Chelsea 3rd worst winners ever

I just want to make it clear quickly, that I’m not being petty here; I’ve got over Chelsea winning the Champions League and this article is not intended to have a dig (I’ve done that more than enough already), merely to have a look at something, admittedly kind of pointless, that interests me.

It occurred to me last night that I really could not recall a team winning the Champions League while finishing as low as Chelsea did in their domestic league this season. The closest I could think of was Liverpool in 2005, who finished 5th. At the time this caused a big stir, as it was unclear if the European champions would be allowed to defend their crown the next season. Incredibly, there wasn’t a system in place to take into account that a team could finish outside the top four (or whatever the qualifying positions in their country) and still be good enough to go all the way and win the thing in the same season. This was not the case this season, as Spurs fans watched knowing their own Champions League future was in jeopardy.

But the Liverpool situation surprised me, and it therefore occurred to me that perhaps it has, indeed, been extremely rare for a team to become champions of Europe whilst being fairly average in their own league. I had a lot of time on my hands, so I thought I’d have a scan through the proverbial history books (Wikipedia) and find out how Chelsea ranked as one of the ‘worst’ winners of the competition.

After going through the last twenty-one seasons, it started to get a bit tiring writing it all down, so I stopped at the final between Barcelona and Sampdoria in 1992, the last season it was called the European Cup. That year, Barcelona, who finished 1st in La Liga, beat Sampdoria, who finished 6th in Serie A. As well as Chelsea, they were the only team as well as Chelsea to finish as low as 6th domestically and make an appearance in the final. In the ‘Champions League era’ Chelsea are the lowest-placed finalists and winners.

As the pie chart shows, 1st in the league was overwhelmingly the most common position of teams making an appearance in the final. After that it’s pretty close. With winners of the competition, it’s basically the same…

So, perhaps unsurprisingly, teams doing well domestically tend to take their form into Europe. However, it’s less common that the final will feature two domestic champions contesting the title…

Most finals feature a 1st placed team against another lower-placed side. The least common final features two teams who have failed to top their domestic leagues that season.

This season, 6th placed Chelsea beat 2nd placed Bayern Munich, continuing the trend in the Champions League era, of the lower-placed team beating the higher-placed one. Of 15 finals featuring sides in different positions in their league, nine of them have been won by the lower-placed side.

So, while some people downplay the relevance of this competition as showing who is the best team in Europe, in recent history the teams making the final do tend to be up there with the best. Before this season, the last three finals were 1st vs 1st affairs, featuring Barcelona against Man Utd twice and Inter vs Bayern. In the only all-English final of 2008, it was 1st vs 2nd in the country battling it out to conquer the continent. In that sense, Chelsea’s win this season will probably go down as a relative one-off.

However, (without noting it all down) I was too tempted to go through every European Cup final to see any notable winners or finalists. It took me a while, as throughout history it seems the finals have involved mainly 1st and 2nd placed sides, but I found some big exceptions.

Forgive me if you know this, but I’m young and was not alive when this happened, but Aston Villa won the European Cup in 1982 whilst finishing an incredible 11th in the league! They overcame a 3rd placed Bayern Munich that year, while Bayern themselves won it in 1975 whilst finishing 10th in the Bundesliga; this being the lowest combined final, as they beat Leeds United, who finished 9th in England.

Those were the only two teams to finish lower than Chelsea and win it. There have been a few low runners-up, but surprisingly few – Sampdoria, as I already mentioned; an 11th placed Partizan Belgrade in 1966, a 9th placed AC Milan in 1958 and a 10th placed Stade de Reims in the first European Cup final in 1956, all three losing to Real Madrid, who finished 2nd, 1st and 1st, respectively.

A couple of other interesting facts I found along the way were: Nottingham Forest are the only team to have won the European Cup more times (twice) than their domestic title (once). Bayer Leverkusen, beaten by Real Madrid in 2002, are the only team ever to have appeared in the final despite never having won their domestic league.

Yes, it’s a knock-out tournament and it occasionally throws up some – perhaps undeserved – surprises, but, by and large, I’m impressed by the quality of the teams to have contested the finals. The big clubs have dominated hugely, and have done so while managing to dominate domestically as well.

67 Comments on "Chelsea 3rd worst winners ever"

  1. Typical arsenal jealousy fan who couldn’t accept Chelsea being first london club who lifts CL trophy and pride of london as well.

  2. fuck you kid


    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 03:46 |

      And it only cost you 700 million. Champion.

      • The past 7 years Chels have won the title 3 times, the FA Cup 4 times, the League Cup twice, not to mention Charity Shields, & now the Champions League!
        Arsenal in the past 7 years? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha—Why, even Spurs, Pompey & Brum have won more—& frankly, you can’t get worse than that!
        ” In Arsene we trust”—- an incomplete statement if ever there as one—should be completed as “——to never win anything!”

        • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:40 |

          Let us not forget that Chelsea only started winning once they were bought buy a billionaire. It wasn’t like they ever had a top manager playing smooth classy football. In the time that roman abramovich has been owner and I quote-  In his eight completed seasons in charge, Chelsea spent an incredible £642,584,000 on buying players — and then a mindboggling £1,170,591,000 on paying them. That makes an eye-watering total of £1,813,175,000. 
          And who says you cant buy success?

  4. Chelsea finished 25 points off 1st place this season. The year Arsenal got to the final, they finished 24 points off 1st place…..

  5. typical arsenal fan sore loser won nought in how many years thats a fact not statistica

  6. It seems you haven’t gotten over our win. Who the hell does all this? Pie charts?! WTF! SAD. 

  7. Congratulations that is the most anal pointless article I have ever read and it is so bad it really made me smile.
    Fact is we have won the Champions League and deservedly so given our history in the competition over the last eight years.
    It is so sweet not only to have ditched the Spuds out of the CL but to have disturbed you lot to the point that you produce such irrelevant nonesense as this.
    Quite clearly you havent got over it at all which is even funnier.
    Never mind next season should see you competing for 4/5th place.

  8. Envy is such a pathetic thing……lol……lol….lol….

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 03:41 |

      Wont be so envious when the financial fair play rule kicks in and your booted out the CL. Stick that in yer pipe and smoke it

      • ‘You’re’ booted out, not ‘your’ booted out. Just a little lesson in English grammar my son. lol….lol…. 

        • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:53 |

          Wow, you really have nothing going on in YOUR life

          • The statement that you’re making is your opinion. I actually have much going on in my life, and my life’s abundance has just been added to by Chelsea’s heroic and glorious VICTORY against all the odds in Munich. Now doesn’t that just make you sick to the stomach my son?

          • LittleMickeyYellow | 07/06/2012 at 17:52 |

            No, not really. Alot of the fans out there that support Arsenal or indeed any of the teams without major budgets who have accepted your victory over 
            Bayern Munich would agree that although it was a great victory for Chelsea, the way that it was achieved was the bit that people had the issue with. It wasn’t as though over a slow period of time Chelsea worked at bringing talent through to their ranks and using them in their quest for glory. It wasn’t as though the owner showed faith in one manager to get them where they needed to be. No, they did it from a conveyor belt of football managers. With a buy-big attitude, which was emphasized by the figures that I showed where by during the 7 years that Ambromovich has been at the club he has spent close to 2 Billion using 7 different managers- 
            Ranieri, Mourinho,
            Grant, Scolari, Ancelotti, Villas-Boas and now Di Matteo. Even Matteo wasn’t certain of retaining the reigns after his triumph such is the way that the club is run. 
            So you can take the honours and congratualtions to you for it, But on the night- You WERE outplayed. You had to come from behind and you won on penalties which as everyone agrees is not the fairest result as sometimes the team who didn’t play the best on the night can get all the luck in the shootout.  It was a great win for Chelsea because it makes their poor season seem alright. But it was a very lucky win and to say it wasn’t is blind ignorance/loyalty. Like a parent who see’s their child cheat but says nothing because they won

          • The history books will say, Chelsea Champions league winners 2012. Get over it my little yellow friend, once you can get over your denial, the envy will slowly subside.

    • WORSE than envy is jealousy—-van Persie, the ONLY decent ARSENAL player, & he too is on his way to a bigger & better club!
      ” In Arsene we trust”— LOL

  9. A great achievement for a team finishing 6th in the EPL. It takes a lot of character and determination to bounce back from a disappointing season and beat the best in Europe to win the most coveted trophy in the game.

  10. In order to win the Champions League, you have to score more goals than your opponents …… that’s what Chelsea did ……….. it ain’t rocket science

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 03:39 |

      in a penalty shootout… lets not pretend that you slaughtered them over 90 minutes. You played out a dull 120 minutes then scraped past in the penalty shootout. Dont make it out to be more than it was

      •  Well!! I don’t think your beloved arsenal is even capable of that. According to you we play boring football but we are at least winning trophies. So stop justifying like a little bit*h.

        • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 04:53 |

          Well goodie for you. You won the champions league! and it only cost you 700m!!  
          Enjoy the trophy now, cos once the financial fair play rules kick in you even be allowed to compete in the champions league, bitch

          • Paul Tung Hsien Ming | 04/06/2012 at 09:25 |

            As if FPP would even be implemented. If it was to be implemented, it would have been ages ago twat!

          • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:26 |

            If you knew anything about anything you’d know that the rules aren’t set to come into practice until 2015 but from 2012 clubs are allowed to make a loss of 30m total over the period of 3 years. If though they are for found to have made more than this they will be banned from participating in the major tournaments until they balance themselves. FFP rules bitch. Its all on the net you moron- look it up

      • IN THEIR backyard, THEM using the home dressing room, AND the penalty shoot-out in front of THEIR fans!
        Talk of strength of character—–tell us what happened to you when you played in a Ch League final?

        • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:29 |

          Them using the home dressing room!?! well I take it all back, Chelsea truly did deserve to win after having to put up with changing in the away teams dressing room! boy, what a travesty! Like I said to your mates. If we had spent over 700m on players AW would have won the cup every season. But Arsenal have more class than to buy a cup. At least if we ever win it, it’ll have been earned 


    Dude…seriously. I mean Pie Charts and all….granted that Chelsea victory was a surprise to me too, and I bleed blue. But to go the extent off, reading history in wikipedia…”it started to get a bit tiring writing it all down, so I stopped writing”, clearly you could’ve done something more productive with your hands, coz that’s what you come off as, a jerking off blogger who thinks he can make people think with the utter bullsh*t he posts. You need to calm the f*** down and STFU.
    Clearly no one else gives a sh*t about your post either, so why don’t you think next time before you blog. Surf the net, do what you do best wink wink** and actually post something positive about arsenal rather than hate messages about chelsea. Bloggers like you actually defame the club.

    P.S. This is a hate message, but that’s coz you took the first shot. GO CHELSEA!!!
    P.P.S.- RVP is gay.

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 03:36 |

      I give a shit. Chelsea do play some of the most boring football out there. it doesn’t defame the club and you just dont like the comments because they ring through too much truth

  12. One last thing….don’t be a journalist. You’ll suck at it.

    P.P.P.S- Patrick Vieira is also Gay. Cheers.

  13. wow if you hate Chelsea so much why put so much time into it writing about them. You should be glad we knocked your bitter enemies out of the CL. And oh good luck keeping your whole team RVP. If you hate something you leave it alone and you never look at it or talk about it but you seem to do exactly that.

    • Mate, it’s called ‘bitterness’, ‘envy’, jealousy’—a one-man team, & even that ‘1-man’ will be off to a bigger & better team!
      Tell us you gooners, what have u won the past 7 years?

  14. Correct, if you adhere to your slightly bizarre – not to mention pointless rationale, Chelsea are the third lowest placed winners. But the fact remains that you talking about a collection of teams who are ALL, EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS! Nothing to be ashamed of whatsoever: TWAT. :oP

  15. I saw negative football. Did anyone else see that? I wonder if they signed Hazard and Hulk to play negative football.

    • You saw winning football—but ‘winning football’ is an alien concept to Gooners—tell us Jim, what have you won the past 7 years? EXACTLY!

      • I see negative football all the time from the bottom table teams. It’s basically saying we can’t compete with you by attacking our opponents Maybe wait till everyone pushes forward then we can maybe get a counter. if Arsenal played like that I would not take pride in a CL trophy. I know many others would feel the same way, sorry Harold.

  16. The fact is: Chelsea drew with Bayern over 120 minutes and won the penalty shootout. League performance doesn’t count for anything in domestic competitions. It’s pretty clear you have a hatred for Chelsea, you sad little fvcker
    1st London team to win the Champions League bitch!!!!

  17. This is so sad.Chelsea knocked out Barcelona and beat Bayern on their home ground

    Chelsea’s record in the CL is better than ours

    We just dont care about ever winning another trophy again.What has happened to our once great club?

    • Mate, you’re a realistic gooner—-a decent gooner—-yes, yours was a once great club, when you had winners like Adams, Keown, Seaman, Bould, Vierra & Petit—& of course the great Thierry Henry—–guys who KNEW how to win trophies.
      Now? Sorry mate, but don’t you think Arsene is ‘past his sell-by date’?

  18. Whoa, the grapes are so sour! XDD

  19.  Looks like someone’s arse is on fire!! Got it??? Arse??? ROFL

  20. we did not see all these pie etc when Liverpool won – this is another unnecessary comment by someone who does not like Chelsea – another to be ignored !! – maybe you are still young !!!

  21. Samson John Nicholas | 04/06/2012 at 08:35 |

    buy all the titles you can while you can, f**cking chels**t! FFP is gonna rob you of your short lived history we shall all see what happens then. you can brag about all your trophies now. chels**t is only chels**t because of Roman Abromovichs endless billions. they will be back to their old mid tables or even less once they cannot spend above their means and futuristic thinking clubs like Arsenal who spend wisely and based on long term plans start winning again. I am just picturing chelsea going down like Leeds United. spending ridiculous and going bust!!! ha ha ha!

  22. Dude you really are young. You think Financial Fair Play Rules will kick clubs like Man City, R.Madrid, Barca, Chelsea, etc. 
    If that happened, with all the best teams in the world with the money not participating in CL, do you think Platini would appreciate that Arsenal and Dortmund are the best teams in the CL?
    If you say yes, you are a moron.
    Why do you think Platini chose Qatar, where it’s 60-80 degrees Celsius, to host the World Cup 2022?
    Simple, It’s about Money.
    So don’t get your hopes up about FFP.
    And you said it costed 700m to win this trophy?

    •  erm Platini is in EUFA not FIFA and has no say on where the WC goes, but ur right its all about money…

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:46 |

      Sorry I got it wrong it wasn’t 700m it was a tad more. In the time that roman abramovich has been owner and I quote-  In his eight completed seasons in charge, Chelsea spent an incredible £642,584,000 on buying players — and then a mindboggling £1,170,591,000 on paying them. That makes an eye-watering total of £1,813,175,000. 
      SO JUST UNDER 2 BILLION And who says you cant buy success?

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:50 |

      Oh and you only have to look it up- FFP rules start during the 2012 season where by clubs are allowed to make losses in total to 30m over a 3 year period until 2015 and if they are found to have made more then they will be banned from competeing in Europe. Thats why its called FINANCIAL FAIR PLAY. It means you can no longer buy success. Look it up moron 

  23. Obviously you’ve had humble pie for your main course, & sour grapes for ‘afters’, all washed down with bitter lemon, whic has left a bitter taste in your mouth

  24. Lot of respect for Arsenal fans who’ve rubbished this article written by one ‘helluva bad loser’—-tell us you gooners when (or should it be ‘IF’) Arsenal ever win a trophy, will Arsene ask his captain to hold aloft, not the trophy, but a copy of the Balance Sheet?
    Why, even Spurs, Brum & Pompey have won MORE trophies than you the past 7 years!
    “In Arsene we trust” is like a joke in bad taste!

  25. Paul Tung Hsien Ming | 04/06/2012 at 09:21 |

    A WIN IS A WIN. If Chelsea were to be the worst loser, would:

    1. Bayern be worst piece of c*nt to lose to a loser?
    2. Hala Mardrid to be the b*nts of all c*nt to lose to the likes of Bayern who lost to the worst loser?
    3. Barca… same as statement number 1.
    4. And all the other sh*t heads that joined UCL and lost along the way to be little c*nts that lost..

    Now tell me… Who is the real c*nt. For I seriously think it’s you man.

    Guys “LIKE” if you agree with me. I’m darn sure this author is a darn kiddo in statistical studies. Football is not about statistics you twat!

  26. Our trophy will enable us to sign top top players—–your van Persie (your ONLY decent player), & the Spuds Modric & Bale will move to better & bigger clubs—-

  27. Remember you Chels haters:

    1   Barcelona with 11 men couldn’t beat Chels with 10 men, AND playing in the Camp Nou
    2   Bayern, not only playing at home, ALSO had the HOME dressing room, & ALSO had the penalty shoot-out in front of their fans.

    Arsenal were a great team when they had Adams, Keown, Bould, Seaman, Vierra & Petit.
    ” In Arsene we trust”, a joke in VERY VERY bad taste!

    • LittleMickeyYellow | 04/06/2012 at 17:43 |

       In the time that roman abramovich has been owner and I quote-  In his eight completed seasons in charge, Chelsea spent an incredible £642,584,000 on buying players — and then a mindboggling £1,170,591,000 on paying them. That makes an eye-watering total of £1,813,175,000. 
      And who says you cant buy success?

      • Paul Tung Hsien Ming | 05/06/2012 at 01:03 |

        If your statement is true, then Chelsea had good buys as compared to your ArseAnal which did all the wrong buys and thus plan not to further buy anymore. LOL!

        Least Spender = Have you check your trophy cabinet lately? MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        • LittleMickeyYellow | 05/06/2012 at 13:44 |

          No… we’re not spending because we cant afford to after spending close to 500m on building our new stadium. If we were to just come out and spend then we wouldn’t be able to balance our books at the end of the season… much like you. Good luck with that

  28. I apologise to Arsenal fans—I’ve mentioned more than once that the Arse have won nothing the past 7 years!
    WRONG—Arsenal ladies are a great team, & have won quite a few trophies every year. Maybe they ought to replace your men in the Premiership, ‘cos at least your women have the ‘winning mentality’—-

  29. Too much info and number crunching for a very simple answer – European Football is a totally different animal to the Premier League…Chelsea succeeded by being negative and very very lucky, when your name is on it it’s on it, no pie chart or graph can demonstrate or allow for Messi missing pens and Robben failing to convert from the spot either.

  30. matthew hutchings | 05/06/2012 at 12:07 |

    I wish people would learn what they are talking about before just screaming FFP everywhere… Read this and it will tell you that chelsea are actually only 3 mil below FFP regulations in the previous season which didnt count. And we have cup revenues to come into account etc.

  31. fInancial fair play ? What an absolute load of nonsense being spouted on here about FFP , we are talking about some of the wealthiest, business clever men on the planet, do you honestly think they have not got a lawyer who is capable of loop holing this one, ok so I sponsor the goalposts for 600m and they are now the Q8 nets of champions, so where does this money go ?…I will tell you where, straight on the balance sheets then in 8 months time MR Ahmed al sheikh hamdoui will send 300,000 barrels of oil to Mr Q8 for helping along the way…please people how ignorant are some of you? there will always be ways of massaging the figures..Mr Platini is pissing in the wind !

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