The list features two Scottish and Uruguayan teams each.
“The League is more difficult than winning the Champions League. I’ve said it all my life.” If there’s one person who knows what it takes to dominate Europe’s most coveted competition perpetually, it is Zinedine Zidane. The current Real Madrid manager has tasted victory once as a player, once as an assistant manager and thrice as the manager – all for Los Blancos.
But the former Ballon d’Or winner puts the league title above everything else and winning it would be the priority for Los Blancos next season. While it is true that there’s no competition superior to the Champions League by any means, yet nobody ranks the three-peat winning Real Madrid side of Zidane anywhere close to the best teams of all time. The whys and wherefores? The inconsistency manifested by the club in the domestic league, allowing the eternal rivals Barcelona dominate.
The team crowned as the domestic champion is always the most consistent performer throughout the year. And to have that consistency for years and decades is truly astonishing. The teams that have shown that consistency throughout these years in Europe’s big three leagues are Manchester United (England), Real Madrid (La Liga) and Bayern Munich (Germany).
But are they anywhere near to the levels of the most dominant teams of the world? Khel Now takes a look at the teams that have been most dominant in league football.
5. Penarol – 45 titles
Penarol is an Uruguayan multi-sport club from the capital city of Montevideo. The club, nicknamed as the Carboneros, has been the champion of Uruguay for forty-five times, and yet are not the most decorated club of the nation in terms of domestic league success.
Penarol, then named as CURCC (Central Uruguayan Railway Cricket Club), won the very first title of the Uruguayan top division league in 1900. They repeated the feat in the next year too. The lowest point in the history of the men in yellow was when they could only win the title twice in the 2000s. But since then, they are back on resurgence winning four this decade.
The 2nd most number of titles in Primera División in Uruguay
Carboneros have also been the continental champion for five times, the third most amongst the South American clubs. Having won everything there is to win by a South American club, Penarol were declared as the South American Club of the Century by IFFHS.
4. Nacional – 46 titles
The next in the list comes the Penarol’s biggest rivals ever since the two clubs came into their existences – Nacional. Nacional, with 46 titles to their name, are the most successful club of the Uruguayan first division, having overtaken their arch-rivals Peranol after their downslide in the 2000s.
Historically the two clubs have been competing with each other to be the most successful football club of Uruguay.
Nacional’s first title was just after the two successive titles of their rivals, and the Tricolores have last been crowned as the champion of Uruguay in the year 2016. Nacional has been thrice crowned as the champions of the Copa Libertadores.
3. Celtic FC – 50 titles
Celtic are from the Scottish Premier League and have been one of the most dominant forces to reckon with in Scottish football ever since they came into existence. The club has been home to some of the greatest managers and players of the world and has been a constant participant of European competitions.
Opinion: Celtic have won their 7th straight title in Scotland
After losing out to their rivals two consecutive seasons, Celtic won their first top division league in the 1892-93 season. The Hoops went on to retain the title for yet another season, setting up the momentum that would see them dominate the league winning it almost every season. The Hoops won their latest title in the 2018-19 season, their eighth successive win.
The Celts have shared a fierce rivalry with the Rangers, who also would come later into the list. The Rangers and The Celts started the dominance ever since the first seasons and have been unchallenged by the other clubs. Celtic are chasing what would be their fiftieth domestic league title, to become the only third club in the world to achieve the feat.
2. Linfield – 53 titles
Next, in the list are the current Northern Ireland Football League champions Linfield FC. Linfield has been the top division champion for 53 times. That makes them the champions at least twice more than any other Northern Irish club.
Linfield are a team who have not been an alien to winning titles. The team is known for sweeping up almost everything that is put as a challenge on the domestic level. They have seven titles in a season once, four titles in a season once, three domestic trebles along with a world record 24 domestic doubles. Despite winning everything that’s there to win at the domestic level, the club is yet to win a European trophy.
Linfield’s fiercest rivals are Glentoran, who are also the second most successful club in Northern Irish football. The two have won almost 50% titles there has been at stake until now. But the increasing competitiveness and decreasing impact of Glentoran has seen the numbers going down.
1. Rangers – 54 titles
Celtic’s biggest rivals and the world-record holders are Rangers FC. Rangers have won 54 domestic league titles and were the first to cross the 50-titles milestone.
Rangers won the first Championship and have since then won 53 more times with the latest coming in the 2010-11 season. Rangers have finished as the runners-up 29 times. Since then, following the liquidation of the club due to off-the-field issues, Rangers were forced to play in the Third Division. The team spent the next five seasons out of the first division, thereby failing to extend their record.
Now that the team has been back in the first division, they would expect to start winning the titles more, given how quickly Linfield has managed to climb their way to the Ranger’s world record number.