THE LIST: Sportsmail's top 50 most entertaining teams in history - Nos 50-41

29 March 2010 12:01
        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Who are the most entertaining team in sporting history? As the artists of Arsenal and Barcelona face off in the Champions League quarter-final, Sportsmail celebrates the great sporting teams who put the aestheticism above efficiency. But who are your favourites? Jonah Lomu's All Blacks of 1995? The Harlem Globetrotters? Or someone even more mouthwatering? TELL US WHAT YOU THINK What is more important: playing with style or winning at any cost?

As the artists of Arsenal and Barcelona face off in the Champions League quarter-final, Sportsmail celebrates the great sporting teams who put aestheticism above efficiency.

Thankfully, most of our top 50 show that entertainment can go hand in hand with success, but this is most definitely a catenaccio free zone.

Here is one table where Arsene masters Mourinho, and Jonah Lomu's All Blacks win some consolation for somehow not winning the 1995 World Cup.

We're counting down 10 each day till our No 1 is revealed on Friday and, as ever, let us know your favourite entertainers of all time.

Saturday fixture: Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday

50 Sky Sports Soccer Saturday teamWho would have thought watching people watching football could be entertaining? With Jeff Stelling in the chair, even Countdown is good to watch.

Sky Sports on a Saturday afternoon has become compulsory viewing for any supporter who's not lucky enough to be at a game.

Then again, with the banter between Paul Merson and Phil Thompson, the excited Chris Kamara and so-bad-it's-good Dean Windass - this is probably better than a goalless draw at Brunton Park.

49 Edmonton Oilers 1987The Oilers ruled the National Hockey League in the mid-Eighties, turning around the disappointment of defeat in the 1983 Stanley Cup to go on and win ice hockey's top prize five times in the following seven years.

The records tumbled in the so-called 'Dynasty Years', such as scoring a record 446 goals in 83-84.

But it's their triumph three years later that we most remember, when the Oilers of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson and Jari Kurri beat the Philadelphia Flyers to regain the trophy they had surprisingly lost a year before.

Inspirational: Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky (left) and Michael Vaughan

48 England cricket 2004-05England were transformed under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan, crushing New Zealand, plus the West Indies at home and away in 2004 before setting up an ground-breaking win in South Africa before hosting the Ashes series in 2005.

Everyone knows what happened next. This was when Steve Harmison was at his most dangerous, a fit Andrew Flintoff was a master with bat and ball, Kevin Pietersen established himself as a world-class attacking batsmen and Vaughan led by example.

Home pride: Argentina captain Passarella raises the World Cup on home soil in 1978

47 Argentina 1978The 1986 World Cup-winning side will always be remembered for one man's genius. That was Diego Maradona's glory, summed up by perhaps the greatest individual goal of all time, scored against England in the quarter-final.

But for a more entertaining team performance, roll back eight years, when Argentina put on a show to remember in their own country.

Putting aside question marks over their triumph, there was class running through this side, from the attacking centre half Daniel Passarella, through a certain Ossie Ardiles and the free-scoring Mario Kempes. The Dutch side they beat in the final weren't bad to watch, either.

Trail-blazers: Celtic win the European Cup in 1967

46 Celtic's Lisbon LionsCeltic's 1967 team were remarkable in so many ways. They played a thrilling, fast-paced brand of football that saw them win every competition in their path, including the European Cup.

They became the first British side to triumph in the Continent's top competition and managed it in Lisbon by seeing off an Inter Milan side who were defensive and cynical. Victory for the purists.

Jimmy Johnstone was the team's icon, but 'Jinky' wasn't the only master in this side, who were all born within 30 miles of Parkhead.

Divided: Fernando Alonso (left) and Lewis Hamilton

45 McLaren 2007Entertaining, but not always for the right reasons! McLaren could have won the Formula One constructors' championship were it not for 'Spygate', which involved allegations that the team were passed confidential technical information from the Ferrari team.

But it wasn't just espionage that brought intrigue. The rivalry between then world champion Fernando Alonso and F1 debutant Lewis Hamilton was the real story of the season, beautifully illustrated at the Hungarian Grand Prix when Alonso held Hamilton up in the pit lane, denying Hamilton a chance to record a final lap time.

Neither won the championship, but Alonso was back to Renault a year later and Hamilton won the title in his second season.

My home: Pele trains at the Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos

44 Santos 1962-63The Brazilian side are still dining out on the achievements of the Sixties, when their glory peaked along with the brilliance of Pele.

It wasn't just about 'The King', though. Fellow forwards Coutinho and Pepe made the side the most free-scoring of the era and helped the side to be crowned continental and world champions in 1962 and '63, though the pair never quite made the grade at international level.

Safe hands: Jerry Rice (No 80) holds on to a pass

43 San Francisco 49ers 1988The key to the 49ers success was the dynamic between quarterback Joe Montana and wide receiver Jerry Rice, but few could have predicted glory at the start of the 1988 season. After 11 matches, they had won six and lost five, but then came a charge to the Super Bowl that best illustrated the Montana-Rice partnership in the NFC Championship match against the Chicago Bears. Rice caught two scoring passes as the 49ers notched a touchdown in each quarter - the first resulting in a 61-yard march to the end zone.

Rice was the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player a fortnight later, but it was John Taylor who caught the decisive touchdown pass against the Cincinnati Bengals with just 35 seconds left on the clock. Thrilling.

Summer dreams: Sheringham grabs Gazza during defeat of Scotland at Euro 96

42 England at Euro 96The European Championship on home soil was ultimately another glorious failure for England, but Terry Venables' side played with a style and confidence that captivated the nation for three weeks in June.

This was a team that had sat out the World Cup two years earlier, but who bounced back with Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham up front, plus a midfield bursting with the quality of Paul Gascoigne, David Platt, Paul Ince, Jamie Redknapp, Steve McManaman and Nick Barmby.

Forget the semi-final defeat by Germany and bask in the glory of a 4-1 group victory over Holland - the inventors of Total Football!

Sevens heaven: The Fiji team in Hong Kong

41 Fiji Sevens teamA country of 850,000 might not produce enough players to be the best at the XV-aside game - especially when New Zealand and Australia steal some of the best - but no one is better to watch when it comes to the Sevens game.

The endlessly fit antipodeans seem able to run circles around everyone else for hours and will be the big draw when the short-form is included at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in six years.

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Source: Daily_Mail