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5 underachieving clubs in European football

A look at some of Europe's biggest clubs who have underachieved in European competitions.

Top 5 / Top 10 26 Nov 2017, 13:34 IST

PSV Eindhoven v PFC CSKA Moskva - UEFA Champions League

Winning the domestic league title and cup competitions are great achievements. However, winning a trophy in Europe against other clubs from the continent is quite often the pinnacle of success for any club.

Very few clubs manage to succeed repeatedly in Europe due to the nature of the competitions and the high quality of football in these tournaments. Clubs need to spend well, build an excellent squad and have a manager who can outwit the best managers across the continent. In other words, only 'big clubs' are supposed to do well in Europe.

While some of the biggest clubs across the top leagues in Europe have done well in these competitions, won trophies and generally made it to the latter stages, there are certain big clubs that have underachieved woefully in the continent. These are clubs who have been mightily successful in their own countries and despite having everything in place to have a good crack at European football trophies, have consistently performed below their standards in Europe.

Here is a look at 5 of them:

#5 PSV Eindhoven

The Netherlands is one of Europe's and the world's greatest footballing nations and their league used to be one of the toughest in the continent, even a decade or so ago. While Ajax Amsterdam have been the flag bearers of the league, their fierce rivals and the Netherlands' second most successful club, PSV Eindhoven have consistently been a trendsetter in the league.

However, despite winning 23 Dutch league titles, PSV's record in the European competitions has been nothing but a disappointment.

They won the UEFA Cup back in 1978 and 1988. They won the old European Cup in their greatest ever season when they completed the treble.

However, since the night in Stuttgart in 1988 when Guus Hiddink's team won that trophy, PSV have been pretty poor in Europe. They have had players like Romario, Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben among others as a part of their squad over the years, but could never do much either in the Champions League or the UEFA Cup (now the Europa League).

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