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Top 10 Football Clubs That Have Never Been Relegated from Their Respective First Divisions (2024)

Unrivaled in their consistency and prowess, certain football clubs have etched their names in history by never experiencing the agony of relegation from the top flight. In this exclusive list compiled by Sholy Nation Sport, we unveil the elite clubs that have maintained their status in the highest echelons of the game, showcasing unparalleled resilience and dominance.

1. Real Madrid

Barca’s arch-rivals hold the record for the most La Liga titles (35). In truth, Madrid have never come close to slipping out of the division – 11th being the club’s lowest finish in the competition.

It’s so often a race to the title between Los Blancos and the Catalans, with Atletico Madrid also emerging as league contenders in recent times under Diego Simeone.

2. Athletic Bilbao

Tradition dictates that Bilbao can only field players who were born in the Basque country. This, added to the financial restraints the club face compared to Barca and Real, makes their achievement of continuously retaining La Liga status an extraordinary one.

“We don’t really need the money,” former club president Josu Urrita said in 2018. The type of statement you wouldn’t ordinarily hear from key figures at football clubs in the modern game.

3. Bayern Munich

This probably comes as little surprise to most. Bayern have the record for the most Bundesliga titles, highest points tally, the highest number of wins… this list could go on and on.

Their domestic dominance shows no signs of slowing down and they are currently on course for a record-extending 11th consecutive Bundesliga title.

4. Bayer Leverkusen

Leverkusen are five-time runners-up and won thier first ever Bundesliga this season . Their best opportunity to win the title came back in the 2001-02 season, but they somehow squandered a five-point lead at the summit with just three games to play.

They have mainly competed in the top half of the division and that trend has continued this term.

5. Vfl Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg have had a recent history of developing world-class stars – there’s no better example than Kevin De Bruyne. Despite regularly coming close to the drop, the side based on the fringes of Berlin have always survived.

They won the competition in the 2008-09 season – the only time they have achieved this feat in their history.

6. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

All the other three clubs mentioned have a relegation etched on their CV at some point before the Bundesliga existed, but Hoffenheim are the one exception in Germany.

The standout moment for the club came when they played in the Champions League for the first time in 2018. Hoffenheim became the smallest town to host a group stage game in Europe’s elite competition.

7. Inter Milan

Should Juventus had not been relegated due to the well-publicised Calciopoli scandal in 2006, Inter wouldn’t be the only side to have never dropped from the top flight. That should be said.

The Nerazzurri are eight-time Serie A winners and one of the giants of Italian football alongside Juve and AC Milan. Antonio Conte was the manager who earned the club their last title crown in 2020-21 to end Juve’s nine-year reign as champions.

8. Paris saint German

It’s complicated. FC Paris Saint-Germain have never formally been relegated. However, in 1972 the club split into two. One branch joined CA Montreuil and continued in the first division under the name of Paris FC, while PSG assumed amateur status and had to restart in the third division. PSG returned to first division in 1973-74 and has never looked back since.

9. Barcelona

Since its inception in 1899, Barcelona has been a beacon of success, captivating fans around the globe with its mesmerizing style of play and a commitment to excellence that knows no bounds. From the glory days of Johan Cruyff’s Dream Team to the modern era of Lionel Messi’s wizardry, the Blaugrana have consistently graced the hallowed grounds of La Liga, etching their name in the annals of footballing lore.

The journey of Barcelona is not just a tale of victories on the pitch, but a testament to resilience, determination, and unwavering passion. Through turbulent times and triumphant moments, the club has remained steadfast in its pursuit of greatness, embodying the spirit of perseverance that defines champions.

While other storied clubs have faced the bitter taste of relegation, Barcelona has stood firm, a symbol of stability and success in an ever-evolving landscape. Their presence in the top flight is not merely a statistical feat but a reflection of the club’s enduring commitment to its values, its fans, and the beautiful game itself.

As Barcelona continues to script new chapters in its illustrious history, one thing remains certain: the indomitable spirit of the Blaugrana will continue to shine brightly, illuminating the footballing world with its brilliance and ensuring that the legacy of excellence remains untarnished for generations to come.

10. Fenerbahçe

Fenerbahçe was one of the founding members of the Turkish Super League in 1959, and is one of three clubs, alongside Beşiktaş and Galatasaray, to have never been relegated from the league.

Hounrably mention by league


Olympiakos, Panathinaikos, and PAOK have all continuously played in the top Greek division since 1959.


Three clubs – Besiktas, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray – have played uninterrupted in the top Turkish division since 1959, and have never faced relegation.

Trabzonspor, who were formed only in 1967, reached the highest division in 1974-75 and won the title in that same season. The club has never been relegated since.


Only two clubs have always played in Scotland’s top division: Celtic (since 1890) and Aberdeen (since 1905).


None of Portugal’s most successful clubs – Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon – has ever fallen from the perch of the Primeira Liga.

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