Europe’s champions playing below the top-tier – from Werder Bremen to Deportivo

There are highs and lows as a supporter following a football club.

For many, the joy of seeing their side win the league title is the pinnacle of fan-ship, with relegation being the obvious low point.

But if you're a supporter following a side capable of winning the title, the drop into the second-tier is never really a concern.

Out of the so called 'big six' none of Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham or Manchester United have been relegated from the Premier League and are often seen at the right end of the table.

But others aren't so fortunate.

Daily Star Sport takes a look at some title-winning sides that have gone downhill since topping their domestic league.

Werder Bremen

Four-time winners of the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen now find themselves languishing in Germany's second-tier having been relegated from the top-flight last season.

A 17th-placed finish condemned the the River Islanders to 2.Bundesliga having stayed up via the relegation play-offs the previous campaign.

Werder Bremen won the top-flight most recently in 2004 when they completed the double pipping Bayern Munich to the title and defeating second-tier side Alemannia Aachen 3-2 to win the DFB-Pokal.

Fast-forward 18 years though and they themselves now lie in 2.Bundesliga, having been relegated for the first time in 41 years

Can you think of any more clubs that could have made the list? Let us know in the comments section.

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Now plying their trade in the third-tier of Spanish football, Deportivo La Coruna have suffered two relegations in three seasons dropping out of the top-flight and falling from the Segunda Division.

The Blue and Whites now play in Group 1 of the newly-formed Primera Division RFEF alongside teams such as Racing Santander, Bilbao Athletic and Celta B.

Winners of La Liga in 2000 La Coruna also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2004 but have been in decline since 2018 when the club were relegated after a 4-2 home defeat to Barcelona.

They were unfortunate to not bounce back to La Liga straight away, missing out on promotion via the play-offs the following season.

A sucker-punch came in 2020 though when the Blue and Whites suffered another relegation, this time dropping into the third tier.


Bundesliga champions most recently in 2007 with the likes of Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira and Cacau at their disposal Stuttgart are one of Germany's most successful sides.

Five-time top flight winners and three-time DFB Pokal champions Stuttagrt have struggled in recent years having become a bit of a yo-yo team.

The club were relegated in 2016 to the second-tier ending a 38-year stay in the Bundesliga before bouncing back at the first attempt as 2.Bundesliga champions.

A seventh-place finish in their first season back was seen as a success but Stuttgart were once again relegated in 2019 before finishing second to secure automatic promotion back to the top-tier.


The 2021/22 season will be Blackburn's 10th season outside of the Premier League having been relegated from England's top-tier in 2012.

More recently in League One than the top-flight, Rovers were relegated from the Championship in 2017 on goal difference having secured 51 points.

The Lancashire side were crowned Premier League winners in 1995 after beating Liverpool at Anfield to pip arch-rivals Manchester United to the title by a single point.

But just four years after their league title-winning season, Rovers found themselves in the old Division 1 having finished 19th under Roy Hodgson and then Brian Kidd.


Just like Deportivo, Kaiserslautern have fallen from being regulars in the top division to the dreary pits of the third-tier.

The German side are twice winners of the Bundesliga in 1991 and 1998 but have not played top-flight football since the end of the 11/12 season.

After a missing out via the promotion play-offs in 2013, the Red Devils failed to make the play-offs in 2014 or 2015, finishing fourth in both campaigns.

Kaiserslautern were then relegated to 3.Liga in 2018, where they have remained since, finishing rock bottom of the table.

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