Falling 5: European giants with dwindling domestic statures
We look at five football giants from their respective countries and how they've struggled to maintain their domestic dominance in 21st Century
Each competition has it's own significance in the modern day football. The domestic league, which many have framed as "the bread and butter" competition, still holds massive importance in the game. The advent of continental football might have altered it in some minute way but it still holds the key as what happens in the succeeding season will largely depend on a club's current league position.
Here, we take a look at some of the biggest clubs in world football and their struggles in their respective domestic leagues since the turn of the century. These clubs are every now and then referred to as "big" and "giants", but despite their huge reputations and talented squads, they have failed to win or sometimes even compete in their respective leagues. Here are five such clubs:
#5 Olympique Marseille
One of the early runners in French club football, Marseille have spent most of their years in the country's top tier. A powerhouse in the sport, Marseille are nine-time Ligue 1 champions and the only French side to win the UEFA Champions League. Marseille have been at the helm of French football for a long time now but have somehow not been able to replicate that in terms of League titles.
Second, in the list of most league titles after AS Saint-Etienne, Marseille's influence and dominance over the league has dwindled over the last couple of decades. A far cry from the sides that won back to back league titles back in the 1980s, the team over the past few years has only gone down.
Poor performances, selling of key players and uncertainties off the pitch have all compounded in failings for the side from the South of France. Their last league title came in the 2009-10 season under the stewardship of former captain Didier Deschamps, a first in eighteen years. This time frame is symbolic in a lot of ways as how much grip the club had lost over the domestic routine. Marseille haven't exactly fallen too low yet but with teams like Lyon and Monaco not too far off and the financial powerhouse of Paris Saint-Germain barely in their sights, Les Olympiens will have a lot to do to maintain their giant status with regards to their domestic stature.