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Teams with sporting strangleholds after successive Sevilla Europa success

| 20.05.2016

Holly Thackeray | May 19, 2016

Following on from Sevilla’s barnstorming success in the Europa League final, as the Bathtubs sank English hopes Liverpool 3-1 on the night to claim their fifth Europa League crown and third in succession, it got Coral writers contemplating which other clubs are specialists in certain competitions.

Some sides just have cups or leagues, domestic or abroad, that they have an excellent affinity with and know how to win. So, we’ve compiled a curious list of teams that dominate particular tournaments. There are a few names that won’t be a shock, but also some intriguing surprises…

Sevilla enjoy European adventures

Switzerland Soccer Europa League Final
So, of course we have to start with the side from Seville, after the Bathtubs’ brilliant second-half fightback against Liverpool, who are somewhat known for European success and continental comebacks themselves.

Spanish side Sevilla (66/1 to win the 2016/17 Champions League) certainly have a stranglehold with three successive Europa League trophies in their cabinet and five overall, which is two more than the Reds, who missed their chance to level in the standings which include the new format as well as the old UEFA Cup.

Curiously, El Grande de Andalucia (8/1 to next beat Barcelona in 90 mins of the Copa del Rey final) have never placed second, so clearly know how to kill a cup tie off, though they seem content to put La Liga priorities to one side, having finished seventh this season, though will still taste Champions League football next term.

Sevilla in Europa League: Winners in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Real’s regal record in Champions League

Spain Soccer La Liga
This one should be no surprise, as the Champions League, or European Cup, always appears to be Real Madrid’s most all-consuming obsession.

Not only were decorated and glamorous Los Blancos the first ever winners back in 1956, but they also hold the record with 10 trophies (with odds of 4/6 to add an 11th this season), as they famously captured the elusive La Decima back in 2014.

From the days of Ferenc Puskas to Raul Gonzalez and Zinedine Zidane, and now to the triumvirate of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale, Real have provided Galactico sparkle and some of the most memorable moments. Also runners-up three times, their closest rivals for most prestige in Europe is AC Milan with seven crowns.

Real Madrid in Champions League: Winners in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2014.

Old Lady jealously guards Serie A

Bayern Munich vs. Juventus Turin
It may be no shock to learn that Serie A has long been dominated by Turin giants Juventus, with the popular Piedmont club also known as the Old Lady or La Fidanzata d’Italia (the girlfriend of Italy).

Much more comfortable domestically, where they have lifted 32 Scudetti (not including revoked wins) including five in a row after triumphing this term, than in Europe, these home birds don’t look like letting another team pinch their title anytime soon. They really have no rivals for Serie A silverware, with Lombardy royalty AC Milan and Inter Milan trailing on 18 Scudetti apiece, though Juve have also placed second a whopping 21 times.

Juventus in Serie A: Winners in 1905, 1925/26, 1930/31, 1931/32, 1932/33, 1933/34, 1934/35, 1949/50, 1951/52, 1957/58, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1966/67, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1974/75, 1976/77, 1977/78, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1983/84, 1985/86, 1994/95, 1996/97, 1997/98, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2004/05 [revoked], 2005/06 [revoked], 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16.

No contest for Colo-Colo

Chile Ecuador Soccer Copa Libertadores
Other famous South American top-tiers in Brazil and Argentina have a few famous teams not far away in hauls from one another, but Chile’s first division has more often than not been a one-horse race.

Colo-Colo, also aptly dubbed the Eternal Champion, has been a force in the now-named Chilean Primera Division since 1937, when the Santiago side won their first of 31 top-flight trophies, with another four non-professional titles from the defunct Liga Central de Football. Also, having never been relegated, the Macul men’s record below also includes Apertura (opening) and Clausura (closing) victories as the season is split into two halves. Another notable Chilean name is Universidad de Chile, though they have lifted just 17.

Colo-Colo in Chile’s first-tier: Winners in 1937, 1939, 1941, 1944, 1947, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997-C, 1998, 2002-C, 2006-A, 2006-C, 2007-A, 2007-C, 2008-C, 2009-C, 2014-C, 2015.

Bayern by far the Bundesliga’s big-guns

Bayern Munich vs FC Schalke 04
Winning the Bundesliga is bread and butter for Bayern Munich, who have been victorious in the German top-tier a record 26 times, and have just notched their fourth straight title.

The Bavarian juggernauts have also been runners-up on 10 occasions and though Borussia Dortmund have re-emerged in recent terms to trouble Germany’s biggest team, you’d have to go back to the golden days of Nurnberg (who rank second with nine first division titles) in the 1920s and 1960s to see disruption of the Munich powerhouse.

Bayern Munich in German top-tier: Winners in 1931/32, 1968/69, 1971/72, 1972/73, 1973/74, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1993/94, 1996/97, 1998/99, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2002/03, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16.

Benfica brilliance sees off league rivals

Spain Soccer Champions League
The Primeira Liga in Portugal usually looks to be a three-way wrestle with big three Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon all bitter rivals which run each other close.

Yet, the Eagles are the ones who have surprisingly soared highest among the Portuguese elite – and by quite a distance. Looking back to their first triumph in 1936, Benfica have historically been the bigger fish, achieving Primeira Liga glory a record 35 times (and runners-up 27) with Porto and Sporting trailing some distance with 27 and 18 respectively. Not bad Benfica, not bad!

Benfica in Primeira Liga: Winners in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1950, 1955, 1957, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2005, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Anderlecht upper hand in Belgium

Ukraine Soccer Europa League
The star in Belgium’s proud footballing crown is of course Anderlect, a club perhaps now more famous for producing a conveyor belt of young talent, including Manchester United’s Adnan Januzaj and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku.

Awesome Anderlecht have been anointed champions an impressive 33 times in the Belgian first division, known presently as the Belgian Pro League, with closest historical competitors Club Brugge lagging behind with 14.

Anderlecht in Belgian top division: Winners in 1946/47, 1948/49, 1949/50, 1950/51, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1955/56, 1958/59, 1961/62, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1966/67, 1967/68, 1971/72, 1973/74, 1980/81, 1984/85, 1985/86, 1986/87, 1990/91, 1992/93, 1993/94, 1994/95, 1999/2000, 2000/01, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14.

Grasshopper Zurich battling Basel

France Soccer Champions League
Grasshopper Zurich has been the cream of the Swiss Championship (now know as the Swiss Super League) a tremendous 27 times, though their impressive domination of the Alpine league competition could soon be under threat.

Last victors over a decade ago in 2003, with their pomp from the 1920s to 1990s, the Grasshoppers have now better known Basel chomping at the bit to overtake them, having taken the plaudits 19 times, though they show no signs of slowing after sweeping to seven successive league trophies.

Grasshopper Zurich in the Swiss Championship: Winners in 1898, 1900, 1901, 1905, 1921, 1927, 1928, 1931, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1945, 1952, 1956, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003.

Rampant Rapid Wien

Villarreal CF v Rapid Wien - UEFA Europa League - Group Stage - Madrigal Stadium
Not so far away in the Austria Bundesliga, Rapid Wien are in a rather similar situation to Grasshopper, as the capital club reigns historically supreme with 32 Austrian top-tier titles to their name.

Though their last triumph came in 2008, and though rivals Austria Wien are closest behind on 24 Austrian championships, it is new rich boys on the block Red Bull Salzburg (only currently on 10) that could be the main threat for years to come.

Rapid Wien in Austrian Championship: Winners in 1912, 1913, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1929, 1930, 1935, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1946, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1995–96, 2004–05, 2007–08.

Dangermen Dinamo dominant

Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb - UEFA Youth League - Group F - Meadow Park
Finally, last but not least, we finish off with kings of Croatian football Dinamo Zagreb, who have lifted 18 titles in their domestic top-flight.

Heavily decorated Dinamo have been champions 18 times, while for comparisons sake, to illustrate the club’s achievement, Hajduk Split are next in line with just six.

Dinamo Zagreb in Croatian top-flight: Winners in 1992/93, 1995/96, 1996/97, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2002/03, 2005/06, 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16.


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Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.