The 10 Best Football Clubs in Europe

Best Football Clubs
Real Madrid – Credit – Jaun Fernandes

We recently wrote an article on the most successful football clubs in Europe based on trophies won, and the winner was a Scottish club! We got a lot of comments criticising the list but based on the number of trophies won it’s accurate, like it or not!

So we’re revisiting this with the best football clubs in Europe, this time success is only based on European-wide challenges, the UEFA Champions League and the Europa Champions League, with a much higher weighting on the creme de la creme – Champions League.


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10. Manchester United

Man U are by far the most successful in the Premier League but have never had too much success in Europe. They have won 3 titles out of 28 appearances, in 1968, 1999, 2008, and have been runner-up twice. Only won the Europa League once.

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9. Juventus

The Italian club has won 2 Champions League titles, in 1985 and 1996. They have been runners-up 7 times and made the league 33 times. They have 3 Europa League wins. Man U may have one more title than Juventus but being a runner-up an incredible 7 times speaks for the quality of this club.

8. Inter Milan

This Italian side won 3 titles in 1964, 1965, 2010 and are runner up twice in a total of 20 appearances. Add on 3 Europa League titles.

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7. Ajax

The Dutch giants have won 4 Champions League titles in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1995, twice runners up and competed 35 times. They have won the Europa League just once.

6. Barcelona

These big-spending Spanish giants have competed for the Champions League 29 times – with 5 titles in 1992, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2015 and been runner up 3 times.

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4. Liverpool

This English club has had far more success than Man U in Europe and had a massive few years. They may have only made the Champions League 25 times but the success rate is pretty good with 7 wins in – 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984, 2005, 2019, and lost to Real Madrid 0-1 in 2020.

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Liverpool were runners-up in the Champions League 4 times, and have won 5 Europa League titles.

3. Bayern Munich

The German club are 5-time winners in 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001, 2013, 2020 and 5 times runner up out of 35 appearances. Bayern are too good for the Europa League but have won it once. Liverpool have one more titles but Bayern have qualified 35 times and been runner up 5 times, v’s Liverpool’s 25 appearances and 3 times runners up.

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2. A.C. Milan

Italy’s most successful club is Europe’s 2nd best team over the years. They have competed in the Champions League a total of 28 times and won it 7 times in the years 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007, they were runners-up 4 times.

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1. Real Madrid

There was only going to be one club as king of Europe and that’s the Spanish super club Real Madrid, they are way out in front with an incredible 14 Champions League titles in – 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022. They were runner up in 1962, 1964, 1981 in a total of 49 tournaments. They have 2 Europa League titles on the rare years they didn’t make the Europa Cup / UEFA Champions League.

Real won the 2022 final beating Liverpool 1-0 at Stade de France,.

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The most successful countries in European Football

Country / Winners / Runner Up

Spain 18 / 11

England 13 / 9

Italy 12 / 16

Germany 7 / 10

Netherlands 6 / 2

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