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5 former European champion clubs that have fallen way behind

Nottingham Forest

Forest won two successive European Cups, in 1979 and 1980. And still remain the only side in history to have won more European Cups than their top flight domestic title – they became champions of England in 1978. It is testament to the managerial abilities of Brian Clough who took a provincial, nondescript side to the top of the game.

Forest have since fallen way behind the top sides and were last in the Premier League in the 1998/99 campaign when they finished bottom of the league. They currently lie in the bottom half of the Championship table and look no closer to reaching the top flight.


The German giants are a six-time champion of Germany and reached the pinnacle of European football with their European Cup win under the legendary Ernst Happel in 1983. Interestingly, they had won the European Cup and league double in 1983 but since then they have struggled to do well.

They have perennially struggled to maintain their top flight status in the Bundesliga but have managed to stay clear of relegation by the skin of their teeth. In the ongoing campaign, they are again in a precarious position, sitting bottom of the table with just three points from 11 games, still awaiting their first win of the season. If things do not improve soon they may just drop to 2. Bundesliga this season.

Aston Villa

The English side won the European Cup in 1982 when they defeated Bayern Munich 1-0 in the final at De Kuip in Rotterdam. The seven-time English champions haven’t won a league title since 1981 and their last trophy came in the form of the League Cup in 1996.

The English giants have been in a crisis for quite some time and after struggling for a long time to stave off relegation to the second division, they finally dropped to the Championship last season after an ill-fated campaign in which they finished rock-bottom with a mere 17 points.

Red Star Belgrade

The Serbian outfit won the European Cup in the 1990/91 season after defeating Marseille in the final following a penalty shootout. But they have ceased to be a European powerhouse and struggle to make it out of the Champions League qualifying stages through to the tournament proper.

However, they have maintained their status of being a top dog in the Serbian top flight. But gone are the days when they used to be regarded amongst the very best in Europe.


The French giants became European champions after defeating AC Milan 1-0 in the 1992/93 final at the Olympiastadion in Munich. They have been French champions nine times in their history and their last league title came in the 2009/10 campaign.

However, they haven’t been the same force for the past few seasons and have struggled to assert their dominance over opposing teams. They have been marred by boardroom troubles which have raised fears of them going under administration if things aren’t sorted in time.

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