6 of the BEST CLUBS in the world you’ve probably not heard of

6 of the BEST CLUBS in the world you’ve probably not heard of

13 Nov, 21:00

Football fans are bombarded with information regarding the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and other huge European clubs on a daily basis.

They are the most popular clubs around and if something happens at the elite level in Europe, the whole world will soon know about.

That flow of information rarely works both ways though, with teams from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania rarely the subject of much interest from European fans.

But some sides from further afield are actually way more successful.

Here's a look at six of the best clubs in the world you might never have heard of...

6. Auckland City (New Zealand)

Wellington Phoenix are arguably New Zealand's most famous team by virtue of playing their football in neighbouring Australia's more high profile A-League. But back home it is Auckland City who are the dominant force, as well as on a wider continental scale.

Since the New Zealand Football Championship began in 2004, Auckland have topped the regular season standings eight times in 13 seasons, as well as becoming champions in the Grand Final on six occasions.

Abroad, they have consistently crushed the competition in the OFC Champions League, lifting the trophy nine times since 2006. Bettering even Real Madrid's achievements in Europe in the late 1950s, Auckland have won the last seven on the spin.

5. Asante Kotoko (Ghana)

Ghana's Asante Kotoko draw comparisons with Italian elite Juventus after reaching the CAF Champions League final with relative regularity over the years, but winning just two of seven.

That is still an achievement in itself when they remain one of only two Ghanaian clubs to have lifted the trophy, with the competition so often won by sides from north Africa.

On a domestic front, the team nicknamed the Porcupine Warriors have won 24 national titles back home, a record in Ghana and accounting for nearly half of all seasons played.

4. Penarol (Uruguay)

Penarol from Uruguay hold the distinction of having played in more Copa Libertadores finals than any other club in South America after featuring in the continental equivalent of the Champions League final no fewer than 10 times.

The Uruguayan club have won five of them, having enjoyed two golden eras - one in the 1960s and one in the 1980s. Legendary forward Alberto Spencer, a three-time winner, is still the competition's all-time leading goalscorer with 54, 53 of them for Penarol.

Domestically, they have been champions of Uruguay on 48 occasions.

3. Al Ahly (Egypt)

Al Ahly's dominance in Egypt has been nothing short of incredible this century. The Cairo club have won the Egyptian Premier League in all but two seasons since lifting the trophy at the end of the 2004/05 campaign, completing domestic doubles in three of those seasons.

Their most recent title in 2016/17 was their 39th overall, while the Egypt Cup they also won last season was their 36th. Both tallies are national records, with city rivals Zamalek the next most successful club in each competition with 11 titles and 25 cups.

Al Ahly have also won Africa's Champions League eight times, more than any other club, appearing in 10 finals in total. Their last continental triumphs came in 2012 and 2013.

2. Olimpia (Paraguay)

Not only have Olimpia been crowned champions of Paraguay a staggering 40 times, just a handful of clubs anywhere in the world have enjoyed greater domestic dominance.

They are also the only Paraguayan club to have won a continental title, capturing three Copa Libertadores trophies over the years. Only four other clubs have won more, and none of those are from South American powerhouse Brazil.

Olimpia's most recent piece of silverware came in the Clausura half of the 2015 Paraguayan Primera Division.

1. Pohang Steelers (South Korea)

Taking into account the era that preceded South Korea's professional league system in 1983, now known as the K League, Pohang Steelers are the east Asian country's most successful club with eight titles to their name ahead of Seongnam (7) and Seoul (6).

They are equally the most successful club side in Asia as a whole, taking home three titles between the AFC Champions League and its predecessor, the Asian Club Championship.

No other club has won as many, with Pohang also enjoying a 100% record in the finals that they have played, the most recent being in 2009.

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