In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich have won the championship for eight years in a row now (2019/20). In Spain, it is either Barca or Real who win LaLiga while Italy and France are dominated by Juventus Turin and Paris St. Germain.
Some alternation was brought by the title of AS Monaco in France a few years ago. There is a maximum of 6 teams in England that can become champions – ManCity, ManU, FC Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea. Meanwhile, Celtic Glasgow are the regular winner in Scotland.
The Nobodys, who were more likely to be considered Relegation Candidates
But the boredom has not always been like that. First of all, those clubs that are only among the extended circle of favorites have won the championship from time to time. And then there are big sensations from time to time. Nobodys, who were regarded as relegation candidates suddenly and quite surprisingly become champions…
That doesn’t happen so often. But there have already been. And not only in the second-rate leagues of Europe. We have summarized the stories of 18 sensation champions in the European leagues from 1977 – 2019. All the five big European leagues are included: the Bundesliga, the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1.
The Bundesliga is represented 3 times. On two occasions there were coaches who had just been dismissed from FC Bayern and who wanted to show the Bavarians that this was not such a good idea.
We are chronologically organizing the post and start in 1977. Our absolute favorite is, of course, the “Nearly Man” club, which managed to beat all Fat Cats of the league in 2016.
And the likelihood of this happening at the start of the season was less than Donald Trump would win the Nobel Peace Prize, Bono the next Pope or Kim Kardashian the next US President.
If the Bookies had their way!
Nottingham Forrest (1977/78) – the perfect march-through
Nottingham Forest created a real sensation in England in the 1977/78 season.
This season, the team under coach Brian Clough celebrated the championship as a promoted player in the Premier League. That was the first title in the club’s history. What was particularly curious was that Nottingham had only 16 players in the season, the fewest in the league.
The Tricky Trees remained at the top of the league in the years that followed and even enjoyed great international success. In the two years that followed, they became European Cup winners and English Cup winners.
But Nottingham Forest never managed to win the English championship again. In 2001 the club even retired. Since then Nottingham celebrates only moderate places and successes. Record-breaking: From November 1977, the team remained unbeaten in 42 league games across the season. It was FC Arsenal who broke the record in 2004.
Hellas Verona (1984/85) – A German was leading to victory
Hellas Verona provided the football miracle in Italy in 1985. The team from the north became an Italian second division champion only three years earlier, then moved up to Serie A and promptly won the championship a short time later. The German player Hans-Peter Briegel was also part of the team. As a result, he was voted “Footballer of the Year” in Germany. This was the first time that a player outside the Bundesliga had received this honor.
To this day, the 1985 championship in Verona is still the only title. For the club, it has been constant ups and downs ever since. They played in the third league in 2010 and in the first league again in 2013.
In the 2015/16 season, the northern Italians only reached the last place in Serie A and played only second-place in the 2016/17 season. They finished second at this stage. So…
AE Larisa (1987/1988) – Championship victory… thanks to the Rule change
From Italy, we now go on to Greece. AE Larisa was founded in 1964 as part of an association of four Greek football clubs based in Larisa.
The AE Larisa attracted a lot of attention and had a crazy story in 1988. The team played their way to the top of the table. Shortly before the end of the season, four points were deducted from the club in a promising position due to a suspicion of doping against several players. The club and its fans protested for days on end. For example, the motorway from Athens to Thessaloniki was blocked for five days. And indeed: the rules were changed.
Only the individual players were penalized instead of the deduction of points against the club. Thus the AE Larisa finally managed to become the Greek champion. Some of the successful players at that time were: Giannis Galitsios, Georgios Mitsimponas, Michalis Ziogas, Ioannis Alexoulis, and Vassilios Karapialis. The heraldic animal of the association is the horse, which in ancient times was the symbol of the city of Larissa because of the most important horse breeding in Greece.
The blackest chapter of the club’s history was written in the 2002-2003 season when the team was almost relegated to the 4th league. The team celebrated their last success in 2007 with their second win of the Greek Cup. However, AE never became champion again. By the way: Larisa is still the only club from a province to have won the title in Greece.
FC Aarau (1992/93) – first championship victory after 80 years
Switzerland also have a Sensation Champion. FC Aarau surprisingly celebrated its third championship victory in 1993 under Swiss coaching legend Rolf Fringer. The previous successes were a long time in the past.
The club last celebrated its national title in 1912 and 1914. The team even won the Swiss Cup in 1985. The 1993 title was so surprising because Aarau had almost relegated in the previous year and only miraculously kept their position.
The team was placed fifth after the qualifying round before winning nine matches and losing one in the final round. FC thus displaced the top teams Geneva and Young Boys Bern to the following places.
In recent years, the club has been playing back and forth between the 1st and 2nd leagues. In 2015 they relegated to second place again, where they placed 4th in the following season.