5 The Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most Super Bowls, are tied for the most Super Bowl appearances, and, since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, have won the most regular-season games and the most regular-season and playoff games combined. In a league that prides itself on parity and even-keeled rivalries, the Black and Gold stands out.
4 Montreal Canadiens
The oldest team in hockey, the Canadiens have been around so long that they once had to drop out of a Stanley Cup final because their best defenseman died in the Spanish Flu epidemic. One of the original four NHL teams, the Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups. In the world of sports, there is a special place reserved for toothless men who fight each other with razor blades on their feet, and the Canadiens do it better than any of their rivals.
3 The New York Yankees
The team most closely associated with New York City, baseball and American sports history is the New York Yankees. Cloaked in folklore from Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle to A-Rod, the Bronx Bombers dominated the golden era of baseball and their modern contemporaries alike, holding 27 World Championships. This team’s pinstripe logo is perhaps the most recognizable athletics uniform in the world.
2 The New Zealand All Blacks
Rugby is the national sport of New Zealand, and the island nation’s team, nicknamed the All Blacks for the predominant color of their uniforms, is not just the juggernaut of rugby history, but one of the most dominant teams ever assembled in any sport. They’ve been named the International Rugby Board’s Team of the Year award since 2005, and have won over 75% of their team matches. With history dating back to the 1800s, the All Blacks have overshadowed the rest of the world in nearly every category. Before each game, the players become shamans in a ritual Maori war dance called the haka.
1 Manchester United
If you’re a Premier League soccer team, the world is your opponent. From Germany to Ghana, Cameroon to the Canary Islands, no sport in the world has such global competition as soccer—or football, as everyone on Earth other than America calls it. If the greatest team in soccer is the greatest team in the world, then Manchester United is the undisputed king of sports. If 11 FA Cups and 20 League Titles don’t convince you, maybe three European Cups, four League Cups and a FIFA Club World Cup will. Valued by Forbes at $3.16 billion, they’re not just the most popular team in the world, but one of the most profitable as well.