentina 1934, 1938, 1942, 1946, 1950, 1958. It would have been great to see the same team that one 1957 Copa America go to the 1958 WC, but the amazing young attacking trio was split up after only one tournament together. Argentina dominated the 1940s Copa America's when the competition was at its Zenith. They would have likely been favorites in 1938, 1942, 1946 and possibly even 1950.

    Uruguay 1938 ,1942. They had a great team around this time based off the great Nacional club side that won 5 straight titles in the late 30s and early 40s. They had some great players and were the only team to beat Argentina in a CA during their heyday (CA 1942).

    Sweden 1950 and 1954. it would have been amazing to add the Milan trio (and Skoglund in 54) back into the mix in the prime of their careers. They could have been great. As was flashed in the Olympics and late in their career at WC 58.

    It would be interesting to look at things on a WC by WC basis to see how things could have been different if all tournaments were fully attended by all teams and all players.


    1930

    This was a serious two horse race with Argentina and Uruguay as the only two competitive teams. Both of those sides brought their best squads and probably would have been contenders no matter who attended but there would have been a number of other teams that may have been able to match them. If Argentina were able to add Orsi, who had been their best player in the 1928 Olympics, back into the team they could have been even more potent. The same goes for Julio Libonatti, an Argentinian who was one of Italy's top strikers around 1930. Both of these players would represent transfers of power from Italy to Argentina.

    Other strong teams that did not participate:

    Italy: They won the 1927-1930 Central European Cup by a close margin, they had finished the tournament strong crushing Hungary 5-0 in 1930. Meazza was their emerging star bu they would be weakened by the aforementioned losses of players back to Argentina. Some other top players would have been Gino Rossetti, Gianpiero Combi, Attilio Ferraris, Raffaele Costantino, Eraldo Monzeglio, Angelo Schiavio. Would have been a solid team but might have been reliant on Meazza with the loses of Orsi and Libonatti.

    Hungary: Were an inconsistent teams with lots of attacking potential and would have been led by the great Jozsef Takas who had never gotten a chance to play in the world cup.

    Austria: They were emerging as a very strong team and many of the Wunderteam stars were already fully integrated and playing well (Matthias Sindelar , Johann Horvath, Ignaz Siegl, Friedrich Gschweidl, Josef Smistik, Franz Weselik, Anton Schall). Huge attacking potential. Their club teams were already beginning to dominate Mitropa Cup at this time.

    Czechs: Would have been a solid team with a still very effective Kada Pesek getting his only chance at the World Cup (Even though he was nearing the end of his career he had just put in an excellent performance at 1930 Mitropa Cup). He would have been joined by Josef Košťálek, Frantisek Planicka, Antonín Puč, and František Svoboda among others.

    Spain: Solid team with some of the veterans who played in 1934 closer to their primes.

    Belguim: Decent team with Raymound Braine now in his prime.

    England would have been a major contender with players like Dixie Dean, David Jack, George Camsell, and Sammy Crooks, and Eddie Hapgood all available.

    Scottland would have been a powerhouse as well with golden generation of attacking names like Alex James, Alex Jackson, Hugh Gallacher, Jimmy McGrory, and Alan Morton all available.

    Anyone have thoughts on who would have been the favorites for a true 1930 world cup. For me Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Austria, England, and Scotland all look very strong. Are their any friendly results from around this time that might shed light on the issue?

    I will continue through the other world cups to to get a look at others great teams that never got a chance to play.
     
    Once, comme and msioux75 repped this.
  2. msioux75

    msioux75 Member+

    Jan 8, 2006
    Lima, Peru
    This was a draft-tournament made in XT about an ideal WC'1930 fully atended. The results were closer to your feelings about this first event.
    http://www.xtratime.org/forum/showthread.php?t=329730

    Here are some club friendlies among the big guns
    http://www.xtratime.org/forum/showthread.php?t=270819

    I posted here the top-10 highest ELO ranking in the period 1929-31. Of course, according the context, this must be taken with a grain of salt.
    1) Argentina-2034
    2) Uruguay-1986
    3) Scotland-1942
    4) Italy-1920
    5) Austria-1887
    6) England-1876
    7) Czechoslovakia-1862
    8) Spain-1856
    9) Denmark-1785
    10) Hungary-1780

    In the top group must be the Rioplatenses, British & Italy. In a 2nd tier, the three Centreuropeans and Spain. And fighting for the 10th spot the likes of Germany, Brazil (full states), Denmark (downhill) and Sweden, imho.
    http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/greatest-generations-in-footballs-history.1381429/page-3
     
  3. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Di Stefano was also making his name in Europe. So the Copa America 1957 was not really Argentina's best team.
     
  4. Simmer

    Simmer Member

    Feyenoord
    Netherlands
    Oct 23, 2009
    Holland
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Holland 2002

    Sounds weird because we were crap in the qualifiers (though we were also unlucky to be honest) and didn't make it to the World Cup. But the World Cup 2002 did have so many surprises/upsets that I could see us doing well if we had qualified. The talent was there and we did have a lot of the players left of our golden 90's generation who had good tournament runs in 1998 and 2000. I even claim we were better than that Germany team which reached the final.
     
  5. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Holland 2002 would have been one heck of a team. Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Marc Overmars and Jaap Stam would be one heck of team. On paper, they were as good as anybody in 2002. BTW, Germany got lucky in 2002.

    France 1994 was very similar too. They actually cruised through the WQers, but suddenly played poorly in the last two matches. The squad consisited of Jean-Pierre Papin, David Ginola, Eric Cantona, Didier Deschamps and Marcel Desailly.

    And no one had mentioned Yugoslavia of 1994. Dragan Stojkovic, Zvonimir Boban, Dejan Savicevic, Davor Suker, Darko Pancev, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Robert Prosinecki and Srecko Katanec were some of the names avaliable at the time.
     
  6. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    Bolzplatz
    That's no big feat. Germany 2002 was pretty much the worst team Germany ever had at any World Cup.
     
  7. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    not really!
    Germany 2002 were at least = Germany 2006 and definitely > Germany 1998 (the worst)
     
  8. Gregoriak

    Gregoriak BigSoccer Supporter

    Feb 27, 2002
    Bolzplatz
    The 2006 team is generally considered a notch above the 1998 and 2002 teams but that might have to do with them playing at home and being pushed by the home crowd which made them play more offensively and attractive than the other two editions. But in player-by-player comparison 2006 is nothing to write home about indeed.

    Between 1998 and 2002 both performed pretty poor and I would rate 1998 as the second worst of all German WC teams. The simple measure I use to separate the two is that the 2002 relied heavily on its goalkeeper despite facing weaker opponents than the 1998 team. 1998 suffered from being an overaged team. Many of the players themselves were quality, but way past their prime. 1998 even had three players that were already playing for Germany in 1986 (Matthäus, Thon, Kohler) and a further 9 players that were already playing topflight professional football in the mid-1980s (Hässler, Klinsmann, Köpke, Helmer, Möller, Kirsten, Marschall, Bierhoff and Reuter).
     
  9. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    If only they had given us similar surprise packages against Portugal in the 2002WCQ as our neighbours had in the crucial 1998 qualifiers (against Portugal).

    Both games against Portugal had freakish events. Like the non-existent whistle, which made Holland stop play and Portugal scored. Or the away match where for 80 minutes Netherlands was on top, 2:0 advantage, but miraculously threw the win in the garbage can (strange subs by Van Gaal).

    Recently there was a documentary on TV about this; as usual the players had a chronic lack of discipline. If it was up to the FA, Van Gaal was allowed to continue (until an orchestrated hate campaign by the press made this impossible) but the players needed a disciplinary lesson and some punishment for their unprofessional attitude. That was the opinion of the FA board.
     
  10. JamesBH11

    JamesBH11 Member+

    Sep 17, 2004
    Well that's strictly one's own opinion

    STATS said Germany 2002 had better then 2006 and of course to the lowly 1998

    --------- P -- W --- D --- L ----- GF ---GA
    WC98---5----3-----1-----1-------8 -----6
    WC02---7----5-----1-----1------14-----3
    WC06---7----5-----1-----1------14-----6
     
  11. PuckVanHeel

    PuckVanHeel Member+

    Oct 4, 2011
    Club:
    Feyenoord
    Being 'better' will not mean that you can win, I guess. Germany is somehow a very bad match-up. A good indicator is a team-sport where Netherlands has actually more participants than Germany (although not by much). In the Netherlands field hockey is the 2nd most popular team sport and as a result 'we' have more registered players than the Germans. But the head-to-head record is somehow, despite that slightly larger talent pool, still downright awful. It's the same for many team-sports and that's no coincidence (it is also related to the state of science in a country, the level of 'Sports Schools' or 'Sports Universities' in a country, unmatched levels of preparation etc.). So despite Holland 2002 being better, I think they would still not win, probably.
     
  12. Simmer

    Simmer Member

    Feyenoord
    Netherlands
    Oct 23, 2009
    Holland
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    I disagree. Germany was nothing special between 1998 and 2004. We played 4 matches against them during that time-period (3 friendlies and 1 Euro groupstage match). In 1998 we drew 1-1 in Germany. In 2000 we beat them 2-1 at home and in 2002 a few months after the World Cup we even beat them 1-3 on their own turf. And in the EURO 2004 match we drew 1-1 again (not our best team with a lot of old players and youngsters). I know friendlies aren't always the best indicator but still, Holland-Germany is always a match where both teams wants to win.

    I don't really see what hockey has to do with our football results. And for that matter, we beat Germany yesterday in the Hockey World Cup. :p I can name some other sports where Holland beats Germany most of the times. Football-wise I would agree if we talking about the Germany of the 70's'/80's or early 90's because they had our number in that period in the big tournaments. Though our wins in the Euro 1988 SF (1-2) and the Euro 1992 group stage (3-1) showed us we could compete. Of course, we had a good team then but our 2002 squad wasn't that bad at all with many quality players.
     

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