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Top 15 biggest defeats in football history (2024)

Unraveling the Greatest Losses: Exploring the Biggest Debacles in Football History

In the grand tapestry of football history, triumphs and defeats interweave to shape the narrative of the beautiful game. While victories are celebrated and etched into the annals of sporting folklore, there exists another side of the spectrum – the bitter taste of defeat. Among the countless matches played across generations, some encounters stand out not for their brilliance but for the sheer magnitude of disappointment they brought to fans worldwide. These are the games that epitomize the biggest deadest, the moments when hope turned to despair, and dreams shattered on the field.

Football, with its electrifying highs and heart-wrenching lows, has produced its fair share of unforgettable moments. However, for every glorious victory, there exists a painful defeat that lingers in the memories of players and supporters alike. These matches, marked by their crushing outcomes and staggering implications, serve as cautionary tales of the sport’s unforgiving nature. As we delve into the annals of football history, we uncover the stories behind the biggest deadest, unraveling the events that left an indelible mark on the beautiful game.

In the realm of football, where passion meets skill and glory intertwines with heartbreak, certain matches transcend the ordinary to etch themselves into the collective consciousness of fans worldwide. These are the encounters that define eras, the games that evoke emotions ranging from jubilation to despair. Yet, amidst the countless moments of triumph and tragedy, some matches stand out for their sheer magnitude of disappointment – the biggest deadest in football history. Join us as we delve into the depths of sporting despair, recounting the tales of shattered dreams and unforgettable defeats that have shaped the landscape of the beautiful game.

Australia 31–0 American Samoa

worst losses in football history

, this match was the one to force FIFA to change rules! In fact, it was the largest defeat in an international match and came at the 2002 World Cup


On 11 April 2001, the two teams played each other in a qualifying match for the 2002 FIFA World Cup at the International Sports Stadium in Australia. Australia’s Archie Thompson scored 13 goals, breaking the record for most goals scored by a player in an international match, and the team set a world record for the largest victory in an international football match.

As a result of the match, FIFA later introduced a preliminary round in Oceania qualifying to avoid such unbalanced matches in the future.

Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain

This result was one of the most unexpected ones during history and one of 

the biggest losses for PSG


Also known as La Remontada which means the comeback, Barcelona

 achieved the result in the second leg of a UEFA Champions League tie in 2017.

The first leg of the match was played on 14 February that year at the Parc des Princes in Paris with a 4–0 win for the hosts.

However, Barcelona has proved that they are the expert of glorious comebacks and that’s exactly what they did in the second leg of the match.  

They went against Les Parisiens on 8 March at the Camp Nou and finished the match with a 6-1 result and won 6–5 on aggregate. It has to be mentioned that this was the 

biggest comeback in UEFA Champions League history


Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

One of 

the most crushing losses in football history 

for Barcelona is their loss against Liverpool

 in the 2019 UEFA Champions League semifinals.

After they won the first leg of the match with a 3-0 result against the Reds, unexpectedly they were beaten in the second leg with a 4-0 result and lost 3-4 on aggregate.

Manchester City 6-0 Watford

The next 

huge defeat in football history 

to talk about is Watford’s 6-0 loss against Man City in the FA Cup

 final round. The Hornets went against the Citizens on 18 March 2018 at Wembley in the FA Cup final and lost the match to Man City

. However, it has to be mentioned that the result was not that much unexpected as the team is one of the bests in the world.

Winning this match, City achieved the biggest FA Cup final win since Bury beat Derby 6-0 in 1903.

Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich

This one was one of the 

worst Blowouts for Tottenham during soccer history


The Spurs suffered one of their worst ever European defeats, facing Bayern Munich

 in the 2019 Champions League. This was the first time for the Lily Whites to concede seven goals at home in a major competition.

Son Heung-min started the scoring goals in the 12th minute of the match, but then it was the Bundesliga Champion’s turn to take over the match with Joshua Kimmich’s goal in the 15th minute. Lewandowski

scored two more goals and Gnabry made it impossible for Tottenham to win the match with his four goals, making it a total of seven goals for the Bavarians!

However, Tottenham scored another goal achieved on a penalty shot scored by Kane in the 61st minute of the match.

Newcastle 5-1 Tottenham

The next 

historical football defeat

 also belongs to Tottenham.

With Leicester City

 obviously winning the Premier League title that year, Tottenham and Arsenal were doing their best for the second place on the table.

But then with Newcastle thrashing Tottenham 5-1 with 10 men, the Spurs finished the Premier League

 as third after Arsenal.

Newcastle opened Tottenham’s net with Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal in the 19th minute of the match and scored the last one four minutes to the end. Erik Lamela scored the only goal for Tottenham in the 60th minute of the match.

Middlesbrough 8-1 Manchester City

One of 

the heaviest defeats in soccer history

belongs to Manchester City 8-1 loss against Middlesbrough

 in 2008.

Sven Goran Eriksson’s side traveled to Middlesbrough to win the match, but unexpectedly they were thumped 8-1. The team started acting weirdly after Richard Dunne was sent off the pitch after just 15 minutes of the match.

On the other side, Afonso Alves scored a hat-trick for Middlesbrough, while Stewart Downing also made a brace.

However, Elano came off the bench and scored a goal for Manchester just three minutes remaining to the end of the match!

Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona

Real Madrid’s 2-6 defeat against Barcelona is the next on our list of the biggest defeats of all time.

On 2 May 2009, the two old rivals went against each other in another 

El Clasico

, where Real Madrid was defeated with a 2-6 result.

 scored the goals for Los Blancos, while on the other side, Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi scored a brace each, with Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique also opened the gate each once for their team. 

Netherlands 5-1 Spain

The next biggest loss in football history is about Spain’s 5-1 defeat against the Netherlands!

The team seemed undefeatable for six years as they won the 2008 European Championship trophy and the 2010 World Cup, followed by another European Championship in 2012.

But then in 2014 everything changed and they faced one of the most humiliating defeats in football history.

When in 2018, world cup, Spain went against the Netherlands, things seemed completely normal. Xabi Alonso opened the scoring for Spain and then when the team fans thought they are one step closer to the World Cup, everything changed dramatically with Robin van Persie’s goal in their net. However, that was just the beginning, as the Dutch side added four more goals to the scoresheet in the second half.

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool

One of the

 biggest defeats in soccer history

 is Liverpool’s 6-1 loss against Stoke City. The crushing loss goes back to the 2014-15 Premier League where the Reds

 experienced one of their worst defeats during the history.

As the final match for captain Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, the Reds weren’t supposed to lose the match this way, but not having Luis Suarez in the squad besides many other reasons, they lost the match disappointingly.

The match turned out to be one of the worst defeats in Liverpool’s history as the Stoke managed to score five goals during the first half and another one during the second one.

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Steven Gerrard scored the only goal of the match for Liverpool in the closing stages of the match.

Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal

Arsenal had one of their worst nightmares and most humiliating defeats in football history back in the 2013/14 season, as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal traveled to meet Mourinho’s Chelsea


The match was Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge and was supposed to be a successful one, but instead, it turned out to be a disaster!

Just after 7 minutes of the match, Arsenal

 was two scores behind Chelsea, while the Gunners were all over the place in defense. Things got worse when Kieron Gibbs was sent off the pitch for a handball foul, which in fact was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s handball.

As a matter of fact, it was Chamberlain who stopped Hazard’s goal from entering the net with his hand, but instead, it was Kieron Gibbs who was shown the red card.

Chamberlain tried to convince the referee that it was his mistake, but nothing changed and eventually, the team left the pitch with a 6-0 loss.

Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal

As the next 

biggest defeat in soccer history

, we have to mention Arsenal’s 8-2 loss against Man United in the 2011-12 

Premier League


That was one of the most humiliating defeats of all time for the Gunners and it happened just before the end of the transfer window. That when Wenger realized that his team was lacking in quality in most positions.

In fact, at that time, the Gunners players were mostly teenagers apart from Robin Van Persie, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, and Andriy Arshavin.

So when you lose your match with a team like that, there is no doubt that you really need to change things the way they are!

Walcott and Van Persie scored the two goals for Arsenal in that match, while on the other side of the pitch Rooney scored a hat-trick, with Ashley Young scoring a brace and Ji-Sung Park, Nani, and Welbeck also scoring for the Red Devils.

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City

The old rivalry between the two teams is one of the oldest in the football world and one of the most exciting ones.

Back in 2011, however, things went a little bit wrong for Sir Alex Ferguson and his team as they faced one of the biggest defeats in football history, losing against the Citizens.

The two teams were going to go against each other in the Premier League, both in a great form before the game and competing on the title, with City becoming a serious title contender after massive investment over the previous years.

However, things didn’t go as the Red Devils

expected, with City scoring the first goal and they becoming 10 in the second half!

The worst part was that they conceded three of the six goals at the last ten minutes of the match, which made the loss one of the most humiliating defeats of all time.

Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich

One of the most crushing losses in soccer history is Barcelona’s loss against Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 Champions League quarterfinals.

Everyone supposed the Blaugranas will win the match or at last finish it as a draw. However, not only they didn’t, but also they lost the match with a 2-8 result!

Thomas Muller started the scoring sheet of the match in the 4th minute and just after three minutes, Alaba scored the first goal for his team.

However, that was not the end and in the next 83 minutes of the match, the Bavarians scored 6 more goals, while only Luis Suarez could score a goal for the hosts!

It also has to be mentioned that Philippe Coutinho, who was a barca player and kicked the ball for Bayern on loan, was the player who scored two goals for his team with the second one just one minute before the end of the match.

Brazil 1-7 Germany

As the next biggest loss in football history, we have to mention Brazil’s 1-7 loss against Germany in the 2017 FIFA World Cup.

As we might all remember, Brazil was hosting the World Cup that year and had reached the semi-finals. Therefore, everyone expected them to win not only the match but also the World Cup.

But what happened, was completely out of mind as the team lost their match against Germany with this much difference!

However, it has to be mentioned that fans were a bit worry as Thiago Silva and Neymar were missing and the team was not performing convincing.

With the beginning of the match, things turned out to be as the fans expected. Without their captain and Silva, the Brazil team looked lost and as the result, Germany scored five goals within 10 minutes and then completed the nightmare with two more goals in the second half, while Brazil could only score once!

Bolivia 6-1 Argentina


worst defeat of all time

 goes back to 2009 and before the 2010 FIFA World Cup!

That was the worst defeat for Argentina in 60 years, when they were thrashed by Bolivia in the World Cup qualifiers.

The team wasn’t supposed to lose like this as the legend, Maradona was coaching the team while stars such as then 21-year-old Lionel Messi

, Carlos Tevez, Javier Mascherano, and Javier Zanetti were among the players.

However, the Bolivian side had come on the pitch to win. Striker Joaquin Botero helped himself to a hat-trick during the match, while Marcelo Martins, Alex da Rosa, and Didi Torrico got their names on the scoresheet. On the other side of the pitch, Luis Gonzalez scored the only goal for Argentina.

Germany 4-0 Argentina

As the next biggest defeat in Argentina’s history, we have to mention their loss against Germany in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

As we have mentioned before the team had some of the world’s best players and a legend as their coach in that year, but instead of winning the World Cup, they came up with Back to back losses.

This defeat happened while the Germany players were a group of young, anonymous players, and that is what marks the defeat as a disaster!

This loss was the end of Diego Maradona as the team’s coach.

Real Madrid 11-1 Barcelona

On 13 June 1943, Real Madrid went against Barcelona, where they defeated the team 11–1 at home in the second leg of a semi-final of the Copa del Generalísimo or the 

Copa del Rey

 as we know it today.

In the first leg, the two teams went against each other in Barcelona’s Les Corts stadium in Catalonia where Barcelona won the match 3-0. The Los Blancos were not ok with the result and they complained about all the three goals allowed for Barcelona.

As a result of this match, Barcelona fans were banned from traveling to Madrid for the second leg and they started the match under these circumstances.  Just after 30 minutes of the match, Real Madrid

 went 2–0 up and they continued scoring goals one after another, finishing the El Clasico with an 11-1 result.

AS Adema 149–0 SO l’Emyrne

The last and the biggest loss in football history goes back to 31 October 2002 when SO l’Emyrne went against AS Adema and lost the match 149–0 against the team.

Though it holds the world record for the highest scoreline, recognized by The Guinness Book of Records, it has to be mentioned that it is not a real result as SO l’Emyrne chose to lose to protest over refereeing decisions that had gone against them during a four-team playoff tournament.

 What other biggest defeat in football history do you think has to be added to this list? Mention them in the comment section.

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