The UEFA Champions League is a tournament that showcases the very best teams European football have to offer every season, and sets up football fans for mouthwatering clashes between continental superpowers and thrilling victories in the final by whichever team gets the right to lift the trophy when all’s said and done. However, there are some who make the Champions League consistently and put up good fights, but ultimately don’t get a chance to have their moment of glory.
On this list, we rank the top 10 teams to never win the Champions League ranked by their current position on UEFA’s club coefficient list for 2013-14. Therefore, teams like Manchester City, Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli and Galatasaray missed the cut on this list due to them not being high enough on UEFA’s list. Teams that won the Champions League prior to its modern era, such as Benfica, Celtic or PSV Eindhoven, were also left off.
Some teams – such as Tottenham Hotspur or Atletico Madrid – are among the best in countries that already have clubs that are even bigger and/or more successful both domestically and continentally, though others such as FC Basel and Shakhtar Donetsk come from more unheralded footballing nations and end up exceeding expectations that were initially made of them by pundits and the public alike prior to the tournament.
However, these teams have also proven that even though clubs with more of a winning history have been traditionally luckier in terms of winning the Champions League, those teams don’t go down without a fight. For some of these teams, it’s only a matter of time before they get to lift the trophy themselves.
Without further ado, here are 10 of the best teams who have yet to win a Champions League trophy, as well as their best finish to date in Europe’s biggest showcase for club teams.
11 FC Basel
10 Zenit St. Petersburg
9 Tottenham Hotspur
8 Shakhtar Donetsk
7 Paris Saint-Germain
6 Schalke 04
2 Atletico Madrid
In addition to their woes over the past few years in their attempts to win their first Premier League title since 2004, Arsenal have also yet to win the top title in European club football. The closest they came was in 2005-06 when they fell to Barcelona in the final at the Stade de France in Paris. A 37th-minute Sol Campbell goal was wiped out by Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti, winning Barça their third title within six seasons. The Gunners’ best finish since then came in 2008-09, where they made the semifinals only to lose to Manchester United 4-1 on aggregate.
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