Apart from Juventus, Bayern Munich are another heavyweight from Europe’s top five leagues to dominate their respective league.
Juventus became the first side in Europe’s top five leagues to win nine consecutive domestic titles after their 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Sunday night. It was the Old Lady’s 36th league title and continued their dominance in Italy with AC Milan being the last club apart from Juventus to have won the Serie A title in 2011.
On that note, we have a look at the clubs from across Europe’s top five that have dominated their respective leagues and won the most consecutive top division titles.
One of European football’s first dominant forces, the Torino side of the 40s were considered a joy to watch. Fondly known as the Grande Torino, the club’s greatest period saw them win five titles in a row discounting the interruption to the league due to the second World War. Valentino Mazzola was their captain and the club’s players during this time were the backbone of the Italian national side. They also won the Coppa Italia in 1943, making them the first team to win the Scudetto and Coppa Italia double in the same season.
Sadly, their success came to an abrupt end in 1949 when an airliner carrying the entire team crashed in Turin.
Like Torino, Real Madrid have also won their domestic league for five seasons running. Unlike, Torino though they did it on two separate occasions, with the first period between 1960 to 1965 and the second from 1985 to 1990. While they were blessed with quality individuals all over the pitch, the superstars of the Real team during their domestic and European title triumphs in the sixties were the legendary Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás. Their success in the 80s was centred around home-grown academy stars like Emilio Butragueño, Míchel, Manuel Sanchís, Martín Vázquez and Miguel Pardeza.
The last club before Juventus to stamp their authority in the Italian Serie A, Inter Milan won five successive domestic titles from 2005 to 2010. After the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal that saw Juventus stripped of the 2005-06 league title, Inter were handed the domestic crown. I Nerazzurri went on to win four more consecutive leagues from 2006 to 2010 and also added a cherry on top with a UEFA Champions League under the stewardship of Jose Mourinho.
All of Lyon’s seven French league conquests in the club’s history came consecutively in what was a record-setting streak that started in 2001 and ended in 2008. A few of the key personnel behind their sustained domestic success following the turn of the millennium were goalkeeper Grégory Coupet and winger Sidney Govou. Both Coupet and Govou along with Juninho, who was the creative force of the side, were part of all seven title wins with Lyon. One of the most feared dead-ball specialists, Juninho’s unerring free-kicks that frequently rattled the back of the net was a trademark of this team.
After Jurgen Klopp’s league successes with Borussia Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, Bayern Munich reclaimed the Bundesliga title and have tightened their grip on the league crown ever since. Their latest league win last month made it eight consecutive domestic titles for the Bavarians. Besides their domestic dominance, Bayern also won a UEFA Champions title during this era with academy talents like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller and later Joshua Kimmich playing key roles in the club’s success. Another defining attribute of this Bayern side were their talented wingers, starting with Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben to Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry.
Even though they are now the only team in the history of Europe’s top five leagues to win nine successive domestic league titles, Juventus’ dominance in Italy looks like it is set to continue for some time. The Old Lady have had managers like Antonio Conte, Massimiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri during their nine-year reign at the pinnacle of Italian football.
Besides the nine Serie A crowns, they have won all other domestic cups and maintained their hunger for continuous success. However, something that has still eluded them during this era of success is the UEFA Champions League – a holy grail of sorts for the Italian champions. With five-time Champions League winner Cristiano Ronaldo now the talisman of the team, it’s perhaps just a matter of time before they breach that final frontier.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Marco Bertorello