Thu 17 February 2022 | 17:30

Best football national teams of 2021

2021 provided us with some important international competitions; Euros, Copa America, and UEFA Nations League. Read on to find out more about the Best football national teams of 2021.

Euro 2020 was originally intended to be played between 12 June and 12 July 2020. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic affecting Europe during that year, the tournament was instead postponed for one year, until June and July 2021, while retaining the name UEFA Euro 2020 and hosting venues.

These three competitions plus the FIFA World Cup qualifications filled our calendars during 2021 as football lovers.

Now, based on the national teams’ performances during the above-mentioned competitions, we are going to discuss which teams had the best year.

The following list discusses the top teams with some of the best players who are currently running the football fields. It is a list based on the federations picks for the top teams and does not reflect an all-time fan favorite picks of teams by any means.

Best football national teams of 2021:

No one is quite sure how the

best football national teams of 2021

have been categorized according to

FIFA Football ranking 2021

, but they're the benchmark for how we measure the top teams in international football. Apart from World Cups, Euros, Copa Americas, etc. Here’s the list of best football national teams of 2021:



has always been one of the most powerful teams in Europe and they continued to prove that through 2021, as well.

They entered Euro 2020 as world champions, having won FIFA World Cup in 2018, and the expectations were high from their squad.

They were able to finish the group stage as group leaders in a group that was notoriously named as “Group of death” since Portugal and Germany were also present in their group.

In the Knockout phase, however, they faced


and despite having a 3-1 lead, France was eliminated in the penalties after Switzerland tied the game at 3-3.

France came back two months later to finish the Nations League final stage. They had already clinched the semi-finals after finishing first in the A3 group, above Portugal, Croatia, and Sweden.

They faced Belgium in the sim-finals, a team that was also for redemption after a poor performance in the Euros. In an astonishing game, France was able to win 3-2 with the help of Theo Hernandez’s last-minute goal and reserve a spot in the finals.

The Blues had to face Spain in the finals, another European giant with a young and powerful squad. The game was equal until the last ten minutes but a lovely strike from

Kylian Mbappe

helped France to finish the game 2-1, naming them the champions of EUFA Nations League 2021.

They were also of the first teams to guarantee their spot in the lucrative FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. They finished group D of the world cup qualifications with 5 wins and 3 draws, not losing a single game; Having scored 18 goals while only conceding 3, and group leaders with 18 points.

The Blues finished 2021 with zero losses in 90 minutes, winning 10 and drawing 6, a splendid run by any standards for France's national team.


The Azzurri had an almost perfect year in 2021. They scored 17 goals in their first 5 games of the year without conceding any goals, and they entered the Euros with huge confidence.

Something that has been constantly seen in the team ever since the arrival of

Roberto Mancini

as the head coach in 2018. Italy continued their form in the Euros as they battered all of their opponents in the group stage; two 3-0 wins against Turkey and Switzerland and an easy 1-0 against Wales.

Italians’ defense was always their strength but not even the optimistic Italian fans could think of such a start, they showed Europe a team to be scared of. They were eventually able to win the Euro 2020 competition after winning against England in the finals in penalties and becoming the new champions of Europe.

After the Euros, they had two costly draws in the World Cup qualifications but they managed to win Lithuania 5-0 before they entered their next challenge, the semi-finals in Nations League.

They had to play against Spain and after a long and hard 90 minutes, it was Spain that came out with the glory. Italy, however, was able to win Belgium in the third-place play-off afterward.

At the end of the year, though, Italy failed to be focused in their last two games, again in World Cup qualifications as they finished both of them with a draw.

Resulting in their disgrace of not being able to reserve their spot in the Qatar 2022 World Cup directly. It was a hard blow for Italians who were just boasting about being the best team in Europe.

Now they have to win two more games in March 2022, if they want to clinch the World Cup competitions; first against North Macedonia and then against the winner of Portugal versus



Nevertheless, Italy was able to win, arguably, the most important international competition of the year with an astonishing form and they deserve to be in the top half of this list.


Argentina had 2021 to remember, too. They finally managed to get their hands on their continent’s competition, Copa America, after 28 years of drought. Captain,

Lionel Messi

, finally was able to lift the trophy that he had never won, after two times missing the chance to win it in 2015 and 2016.

Albiceleste finished 1st in group A with 3 wins and a draw. They had to face Ecuador in the quarter-finals and were able to finish the job with a 3-0 win.

In the semi-finals and against Colombia, however, they didn’t have as easy of a game as they had against Ecuador. The game finished tie at 1-1 after 120 minutes of a long hard battle between two teams, but it was Argentina who came victorious after the penalties.

Finally, they had to face their worst rivals, the host of the competition, and the reigning champions, Brazil. The final game was played on July 10th in the famous Maracanã Stadium in Rio. Yet, despite most odds, Argentina was able to beat Brazil in a close game thanks to

Angel Di Maria

’s goal in the 22nd minute of the game.

Argentina not only did well in Copa America, but also they were able to continue their good form in World Cup qualifications and they have recently guaranteed their spot for Qatar 2022 World Cup. Collecting 35 points in 15 games and sitting 2nd in the table behind Brazil. They have not been beaten in 29 games, one the longest unbeaten runs by any national team, including 18 games in 2021 where they either drew or won the match, not a single loss.


Another European giant that despite all the criticism from their fans, continued to perform on a very high level. England came into Euros having won 6 consecutive matches in 2021. They had the privilege of playing at their home stadium, Wembley, almost every game during the competitions.

They finished the group stage as group leaders and proceeded to eliminate Germany, in the round of 16, after which, the eyes were drawn to England’s side even more than before.

They battered Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-final and were able to come out as victors after 120 minutes against


in the semi-finals. Leading them to their first European Cup final since the creation of the tournaments back in 1960.

The game was played at the historic Wembley, in front of 67,173 people who were mainly from England, supporting their national team. Despite all the advantages, England failed to win the tournament against Italy after an intense 120 minutes and penalties afterward; England missed 3 penalties by

Marcus Rashford

, Sancho, and Saka.

Devastated after their loss in Euros, the three lions focused on their World Cup qualification competition where they were competing in group I. They won the group, eventually, with 8 wins, 2 draws, and zero defeats, reserving their spot for Qatar 2022 World Cup.

To finish things off, they had an amazing 10-0 win over San Marino on November 15th, giving them hope to continue their form in Qatar.


Brazil’s year, if it hadn’t been for Argentina, was spectacular. So, they are righteously among the

best football national teams of 2021

. They played with their hearts and the passion that no other country in the world can provide for football lovers.

They played 16 games in which they won 12 of them and drew 3. Their only defeat happened in the most important game of the year for them, the Copa America final against



2019 Copa America winners, were fan favorites and considered the most likely champions by many experts, while the competition was on their home soil, too. Brazil Started the competition very well as they won group B, going with high spirits to the elimination rounds.

They won against Chile and Peru with two rather easy 1-0 wins to advance to the finals. They faced Argentina and as mentioned, they failed to lift the trophy this time.

While losing their most important title of the year, Seleção was one of the first teams to guarantee their spots in the World Cup as their group leader in CONMEBOL.

Their squad depth, especially in attack, is one of the main reasons European teams will be afraid to face Brazil in the World Cup. Head coach, Tite, is still heavily loved and supported by Brazilians and with the development of their youths and a little bit of luck, the golden army hopes to see the sixth star added to their kits at the end of 2022.


La Rojas, was one of the most entertaining teams to watch in 2021, having lost almost every single player from their dream area of 2008 to 2012. Spain national team’s head coach is their former captain, Luis Enrique. Lucho was able to find the best talents in Spain to synchronize with his football philosophy while also pumping new blood in the team’s veins.


entered Euro 2020 as a team that was said to be with the hope to gain some experience for their youths and not to win it. To prove this theory right, they even finished 2nd in their group behind Sweden. Little by little, however, Spain was looking scarier as the competition went on.

They won the World Cup finalist,


, after 120 minutes of excitement in the round of 16. Then, they went to have another 120-minute football match with Switzerland, who were in the quarter-finals because of their win against the World Champions, France.

The match ended tie at 1-1, but Spain was able to win it in the penalties. Unlucky for them, in the semi-finals, they had to face the eventual champions, Italy. It was a close game for both teams and after yet another 120 minutes of football for Spain, it was Italy who reached the Finals by beating Spain in the penalties.

Exactly 3 months later, Spain had to clash with Italy in another semi-final, this time in the Nations League competition. Spain was looking to revenge their last loss and they got their revenge as they won Italy 2-1 and approached the finals. There, they had to meet with the world champions, France.

A tight game for both teams and despite having the lead 1-0 until the 65th minute, and being level at 1-1 until 80th minute, it was Benzema’s beautiful goal that brought France the victory in the final as the game ended 2-1 in favor of the blues.

To finish the year off, they won their group in the World Cup qualification and reserved their spot for Qatar 2022. They had 6 wins, 1 draw and only 1 loss in group B. Spain also finished the year having lost only twice in 90 minutes.


Among the

best football team in the world

in 2021 is Belgium. Ever since 2014, Belgium has been a team with the potential to enter any competition and win it by the end.

They have had a top-notch keeper, a strong defense, creative midfielders, and deadly strikers. Yet, they never even came close to winning an international trophy by playing in the finals, and 2021 was not an exception.

Belgium started the year with 3 wins and 2 draws before entering Euro 2020. In Euros, they wiped out their opponents in the group stage, winning all three of their matches, having scored 7 and conceded only 1 goal.

They faced the reigning champions, Portugal and

Cristiano Ronaldo

in the quarter-finals and were able to get the victory in a close game, the game ending 1-0. Next round they faced the eventual champions, Italy, and despite putting up a good fight, they lacked the experience to match Azzuri’s in a game that was finished 2-1, sending Italy to the semi-final and Belgium home.

The red devils, however, bounced back in the World Cup qualifications and won their group with ease, collecting 20 points in 8 matches without losing any.

Their group was considered one of the challenging ones with Wales and the Czech Republic, but Belgium’s quality was unmatched by any of these opponents during their group stage matches. In between World Cup qualifications, they also attended UEFA Nations League final stage in October.

They had to face world champions, France, in the semi-final on October 7th. Belgium started the game pretty better and head to the dressing room with a 2-0 win in the first half.

In the second half, though, France came back roaring and in a dramatic style won the game 3-2 with a 90th-minute winning-goal from

Theo Hernández

, leaving Belgium empty-handed and one step short of the finals, once again.

Belgium had the chance to at least be third place in the competition as they had to play a third-place play-off; this time against European champions, Italy.

The game ended 2-1 in favor of the European champions and Belgium was in awe to lose yet another opportunity. For Belgium during the past years, the same quote applies now, too, “Maybe next year.”


Germany had two faces in 2021. The first half of the year they were the friendly young team of Germany managed by their famous Joachim Löw, who had been head coach since 2008. The second half of the year, they were this outrageous beast, led by

Hansi Flick

, that would not stop attacking at any second of the game.

The friendly side started their year a bit bumpy, with 3 wins, a draw, and a loss before entering the Euros. They lost 1-0 in their first match of the competition against France but they showed a glance of hope as they won Portugal 4-2.

But, Hungary was able to stop them at 2-2 in their last group match. England, the eventual finalists, were Germany’s next stop in the round of 16 of the competition, and Germany was beaten in London as the game ended 2-0 in favor of the host.

After Euro 2020, Joachim Löw, decided to step down as the head manager of his country after 12 rather successful years with the Mannschaft, winning them the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

His successor was

Bayern Munich

's former manager, Hansi Flick. Success only followed from there, as Germany went on to beat Liechtenstein, Armenia, Iceland, Romania, and North Macedonia in a month's succession.

They were the very first team, aside from the host Qatar, to be guaranteed a spot in the World Cup competitions. Hansi Flick made an unmerciful goal-scoring machine from Germany, just like he did with Bayern Munich.

Flick’s Germany team could score goals at will, and scored goals they did against any team that had dared come across them; Scoring a jaw-dropping number of 31 goals in 7 games, averaging 4.4 goals scored per game, while only conceding one goal in open play and one from the penalty spot.

Germany, if continue this form until Qatar 2022 World Cup, will be one of the scariest teams in the competition. Football lovers cannot wait to see this team in action next year and enjoy their attacking style of play from the start whistle till the end of the game.


The Netherlands went through an almost identical year as Germany. They started 2021 under the management of

Frank De Boer

but finished it under the management of Louis Van Gaal. They also had a not so much happy 2021, but the future looks brighter.

They started their year with a loss against Turkey but managed to win all but one in later matches before Euro 2020 competitions. They had a marvelous start at Euros, winning all three games in their group against Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia.

What made this achievement sweeter for the Dutchmen was the fact that they did it without conceding any goals. High hopes turned into devastating sorrow, however, as they lost 2-0 against the Czech Republic in their first elimination round match and said goodbye to the competitions after that.

After the competition, the Netherlands football federation decided to relieve De Boer of his duties and appointed Louis Van Gaal as their new head coach, for his third spell at the job. Van Gaal, who had not managed any teams since 2016, after getting sacked by Manchester United.

Yet, he showed promising results after his appointment, 5 wins and 2 draws in 7 matches including a 6-1 win against Turkey, avenging their loss at the beginning of the year. The oranges, with their new young core, are surely a team to watch during 2022.


Portugal is one of the

best football teams in the World

, however, only one name strikes our minds when talking about Portugal's national team, and that is Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal’s captain might be one of the best footballers ever to enter the football pitch, but 2021 was a year to forget for them.

For all that incredible talent in

Bruno Fernandes

, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota, Joao Felix,

Ruben Dias

(we could go on), they struggled to achieve any notable success. Still, being among the best in the world seems about right.

Portugal started the year with 3 wins and 2 draws as they got ready to compete in Euro 2020. As the competition began, they were able to defeat Hungary with a 3-0 victory as they showed a sparkle.

A sparkle that was shut down soon after, due to a 4-2 loss against Germany. Yet, they hold off France in a 2-2 draw and despite sitting in the third position, they were able to find their way to round of 16 of the competition. Although, that was the last stop for Portugal as they lost the game to Belgium in a 1-0 defeat.

After Euro 2020, Portugal was determined to prove they were worthy to be in the conversation for the best teams in Europe. They won 5 consecutive games, scoring 16 and conceding 2; Ronaldo scored 6 out of 16 goals.

They had the chance to guarantee their spot in the World Cup if they could have won the Republic of Ireland, but a goalless draw made things complicated for Europe’s Seleção. In their final game of 2021, they were hosting Serbia.

Portugal needed a win or even a draw to win group A of World Cup qualifications. They scored in the second minute of the game, giving them hopes for an easy win, but


tied the game before half-time, and in the most dramatic way possible, Serbia scored in the 90th minute of the game and won the game in the end, leaving Portugal in an absolute shock.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow countrymen are now forced to play in a play-off competition against Turkey, and if came out victorious, another game against the winner of Italy versus North Macedonia.

They will be granted permission to be present in the 2022 Qatar World Cup only if they win both games; both matches will be played in late March 2022. Portugal hopes to deliver their best performance in the two remaining games so they can give their best player of all time, a well-deserved farewell to the World Cup competitions.




 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.