Best teams in the past decade to not win the UCL

matbezlima

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First, I don't include Barcelona 2009/2010 because that season isn't part of last decade.

- Real Madrid 2011/2012: Probably the best team in the world that season. Fantastic football and it really felt like the season that Mourinho would win the UCL for Real. Real scored 121 goals in La Liga, the highest number of goals scored in a single La Liga season, and had 100 points! A well-oiled machine of fast-paced and precise counter-attacking football that also knew what to do very well when dominating possession, they still played proactive football. Unlucky to not defeat Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Copa Del Rey second leg in the quarter-finals. The elimination in the penalty shoot-out against Bayern felt really anti-climax to Real in that whole season, Mourinho says that it was the only elimination that made him cry.

- Borussia Dortmund 2012/2013: While they suffered a huge decline in the Bundesliga in comparison to the two previous seasons, Borussia reached their pinnacle at european level. Playing beautiful football and Klopp's signature gengen pressing, this team was Klopp's first masterpiece. And they confidently eliminated nothing less than Real in the semis and made a very tough final against Bayern in the UCL. One of the most likable, memorable and sympathetic teams in the decade that played great football and came very close to win the UCL.

- Atlético Madrid 2013/2014 and 2015/2016: Simeone's Atlético is one of the most memorable teams in the decade and really unfortunate to not win the UCL. Their losses in the 2014 and 2016 UCL finals against Real were sad and traumatizing for the club, but they still don't change the impact that Atlético had. They broke the Barcelona-Real duopoly in La Liga in 2014. And, with their huge commitment, intensity, discipline and defensive organization, probably no team has made the life of the world's best players and top teams as tough as Atlético. At their peak, they also weren't as one-dimensional and exclusively reactive as now, they could impose themselves too and had great quality in the counter-attacks. Their defensive virtues will be studied for decades to come.

- Barcelona 2015/2016: After a slightly unstable first month in the season, Barcelona-Real was incredible in that season overall, playing exciting and fantastic football and having the MSN trio maybe even more attuned to each other than in the previous, MSN's chemistry, telepathical understanding and artistry reached their pinnacle. They won La Liga and Copa Del Rey and were arguably better than in the previous season, in which they won the treble. They looked well in course to win the second consecutive UCL. So, what was their undoing? The first two weeks of April. Barcelona and MSN, for some reason, had a terrible slump in April, a series of terrible performances one after the other against everyone that made them fall to Atlético and almost made them totally throw away their previously huge point advantage in the top of La Liga. Their collapse in those two weeks was shocking. Just look at all their results in that season in wikipedia and you will see how weird it was. In 2 April, Barcelona lost 2-1 to Real at the Camp Nou in La Liga. In 5 April, they beat Atlético in the UCL 2-1, but again had a very poor performace. In 9 April, they lost away to Real Sociedad 1-0. In 13 April, they lost away to Atlético in the UCL 2-0 and were eliminated in a soulless and pitiful performance. In 17 April, they lost to Valencia at the Camp Nou 2-1. 4 defeats in 5 games in two weeks while Barcelona only suffered seven defeats in total in that whole season! But, after these poor two weeks, Barcelona destroyed Deportivo 8-0 and were again playing awesome football in the rest season as if those two terrible weeks had never happened.

- Bayern 2015/2016: The pinnacle of Guardiola's Bayern. The philosophy and playing style was now fully assimilated, the team had reached the peak of their chemistry and playing awesome football, which is usual in the third season of Guardiola coaching the same club. Specially after Barcelona was eliminated, Bayern seemed the new favorite to win the UCL. Alongside Barcelona, they played the best football in Europe in that season and were the favorites, again alongside Barcelona, to win the UCL. A re-match between Barcelona and Bayern was very hyped. When Barcelona fell to Atlético, it seemed that Bayern might have had an open path to the title. But, like Atlético had already unexpectedly spoiled Barcelona, they would do it again. Simeone's Atlético at its essence is spoiling the party for the best and most pro-active teams, which is probably also why they struggled more against PSV and Real in that UCL. Still, Atlético really had a lot of luck in the second leg against Bayern. Bayern gave Atlético a lesson in how to rip apart a great defense, how to play against a team parking the bus, but were victim of wasteful finishing and were eliminated on away goals, spoiling what seemed to be the year for Guardiola's Bayern to finally win the UCL.

- City 2017/2018 and 2018/2019: While City were deservedly eliminated in 2018 for a terrible first half in the first leg against Liverpool in which they suffered three goals and couldn't cope with Liverpool's speed and gengen pressing seemingly tailored against Guardiola, their amazing football, countless smashing victories and 100 points in the PL that season should not be taken lightly. In the 2018/2019 season, despite the big loss of De Bruyne injured in many games, they won with 98 points in an epic title race against Liverpool and winning the domestic treble. Perhaps not as consistently dominating of their adversaries as in the previous season, but mentally stronger. And, unlike 2018, City was very unlucky and victim of wasteful finishing when they were eliminated by Tottenham on away goals in 2019. Guardiola's City is one of the best teams of the decade.

- Liverpool 2019/2020: Strong mentality, able to come with the three points no matter what in the toughest games and even when playing below their best, seemingly inevitable and also great performances against the PL top teams and big rivals Everton. Like Barcelona 2015/2016, a terrible, and also longer, slump in February cost not only the UCL, but the FA Cup too. The embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Watford also ended dreams of winning the PL invincible. Still, they were well on course to equal or even surpass 100 points in the PL before the coronavirus crisis.

EDIT: Juve in 2016/17 conceded 0 goals from open play in the entire tournament before the final. Only 2 goals conceded from 2 corners. Now that I think about it, I shouldn't have left that Juventus out of my list, it was a big mistake by me.
 
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Son

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Pep’s Bayern and Pep’s City.

Madrid tasted glory plenty so I’m not including them. The same team basically won with Ancelotti a year or two later & let’s be honest Barcelona and Madrid are always strong.

As much as I love the Champions League as a spectacle the top end of the European game has become stale in this past 10 years.

The same teams are dominating the leagues on the continent making it more boring than it used to be the 10 years prior despite the rising standards for only a select number of clubs.

I point at Monaco as probably the biggest breath of fresh air I’ve seen in that time and they couldn’t make it too far.

Played fantastic football though!
 
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GuybrushThreepwood

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I do wish that Bayern had beaten Atleti in 2016, as I would found a Bayern-Real Madrid final that season intriguing. On the balance of play, they probably should have come away with a draw in the 1st leg, but they were another victim of Atleti's formidable home record in Europe during that period. In the previous rounds though, they were quite lucky to get past Juve (I think they had a goal wrongly disallowed for offside in Munich), and were given a very tough time by Benfica in the quarter-finals.

Real Madrid were unquestionably the best team in Europe in 2011/2012, but I think that they were actually pretty lucky to take their CL semi-final tie against Bayern to penalties in the first place, as Bayern were clearly the better team over the 2 legs. Bayern definitely deserved to win in Munich (and could have won by a bigger margin) and should have at least drawn the 2nd leg at the Bernabeu on the balance of play; Gomez missed a string of chances in both legs. On the flipside, RM were unlucky that the huge La Liga Clasico at the Camp Nou was sandwiched in-between those 2 semi-final matches.
 

FootballHQ

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AS Monaco were superb in 16/17 I thought. Shame they came up against the Juve BBC wall in the SF, would've been interesting how they'd have done against Real Madrid over two legs.
 

groovyalbert

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I don't think you can include teams who managed to win it during this time but not during a specific season they performed particularly well.

Only teams worth mentioning here are Juve, Dortmund and Atletico, with nods to Monaco and Ajax for coming out of nowhere.
 

SilentWitness

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Ajax 18/19. They were amazing that year. The only games which they lost were 2-1 at home against Madrid (before destroying them at the Bernabeu) and then THAT game against Spurs. Were it not for those brainfarts they would have had a cracking chance of winning it. I think Liverpool would have beaten them but they'd have given them a far better game than Spurs did. Liverpool lost more than them in just the group stage!
 

SilentWitness

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AS Monaco were superb in 16/17 I thought. Shame they came up against the Juve BBC wall in the SF, would've been interesting how they'd have done against Real Madrid over two legs.
They would have fared much better I reckon. Their knockout games aside from the Juventus game were basically a case of if you score 2 we will score 3 or 4. That Juve defence was insane. They conceded more in the final against Madrid then they did in the whole tournament.

There's another. Juventus 16/17. Play any other team in the final and they'd probably have won it.
 

TheScriptwriter

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We had to win it in 2017 against Real. Obviously deserved to lose after that disaster in the second half, thought they scored a lucky deflection for the 2-1 goal.
2015 against Barcelona we were a good team, but that Barca side was too much for everyone that year.
 

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Wow, only one poster so far saying Dortmund 2013.

Apart from Atletico, they look like the obvious choice here. Don't include sides who won it in other seasons.
 

Peyroteo

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Juve in 2016/17 conceded 0 goals from open play in the entire tournament before the final. Only 2 goals conceded from 2 corners.

Atletico are the obvious choice though, they've knocked out so many great teams over the years and no trophy to show for it yet.
 

matbezlima

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Pep’s Bayern and Pep’s City.

Madrid tasted glory plenty so I’m not including them. The same team basically won with Ancelotti a year or two later & let’s be honest Barcelona and Madrid are always strong.

As much as I love the Champions League as a spectacle the top end of the European game has become stale in this past 10 years.

The same teams are dominating the leagues on the continent making it more boring than it used to be the 10 years prior despite the rising standards for only a select number of clubs.

I point at Monaco as probably the biggest breath of fresh air I’ve seen in that time and they couldn’t make it too far.

Played fantastic football though!
Ajax instead of Monaco in my opinion as the biggest and most exciting UCL surprise in the decade. A pity that they lost key players after that great campaign, they didn't have the chance to mature and grow together like, for example, Ajax in the 90s.
 

matbezlima

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Contradiction

Didn't win UCL, therefore they are not the best teams.
I talked about the best teams only among the ones that didn't win the UCL, you misunderstood this thread totally. Even if this was not the case of my thead, the best does not always win in football. For example, Chelsea's 2012 UCL win was peak black magic, by far the luckiest and most freakish UCL title in this century. Di Matteo must have sold his soul to the Devil to win that UCL title in 2012, I haven't seen other so ridiculously lucky team in my life. They weren't even that good at parking the bus (unlike Greece 2004), their adversaries were just extremely wasteful. Just watch the highlights in both games against Barcelona in the semis and, specially, the final against Bayern. And Chelsea had already rode their luck a lot in the UCL KO before they faced Barcelona and Bayern. Maybe Chelsea was overdue to have all that luck, though, after being so unlucky to not win the UCL in the 2000s with far, far superior teams, so it was probably fair in the big scheme of things.
 

VorZakone

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I really thought Juve 2016/17 was gonna win it. I was impressed by how they shut down Barcelona and a Monaco side that scored for fun. But Real Madrid's maturity in finals is just something else.
 

matbezlima

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Juve in 2016/17 conceded 0 goals from open play in the entire tournament before the final. Only 2 goals conceded from 2 corners.

Atletico are the obvious choice though, they've knocked out so many great teams over the years and no trophy to show for it yet.
Now that I think about it, I was really unfair in not remembering Juventus 16/17.
 

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Manchester United, 2018/19, as that would have been David Moyes' sixth year in charge. He would have had the time to drag us down and then build us back up again :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
 

Charlie Foley

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Pep's Bayern in 2015/16 for me. They should have won that second leg vs Atleti outright.

Contradiction

Didn't win UCL, therefore they are not the best teams.
This is just a silly post. First of all, you can be the best of a particular subset (teams who didn't win the UCL) without being THE best.

Secondly, by that logic, the best team always wins a competition (don't win=not the best, therefore the best must win). Which is stupid. Chelsea in 2012 and liverpool in 2005 are the obvious examples.
 

Charlie Foley

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Also, while not as fondly remembered as our team the year before, our 08/09 team was excellent. A better team than everyone except Barcelona-who weren't as far ahead of us as they were in 2011. Fergie was weirdly naive in that final.
 

HTG

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Bayern 2015/16. We were so damn good that season. The second leg against Madrid might have been the best Bayern game I ever saw.
 

Infordin

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1. Barcelona 2015/16

2. Real Madrid 2011/12

3. Bayern Munich 2015/16

4. Liverpool 2019/20

5. Manchester City 2018/19

6. Manchester City 2017/18

7. Juventus 2016/17

8. Atletico Madrid 2013/14
 

Adam_S

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Early 90's Manchester United. Stupid three foreigners rule.
 

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1. Barcelona 2015/16

2. Real Madrid 2011/12

3. Bayern Munich 2015/16

4. Liverpool 2019/20

5. Manchester City 2018/19

6. Manchester City 2017/18

7. Juventus 2016/17

8. Atletico Madrid 2013/14
Atletico knocked both of these teams out too and then lost the final.
 

matbezlima

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Atletico knocked both of these teams out too and then lost the final.
So? What do you mean? Those were great teams, Barcelona and Bayern were without doubt the best teams in Europe during the 2015/2016 season, as I explained in detail in my OP. Anyway, props to Atlético, a pity that Real is always their kryptonite.
 

el3mel

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The Juve team who lost the final 1-4 to Madrid. Any other opponent in the final and they would have won it.
 

hasanejaz88

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Bayern 2015/16. We were so damn good that season. The second leg against Madrid might have been the best Bayern game I ever saw.
I think Bayern were better in 17/18, they were more clearly the better team then against Madrid but those two moronic errors by Rafinha and Ulreich ruined their chances.

In 15/16 Real dominated the first leg and if it weren't for Neuer they scoreline would've been embarassing, though ofcourse the 2nd leg Bayern were great and unlucky with those offside decisions.
 

matbezlima

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Bayern 2015/16. We were so damn good that season. The second leg against Madrid might have been the best Bayern game I ever saw.

I think Bayern were better in 17/18, they were more clearly the better team then against Madrid but those two moronic errors by Rafinha and Ulreich ruined their chances.

In 15/16 Real dominated the first leg and if it weren't for Neuer they scoreline would've been embarassing, though ofcourse the 2nd leg Bayern were great and unlucky with those offside decisions.
You both are mistaking Bayern 2015/2016 with Bayern 2016/2017. Bayern didn't play against Real in the 2015/2016 season. They were eliminated by Atletico on away goals in Guardiola's last, and best, season at Bayern, when the team was its prime of chemistry together and had fully assimilated Guardiola's philosophy and playing style.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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United 2017/2018 for a few months when we played really well. Maybe not super high on this list, but we showed signs that we could challenge before everything imploded under Mourinho and Sanchez proved to be a massive failure.
 

hasanejaz88

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You both are mistaking Bayern 2015/2016 with Bayern 2016/2017. Bayern didn't play against Real in the 2015/2016 season. They were eliminated by Atletico on away goals in Guardiola's last, and best, season at Bayern, when the team was its prime of chemistry together and had fully assimilated Guardiola's philosophy and playing style.
Yea 15/16 Bayern went out to Atletico, they also had a ton of injury problems that time as well iirc. Kimmich and Alaba were playing center backs that season because of injuries to Boateng, Martinez while Robben was also out towards the end.
 

HTG

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You both are mistaking Bayern 2015/2016 with Bayern 2016/2017. Bayern didn't play against Real in the 2015/2016 season. They were eliminated by Atletico on away goals in Guardiola's last, and best, season at Bayern, when the team was its prime of chemistry together and had fully assimilated Guardiola's philosophy and playing style.
I'm not mistaken. I meant the second leg against Atletico.
 

Devil81

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I suppose you've got to say even though Barca won so many over the past decade they would also be the best team to not win it either.

I'd say that if they'd had a plan B at times they'd have been an even better team than they were. Pep's demand for total tika taka football even in the last minutes of games they were losing was frustrating to watch and I'd say it cost them ties. Inter in 2010 is exactly the type of game I'm thinking of, they needed to get the ball into the box but would continue the same football over and over and actually became easy to defend against in the end.
 

Paula

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You wrote Madrid, so I thought that you were talking about Real.
OH my God. This was probably the best CL semi final game i have ever watched. Fast, accurate, tactical and intense.
Simione said after the game that this was the best side he ever faced and he had no clue how they did not concede more.