Spain: The greatest ever?

Spain lift the Euro 2012 trophy
Spain lifted their third straight major tournament title on Sunday, a feat never before achieved in the modern game. Photo: PA

The completion of Spain's treble international success has led many to describe them as one of the greatest teams ever assembled.

Here we compare La Roja with nine other great sides of the past.

1 Spain (2008-2012)

It is not just their success in winning three consecutive major tournaments, and their astonishing record of not conceding a goal in knockout football during that time. Spain, a team without a dominant star, played arguably the most delightful football ever seen.

2 Brazil (1958-1970)

Pele was the icon, but the generation of Brazilians who won three out of four World Cups was supremely talented. The culmination was the 1970 World Cup when the Beautiful Game became enshrined in legend.

3 Barcelona (2008-12)

Pep Guardiola's brilliant Barcelona included the spine of the successful Spain team but had the incredible Argentina forward Lionel Messi too. Only an occasional lack of ruthlessness prevented winning everything, every year.

4 West Germany (1972-76)

Led by Franz Beckenbauer, West Germany were a Cold War machine which may have lacked the flair of their main rivals Holland, but took home the trophies. Gerd Muller, Gunter Netzer and Paul Breitner won the 1972 European title, the 1974 World Cup, and only lost the 1976 European final on penalties to Czechoslovakia, for whom Antonin Panenka scored with a famous chipped spot-kick.

5 Real Madrid (1955-60)

The club won the European Cup five times in a row between 1956 and 1960, culminating in the 7-3 Hampden Park final against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960 where Ferenc Puskas and Alfredo Di Stefano both scored hat-tricks. They became the club side that set the standard for all that have followed.

6 AC Milan (1988-95)

Under coach Arrigo Sacchi and latterly Fabio Capello, and with the awesomely talented Dutch trio Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard in the side, AC Milan were the dominant force in club football in this era. Three European Cups were won in the space of seven years, with the final reached on two other occasions. This was the beginning of arguably the most successful era in a host of domestic trophies.

7 Hungary (1950-56)

The forerunners of total football, the Mighty Magyars were undefeated between 1950 and 1954, when they suffered a shock defeat to West Germany in the World Cup final. Under the influence of Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocsis and Nandor Hidegkuti they remained unbeaten again for the next two years until the team broke up following the Soviet Union's invasion of Hungary.

8 Manchester United (1999)

Football historians will look back at this United team as the best club side to have come out of England - better even than the Best, Law and Charlton generation. The midfield of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and David Beckham swept all aside as they achieved an unprecedented Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

9 Celtic (1967-70)

Under Jock Stein, Celtic emerged as an outstanding club side that won the European Cup in 1967 - the first team from outside Spain, Portugal and Italy to win the competition. Of the 15-man squad that made up the 'Lisbon Lions' all but one were born within 10 miles of Celtic Park. That Celtic side dominated domestically and reached the European Cup Final again in 1970, but were beaten by Feyenoord.

10 Arsenal (2002-04)

The Gunners had already achieved a second double under Arsene Wenger's management in 2002 when they went on to achieve a feat never been previously done before in all the years of English football - to go a whole league campaign undefeated in 2003-04. 'The Invincibles' played a marvellous stylish brand of football under the captaincy of Patrick Vieira, with Thierry Henry providing the firepower and Dennis Bergkamp the vision.

Are Spain the greatest ever football team? Let us know your thoughts - tweet us to @itvfootball with your pick