Have you wondered which football team wins their league the most? In this article, we look at how the different top leagues in football (soccer) across Europe have been dominated by single teams during the period 2010-20.
Number of teams winning the Championship 2010-20 by league
In the table below, we show how many different teams have won the local championship during the period 2010-20, sorted by leagues with the highest number of winners to the lowest.
We find that the Latvian and Swedish leagues have the most varied set of winners, with 6 different teams winning the leagues respectively. On the other end of the table, we find several leagues being dominated by fewer teams as only two different teams have won the local championships during the period.
LEAGUE BY LEAGUE OVERVIEW
We will now look at each league individually. We do so alphabetically by country, starting with Albania.
ALBANIA – Super League
The first half of the decade was clearly dominated by Skenderbeu Korca, but since the 2016-17 season, other teams have caught up and 4 different teams, including Skenderbeu, have won the leagues in the last 4 years. The previously dominant team Skenderbeu appears to have lost any advantage they had and at the time of writing (April 8, 2021), the team is actually placed second to last on a relegation spot. A significant fall from the grace from this once-dominant force in Albanian football.
AUSTRIA – Tipico Bundesliga
Three teams have been crowned Champions is Austria since the 2010-11 season, however, the league has hardly been unpredictable lately. RB Salzburg has been totally dominating since the 2013-14 season and while Rapid Wien is putting on a decent challenge this season, RB Salzburg is on the march towards another Championship. Having won 8 titles within the last 10 seasons, and most likely making it 9/10 after this season, RB Salzburg is one of the most dominant teams in their local league across Europe.
BELARUS – Vysshaya Liga
The Belarus season follows the calendar year, so we include the 2020 season in the table. Belarus’ Vysshaya League has been dominated by BATE Borisov for most of the decade, with the club having won the league the first 9 years, but the last two years have seen two other winners, indicating that BATE’s time as the undisputed best team in Belarus is over. The Vysshaya Liga follows the calendar year, so the 2021 season has only just started.
BELGIUM – Jupiler League
In Belgium, the league has been much more even than the previous three others we’ve looked at, with four different teams crowned as Champions. Anderlecht leads the winners’ table here with four titles, however, Club Brügge seems to be the team in form in recent years and also appears to be on a steady course to win the league in the current 2020-21 season and evening out Anderlecht’s lead with Club Brügge also having claimed 4 titles within the last 10 seasons.
BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA – Premier League
In Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Premier League has seen four different winners, with Zrinjski being the most successful with four titles. Recently, however, Sarajevo has been the dominant team with two consecutive titles and at the time of writing (April 11’th), the team is also leading the current league and looks likely to be crowned title winners again, which will mean that the team will also have four titles in the last 10 years.
BULGARIA – Parva Liga
The Bulgarian Parva Liga is an interesting one since it’s totally dominated by one team – PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, having won the latest 9 seasons and looking solid for a 10’th consecutive win after this season. Before this incredible run, the team had never won the Championship and the previous 10 years had been dominated primarily by Levski Sofia, although by no means to the same extent as Ludogorets is now dominating. No other team will have won the local Championship 10 consecutive years after this season, so Ludogorets is (will be) the most dominant team in any European Championship.
CROATIA – 1. HNL
While Ludogorets in Bulgaria will be the only team to win the league 10 times in a row after the current season, Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb won’t be far behind after winning 9 from 10 since the 2010-11 season. This season looks a lot more even, however, with Osijek challenging Dinamo Zagreb to the extent that it is still an open race between the two, and even if Dinamo Zagreb ends up winning, they can’t match Ludogorets’ incredible record due to Rijeka’s surprise title win in the 2016-17 season.
CYPRUS – First Division
Like Bulgaria and Croatia, only two teams have won the local league in Cyprus, with one team being the absolutely dominant team, APOEL. The 2019-20 season was abandoned due to COVID-19, but surprisingly, APOEL was not on course to win the title, since Omonia and Anorthosis were co-leading the table before the season was put to an end. The Cyprus First Division is divided into a Championship Group and a Relegation Group, with the Top 6 teams in the main First Division league entering the first and the lowest 6 teams entering the latter. APOEL seems to have lost momentum, as they find themselves in the Relegation Group this season (they do lead it and are not looking in any danger of an actual relegation). Three teams fight for the title this year, Apollon, Omonia and AEL Limassol, the latter team the only team to have claimed the title outside of APOEL the last 10 years.
CZECHIA – 1. Liga
The Czech 1. Liga has seen four different teams winning the league, with Victoria Plzen being the team with most wins (5), however, lately, Slavia Prag seems to have taken the helm as the strongest team in the country with two consecutive wins and looking a safe bet to win it again this season (after 25 matches, they are still to face their first defeat this season), making it four wins from the last 5 seasons.
DENMARK – Superliga
The Danish Superliga has had four different winners within the previous 10 years, although it would be fair to say that the league has primarily been a two-horse race between FC Copenhagen and FC Midtjylland, with the former winning 5 titles and the latter winning three titles. FC Midtjylland leads the current season, albeit in a close race with former giants Brøndby IF, so can’t yet be announced as expected title-winners, while FC Copenhagen has had a very disappointing season, which led to the sacking of their manager Ståle Solbakken in October 2020.
ENGLAND – Premier League
The most exposed league in the world is also one of the evenest top leagues. At least, when it comes to the number of teams winning it in the previous 10 years since 5 different teams have won the title. The most successful team during the period is Manchester City with four titles and they are having another good season this year and looks likely to claim the title yet again, which will make it four from the latest 5, and thus confirming the club’s status as the best team in England these years.
ESTONIA – Meistriliiga
The Estonian league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. For the first 10 seasons, i.e. 2010-19, Flora Tallinn was the superior team with 5 titles, while the other seasons were won by three different teams. The 2020 season was also won by Flora, confirming that they are still the dominant force in Estonian football.
FINLAND – Veikkausliga
The Finnish league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. For the 2010-19 period, HJK Helsinki won the title 8 times and, hence, was the by far best team during the period. This was confirmed with the team also winning the first league championship in the new decade, 2020.
FRANCE – Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain, PSG, is obviously the dominant team in French football, having won the title 7 times in the previous decade. Not all things are rosy in Paris, though, as this season finds Lille at the top of the table and a title race that should be close between Lille and PSG with only three points separating them at the time of writing.
GERMANY – 1. Bundesliga
As with the French Ligue 1, it is no surprise who dominates the German 1. Bundesliga, with Bayern München winning the title in 8 consecutive years and looking on track to win it again this season. Considering the size of and interest for the German 1. Bundesliga, as well as how the clubs are owned, it is amazing how one team can be so superior to others, but Bayern München will most likely be expected to win the title for any foreseeable future.
GREECE – Super League
The Greek Super League has seen three different winners, but one team is clearly superior to others, with Olympiakos winning the title 8/10 times. The current season is no different, with Olympiakos having a 19 points lead to the second-best team with 8 matches to go.
HUNGARY – NB 1
The Hungarian NB 1 League is one of the most even leagues, with 5 different teams winning the title. MOL Fehervar FC (previously known as Videoton) and Ferencvaros have both claimed three titles, with the latter having won two consecutive titles and looking set to win the third in a row this season. Ferencvaros seems like the team to beat these years.
ICELAND – Pepsideild
The Iceland league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. With 5 different teams claiming the title, no specific team has been dominating the Pepsideild league, especially as two teams both have won three times and one team has won it twice, with the latter (Valur) even winning the 2020 season as well.
IRELAND – Premier Division
The Ireland league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. With 5 titles, Dundalk has been crowned champions the most times in Ireland. Shamrock Rovers won the first champions in the new decade with Dundalk only finishing third, and maybe this is a sign that Dundalk will not be as dominating going forward. The new season has just begun with Dundalk losing three and drawing once in the first four matches, definitely not the start they had envisioned.
ITALY – Serie A
Like Ligue 1 and 1. Bundesliga, the Serie A has seen one team be vastly superior to all the others. Juventus have won 9 titles from 10, with 9 consecutive wins from 2011. They do not look like matching the superiority of Bulgaria’s Ludogorets though, as they look unlikely to make it 10 in a row, since Inter is on course to win the title this season.
LATVIA – Optibet Virsliga
The Latvian league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. The Optibet Virsliga is one of the evenest leagues in Europe, with 6 different teams winning the title in the last decade. Having said that, this was not the case earlier on. The Latvian league was established in 1991 and you could definitely talk about a very dominant team from the start, as the team Skonto Riga won the title no less than 14 times in a row from 1991 to 2004! They then did not win it again until 2010, the first season in the period we look at. Due to financial trouble, they lost players and general quality in the team and in 2016 the club was declared bankrupt and thus putting an end to the most successful club in Latvian football history. Another Riga club, Riga FC, appears to have decided to carry the torch, having won the title the previous three seasons. This club, only founded in 2014, also plays at the Skonto Stadium in Riga, which was the home field for Skonto Riga, but the club has no connections with Skonto Riga, being founded as a merger between two other Riga based teams, FC Caramba Riga and Dinamo Riga.
LITHUANIA – A Lyga
The Lithuanian league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. Three teams have won the title in the previous decade, with Zalgiris just edging the others with four titles, while Ekranas and Suduva winning three each. Zalgiris also won the title in the first season of the new decade, indicating that they will also play a significant part in the coming decade.
MOLDOVA – Divizia Nationala
Just like the Lithuanian league, three different teams have won the Moldovian championship, however, in Moldova, there has been a clear dominant force, as FC Sheriff Tiraspol have won the title 8 times, with the team claiming the title 5 consecutive times since 2015, and it looks like 6 in a row after the current season, which the team leads comfortably.
MONTENEGRO – Prva Crnogorska Liga
The Montenegrin Prva Liga is one of the most even leagues, with 5 different teams winning the title. Sutjeska has been the best performing team with four titles, while Buducnost comes in second with three titles. The latter team looks set to even that out, however, as the team leads the current season very comfortably.
NETHERLANDS – Eredivisie
The Dutch top league has seen three different winners, with Ajax Amsterdam claiming most titles with their 5 crownings. The Eredivisie season 2019-20 was canceled after 25 rounds played due to COVID-19 and so no winners were crowned that season. Ajax Amsterdam and AZ Alkmaar both had 56 points (Ajax lead due to better goal difference), so no team could really claim they were robbed. Ajax again leads the current season and looks set for another title, and can definitely claim to be the best team in the Netherlands for the last decade, even if PSV Eindhoven had a good run with three titles in four years from 2014-18.
NORTH IRELAND – NIFL Premiership
Three teams appear to split the titles among them, with Linfield being the superior team at 5 titles. Linfield also looks destined to continue that trend, as they are leading the current season pretty comfortably in front of Coleraine, while the previous winners Cliftonville and Crusaders at the time of writing find themselves at 5’th and 6’th respectively with no real shot at the title this season.
NORTH MACEDONIA – 1. MFL
Vardar has been dominating the North Macedonian league with 6 titles, while Shkendija follows with three titles, leaving just one other team to win the title (Rabotnicki). Interestingly, Vardar is having a mare of a season this year, currently fighting against relegation at the second to last place in the table at the time of writing. At the top of the table, Shkendija looks a good bet for winning the title, so they seem to be the team to beat these years, having claimed three from for four, if they manage to hold on this year.
NORWAY – Eliteserien
The Norwegian league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. Rosenborg has for a long time been the dominant force in Norwegian football, and while other teams seemed to be putting out a much sterner challenge in the last decade, Rosenborg still managed to win 5 titles, while Molde was crowned champions four times. The 2020 season saw a new team winning the title in the shape of Bodø/Glimt who won the title in superior fashion, having won 26 of their 30 matches and only losing one game. It will be interesting to see if the new decade sees Rosenborg losing its dominance.
POLAND – Ekstraklasa
Legia Warsaw has been the dominant team in the Polish Ekstraklasa league, having won the league 6 times. Four other teams have won the title, but Legia was clearly the most successful team in Poland in the previous decade. The new decade seems to start where the previous left off, with Legia leading the Ekstraklasa and looking set to give themselves a good start for the coming 10 years.
PORTUGAL – Primeira Liga
The Portuguese league has been a two-horse race between FC Porto and Benfica throughout the decade, with each team claiming the title 5 times. Typically, the two teams fight for the championship title, with Sporting SC as the outsider and Braga finishing fourth. This could all change in the new decade, however, as Sporting CP is having an excellent 2020-21 season, leading the Primeira Liga after 25 matches played with no losses and 20 wins.
ROMANIA – Liga 1
Historically, the most crowned club in Romania is FC SB (until 2017 known as FC Steaua Bucuresti) with 26 titles, three of which came in the last decade. That decade, however, saw another team overtaking FCSB as the dominant team in the shape of CFR Cluj, who only claimed their first title in 2007 and so is a relatively new title claiming club in the country. This season finds the two teams battling it out between them again, being placed first and second, although Universitatea Craiova isn’t out of the race yet.
RUSSIA – Premier League
If you want to be crowned champions in Russia, you need to play for a team from Moscow or St. Petersburg – Zenit from the latter city has claimed 5 titles, while the Moscow-based teams CSKA with three and Spartak and Lokomotiv with one each claim the rest. The current season does not seem to change that, as Zenit leads the league with 5 games left, followed by Spartak Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow.
SCOTLAND – Premiership
Historically, the Scottish league has been a two-horse race between Rangers (previously known as Glasgow Rangers) and Celtic, but due to financial problems, Rangers wasn’t a contender for a number of years, and so Celtic was left to themselves with no other teams stepping up to take Rangers’ place. Celtic went on to win 9 consecutive titles with no real challenge from any other team, but the current season has changed it all, since Rangers has been crowned champions before the season is even over, due to their superiority in the league with no losses after 33 matches (28 wins, 5 draws). Celtic can’t be satisfied with being so far behind Rangers, so it could well be that the new decade sees a revival of the old two-horse race and a less predictable winner.
SLOVAKIA – Fortuna Liga
Slovan Bratislava has been the dominant team in Slovakian football in the previous decade with 6 titles and they seem to start the new decade very well, leading the Fortuna Liga comfortably.
SLOVENIA – Prva Liga
Maribor seemed to be unbeatable during the first part of the past decade with 5 consecutive titles but since then, three different teams including Maribor have won the title. The current season mostly looks like a battle between Maribor and Olimpija, with the latter team leading the table at the time of writing.
SPAIN – La Liga
Three teams have won the Primera Division, AKA La Liga, but historically the title race has been between the two giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. In the past decade, FC Barcelona dominated the league with 6 titles, while Real Madrid had to settle with three. The current season has been somewhat atypical in that neither Real Madrid nor FC Barcelona have performed to their best, allowing Atletico Madrid to take the lead. Having said that, both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona have been steadily improving and so the title race is becoming very interesting with all three teams standing a good chance to claim the title.
SWEDEN – Allsvenskan
The Swedish league follows the calendar year, so the table includes the 2020 season and thus shows 11 seasons. Malmö FF has been the dominant team with 5 titles in the past decade and starting the new decade by adding another title. Outside of Malmö FF, no other team can claim more than one championship in the period, making Allsvenskan one of the more even and unpredictable leagues in Europe.
SWITZERLAND – Super League
The Swiss Super League is an interesting case since the first part of the decade was totally being dominated by one team, FC Basel, winning 7 consecutive titles, while the last three years saw Young Boys winning three consecutive titles. The Young Boys seems to have totally taken over the supremacy FC Basel had previously and are clear leaders in the current season as well, making it four consecutive titles for the Bern-based team.
TURKEY – Süper Lig
The past decade saw Galatasaray being the most successful team with 5 titles, while Fenerbache (two wins), Besiktas (two wins) and Basaksehir (one win) shared the rest. Besiktas lead the current season and is a likely Champion, giving them an excellent start on the new decade.
UKRAINE – Premier League
The Ukrainian is pretty much a two-horse race between Shakhtar Donetsk and Dynamo Kiev, with the former club being the by far dominating club in the past decade, having won the title 8 times while Dynamo Kiev had to settle for two. It does look like, however, that Dynamo Kiev intends to change that in the next decade, as the club leads the current season very comfortably ahead of Shakhtar and is on course to win the first title of the decade.
WALES – Cymru Premier
Three teams have won the title in the Cymru Premier league, however, one team stands head and shoulders above the rest in the shape of The News Saints, TNS. TNS has won the title 8 times, leaving just one for Bangor City and Connah’s Quay each. The latter team will find comfort in the fact that it is the current champions and on par with TNS in the current season.
We have found that most leagues have one or two very dominant teams and it’s rare to find leagues that have 4 or more teams winning it evenly. It seems that the teams at the top are very hard to beat in the long run unless something extraordinary happens. In a follow-up article to this, we intend to look at the most dominating teams and find which team has been dominating their local league most during the last decade based on average points, title wins and more (read more on that here).
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