10 Best European Clubs in the History in 2021

Best European Clubs in the History | 2021

In the history of European football, certain clubs have marked the old continent forever. These clubs have been able to attract the greatest players in the world and build some of the most beautiful teams of all time.

Some clubs like Real or Bayern are still at the highest level today. While others like Benfica or AC Milan have had more difficulty finding European summits in recent years.

Ranking teams from different leagues is difficult to achieve. The only common criterion to decide between them being the European competitions, of which the Champions League is the most prestigious. The best European clubs will therefore be ranked in this ranking according to their participation and their success in this competition.


Here are the All-Time 10 Best European Clubs in the History



  1. Benfica
  • Champions League wins: 2
  • Champions League participations: 39
  • Championships won: 37


SL Benfica is a club established in Lisbon, which ranks among the best Portuguese clubs with FC Porto and Sporting. The club was founded in 1904 and participated in the creation of the national championship in 1934, which it won for the first time 2 years later. Since then, Benfica has been crowned champion 37 times, in addition to having won the Portuguese Cup 26 times.

The 60s will be the golden age of the Lisbon club, with 8 league titles, but above all 2 victories in the Champions League. The first against Barcelona in 1961 and the second against Real Madrid the following year. This competition will be marked in particular by the emergence of Eusébio, one of the best scorers of all time. Even today, he is considered the greatest player in the history of the club.

Benfica participated in 5 new UCL finals between 1963 and 1990 but won none. The situation is the same in the Europa League, where the club reached 3 finals between 1983 and 2014, but always lost in the last match. In recent years, Benfica has still enjoyed great success on the national scene but struggles to impose itself at the highest European level. SL Benfica remains one of the best European clubs in football history.



  1. Juventus Turin
  • Champions League wins: 2
  • Champions League participations: 34
  • Championships won: 36


Juventus FC is an Italian club that was founded in 1897 in Turin. The club took part in its first official competition during the 1900 championship. Five years later, he was crowned champion for the first time. In total, the Bianconeri have won 36 championships, which is as much as AC Milan and Inter Milan combined. The Old Lady also holds the record for the number of Italian Cups with 18 trophies.

Juventus have also often shone internationally. A 9-time Champions League finalist, the club will only win the big-eared cup twice. The first was against Liverpool in 1985 with a certain Michel Platini, one of the best French players in history. The second was in 1996 against Ajax Amsterdam, notably with Deschamps and Del Piero.

The Italian club also has 3 successes in the Europa League in 1977, 1990, and 1993. Juventus have attracted a large number of extremely talented players. Mention may in particular be made of Gaetano Scirea, Zidane, Buffon, Dino Zoff, Chiellini, or more recently Cristiano Ronaldo. Very domineering at the national level, the Turin club lacks success in the Champions League to appear higher in this ranking of the best European clubs in history.



  1. Inter Milan
  • Champions League wins: 3
  • Champions League participations: 21
  • Championships won: 18


FC Internazionale Milano is an Italian football club founded in 1908 by dissident leaders of AC Milan. From 1910, the club won the national championship, which it won 18 times in total. The Nerazzurri will grow in power until they reach the top of Europe during the 60s.

The Grande Inter, as it is called at that time, won the Champions League twice in 1964 and 1965. Helenio Herrera built a solid team, with which he perfected and popularized the catenaccio, a very defensive system. During the 90s, Inter is again very efficient and won the Europa League 3 times. However, the club failed to win a title on the national scene.

It will be necessary to wait for the new century to see Inter again succeeding everywhere. Between 2005 and 2011, the Lombard club won Serie A 5 times and 4 Italian Cups. All crowned with a victory in the Champions League in 2010. With legendary players such as Meazza, Facchetti, Matthäus, Zanetti, and Ronaldo, Inter Milan is one of the best European clubs in the history of football.



  1. Manchester United
  • Champions League wins: 3
  • Champions League participations: 28
  • Championships won: 20


Manchester United is an English football club founded in 1878, first under the name Newton Heath LYR FC. It was not until 1902 that the club changed to its modern name, and in 1908 that it won its first English league title. After a difficult period, Man U regained his glory during the 50s and 60s, in particular thanks to the arrival of Matt Busby as a coach.

With Busby, the Red Devils bet on youth and succeed in their bets. They won the championship 5 times and the FA Cup twice with players like Geroge Best or Bobby Charlton, one of the best English players in history. They are also the first English club to take part in the Champions League, then the first to win it in 1968. After another period without a title, Sir Alex Ferguson joined Manchester United in 1986 and marked the beginning of a new era.

Ferguson won 38 trophies between 1986 and 2013, including a triumphant Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1999. Manchester United has a total of 20 English league titles, 12 FA Cups, and 3 LDC among its long list of trophies. Many very talented players have played for this club, such as Dennis Law, Duncan Edwards, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Cantona, Ryan Giggs, or Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester United is therefore certainly one of the best European clubs of all time.



  1. Ajax Amsterdam
  • Champions League wins: 4
  • Champions League participations: 36
  • Championships won: 34


Ajax Amsterdam is a Dutch club created in 1900. It is one of the best Dutch clubs with PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam. Ajax rose to the first division for the first time in 1911 and won its first championship in 1918. In all, the capital club won 34 championships and 19 national cups, making it the most successful club in the country.

During the 70s Ajax experienced its golden age. With Rinus Michels at the helm and Johan Cruyff on the pitch, Amsterdam shines thanks to its very attacking “total football”. The team won the Champions League 3 times in a row between 1971 and 1973. In the 90s, Ajax returned to its former form, and first won the Europa League in 1992. Three years later, they won their 4th LDC with players like Rijkaard or Kluivert.

Since then, the Dutch club has struggled to regain European heights but remains imposing on the national scene. Among the best players of the club, we can cite Cruyff of course, but also Bergkamp, ​​Seedorf, Van der Saar, or even Van Basten, one of the best strikers of all time. Thanks to total football, Ajax Amsterdam has become one of the best European clubs in history.



  1. FC Barcelona
  • Champions League wins: 5
  • Champions League participations: 30
  • Championships won: 26


Le FC Barcelone est un club de football espagnol fondé en 1899. Dès 1910 ils remportent leur premier trophée majeur avec une Coupe du Roi. En 1929, le championnat espagnol est créé, et c’est Barcelone qui remporte la première édition. Depuis, le club catalan a été sacré champion à 26 reprises et a remporté la coupe nationale 30 fois.

Despite good years and the passage of players like Johan Cruyff or Maradona, it was not until the 90s to see Barça at the top of Europe. In 1992, then coached by Cruyff, the Blaugrana won their first Champions League. But it was in the 21st century that Barcelona reached its peak. Since 2000, Barça has been the La Liga champion 10 times and won the Champions League 4 times, with world-class players like Iniesta, Xavi, or Messi, who is one of the best scorers in history.

FC Barcelona is quite simply one of the best European clubs in history. The club has known legendary players, such as Stoichkov, Romario, Koeman, Ronaldinho, Eto’o, and Puyol. Its philosophy inspired by attacking play has made it popular all over the world and its Catalan identity makes it a unique club in the world.


  1. Liverpool
  • Champions League wins: 6
  • Champions League participations: 24
  • Championships won: 19


Liverpool FC is an English football club that was created in 1892. The club joined the first division in 1893 and won its first league title in 1901. Since then the Reds have won the championship 19 times and the FA Cup 7 times. Liverpool is among the most popular and successful teams in England.

The first real golden age of the club comes in the 70s and 80s. First with the arrival of Bill Shankly, who is one of the best coaches in history, and who will bring the club from second division to champion of England in the space of a few years. Liverpool then won the Champions League 4 times between 1977 and 1984.

More recently still, the English club knew how to shine on the international scene. The Reds won a new LOC in 2005, including Steven Gerrard as captain. In 2019, they won their 6th Champions League and a year later the Premier League, a title awaited for 30 years at the club. Liverpool is one of the best European clubs in history and has known many talented players. Among others, we can cite Kenny Dalglish, Kevin Keegan, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, or Graeme Souness.



  1. Bayern Munich
  • Champions League wins: 6
  • Champions League participations: 36
  • Championships won: 30



FC Bayern Munich is a German football club founded in 1900. The club won its first league title in 1932, before declining, due to the Nazi regime declaring it a Jewish club. In all, the Munich club has won the championship 30 times and the German Cup 20 times. Today it is largely the most successful German club in history.

From 1965, 2 years after the creation of the Bundesliga, Bayern joined the elite of German football. The club can count on players like Gerd Müller, Sepp Maier, or Beckenbauer, one of the best central defenders in history. It is with this team that Bayern Munich won several championships and national cups but above all 3 times the Champions League in a row between 1974 and 1976.

In the 21st century, the Munich club has already won 15 league titles and 3 LDCs. . In addition to being one of the best European clubs in history, it is still part of the European elite today. Among the great players who have played for Bayern, we can cite Oliver Kahn, Matthäus, Rumenigge, Lahm, or even more recently Robben or Ribéry.



  1. AC Milan
  • Champions League wins: 7
  • Champions League participations: 28
  • Championships won: 18


AC Milan is an Italian football club created in 1899. Barely 2 years later, the Lombard club already won its first scudetti. The first of 18 championships won by the club since, in addition to the 5 Italian Cups. However, AC Milan will remain initially for a long time in the shadow of its biggest rival, Inter Milan. It was only from the 1950s that the club experienced its first golden age.

It is with players such as the Swedish trio of Gren, Liedholm, and Nordahl that AC Milan finds the top. The 1950s saw Milan shine on the national scene, but during the following decade, the club won the Champions League twice. It will take 20 years to see the Rossoneri again on the roof of Europe with a new trio, Dutch this time. The Milanese won the Champion’s League again in 1989, 1990, and 1994.

Even during the 2000s, AC Milan still shines internationally. The club won again the C1 twice to bring the total to 7. Only Real Madrid has won the competition more times. So we can certainly say that AC Milan is among the best European clubs of all time. The club has known legendary players throughout its history. Among others, we can cite Gianni Rivera, Gullit, Van Basten, Paolo Maldini, Cesare Maldini, Pirlo, Nesta, or even Rijkaard, who is one of the best defensive midfielders in football history.



  1. Real Madrid – Best European Club in Football History
  • Champions League wins: 13
  • Champions League participations: 50
  • Championships won: 34


Real Madrid is a Spanish football club, founded in 1902 in Madrid. In 1905, the club won its first trophy with a victory in the King’s Cup. In 1929, he was one of 10 clubs to participate in the first Spanish championship, which he won for the first time in 1932. Since then, the club from the Spanish capital has won the Liga 34 times and the National Cup 19 times. With the arrival of Di Stéfano in 1953, Real Madrid will take on a whole new dimension.

During the 1950s, the Merengues dominated Europe. They won La Liga 4 times, but above all the first 5 editions of the Champions League between 1956 and 1960, thanks to players like Gento, Kopa, Santamaria, or Puskás. A few years later, the Madrilenians won their 6th C1, with a 100% Spanish team this time. It was not until the 90s to see Real again at the highest European level.


The Spanish club won again the Champions League 3 times in 1998, 2000, and 2002, with a certain Zidane, one of the best French players in history. It was finally in 2014 that Real won the “Decima”, their tenth victory in C1. They will then reign supreme over European football by winning the Champions League 3 times again between 2016 and 2018. With players like Figo, Sergio Ramos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Di Stéfano, or even Raùl, Real Madrid largely deserves its first place in our ranking of the best European clubs in history.


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