I know Werdermouth doesn’t particularly follow results in the Bundesliga but I did notice that this weekend Werder Bremen did earn a point away to Bayern Munich and were actually leading at halftime. Elsewhere Benfica lost for the second time in successive matches and Barcelona lost again for the third time this season.
Lille winning the French League must be regarded as equal to Leicester City winning the Premier League five years ago. I’ve visited this beautiful city twice in the last 15 years and have always followed their results with interest, as I do with many of the cities I’ve visited. They were almost relegated 3 years ago, so like Leicester have made a remarkable recovery with less than a quarter of the budget of Paris Saint Germain who must be stunned having won 7 of the previous 9 Championats. Perhaps it gives hope to clubs outside of the supposed super 6 clubs of England’s Premier League for next season. My choice would be Everton, but I wouldn’t mind if it were Norwich, or even Boro in the next ten years. I’ll be watching from above on that one!
By the way sadly Werder Bremen have been relegated from the Bundesliga.
It’s now the end of the season for the major European Leagues as well as England and Scotland, so for what it’s worth are my reports of the last 25 years:-
Clubbe Brugge have again finished top of the Juliper League with their 9th Championship win during that period providing they win the 6 club playoffs. They have also been runners-up 10 times and their lowest position was 6th in 2007. However the Brussels club Anderlecht have won it 11 times, one spell of 5 successive titles from 2009 to 2013, but in 2020 finishing as low as 8th and having won only one title in the last 8 seasons. The most improved club this season was Oostende finishing 5th, a rise of 10 places on the previous season. The most disappointing club being Charleroi down 10 places on last years 3rd position, but it’s now 8 years since Standard Liege last won the Juliper League and Ghent have never won the championship for at least 27 years.
Lille have been the shock club in France winning the Championat by one point over Paris St Germain, only the second time that the club from Hauts-de-France have won the championship since being promoted in 2000, the previous time being in 2011. However the shift in power has been the success of the Parisian club with 7 championships and 3 second places in the last 10 seasons after Lyon’s 7 successive titles from 2002 to 2008. The biggest surprise though is arguably the demise of Marseille since the bribery scandal of 1986 which lingered on for 10 years and resulted in their being stripped of the title and demoted. AS Monaco financed by the Grimaldi family and playing in a stadium of a little over 18,500 have won 8 French titles, but only 3 in the last 25 years, although they did finish 3rd this season, an improvement of 6 places on the previous season.
The Bundesliga title is becoming a one horse race now with Bayern Munich having won 9 consecutive titles now. In fact they have only finished out of the top 3 once in the last 25 seasons, that being in 2007 when they finished 4th. That’s 28 Bundesliga titles in that period. The only challenge has come from Borussia Dortmund with 5 titles since 1995. In fact only 4 other clubs have won the title in the last 25 years - Kaiserslautern in 1998 the season following their promotion, Werder Bremen in 2004, Stuttgart in 2007 and Wolfsburg in 2009. Sadly the first two named are no longer in the top tier. Hoffenheim, a 5th Division club in 2000 have been the surprise club in this century, only twice in 2013 and 2016 being in danger of relegation but finished 3rd on 2018. The club of my ancestors Eintracht Frankfurt have never won the Bundesliga, but did once reach the European Cup Final in 1960 in the highest aggregate scoring final losing 3-7 to Real Madrid at Hamden Park, Glasgow before the largest crowd ever recorded for the Final 127,621. However, after 3 relegations in the last 25 years they finished 5th this year, their highest ever placing.
The Eredivise has always been monopolised by two clubs in the last 26 years by PSV Eindhoven and Ajax Amsterdam with 11 titles each. PSV won it 4 years in succession from 2005 to 2008, whilst Ajax did likewise from 2011 to 2014, the latter having also won the title in each of the last 3 years, and runaway winners in the last season. The only other champions during that period have been Feyenoord Rotterdam twice in 1999 and 2017, AZ Alkmaar in 2009 and Twente Enschede in 2010 under Steve McClaren. However the biggest movers downwards this year have been Willem Tilburg finishing 14th after 5th in the previous season. Of the other clubs FC Utrecht and Vitesse Arnhem have been the most consistent in the past 5 seasons with both clubs generally appearing in the top 6.
A poor season from Juventus by their standards. Having been champions of the Scudetto for the past 9 years, to finish only 4th in the last season must almost be a crisis. Nevertheless they have won the title 14 times in the last 25 years despite being demoted after the bribery scandal of 2006 when they headed the Scudetto. The Milanese duo who share the same stadium have been champions 9 times between them in the last 25 years. Internatzionale won it this season for the first time since 2010 which ended their 4 successive title, whilst AC Milan’s 4 titles have been more spasmodic with wins in 1996, 1999, 2004 and 2011. The most surprising club though has been the club from Bergamo (Atalanta) who have finished 3rd in each of the last 3 seasons. Strangely though the two clubs from the Capital have not had much success in the Scudetto with AS Roma finishing 7th and their last title being as far back as 2001 although they have been runners-up 8 times in this quarter century, and Lazio finishing 6th with their last title being in 2000. Maybe the surprise of the season though has been the demise of Parma and finishing bottom after an 11th position in the previous season.
At last the two club title battle has been broken with Sporting Lisbon breaking the FC Porto/Benfica monopoly by winning their first title since 2002.deposing FC Porto who have been champions 16 times in the last 27 years and never outside the top 3 in all that time. Sporting’s neighbour Benfica’s title wins have been only 7 in that time with 4 of them being in successive years from 2014 to 2017. The only other club to have won the title in that period is Boavista the other club on the Douro in 2001. Sadly we must say goodbye to one of the two Madeiran clubs Nacional as well as one of the two Algarvian clubs SC Farense who were both promoted only the season before. However I’m pleased to see the steady progress of Portimonense who will now have spent 5 consecutive seasons in the top flight. The club with the biggest improvement though must be Pacos de Ferreira who finished 5th an improvement of 13th position in the previous season.
A similar story to Portugal where the Barcelona/Real Madrid monopoly was broken by Atletico Madrid winning La Liga for the first time since 2014 and only the second time since 1996. They even spent 2 seasons in 2001 and 2002 in the Second Division, so this has been a great achievement. Amazingly Real Madrid have only once won two consecutive La Liga titles since 1995. That was in 2007 and 2008, though they have won 9 titles in the last 27 years, but in between winning two of those titles in 1995 and 1997 they actually finished 6th. In contrast Barcelona usually win their titles in pairs and have won La Liga 12 times during the same period. Valencia have had a poor season finishing 13th and it’s now 17 years since their last title and 21 years since Deportivo La Coruna won their last one. It’s also surprising that Sevilla have only won one title in 1946, yet the Andalucian club have an outstanding record in Cup competitions having won 5 Copas del Rei and 6 EUFA Cup/EUFA League titles. Finally it’s sad that ex-Boro striker has tasted relegation with his club Eibar finishing bottom of La Liga.
Many thanks for detailed summary of the European leagues Ken - maybe the lack of supporters in some grounds has helped smaller clubs or indeed stopped some referees being swayed or pressured to give some decisions by the crowd.
As for Germany, it's hard to see Bayern losing their monopoly as they can always attract the best players with their financial clout and almost guarantee of trophies for players.
Bremen and Schalke are now joining Hamburg in the German second tier and worryingly have quite large debts to burden them.
btw I added the missing Spain sentence to your original post and deleted the second update.
Thanks Werdermouth. I’d forgotten about SV Hamburg and the Kevin Keegan era.