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Mia San Mia (We Are Who We Are)

Competitiveness of leagues in the last 50 years

In this article, a comparison is made between the distinct total victorious clubs in their respective domestic league and UEFA competitions, across the top four leagues in Europe, during the last 50 years. The results are not quite what one would expect.


As one would expect, Spain is dominated by the two big clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona who between them have won 35 out of the last 49 Spanish league titles. This season’s league is coming to an end soon, with Barcelona and Real Madrid well ahead of the rest of the table, which will make it 36 out of 50.

What is surprising in Spain is that very few distinct clubs (7) have won the league in the last 50 years.

Real Madrid* 21
Barcelona* 14**
Atlético Madrid* 6
Valencia* 3
Athletic Bilbao 2
Real Sociedad 2
Deportivo 1
Sevilla* 0
Real Zaragoza* 0
Malaga* 0
Celta Vigo* 0
Distinct league winners 7
Distinct UEFA competition winners 8
Distinct total victorious clubs 11


In England, the situation is much more competitive than in Spain. Manchester United and Liverpool have dominated the scene in the last 50 years, but 11 distinct clubs have won the league. Furthermore, they have the greatest number of distinct UEFA competition winners with 14.

Manchester United* 14
Liverpool* 12
Arsenal* 6
Chelsea* 4
Everton* 3
Manchester City* 3
Leeds United 3
Derby County 2
Aston Villa* 1
Blackburn Rovers* 1
Nottingham Forest* 1
Fulham* 0
Newcastle United* 0
West Ham* 0
Tottenham Hotspur* 0
Ipswitch Town* 0
Distinct league winners 11
Distinct UEFA competition winners 14
Distinct total victorious clubs 16


In Germany, the situation is very healthy. As one would expect, Bayern Munich have dominated the scene, winning almost half (24) of the last 50 titles, but the competitive health comes from the distinct league winners (12) which is the highest amongst the top 4, as well as a whopping 19 distinct victors, also the highest amongst these four countries. An incredible 7 German clubs have won a UEFA competition in the past 50 years, but not the domestic league.

Bayern Munich* 24
Borussia Dortmund* 5
Borussia Mönchengladbach* 5
Hamburger SV* 3
VfB Stuttgart* 3
Werder Bremen* 3
1. FC Kaiserslautern 2
1. FC Köln 1
1860 München 1
Eintracht Braunschweig 1
VfL Wolfsburg 1
1. FC Nürnberg 1
Schalke 04* 0
Karlsruhe* 0
Hertha Berlin* 0
Eintracht Frankfurt* 0
Bayer Leverkusen* 0
Magdeburg* 0
Lokomotive Leipzig* 0
Distinct league winners 12
Distinct UEFA competition winners 13
Distinct total victorious clubs 19


In Italy, the league is dominated by Juventus with 19 out of 49 leagues. It could have been more for Juventus too, but in the aftermath of the Calciopoli scandal were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles; the former revoked while the latter awarded to Inter instead.

Juventus* 19***
Milan* 10
Inter* 9
Roma 2
Lazio* 2
Napoli* 2
Torino 1
Fiorentina 1
Cagliari 1
Sampdoria* 1
Verona 1
Bologna* 0
Perugia* 0
Udinese* 0
Parma* 0
Distinct league winners 11
Distinct UEFA competition winners 10
Distinct total victorious clubs 15

* won a UEFA competition in the last 50 years

Spain England Germany Italy
Distinct league winners 7 11 12 11
Distinct UEFA competition winners 8 14 13 10
Distinct total victorious clubs 11 16 19 15

From this data, one can conclude that out of the top four European leagues, German football has been the most competitive over the past 50 years, followed by England, Italy and lastly Spain.

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  • ttoad92 says:

    Interesting stuff, Thanks MUTU.

    Also worth mentioning is since the Premier Leagues Inception in the 1992-93 season (when the big money really first started coming into football) Manchester United have won 13 out of the 23 Premier League seasons so far (56%) and the Premier League has had 5 Unique Champions.

    Bayern on the other hand have won 12 out of the last 23 seasons in the Bundesliga (52%) which has had 6 Unique Winners since the 1992-93 season.

    Both teams have won the Champions League twice and the Club World Cup once.

    I didn’t realise until i started writing this comment how comparable Man Utd and Bayern are over the last 23 seasons. On a side note they are both also the most successful team’s in each of their domestic cup’s too Man Utd have won 11 FA Cups (tied with Arsenal) and Bayern have won 17 DFB Pokals.

    I didn’t include this season in my figures as you hadn’t included it in your article.

    I’m sure there are other interesting comparisons stats out there as well (maybe a future article?)

    • MUTU says:

      Yes, there are similiarities of course.

      This article was written because there’s a misconception that the Bundesliga is not competitive. It stems from the fact that people look at the difference between the most successful club and the second most successful club. But what about between the second and third? Or the third and fourth? Or the fourth and fifth? And so forth…

      From this aspect, it’s hard to argue which was the 2nd best team in Germany in the last 50 years. For me, it’d be Borussia M’gladbach, but I’m sure Borussia Dortmund fans would put great points forward.

  • pyrasur says:

    Thanks MUTU. Interesting article

  • silberkreuz says:

    Good point well made.

  • Kevinx67 says:

    You have a future in politics. The spin saying Germany is the most competitive league is a joke. Bayern have won almost half of the league titles. How does that make in competitive? While i love Bayern Munich. German football is all about FC Bayern. England is more competitive league. by far. Atleast you can say 6 teams have a chance at the title. Spain only three. Germany only one and who cares about Italian football. To me it’s time for a Super league.

  • MUTU says:

    Last 10 years in Europe’s top leagues

    Champions changed
    Serie A – 2 (e.g. Inter -> Milan, Milan -> Juventus)
    Premier League – 7
    Bundesliga – 6
    La Liga – 6

    Distinct champions
    Serie A – 3
    Premier League – 3
    Bundesliga – 4
    La Liga – 3

  • Naman says:

    Nice one whenever i say bayern won agains wolsburg dortmunt bayer….. they say its bayernliga not bundesliga and say me to watch preimer league saying tht is the most dramtic and competitve league.