The Champions League is the biggest club competition in football, and arguably a greater showcase of talent than even the World Cup. Notoriously hard to win, the Champions League is usually claimed by one of the best teams in Europe on any given season. In other words, you need to be among the best teams in the world to be able to win this competition.
Or do you? Every so often, the Champions League will throw up a surprise winner, a club that no-one predicted would lift the trophy and a club that is not one of the best in Europe during that season. If you are trying Tennessee online gambling, these are the clubs you would not have bet on winning the Champions League.
Below are the worst Champions League winners ever:
There have been times when Chelsea would have been a deserved winner of Europe’s top prize. After-all, the club was a penalty kick away from winning the competition in 2008. However, 2012 was not a vintage Chelsea team but somehow the club won the Champions League, becoming the first London-based club to do so.
Chelsea were terrible in the league that season, finishing sixth in the final Premier League standings. They also had a rookie manager who let’s face it is not that good in Roberto Di Matteo. Somehow the team managed to find itself in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, held in Bayern’s Allianz Arena.
Bayern were probably the best team in Europe that season and showed it in the final by battering Chelsea. Somehow the Bavarian club scored just one goal from their 35 efforts, while Chelsea managed to nick a goal from just nine shots. It was a one-sided affair that somehow went to penalties, which Chelsea won.
The game that made Jose Mourinho and some of his Porto players superstars. Largely unfancied to even get out of the groups, Mourinho’s Porto staggered unconvincingly through the knockouts but still managed to pick up wins, including an infamous victory over Manchester United. In some ways, it was a lucky path to the final as Porto avoided many of Europe’s giants aside from United.
So, the club reached the 2004 final and managed to win convincingly over the also less than fancied Monaco. One of the worst final line-ups ever, perhaps, but the victory cemented Mourinho as one of the best managers in the game. He went on to another unlikely Champions League when he guided Inter Milan to the title in 2010.
Liverpool 2005 and 2019
Ok, this may be a little harsh. Make no mistake, Liverpool is one of Europe’s great clubs and has won the Champions League five times. The problem is, the last two of those victories happened because of a large dollop of luck, plenty of heart, and some amazing collapses. In neither 2005 nor 2019 were Liverpool the best team in Europe, or even close to it.
Starting in 2005, the club was a dangerous cup team but was not considered a major threat. As Liverpool made its way through the knockout rounds and to the final, AC Milan showed the gulf in class by taking a 3-0 lead in the first half. We can discuss Liverpool’s merits as deserved winners, but what we cannot deny is the club has a habit of conjuring history from nowhere.
And so it happened in Istanbul and the famous second half comeback and eventual victory on penalties. It was an amazing and memorable win, but there’s no doubt Milan were the better team.
2019 is a little different because Liverpool comfortably defeated Tottenham in the final. However, the team was arguably lucky to even be in the final. Liverpool lost three group stages and was 4-1 down against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. In one of the greatest collapses in Champions League history, Barcelona lost the return leg 4-0 and went out on away goals.
It was another stunning display of sporting courage from Liverpool, but also slightly lucky.