Club football has been around for more than 150 years with all major European clubs being established in the late 19th and early 20th century. The FA Cup of England is the oldest national level club competition as it was first played way back in 1871.
Other European nations also introduced national cup competitions and national leagues and finally in 1955 a continental club competition called 'European Cup' was established wherein the most prestigious clubs across Europe participated.
Real Madrid were recognized as FIFA Club of the 20th century on 11th December 2000 and were also awarded Best European club of the 20th century by IFFHS(International Federation of Football History & Statistics) in May 2010. The club won a record 7 UEFA Champions league titles and 27 national League titles in the 20th century.
The 21st century witnessed a shift of power at the club level as many clubs rose to prominence while other clubs that were once regarded as European powerhouses became irrelevant at the national and continental level. We shall now take a look at 5 clubs that have impressed spectators so far in this millennium.
#5 Juventus (Italy)
The Turin based club was established in 1897 by a group of Torinese students and is currently the most successful Italian football club. The Old Lady has won 7 consecutive Serie A titles since 2012 and finished twice as runners-up of the UEFA Champions league in the last 4 seasons.
Juventus went through a turmoil in 2006 when the Calciopoli scandal surfaced and were stripped of the two Serie A titles won in 2005 and 2006. The club was relegated to Serie B for the 2006-07 season; however, the club made a quick recovery as they earned promotion in the very next season.
On 10 July 2018, Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid for €100 million setting a new record for the most expensive transfer for an Italian club. The arrival of Ronaldo will boost the club's already existing attacking prowess and Juventus will look forward to once again take center stage in Europe.
21st century stats
Serie A: 2001-02, 2002-03, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
Serie B: 2006-07
Coppa Italia: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
Supercoppa Italiana: 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2015
Total titles: 19
Best playing XI: Buffon; Chiellini, Bonucci, Cannavaro, Thuram, Zambrotta; Nedved, Dybala, Pirlo; Del Piero, Trezeguet
Best Manager: Massimiliano Allegri (2014 - present)