The Sports History Chronicle World Team of the Year 2019 are Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. The Greatest Teams of the Decade


The shortlist is:

The USA women’s 4×100 m medley relay swimming team (Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia, Simone Manuel ) took over a second from the previous world record when winning the world championships.

Olympique Lyonnais Women (France – Football) won their domestic league and cup.  Won the women’s champions league and international cup.20 wins and two in their league, one draw in women’s champions league.  Otherwise won every match.

Liverpool (England – Football) – winners of the Champions League and world club championship. 37 games without defeat in the league.

USA Womens gymnastics team – another domnating win at the world championships but not quite the margin as in 2018.

Győri Audi ETO KC (Hungary – Handball) drew two  but won all other games in the season where they won their home league and cup, and the European Champions Cup.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (France – Figure Skating) set four world records and won all four competitions in 2018/19 and five this season.


For such consistency over the whole year the three ball sports teams are my runners-up.  They all had similar years in 2019 being unbeaten but being held to a draw on rare occasions.  It is almost impossible to choose between them so I have gone for a pair who were perfect.

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron won all of their ice dance competitions and set four world records.  Records are broken regularly in figure skating but to do so in each competition in a season and to win the world championship by a large margin makes them my team of the year.

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Previous Winners

2018 The Netherlands women’s hockey team Runners-Up Boston Red Sox and the Dublin Gaelic Football team

2017  Zenit Kazan Volleyball Team,  Runners-Up The Netherlands women’s hockey team, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
2016 The USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics Team ,Runners-Up: China table tennis team, Mercedes F1 team, Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Football Team
2015 Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (New Zealand – 49er Sailing), Runners-up: Mercedes (Formula One), Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina (Russia – Synchronised Swimming)
2014 Italy’s Women Foil Fencing Team: Runners Up Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (NZ – Rowing), Jennifer Jones’s Canadian Curling Team
2013 Vakıfbank İstanbul Women’s Volleyball Team (Turkey)
Runners-Up: Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Australia – Sailing), Bayern Munich (Germany- Football)
2012 Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (New Zealand – Rowing) – unbeaten for four years and set world best by six seconds
Runners-Up: USA Women’s 4x100m relay team (athletics), THW Kiel (Germany -Handball)



Only refers to achievements in the 2010s.

New England Patriots (American Football) – three Superbowl wins and two other appearances in a sport where dominance is very hard to achieve.

The USA Women’s Artistic Gymnastics team – seven times world or Olympic champions by big margins.

Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (New Zealand – Rowing) – winners of two Olympic and six world golds together.  Unbeaten for seven years when retiring and set a world best by six seconds.

Mat Belcher & Will Ryan (Australia – Sailing) – won five world championships and six world cups.  Belcher also won three world titles and an Olympic gold with Malcolm Page.

China (Table Tennis) – won every Olympic, world championship and world cup in the 2010s

Olympique Lyonnais Women’s Football Team -six times UEFA women’s champions league winner

New Zealand All Blacks (Rugby Union) – the outstanding team of the decade with two world cup and seven southern hemisphere rugby championship wins

Natalia Ishchenko, Svetlana Kolesnichenko and Svetlana Romashina (Russia – Synchronised Swimming) – the Russians won nearly every gold in the decade in the sport with these ladies involved in most of the duet wins.

Zenit Kazan (Russia – Volleyball) – five times European Club Champions

Dublin Gaelic Football team – seven times all Ireland champions

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