We have reached the penultimate side on the list, and we are now in the rather odd position where the team we have named second best in history would probably be beaten by every team that came before it in the series. The problem with judging teams from different eras is that it is near-impossible to properly take into account the different level of professionalism, fitness and technique between each decade. Even the worst Premier League side would batter most of the better teams from thirty or even twenty years ago. There is a distinct point where everything changed though – in the mid-sixties football became more cynical, with Italian teams embracing catenaccio to exploit the very attacking play of the rest of Europe. This Madrid side came a few years before that. Set up in a W-M formation, there was nothing particularly special about Madrid tactically – they were a basic passing team that weren’t even particularly good at winning the ball back, who grew better and better as astute president Santiago Bernabeu Yeste brought in the best players from abroad. It was the signing of Argentine Alfredo Di Stefano that started Real’s period of excellence. Defender Pachin said [...]

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