Top 10 most humiliating defeats in UEFA Champions League

FC Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League 2019/20 (Photo by Rafael Marchante/Pool via Getty Images)
FC Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League 2019/20 (Photo by Rafael Marchante/Pool via Getty Images) /
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Champions League
Europe’s premier competition has produced some embarrassing scorelines (Photo by Visionhaus) /

Some of the most shocking results in Europe’s top-tier competition!

The UEFA Champions League is the holy grail of European club football, with only the best sides from the continent making it into the competition.

So given the quality possessed by each side, the gulf in class is minimal, but there have been many exceptions to this over the years.

We have seen some proverbial ‘big teams’ get thumped, humiliated, and slaughtered in this top-tier tournament with scorelines that beggars belief.

In the wake of Barcelona’s recent demolition at the hands of Bayern Munich, let’s look at the top 10 embarrassing defeats ever in the competition:

Honorable mentions: Celtic 2-1 Barcelona, Real Madrid 0-3 CSKA Moscow, Inter Milan 2-5 Schalke, any of the three Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal.

Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid (March 2009)

After the La Novena success in 2002, Madrid was a fading force in Europe and even seemed to hit a glass ceiling in the round of 16 of the Champions League, eliminating in this stage for six consecutive years from 2005 to 2010. However, this humiliation at Anfield was the worst during that run. The Reds followed up the stunning 1-0 win at the Santiago Bernabeu with a total demolition in Anfield, as Fernando Torres and Andrea Dossena bagged apiece on either side of Steven Gerrard’s brace to deliver Madrid its heaviest defeat in Europe in 20 years.

Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan (April 2004)

Ah, the days when AC Milan and Champions League were totally synonymous. The Rossoneri, the competition’s most successful side after Real Madrid, has overseen some epic results in the past, but nothing tops this one. Having clinched the title in 2003, Milan’s quest for defense ended in the most spectacular fashion after the 4-0 collapse against Deportivo despite holding a 4-1 advantage heading into the second-leg. This was one of the biggest comebacks at the time as the likes of Kaka, Paolo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo, Cafu, Andrea Shevchenko, and Alessandro Nesta were reduced to Sunday League players.

Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid (May 2014)

Carlo Ancelotti successfully engineered the revival of a sleeping giant in Real Madrid by guiding the side to its much-vaunted ‘Decima’ title in 2014, and this momentous victory over Bayern was the biggest statement along the way. A fairly straight-forward 1-0 win at the Bernabeu turned into an absolute rout in Munich as Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo both netted twice each to knock the holders out of the park, and also deliver Pep Guardiola his heaviest defeat in Europe.