The Champions League is the pinnacle of European football. Millions of football fans around the world tune in to watch the best club teams do battle on the biggest stage of all.
Barcelona’s defeat against Bayern Munich in 2019/20 tops our list of humiliating Champions League losses. It was akin to Germany’s 7-1 triumph over Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
Humiliating Champions League Defeats:
Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich (2019/20)
AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona (1993/94)
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (2016/17)
Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid (2013/14)
Manchester City 7-0 RB Leipzig (2022/23)
Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich (2016/17)
Tottenham Hotspur 2-7 Bayern Munich (2019/20)
Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid (2022/23)
Manchester United 7-1 AS Roma (2006/07)
Real Madrid 8-0 Malmo (2015/16)
You’d have got good Champions League betting odds on any of these results. Europe’s elite club competition tends to bring out the best (and sometimes worst) in teams.
Without further ado, it is time to count down the 10 most embarrassing defeats in Champions League history – do you agree with our football rankings?
Real Madrid 8-0 Malmo
This may seem a little harsh on Swedish side Malmo but Real’s 8-0 triumph is joint for the highest victory in Champions League history.
Karim Benzema notched a hat-trick but it was Cristiano Ronaldo who stole the show with four goals in the space of 19 breath-taking minutes. It felt like everything Ronaldo touched turned to goals.
Real finished the contest with an astonishing 32 shots on goal – ranking as one of the most dominant Champions League performances. The Santiago Bernabeu crowd certainly went home satisfied that night.
To this day, Real are the most successful club in Champions League history but 8-0 remains their biggest margin of victory and it is unlikely to replicated anytime soon.
Manchester United 7-1 AS Roma
Holding a 2-1 advantage after a very competitive first leg in the Italian capital, Roma headed to Old Trafford with pretty solid Champions League odds. They had knocked out Lyon in the round of 16, and looked well-set to reach the last four.
Manchester United had other ideas. Alex Ferguson’s side staged a demolition job, taking a 3-0 lead before the 20-minute mark and adding three more before Roma scored their lone goal in the 69th minute.
The Red Devils were knocked out at the semis by Milan, who went on to beat Liverpool in the final.
Liverpool 2-5 Real Madrid
A three-goal loss to the defending champions isn’t the heaviest defeat we’ve seen in the Champions League, but the manner of it was alarming.
Liverpool and Real had formed a rivalry after Los Blancos defeated Jurgen Klopp’s team in two finals. The Reds were in the midst of a disappointing season, with the Champions League their best hope of a positive campaign.
In dreamland when Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah put them 2-0 up 14 minutes into the last 16 tie, it all came crumbling down in the matter of a few moments. Real were level by the 36th minute and were 5-2 up half-an-hour of game time later.
Liverpool’s defence completely fell apart in their biggest match of the season.
Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich
Just months after Tottenham featured in Champions League final betting for the first time in their history, they were subject to a 7-2 hammering at the hands of Bayern Munich in the group stage.
Heung-min Son put the Lilywhites ahead 12 minutes in, but Bayern scored four more unanswered prior to Harry Kane’s 61st-minute penalty.
FC Hollywood then netted three in five minutes before the final whistle to wrap up a drubbing. Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry finished with four goals, further rubbing salt into some painful Spurs wounds.
The result came only weeks before Tottenham sacked Mauricio Pochettino and made the bold move to hire Jose Mourinho.
Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich
The scoreline itself might not look too bad. When you consider that the aggregate for this 2016-17 last 16 tie was 10-2, though, the picture is considerably uglier for Arsenal.
So really, this earns its place on the list because of the mismatch over 180 minutes of action. This tie was a damning representation of the final years of Arsene Wenger in the Champions League.
The Gunners excelled at reaching the last 16, but were often found wanting when facing the elite teams in Europe.
It is one of the biggest aggregate wins in the history of the Champions League.
Manchester City 7-0 RB Leipzig
After a competitive 1-1 draw in the first leg, RB Leipzig must’ve fancied their chances of an upset as the tie headed to Manchester. What followed was a humiliation for the Bundesliga club.
Erling Haaland effectively wrapped the tie up for Pep Guardiola’s side with a first-half hat-trick. The Norwegian added two more after the break. Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne also got on the scoresheet.
Leipzig were not the first or last team to lose heavily at the Etihad, but such a thumping in a Champions League knockout match is always crushing.
Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid
Guardiola is on the other side of a heavy defeat with this one. The tie was delicately poised after Real Madrid won 1-0 at the Bernabeu in the first leg, but hopes of a thriller for the neutrals were eliminated inside 20 minutes thanks to a brace of set-piece goals from Sergio Ramos.
Cristiano Ronaldo put it beyond all doubt with a counter-attack strike in the 34th minute before a free-kick just before the final whistle.
Guardiola never reached a Champions League final with Bayern despite often being favoured to win the competition. After this victory in Bavaria, Real got past Atletico in the final to begin another dynastic run.
Barcelona 6-1 PSG
A blockbuster last 16 tie in 2016-17 started in perfect fashion for PSG with a 4-0 win in Paris. Surely, they were finally proving they could compete with Europe’s elite in the premier club competition? Not quite.
Barcelona prepared for the second leg with a 5-0 win over Celta, which proved to be a sign of things to come. Luis Suarez put the hosts ahead three minutes in, setting them on the right track, but the second goal didn’t come until the 40th minute.
Lionel Messi made it 3-0 with 50 minutes on the clock, but Edinson Cavani got an away goal for PSG which seemed to have blunted Barca’s shot at history.
PSG imploded after being angered at having a penalty shout turned down. Neymar found the net with a free-kick in the 88th minute, giving the hosts a glimmer of hope.
A penalty followed moments later before Sergi Roberto’s dramatic tie-winning goal five minutes into added time.
Milan 4-0 Barcelona
Milan were without Marco van Basten, Gianluigi Lentini, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta. Rules about non-nationals meant they had to leave out others, including Brian Laudrup.
Barcelona had won four La Liga titles in a row, and had lifted the European Cup two seasons prior. Johan Cruyff’s team had cruised to the final.
Everything was against the Rossoneri heading into this match, but they put in an all-time performance, leading 2-0 at the interval and holding a four-goal advantage before the hour mark.
After losing the final in the previous season, it was the perfect return to European glory for Milan. There were repercussions for Barcelona, with Cruyff heavily criticised for leaving out Michael Laudrup, who left for Real Madrid weeks later.
Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich
Played behind closed doors in Lisbon, we can only imagine what the atmosphere would have been like had this taken place at the Camp Nou.
This quarter-final drubbing was the first time Barcelona had conceded eight goals in a match since 1946.
Remarkably, Barca took an early lead through an early David Alaba own goal. Bayern, though, were 5-1 up with 31 minutes on the clock.
Images of a dejected Lionel Messi are the long-standing memory of this fixture. It was symbolic of how far Barcelona had fallen due to ageing core players and some poor recruitment decisions.
Bayern ultimately won the competition, and Messi left for PSG 12 months later.
*Credit for the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*