We celebrate legends of the Gaelic football pitch with our high-stakes list of the greatest Gaelic football teams of all time.
What guarantees you a place on the list of the greatest Gaelic football teams of all time? Well, how many championships they have won, consistency, quality of players, and legacy are a few of the essential attributes!
Narrowing down the greatest Gaelic football teams of all time will be no easy feat, but these five teams certainly speak for themselves.
Thanks to skill and success, these five teams are what we believe to be the greatest Gaelic football teams of all time.
Ireland and Gaelic football
Gaelic, along with hurling, one of the world’s fastest ball games, is one of the national sports of Ireland. With county teams all over the country, it is one of Ireland’s beloved sports and certainly one that causes county rivalries!
Also known by its acronym GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), Gaelic football is played between two teams of 15 players each on a regular rectangular pitch.
One of the most unique sports in the world, players can move the ball up the pitch through carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing.
Across the years, there have been some remarkable Gaelic football teams that have made their mark on the sport, and we are going to outline the top five.
5. Tyrone (2003 to 2008)
Starting our list off is the Tyrone Gaelic team between 2003 and 2008. Mickey Harte was the saving grace of the Tyrone team when he was appointed senior manager in 2003.
In this period, the Tyrone team won three All-Ireland titles in 2003, 2005, and 2008, two Ulster titles in 2003 and 2007, and one League title in 2003.
This team, compared to the Tyrone team of the ’80s and ’90s, was an absolute force to be reckoned with, always giving Kerry a good run for their money.
While management played a huge role in Tyrone’s famous turnaround, the players, like Sean Cavanagh and Peter Canavan, also played huge roles in their team’s success.
4. Meath (1987-1996)
The Meath Gaelic football team of 1987 to 1996 absolutely deserves recognition as one of the best Gaelic football teams of all time.
This was largely thanks to the skilful approach of the team’s former manager, Sean Boylan, who saw three consecutive Leinster titles between 1986 and 1988.
At this time, Meath went on to become double winners after beating Cork twice at Croke Park by a small margin.
This team is perhaps most famous for the incredible four-game series against rivals in the province Dublin, in 1991. In an intense rumble that was merely preliminary matches, Meath edged Dublin out by just one point.
3. Kerry (1975-1986)
“The Kingdom” County Kerry has the privilege of being one of the most successful teams in the whole of GAA history.
It was between 1975 and 1986 that Kerry dominated the sport.
With Mick O’Dwyer at the team’s helm, Kerry would go on to win an insane amount of titles in this time frame, including 11 Munster titles, 3 League titles and an incredible eight All-Ireland titles, three of which were consecutive between 1984 and 1986.
However, all good things must come to an end, and this was proven by Kerry’s failure to win the All-Ireland again until 1997.
2. Dublin (2011 to present)
The current Dublin team rightfully gets its place on our list of the best Gaelic football teams of all time.
Dublin’s great line of success all started in 2011 when the team beat an incredible Kerry team. It was in 2015 that a real era of dominance came to fruition, winning an unthinkable six All-Ireland titles in a row between 2015 and 2021.
Since 2011, Dublin has won an almighty nine All-Ireland titles, 10 Leinster titles, and eight League titles. With no signs of slowing down, it would certainly take an indelible force to dethrone the Dubs now.
1. Kerry (2000 – 2011)
It might not be a huge surprise to most Gaelic football fans that the Kerry Gaelic team have made their way onto this list twice.
While Kerry may have fallen by the wayside in the 90s, the team of 2000 to 2011 came back in force. During this period, the team won five All-Ireland titles in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009.
From 2004 to 2009, Kerry was always in the All-Ireland Final, something the team of the 70s and 80s didn’t even achieve.
Some of the most notable players of this period are the remarkable O’Se brother, Darragh Ó’Sé, Marc Ó‘ Sé, and Tomás Ó’Sé.