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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.

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Yespage

    September 25, 2018 at 9:10 am

    So the worst teams are the ones with payrolls much much much much less than the premier level teams in Europe.

    Maybe the best term would be the “Most out gunned” squads in the Champions League.

  2. theguy

    September 24, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    You may wanna update this list dude 🙂
    You got a UEFA TOP 20 ranking team in your list.

    1 Real Madrid Esp 133.000
    2 Bayern München Ger 114.000
    3 FC Barcelona Esp 114.000
    4 Atlético Madrid Esp 113.000
    5 Juventus Ita 109.000
    .
    .
    19 BESİKTAS Tur 60.000
    ( 20. Chelsea 22.Tottenham Hotspur)

  3. akuza

    October 19, 2016 at 9:13 am

    what about Dinamo Zagreb?
    2011/2012 last with 0 points and 3:22 goal difernce;
    2012/2013 last with 1 point and 1:14 GD;
    2015/2016 last with 3 points and 3:14 GD
    this year last 0 points in 3 games 0:8 GD
    total GD 7:58 (with 3 games still to play;2 away,Juventus and Sevilla)

  4. amit

    December 23, 2015 at 8:28 am

    maccabi haifa played 6 games 0 points 0 goals scored 8 goals coceded
    maccabi tel aviv played 6 games 0 points 1 goals from a penalty 16 goals conceded
    what worse?
    🙂

  5. Paola Garvie

    May 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

    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.

  6. Chuck Jensen

    December 9, 2011 at 9:04 am

    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?

  7. 1986

    December 8, 2011 at 3:06 am

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

  8. hongleicc

    May 12, 2011 at 11:03 pm

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

  9. Levski noobfan

    March 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

    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…

  10. Barrie

    February 14, 2011 at 7:04 am

    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!

  11. CepajRumune

    August 24, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    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.

  12. Shahar

    February 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbPHQRT34Lc

  13. Nikolay Kodricky

    December 8, 2009 at 5:06 pm

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

  14. Fifix

    August 28, 2009 at 11:29 am

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

  15. Messi

    August 28, 2009 at 5:15 am

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

  16. Messi

    August 28, 2009 at 5:15 am

    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

      November 6, 2009 at 9:11 am

      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

        December 31, 2009 at 11:17 pm

        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…

  17. felix n

    August 27, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Hey guys Steaua Bucharest actually won the Predecessor cup, the Euro Champions Cup in 1986 and the Euro super cup…check your sources!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steaua

  18. jack

    August 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    liverpool 8-0 8e?ikta? hahahahahahaha

  19. Lars Nylin

    February 20, 2009 at 11:30 pm

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

  20. Lars Nylin

    February 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    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.

  21. Lars Nylin

    February 20, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    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…

  22. sorin

    February 20, 2009 at 12:54 pm

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

  23. colen

    February 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Chybí tu jen sparta praha (sranda praha)

  24. ls7

    February 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Norbert,

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

  25. Norbert from Kosice

    February 5, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    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….

    Best

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