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Top 10 Worst Clubs In The History Of The Champions League

champions league Top 10 Worst Clubs In The History Of The Champions League

The names of the clubs who have claimed multiple UEFA Champions League Football titles are the stuff of footballing legend. Clubs like Manchester United, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid are recognised as the greatest on the planet partially because of their exploits in the Champions League, and their ability to come out on top in the ultimate battle of the world’s richest, strongest clubs.

The hype over the top clubs in the Champions League naturally overshadows the less than stellar exploits of some of the clubs who have made up the numbers at the tournament over the years.

10. Brøndby IF

Brøndby IF have been the outstanding team in Danish football for the last two decades, winning the Danish championship 10 times since 1985 and finishing as runners-up on another 9 occasions. However, the Champions League has been a different matter entirely. During their only Champions League campaign Brøndby played 6 games, losing 5 games, drawing 1 and conceding 18 goals in the process.

9. Rapid Wien

Looking to outdo Brøndby IF in the totally hopeless stakes are multiple Austrian league title winners, Rapid Wien. The club reached the group stages of the Champions League on two occasions, and clinically disproved the old dictum that ‘practice makes perfect’ by putting in equally inept performances in both campaigns. Rapid Wien failed to win one of its 12 Champions League matches as its porous defence let in 27 goals.

8. Anderlecht

Belgian club Anderlecht has the distinction of bearing the title of the worst of the seasoned campaigners in the Champions League. In eight tournament appearances Anderlecht has progressed beyond the group stages only once, and has managed to amass a goal difference of -50, letting in an average of almost 2 goals a game in all Champions League matches.

7. Steaua Bucuresti

Steaua Bucuresti also doesn’t have much to show for its five Champions League appearances. The Romanian club have won only 4 of their 30 matches in the tournament, and have never managed to progress beyond the group stage of the Champions League.

6. Besiktas

Besiktas are one short of Steaua Bucuresti’s record of 5 Champions League appearances without securing progression to the second round. However, it is not this fact that earns them a place of honour amongst the worst clubs in Champions League history. Instead, Besiktas must be acknowledged for being on the receiving end of the biggest hiding in Champions League history, taking an 8-0 pasting from Liverpool in the group stages of the 2007/2008 Champions League.

5. Lierse SK

Lierse SK is another Belgian Club without much to celebrate in the Champions League. During their single Champions League campaign, Lierse were on the receiving end of 12 goals, scored three of their own, and departed the tournament with just a single victory to show for their time on Europe’s biggest football stage.

4. Willem II Tilburg

One must assume that the ‘II’ in the name of Dutch club Willem II Tilburg was not inserted to commemorate their 2 point haul in the 1999 Champions League. Tilburg qualified for the tournament by virtue of finishing second in the Dutch League and were rewarded for this feat by having 17 goals hammered past their defence as they tumbled out of the tournament without a single win.

3. AIK Stockholm

AIK Stockholm are the only club to have represented Sweden in the Champions League, and were hailed by an expectant Swedish public when they qualified for the tournament in 1999. AIK Stockholm’s Champions League debut proved to be a baptism of fire, as the hapless Swedes lost 5 games and drew 1. AIK Stockholm eventually departed the Champions League with only a single point and a -12 goal difference to show for their efforts.

2. FC Kosice

Just when you thought that clubs had scraped the bottom of the barrel in the Champions League, along comes FC Kosice. The Slovakian Club represented their country in the Champions League in 1998, and in the space of just a few months achieved the significant feat of becoming the first ever club to be knocked out of the Champions League without picking up a single point.

1. Levski Sofia

Not to be outdone by the exploits of FC Kosice, Levski Sofia arrived on the scene in 2006 with the apparent intention of making Kosice’s Champions League record look respectable. The Bulgarian side played 6 fixtures during the course of its Champions League campaign, conceding an average of 3 goals a match and scoring just one goal of its own. The club departed the tournament with no points.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

23 Responses to Top 10 Worst Clubs In The History Of The Champions League

  1. Norbert from Kosice says:

    Hey guys! I know small Central and Eastern European countries are confusing, Slovakia and Slovenia being the primary example. So, you might want to correct your reference to Slovakia as a “Balkan neighbor” of Bulgaria. Slovenia, not Slovakia, is in the Balkan region.

    Nevertheless, FC Kosice could play better soccer….


  2. ls7 says:


    You are absolutely correct. I've corrected The Gaffer's article. Thanks for pointing this out!

  3. colen says:

    Chybí tu jen sparta praha (sranda praha)

  4. sorin says:

    Great article, but I think that there are also other teams that could make the top :)

  5. Lars Nylin says:

    When I see AIK mentioned as the sole club to have represented Sweden I kind of, er, lose faith in this list. “The Gaffer” should check up on the merits of IFK Göteborg…And to call Bröndby outstanding. I’m not sure about that either since FC Copenhagen has won twice as many titles since the milleniun…

  6. Lars Nylin says:

    Personally I would have included the likes of Blackburn, Udinese and Betis. Quite prestigous clubs with ten times the turnover of most of the sides in the list – but still with horrible results in CL.

  7. Lars Nylin says:

    Helsingborg is btw also a Swedish team with CL experience. But that said they’re also a contender for the list…

  8. jack says:

    liverpool 8-0 8e?ikta? hahahahahahaha

  9. felix n says:

    Hey guys Steaua Bucharest actually won the Predecessor cup, the Euro Champions Cup in 1986 and the Euro super cup…check your sources!

  10. Messi says:

    Well, poor analysis, you have put Besiktas there.
    Did you know that Chelsea took the biggest defeat in its home Stanford Bridge against Besiktas 2-0, while Besiktas played second half 2-0?

    or Barcelona lost 3-0 in Inonu, or Liverpool lost 2-1..

    Totally ignorant analysis, you could put Fenerbahce there, who got 0 (zero) points in 6 matches in 2000.

    • AntiKartal says:

      You are the worst everywhere. You just got one point this season. And how many goals have you scored? Just one! That’s a gift from CSKA. 8-0
      noone will ever break that record and it will be on your crappy team for years. Go sing your stupid chants with decibel meters in your hands.

      • besiktas fan says:

        If loosing 8-0 is solely a reason to pin a club as one of the 10 worst then so be it… But, I do strongly agree with Messi here, who pointed out that Chelsea’s home defeat to 10 men Besiktas squad as well as barcelona losin 3 nil at inonü… Not to mention first tie of liverpool game on which reds were simply eradicated at the bosphorus,just as we did on the return trip… Last but not the least, How about the ManU game at OT this season? And don’t forget these are just a few examples of our successful feats in the champions league, proving that we did mean business more often than those who just appeared at the field and returned home without a single point…

        More over twice we came close to go on second round, on of which was the second game of Chelsea as well as the last game of the group stages. We had to play it in Germany, not at our home for some penultimate decision made by Uefa and lost it 2-0 respectively. Second chance was also diminished with a last minute Sparta Prag goal to Lazio, which meant us to stay home again. But then again, over the course of all of our participations, I do not believe that we do deserve to be at the bottom 10 list.. Especially, after this years results with the newcomers to the competition.

        Neverthe less we should and could have been better, but hey it is not easy to become a mountain before you become a hilltop..

        And “antikartal”, just bugger off will ya? God forbid you guys will match up against the reds this season. Mark my words, two rounds up at the UEFA cup…

  11. Messi says:

    I meant to say, Besiktas played 10 players against Chelsea whole 2nd half.

  12. Fifix says:

    You have Steaua there but they actually won in 1986!!!

  13. Nikolay Kodricky says:

    You should add Maccabi Haifa, who just finished with 0 goals, 0 wins and 0 points to the list…

  14. Shahar says:

    Maccabi Haifa: 6 games, 0 wins, 0 draws, 6 loses, 0 goals, worst Israeli CL record for Israeli team

  15. CepajRumune says:

    Partizan Beograd

    Partizan – Pyunik (home) 3-1
    Pyunik – Partizan (guest) 0-1

    Partizan – Helsinki (home) 3-0
    Helsinki – Partizan (guest) 1-2

    Partizan – Anderlecht (home) 2-2
    Anderlecht – Partizan (guest) 2-2(regular) 2-3(penalties)

    This team really deserve to play in Champions League…
    By the way, in all 6 games played, striker Cleo scored 8 goals. On each game one goal but only against Anderlecht and Pyunik 2 goals.

  16. Barrie says:

    I assume Steaua Bucurest are in here because you started from 1992 onwards? In which case they are probably a deserved selection. Bursaspor and MSK Zilina may make an updated list!

  17. Levski noobfan says:

    This article should be rewritten because i think hapoel tel aviv or some other team from israel didnt even manage to score a goal! i think it was in 2009-2010 or 2008-2009…

  18. hongleicc says:

    ??????????????????????,????????,?????????????,?????,?????????????. ????.

  19. 1986 says:

    THE WORST CLUB EVER IS : GNK DINAMO ZAGREB Dinamo Zagreb 6 0 0 6 3
    : 22

  20. Chuck Jensen says:

    Brøndby should definitely not be on this list! 1) You are wrong
    about the outcome of games. Brøndby lost 5 and won 1 (no draws). 2)
    In Brøndby’s only Champions League campaign, they were in group
    with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United in 1999 (the
    year of the famous United-Munich final). Yet, they still managed to
    win the first game against Bayern Munich, they lost 2-0 in both
    games to Barcelona but was destroyed in both games against
    Manchester United. Based on what I’ve just written – do you
    seriously still believe that Brøndby should be placed on this list?

  21. Paola Garvie says:

    Yet, they still managed to win the first game against Bayern
    Munich, they lost 2-0 in both games to Barcelona but was destroyed
    in both games against Manchester United.

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