Liverpool, you're not alone: 8 of football's other long-lost title hopefuls

Steven Gerrard, Chelsea

The Anfield outfit aren’t the only side looking to break a lengthy barren spell this season. Olly Ricketts looks at 10 European teams desperate to recreate past glories

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1. Grasshopper Club Zürich (Switzerland) 

Grasshopper Club remain the most successful side in Swiss history, with 19 titles during the professional era. However, in the 13 years since they last won the championship (2002/03), FC Basel have won 10, so if this proud club wishes to maintain its status they need to end the drought soon.

Zürich did win a trophy (the Swiss Cup) for the first time in 10 years and finished as runners-up to Basel in 2013/14, but they haven't come close since. They've suffered longer gaps between titles in the past – not winning the league between 1956 and 1971 the most notable – but they're on track to beat that. 

2. Sporting (Portugal) 

The recent parallels between Sporting and Liverpool are uncanny. After finishing an extremely disappointing seventh in 2013, the Portuguese club improved dramatically in 2014/15 under a youthful manager (Leonardo Jardim) to finish runners-up behind Benfica, just missing out on what would have been their 19th Primeira Liga title – and a first since 2002.

Although Sporting are firmly part of the Portuguese ‘Big Three’ along with Benfica and Porto (who have somewhat incredibly won 80 of 82 league titles between them), their success has actually been sporadic for some time, with only two titles since 1982. They're getting closer, though – last season they finished second, two points behind Benfica, despite leading for most of the campaign. 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Sporting introduced this young fella after their 2002 title

3. Örgryte IS (Sweden) 

Örgryte have won 12 league titles, and as such are the fourth-most successful side in Sweden, but they last tasted championship success way back in 1985.

ÖIS are based in Gothenburg, and are the oldest football club in Sweden. They now reside in the second tier of Swedish football (but only after promotion last term), and average crowds of around 2,000. In truth, their 1985 title was something of a miracle – 11 of their 12 successes came between 1896 and 1913, so their first title in 72 years was utterly unexpected.

4. Trabzonspor (Turkey) 

Trabzonspor have won six Super Lig titles, making them the fourth-most successful side in the Turkish league, but it's been 32 years since they lifted the trophy.

Since 1984 they've finished as runners-up on five occasions, most frustratingly in 2011 when Fenerbahce won the league on goal difference. Fenerbahce’s achievement was tainted by allegations of match-fixing during crucial league matches, which led to the Turkish FA withdrawing the club from the following season’s Champions League. Club officials were prosecuted, yet somewhat mystifyingly they weren't stripped of the title, and so Trabzonspor’s drought continued.

Fenerbahce's tainted 2011 success left a bitter taste

Next: Eighty-two years and counting