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Biggest Clubs Without Champions League Titles

  • Champions League (European Cup before) is the strongest football tournament
  • Even big clubs like Arsenal or Atletico Madrid have failed to win it
  • PSG and Manchester City got close to their first victory in recent years
Image source – md.faisalzaman, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Most of the biggest European football clubs like Manchester United, FC Barcelona or Bayern Munich have already won the Champions League title a few times. But we can still find great clubs who couldn’t win the trophy yet. Even though they got close to it. Like Atletico Madrid who played in three finals so far. Let’s have a look now at the biggest clubs without Champions League titles.

A few teams have been dominating the biggest European football club tournament, the Champions League in recent years. It’s enough to look at the winners’ list which include the most successful club in the tournament’s history, Real Madrid. The Spanish giants have won it 13 times, four times only in the last decade. But AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Liverpool also had more than five titles besides their names. Going back in time we can find more surprising winners, like Romanian Steaua Bucuresti or Nottingham Forest. While in the modern era probably Porto’s win was the least expected victory. The Portuguese champions managed to achieve what other bigger clubs couldn’t. See below the five biggest clubs who failed to win it yet.

Biggest clubs without Champions League titles

5. AS Roma

Italian teams haven’t been performing well in the last few years except the defending champions, Juventus. Even they couldn’t win the Champions League since 1996 though. But another big Italian club with a long history and huge fanbase, AS Roma haven’t won the tournament yet. They reached the European Cup final in 1984 but lost there against Liverpool. The game at the Stadio Olimpico ended 1-1 after 90 minutes. So the penalty shootout decided at the end in the favor of the English team. La Lupa came close to winning one more time, in the 2017-18 season when Liverpool stopped them again in the semi-finals. The team is only in 7th place in the Serie A at the moment, so they are not likely to compete in next season’s Champions League at all. And they remain the only big Italian club without a European title.

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4. Manchester City

Manchester City also belongs to the biggest clubs without Champions League titles. Pep Guardiola’s team has won the Premier League already four times in the last decade. And City are the biggest favorite of online sportsbooks in the UK to win the PL again. What’s more, they are still in the competition in this year’s Champions League with a chance to win their first trophy. Which was the biggest expectation of the team and the manager. Made by the club owner Sheikh Mansour when he bought the club. So far though City haven’t been able to reach the final. They got closest to it in the 2016 season under Manuel Pellegrini. Then the team reached the semi-final and lost against Real Madrid with a single goal on aggregate. Now Kevin de Bruyne and his teammates can meet Real again in the final if both clubs manage to get there.

File:Manchester City v Real Madrid 21 November 2012.jpg
Manchester City – John Urquhart, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Paris Saint-Germain

Staying at clubs with billionaire club owners, we have French champion Paris Saint-Germain. Qatar Sports Investments bought the club with similar reasons as Mansour. Winning titles and  the first Champions League trophy of the club’s history. As Paris Saint-Germain has never won the title in spite of being the most successful team in France. They almost did it last season. When only Bayern Munich could defeat them in the 2020 Champions League final. Now PSG have taken revenge on the German team after knocking them out in the quarter-finals. Thanks to the brilliant performance of the whole team including Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. Under the lead of new manager, Mauricio Pochettino PSG can get even further this time. Online gambling sites in the UK offer the odds of 4.00 for their UCL victory.

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2. Atletico Madrid

File:Atletico Madrid 2017 logo.svg
Atletico Madrid – Image via Wikipedia

Atletico Madrid have been in the shadow of their local rival, Real Madrid for a long time. Though they managed to win several La Liga and Copa del Rey titles, they haven’t won any European tournament so far. The team reached their first final back in 1974 and lost against Bayern Munich. The Germans needed a second match though to win the tie following the 1-1 result of the first game. Atletico reached their next final 40 years later under the lead of manager Diego Simeone. The Argentine who won the UEFA Cup as a player with Inter inspired his team to incredible performances. But their local rival, Real Madrid defeated them in the 2014 final, just like two years later in 2016. Following their knock-out by Chelsea this season, Atletico can try again next year to win their first trophy.

  1. Arsenal

The Gunners are one of the most successful English clubs with 13 Premier League and 14 FA Cup titles. But they have never won the Champions League and reached the final only once so far. In 2006 when Arsene Wenger’s team faced Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona. The London team took the lead with the goal of Sol Campbell even though their goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann was sent off early in the game. But in the second half first Samuel Eto equalized then Juliano Belletti scored the winning goal for Barcelona. This was the only occasion for Arsenal to grab a European trophy, in recent years they didn’t even get close to it. And as it looks like now, the team won’t compete in any tournament next year either after being only in 9th place in the Premier League.

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