Biggest Clubs to Never Win the Champions League (Ranked)

Here is our list of the biggest clubs to never win the UEFA Champions League ranked from 5 to 1 as of May 2024.

 
6:15am on Wednesday 29th May 2024
By
Jake Skudder

The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of European club football, coveted by the continent's elite.

However, several prominent clubs have never managed to claim this prestigious trophy despite coming agonisingly close. Here, we rank the top five biggest clubs that have never won the Champions League.

5. Roma

History and Achievements

Roma is one of Italy’s most storied clubs, known for its passionate fanbase and historical significance.

Founded in 1927, Roma has a rich history in domestic competitions but has struggled to make a significant impact in Europe.

Champions League Performance

Roma's most notable Champions League campaign came in 1984 when they reached the final, only to lose to Liverpool in a heartbreaking penalty shootout at their home ground, the Stadio Olimpico.

In recent years, Roma made headlines in 2018 by reaching the semi-finals but were ultimately defeated by Liverpool in a high-scoring affair.

Best Seasons

1983/1984: Final, lost to Liverpool

2017/2018: Semi-finals, lost to Liverpool

2007/2008: Quarter-finals, lost to Manchester United

4. Tottenham Hotspur

History and Achievements

Tottenham Hotspur, a club steeped in history, has been a consistent force in English football.

Founded in 1882, Spurs have a loyal following and have enjoyed domestic success but have found European glory elusive.

Champions League Performance

Tottenham's closest brush with Champions League success came in 2019 when they reached the final against Liverpool.

Despite a valiant effort, they lost 2-0, with early and late goals dashing their dreams of European glory.

Best Seasons

2018/2019: Final, lost to Liverpool

1961/1962: Semi-finals, lost to Benfica

2010/2011: Quarter-finals, lost to Real Madrid

3. Arsenal

History and Achievements

Arsenal, established in 1886, is one of England's most successful clubs, known for their attractive style of play and numerous domestic titles.

Despite their domestic success, European silverware has eluded them.

Champions League Performance

Arsenal's most notable run in the Champions League came in 2006 when they reached the final but lost 2-1 to Barcelona.

This final saw Arsenal take an early lead, only for Barcelona to mount a comeback with two late goals.

Best Seasons

2005/2006: Final, lost to Barcelona

2008/2009: Semi-finals, lost to Manchester United

2007/2008: Quarter-finals, lost to Liverpool

2. Atletico Madrid

History and Achievements

Atletico Madrid, founded in 1903, has grown into one of Spain’s football giants.

Known for their resilience and tactical acumen, Atletico has enjoyed considerable domestic success but has repeatedly fallen short on the European stage.

Champions League Performance

Atletico Madrid has reached the Champions League final three times but has suffered heart-wrenching defeats on each occasion.

Particularly painful were the losses to their city rivals Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, the latter ending in a penalty shootout.

Best Seasons

2015/2016: Final, lost to Real Madrid (penalties)

2013/2014: Final, lost to Real Madrid

1973/1974: Final, lost to Bayern Munich

1. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG)

History and Achievements

PSG, established in 1970, has become the dominant force in French football in the 21st century, particularly after their acquisition by Qatar Sports Investments.

Despite their domestic dominance and significant financial investment, European success has been elusive.

Champions League Performance

PSG's closest encounter with Champions League glory came in 2020 when they reached the final but lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

Despite boasting a squad filled with world-class talent, PSG has often stumbled in the latter stages of the competition.

Best Seasons

2019/2020: Final, lost to Bayern Munich

2023/2024: Semi-finals, lost to Borussia Dortmund

2020/2021: Semi-finals, lost to Manchester City

FAQ

What is the UEFA Champions League? The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious club competition in European football, featuring the top teams from various European leagues. It culminates in a highly anticipated final, with the winning team crowned the best club in Europe.

What has been Roma's best performance in the Champions League? Roma's best performance came in the 1983/1984 season when they reached the final but lost to Liverpool in a penalty shootout at their home ground, the Stadio Olimpico.

When did Tottenham Hotspur come closest to winning the Champions League? Tottenham Hotspur came closest in the 2018/2019 season when they reached the final but lost 2-0 to Liverpool.

What was Arsenal's most notable Champions League campaign? Arsenal's most notable campaign was in the 2005/2006 season when they reached the final but were defeated 2-1 by Barcelona.

How many times has Atletico Madrid reached the Champions League final? Atletico Madrid has reached the Champions League final three times. They were runners-up in 1974, 2014, and 2016.

Why is PSG considered the biggest club to never win the Champions League? PSG is considered the biggest club to never win the Champions League due to their immense financial power, domestic dominance, and star-studded squad. Despite their resources and talent, they have fallen short in the competition, with their best finish being runners-up in the 2019/2020 season.

What is PSG's best performance in the Champions League? PSG's best performance was in the 2019/2020 season when they reached the final but lost 1-0 to Bayern Munich.

How are the rankings determined for the biggest clubs to never win the Champions League? The rankings are determined based on several factors including the size of the club's fanbase, their historical success in domestic competitions, their financial power, and how close they have come to winning the Champions League.

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