The Champions League is an annual competition organized by the European organization UEFA. This tournament is contested by the best clubs in Europe and it is one of the world's most-watched tournaments.
Each year, some of the world's most famous European soccer clubs compete in this competition. It is the hope of any team that participates to win the UEFA Champions League and to write their name on the coveted trophy at least once in their history.
Unfortunately, where there is a winner, there is a loser as well. Not winning means being second to best, but somebody has got to take the consolidation prize. Some clubs have never played a final, some have featured in it only once and failed, and several of them have attempted to lift the trophy on multiple occasions.
21. Sevilla – 0 finals, 0 wins
Sevilla have been the absolute kings of the UEFA Cup and the reformed UEFA Europa League with six total trophies, out of six finals. They managed to win it in 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020.
However, when it comes to the European Cup/Champions League, they have been less lucky. In season 2017-18, they reached the quarter-finals for the first time in 60 years, losing 2-1 to Bayern on aggregate.
20. Manchester City - 1 final, 0 wins
Manchester City finally made it to a UEFA Champions League Final in 2021. However, the Citizens were beaten by Chelsea at Estadio do Dragao in Portugal and remain without UCL honors. After the Abu Dhabi United Group takeover in 2008, the club have managed to win five Premier League titles, but not a single Champions League title.
The last time they came close to reaching a final was in the 2015-16 season. The Citizens met with Real Madrid in the semi-finals, but they ended up being defeated 1-0 on aggregate.
19. Fiorentina – 1 final, 0 wins
Italian Serie A side Fiorentina participated in the 1957 European Cup Final at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. They met hosts Real Madrid on May 30, 1957.
Unfortunately, La Viola were defeated 2-0 thanks to goals by Alfredo Di Stefano and Paco Gento. Despite having various incredible players throughout their history, they have never managed to repeat the same success.
18. Eintracht Frankfurt – 1 final, 0 wins
Another club came to face Real Madrid in a bid to stop them from winning their fifth consecutive European Cup trophy. In the 1960 European Cup Final, Eintracht Frankfurt and Real Madrid came together at the Hampden Park in Glasgow.
The game was played on May 18, 1960, and it ended in a 7-3 thrashing by the Spanish side. Alfredo Di Stefano scored a hat-trick, and Ferenc Puskas netted four times for the Whites, while Richard Kress and Erwin Stein (2) scored for the German club.
17. Partizan – 1 final, 0 wins
Serbian club Partizan are one of the many sides who confronted Real Madrid during the 50s and 60s, attempting to stop the Spanish side. However, after a break of six consecutive years without a European Cup trophy, Madrid did it again.
Los Blancos met with Partizan at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels on May 11, 1966. After taking the lead, the then Yugoslavians were shocked with two speedy goals by the Madrid players.
16. Panathinaikos – 1 final, 0 wins
It was in the 1971 European Cup Final when Panathinaikos faced Ajax at the Wembley Stadium in London. The game was played on June 2, 1971.
The Dutchmen won their first European Cup trophy, thanks to a 2-0 win over the Greek side. The consoling prize for them was the fact that Antonis Antoniadis ended up as the competition’s top goalscorer.
15. Leeds – 1 final, 0 wins
Since Manchester United won the 1968 European Cup Final, Leeds became the first English side to reach the final in 1975. They were also just the second English club to reach the culmination in the history of the tournament.
Leeds came against Bayern on May 28, 1975, at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The Bavarians ended up winning 2-0, lifting their second successful European Cup trophy.
14. Saint-Etienne – 1 final, 0 wins
The next year, Bayern returned for another European Cup final. This time they had to deal with French club Saint-Etienne.
On May 12, 1976, the Germans beat Saint-Etienne 1-0 at the Hampden Park in Glasgow. It took another 42 years until, in three successive seasons, a team won this tournament again, done by Real Madrid in 2018.
13. Borussia Monchengladbach – 1 final, 0 wins
Borussia Monchengladbach tried to get in the way of Liverpool winning their first European Cup trophy in the 1977 European Cup Final. Unfortunately, they failed to do so.
The Reds won 3-1 on May 25, 1977, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. It was only the second time an English club won the competition.
12. Club Brugge – 1 final, 0 wins
Liverpool returned for another consecutive European Cup final in 1978. This time they clashed off with Club Brugge at the Wembley Stadium in London.
The match ended 1-0, thanks to a Kenny Dalglish goal on May 10, 1978. That goal signified the beginning of a string of six straight finals that ended 1-0 after 90 minutes, five of which were won by English clubs.
11. Malmo – 1 final, 0 wins
Malmo tasted the European Cup Final air for the first and only time in their history in 1979. They faced Nottingham Forest on May 30.
The lone goal at the Olympiastadion in Munich was scored by Trevor Francis. The Swedish side have failed to make their way into a European Cup/Champions League final ever since.
10. Roma – 1 final, 0 wins
Roma have so far featured in only one European Cup/Champions League final. The game ended 1-1, as Phil Neal scored for the Englishmen and Roberto Pruzzo scored for Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
In the penalty shootout, Liverpool secured their fourth European Cup in the 1984 European Cup Final. As for Roma, the only time they came close to another final was in 2017-18, when they reached the semi-finals but lost 7-6 to Liverpool on aggregate.
9. Sampdoria – 1 final, 0 wins
It sounds extra peculiar nowadays but Sampdoria did face Barcelona in a European Cup final in their history. It was in the 1992 European Cup Final, at the Wembley Stadium in London.
The Blaugrana beat Sampdoria 1-0 after extra time in 1992, with their current coach Ronald Koeman scoring the winning goal. That was Barca’s first European Cup/Champions League title, and little did they know then that four others would come later.
8. Bayer Leverkusen – 1 final, 0 wins
On their way to the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, Bayer Leverkusen defeated all three English teams: Arsenal in the second group round, followed in the quarter-finals by Liverpool and Manchester United in the semi-finals. In the final on May 15, 2002, they met with the troublesome Real Madrid.
At the Hampden Park in Glasgow, the Germans were defeated 2-1. Zinedine Zidane scored the final winning goal with that well-known left-footed volley from the edge of the penalty area into the top-left corner.
7. Monaco – 1 final, 0 wins
Monaco and Porto came together in the 2004 UEFA Champions League Final at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen. Lokomotiv Moscow, Real Madrid, and Chelsea were previously out by Monaco on their way to the final.
On May 26, 2004, Porto were, unfortunately, very convincing in this game, as they triumphed 3-0. Instead of a second group stage, this was the first UCL season to feature a 16-team knockout round.
6. Tottenham – 1 final, 0 wins
Unexpectedly, in the 2018-19 season, we witnessed an all-English final for the first time after Manchester United defeated Chelsea in Moscow in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final. This time, Tottenham and Liverpool faced each other.
On June 1, 2019, at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Liverpool celebrated a 2-0 win over the Spurs thanks to goals by Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi. It was the Reds’ sixth and final Champions League trophy.
5. Paris Saint-Germain – 1 final, 0 wins
The wealthy Qatari-funding at Paris Saint-Germain finally paid off in 2020, when the French club reached their first Champions League final of all-time. Unlucky enough, they met a very inspired Bayern roster, who made the fairy tale go bad.
In a coronavirus-affected season full of many uncertainties and postponed deadlines, both sides took the field at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, on August 23, 2020. Kingsley Coman scored the winning goal for the Germans.
4. Reims – 2 finals, 0 wins
Reims were a very dominant European soccer side during the ‘50s. They have also featured in two finals so far but to no avail. In the 1956 European Cup Final, they faced Real Madrid, and even though they were doing very well, the French club lost 4-3 in the end.
Then, three years later, the two outfits met once again in the 1959 European Cup Final. This time, Reims weren’t quite the equal opponent, as they lost 2-0, at the Neckarstadion, in Stuttgart.
3. Valencia – 2 finals, 0 wins
Valencia have participated in two consecutive UEFA Champions League finals so far. The first was the 2000 UEFA Champions League Final, when they met with the unstoppable Real Madrid on May 24, 2000, at the Stade de France in Paris. The final score was 3-0 for the Whites.
The Bats returned to feature in the next season’s final. This time, they faced Bayern, and the Spaniards were an equal opponent for a total of 120 minutes. However, the Bavarians won 5-4 on penalties.
2. Atletico Madrid – 3 finals, 0 wins
Atletico Madrid are perhaps the club with the most negative record in the Europa League/Champions League history. So far, they have played in three different finals but unfortunately, they never got to lift the trophy. Atleti faced Bayern in a two-legged final in 1974, and they lost 5-1 on aggregate.
They met with their city rivals Real Madrid in the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final, and they were again defeated with a 4-1 result. It didn’t take much for them to come back and give it another shot, again against Real in 2016. Atletico were an equal opponent this time, but they lost on penalties.
1. Arsenal – 1 final, 0 wins
Despite featuring in only one European Cup/Champions League final, Arsenal are unarguably the most popular soccer team to have never won the competition. Their only chance to lift the trophy came in 2006 when they faced Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final.
The Blaugrana won 2-1 thanks to goals by Samuel Eto’o and Julian Belletti, while Sol Campbell netted the only goal for the Gunners. Up to this day, they remain the only one of the English top 4 clubs, consisting also of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool, to never win the UCL.