The Greatest Scandinavian Clubs of All-Time

Scandinavia or Nordic clubs covers all clubs from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The Royal League was an annual Scandinavian football tournament held three times between 2005 and 2007 with participated teams from the three Scandinavian monarchies (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway)
The first Swedish Championship is the oldest competition in Scandinavia, was started in 1896 as Svenska Mästerskapet and it was available until 1926 as a phase play-off tournament. Swedish national association was created in 1904. In 1924–25, a new Swedish national league was created, Allsvenskan, but the Swedish Champions title wasn't awarded to the winners of that league until 1930–31. Since then, the winners of Allsvenskan are considered Swedish Champions, with a few exceptions. Between 1982 and 1990, the title was given to the winners of a play-off held after Allsvenskan was finished, and the following two years, 1991 and 1992, the title was given to the winners of Mästerskapsserien, a continuation league with the best teams from Allsvenskan. Swedish Cupen was founded in 1941,
The Danish national football tournament was established in 1912 as a phase play-off competition. Until 1929, Danish Professional league was created. However, During the German occupation of Denmark in World War II from 1940–45, the championship was again decided in a single final. In 1991, the 1st Division was replaced by the "Danish Superliga",with only 10 teams participating. Danish Cup was founded in 1929.
The first official league competition in Norway, known as the League of Norway, was contested from 1937. Only three full seasons had been completed due to suspending as a result of the German invasion in 1940.. In 1948, The Main League was created as phase play-off tournament. The 1963 season was the first in which the ten best clubs in Norway were gathered in a single top division. In 1991, the First Division was renamed Tippeligaen. Norwegian Cup was founded in 1902.
Mestaruussarja was the top division of Finnish football from 1930 to 1989. In 1930 league format was used for the first time to decide Finnish champion. Before that from 1908 to 1929 the championship was decided with cup competition. It was replaced by Veikkausliiga in 1990, comprising the top 14 clubs of the country.
The Icelandic highest division is known as The Úrvalsdeild karla, was established since 1912. There is no Icelandic club to be considered mention in this list. Their greatest club ever is KR Reykjavik


11. Viking Stavanger
Nation : Norway, Year of Establishment : 1899
Stadium : Lerkendal (16,600 Seats)
Seasons in Norwegian Premier League : 48 from 52
All-Time Norwegian Premier League Ranking : 2nd
Norwegian Premier League : Winner (8), Runner-Up (2)
Norwegian Cup : Winners (5), Runner-Up (5)
Norwegian Double Champion : 1
European Competition  : None
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Reidar Kvammen (202 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Reidar Kvammen
The Greatest Manager Ever : Schou-Andreasson


Viking was founded in Stavanger in 1899. The club has played and won more top-flight league games than any other club in history of Norwegian football, and it has played in the top division since the league was established, except for the years 1966-67 and 1987-88. Notable European successes include knocking English side Chelsea out of the UEFA Cup during the 2002-03 season. Viking’s Golden era was the 1970s, won five Norwegian championships and also won their only double champ in 1979. The club holds the record fewest goal conceding ratio in a single Norwegian league season with 0.45 (10 goals in 22 games).




10. Djurgardens IF
Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1891
Stadium : Tele2 Aerena (30,800 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan :  61 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 7th
Swedish Championship : Winner (7), Runner-Up (3)
Svenska Cup : Winners (4), Runner-Up (4)
Swedish Double Champion : 2
European Competition :  European Cup QF (1-A)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Gosta Sandberg  (70 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Gosta Sandberg
The Greatest Manager Ever : Torsten Lindberg
Djurgårdens IF is the club base on Stockholm. Their football department was formed in 1899 after the club was founded in previous 8 years, with the help of former GAIS-player Teodor Andersson. The club won four Swedish champion before Allsvenskan. During 1929 to 1932, The club had a hard time in their status, played in third division for three seasons. In 1956, Djurgadens was one of the founding members of European Cup and immediately achieve their greatest performance in history of European competition. The great era of the club came true in the 1960s and the early 2000s. In history of Djurgadens, They ever won two double champ which was happened in recent era (2002 and 2005).




9. IF Elfsborg

Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1904
Stadium : Boras (16,800 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan :  73 from 89
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 5th
Swedish Championship : Winner (6), Runner-Up (6)
Svenska Cup : Winners (3), Runner-Up (3)
Swedish Double Champion : -
European Competition :  -
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Svenn Jonasson  (252 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Svenn Jonasson
The Greatest Manager Ever : Carl Larsson 


Idrottsforningen Elfsborg was the famous Swedish club from the city of boras. The club first promoted to Allsvenskan in 1926 and finally won its first ever Swedish national title ten years later. In the second half 1930s, it is considered as the club’s best era, winning three Allsvenskan titles. Elfsborg first participated in European international competition in 1962 in UEFA intertotocup The club won its first Swedish cup in 2001. In 2006,  Elfsborg returned to acquire the league trophy as the first time in the last 45 years. Elfsborg enver qualified for European Cup/UEFA Champion league final tournament and only finished first round in UEFA Cup/Europa League.




8. Aarhus
Nation : Denmark, Year of Establishment : 1880
Stadium :  NRGi  (20,032 Seats)
Seasons in Danish League :  68 from 79
All-Time Danish League Ranking : 2nd
Danish League : Winner (5), Runner-Up (8)
Danish Cup : Winners (9), Runner-Up (2)
Danish Double Champion : 3
Cup Winners’Cup : QF (1)
European Cup : QF (1-A)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  (Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  -
The Greatest Manager Ever : -

Aarhus Gymnastikforening is one of the oldest sport clubs in Denmark, possesses the greatest place in Danish professional league all-time table. AGF is best known for its football team which has the longest streak in the Danish top division and also holds the record for most number of cup wins. However, The club has struggled with poor results and a string of bad management decisions since its impressive 1995–96 season and currently play in the second-best tier of the league system. Aarhus hold record most winners Danish double champions with three in 1955, 1957 and 1960. The late 1950s is their golden era. The club hold the record most winners in Danish cup.





7. Helsingborgs IF

Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1907
Stadium : Olympia (17,200 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan : 66 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 6th
Swedish Championship: Winner (7), Runner-Up (7)
Svenska Cup : Winners (5), Runner-Up (2)
Swedish Double Champion : 2
UEFA Cup :  R-16 (1-A), European Cup : UCL-R32 (1)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Knut Kroon  (140 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Henrik Larsson
The Greatest Manager Ever :

Helsingborgs IF was formed in 1907 after the merger of Svithiod and Stattena. They dominate Swedish football in the early 1930s, won four league titles during that period. In 1941, They won their only double champ in history. The club was very successful in European competition in the recent era, achieve their greatest performance ever since their first participation in 1997 UEFA Cup. Helsingborg was the latest Swedish team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League in the 2000/2001 season. It holds the record highest goals ratio with 4 (89 goals in 22 games). 





6. IFK Norkopping

Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1897
Stadium : Idrottsparken (16,700 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan : 76 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 4th
Swedish Championship: Winner (12), Runner-Up (9)
Svenska Cup : Winners (6), Runner-Up (4)
European Competition :  None
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Henry Kallgren  (126 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Gunnar Nordahl
The Greatest Manager Ever : Lajos Czeizler

IFK Norrköping is the third most Swedish champions, dominated Swedish football in the post war era and won the first division 11 times in 20 glorious years culminating in the league triumph of 1963. It took the club another 26 years before adding championship title number 12 to the trophy cabinet. The club ever won two Swedish double champions in 1943 and 1945 and being consecutive winners in Allsvenskan for four times between 1944 to 1948. In their overall history of European competition, The club got into the second round of major three titles several times but never go further.



5. AIK Stockholm
Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1891
Stadium : Rasunda (35,000 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan : 88 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 3rd
Swedish Championship : Winner (6), Runner-Up (11)
Svenska Cup : Winners (8), Runner-Up (8)
Swedish Double Champion : 1
Cup Winners’Cup  : QF (1)
European Cup : UCL-R32 (1)
All-Time Top-Scorer :    (Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever : 
The Greatest Manager Ever : Per Kaufeldt

Allmänna Idrottsklubben (The public Sport Club) or AIK Solna is one of the biggest Swedish clubs of all-time, was founded in 1891 by Isidor Behrens in Stockholm. Putting football into practice in 1896, AIK were runners-up in the championship only two years later, in 1898. AIK won its first Swedish championship title in 1900. The club totally won six Swedish championships before Allsvenskan. After 1937, AIK didn't win a Swedish title in 55 years until 1992. AIK hold the record for being the Swedish club with most seasons in the top flight. Recently, They just won their only Swedish double champion in 2009. It holds the record fewest goal conceding ratio with 0.54 (14 goals in 26 games) achieved in 1999 seasonal year.  


4. FC Copenhagen
Nation : Denmark, Year of Establishment : 1879 (KB), 
1903 (Boldklubben Copenhagen)
Stadium :  Parken  (38,065 Seats)
Seasons in Danish League :  75 from 79
All-Time Danish League Ranking :  1st
Danish League : Winner (17-A, 17-P,), Runner-Up (10-A,13-P)
Danish Cup : Winners (9), Runner-Up (17)
Danish Double Champion : 2
UEFA Cup : QF (2-A)
European Cup : R16 (1-A,2-B), R24 (2-B)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Poul Tist Nielsen (276 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Nils Middelboe
The Greatest Manager Ever : Stale Sobakken
Københavnsk fodboldklub was founded in 1992 as a superstructure between 15-time Danish football champions Kjøbenhavns Boldklub (KB) and seven-time Danish football champions Boldklubben 1903, none of which are based in Copenhagen, but instead in Frederiksberg and Gentofte. KB is a famous club that dominate Danish league in amateur era in the 1910s while B1903 was also a top Danish clubs for many eras. Immediately, FC Copenhagen won Danish championship in next season after establishment but they spent time until the new millennium to absolutely dominate Danish league, won seven league titles in the 2000s with two double champions. The club also won Royal league two times. The club possesses the greatest domestic league seasonal result ever in Denmark with 16-1-1. 


3. Rosenborg BK
Nation : Norway, Year of Establishment : 1917
Stadium : Lerkendal (21,850 Seats)
Seasons in Norwegian Premier League : 46 from 51
All-Time Norwegian Premier League Ranking : 1st
Norwegian Premier League : Winner (22), Runner-Up (6)
Norwegian Cup : Winners (9), Runner-Up (5)
Norwegian Double Champion : 7
European Cup : QF(1-A), R16(1-A,4-B), R24(3-B), R32(1-B)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Harald Brattbakk (256 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Odd Iversen
The Greatest Manager Ever : Nils Arne Eggen

Rosenborg Ballklub is the greatest Scandinavian clubs in the modern era, is the greatest Norwegian clubs of all-time. In 1917, Twelve young men from Rosenborg in Trondheim founded Sportsklubben Odd and it was changed to the current name in 1928. In 1960 they were promoted to the highest level in Norwegian football but had in the meantime gotten themselves relegated to the 2nd Division, where they played from 1963 to 1966. However, They could win their first Norwegian league as soon as promotion to the top flight in 1967. Rosenborg just dominated Norwegian football in the last two decades with the European record most consecutive winners in domestic league with 13 and holds the record most Norwegian double champions with 7, and participate in UEFA Champion league group stage for ten times. This high profile performance has really influenced to the golden era of Norway national team in the same period. The 1997 is the greatest Norwegian seasonal result ever by Rosenborg with 18-7-1 and most goals ratio and goal differences ratio with 3.35 (87 goals) and 2.58 (67 Diffs). It achieved as the only club in history of Norwegian league unbeaten in a single season in 2010.


2. IFK Gotherburg
Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1904
Stadium : Gamla Ullevi (18,800 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan : 84 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 1st
Swedish Championship : Winner (15), Runner-Up (12)
Svenska Cup : Winners (6), Runner-Up (4)
Swedish Double Champion : 3
UEFA Double Champion : 2, UEFA Triple Champion 1
UEFA Cup : WN (2-A), RN (1-A), Cup Winners’Cup : QF (1)
European Champion's Cup : SF(1-A), QF(3-A), R-16(1-A), R24 (1-B)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Filip Johansson (333 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Gunnar Gren
The Greatest Manager Ever : Gunder Bengtsson

IFK Göteborg is the greatest Scandinavian club of all-time, was founded at Café Olivedal in 1904. The club was the top Swedish clubs since the 1910s. IFK won their first Allsvenskan title in 1934–35. IFK Göteborg ever relegated to the second tier six times, most consecutive was three seasons during the early 1970s. The most outstanding eras of the club are the 1980s and the 1990s as they won ten Swedish champions during this period and the most important highlight is the winning of UEFA cup two times during the 1980s. Especially, they won the treble base on UEFA Cup in 1982 and became one of the four clubs to ever do so. This mean IFK Gothenburg is the only Nordic club to ever win European title, and when include the great achievement in European Cup, IFK is definitely the most successful Nordic club of all-time in European competition. IFK is also the greatest Swedish club in term of place in all-time table. Moreover, They holds the record the longest top flight in Allsvenskan with consecutive 34 seasons.




1. FF Malmo
Nation : Sweden, Year of Establishment : 1910
Stadium : Swedblank (24,000 Seats)
Seasons in Allsvenskan : 81 from 90
All-Time Allsvenskan Ranking : 2nd
Swedish Championship : Winner (21), Runner-Up (14)
Svenska Cup : Winners (14), Runner-Up (3)
Swedish Double Champion : 7
Cup Winners’Cup  : QF (2)
European Cup  : RN (1-A)
All-Time Top-Scorer :  Han Hakansson (341 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Bo Larsson
The Greatest Manager Ever : Bob Houghton

Malmö Fotbollförening was founded by nineteen young players in 1910. The club’s status was not a top-class before Allsvenskan which they finally achieved promotion to first participate in 1931 and won their first title in 1944. The glorious years came true in the 1970s, Malmo dominate Swedish league with winning five Allsvenskan and five Swedish cup, became the only club from the Nordic to ever reach European cup final match in 1979 as it is the most significant moment in history of the club. Oppositely, Their other large number of participations in European competition was always failure. In the late 1980s, The club built the best record in Sweden as the most consecutive winners in Allsvenskan with five. FF Malmo holds the record most Allsvenskan, Swedish cup and Swedish double champions in which they won seven times. The club also holds the record longest undefeated run in the Swedish league with 49 between 1949 and 1951 and holds the record most consecutive wins within the aforementioned period with 23 between 1949 and 1950. It possesses the greatest result ever in an Allsvenskan single season with 20-2-0 in the 1949 - 1950 season in which the club also achieved the record most goal differences ratio with 3.05 (61 diffs in 22 games). It is also the only club unbeaten in single season in history of the league.     
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Honourable Mention


Brøndby IF
Nation : Denmark, Year of Establishment : 1964
Stadium :  Brondby  (29,000 Seats)
Seasons in Danish League :  29 from 79
All-Time Danish League Ranking : 7th
Danish League : Winner (10), Runner-Up (9)
Danish Cup : Winners (6), Runner-Up (2)
Danish Triple Champion : 2005, Danish Double Champion : 4
UEFA Cup : SF (1-A), QF (1-A), R16 (2-A)
European Cup : QF (1-A), R24 (1-B)
All-Time Top-Scorer : Kim Vilfort (110 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Peter Schmeichel
The Greatest Manager Ever : Ebbe Skvdahl

Brøndbyernes Idrætsforening founded in 1964 as amateur club as a merger between two local Brøndby clubs Brøndbyvester IF from 1909 and Brøndbyøster IF from 1928. The club joined the Danish top-flight football league in 1981 after they turned professional status. Since then the club dominated Danish football from the late 1980s to the 1990s, has become the greatest Danish team in the modern era especially being the most successful Danish club of all-time in European competition. Brøndby ever won two Danish double champions in 1998 and 2005. Additionally, The club won Royal league in 2007. The club holds the record lowest goal conceding ratio in history of Danish league with 0.65 (17 goals in 26 games) achieved in 1987 seasonal year. 

Odense (Denmark)
Aalborg (Denmark)
HJK Helsinki (Finland)
Lillestorm (Norway)
Örgryte (Sweden)
Brann Bergen (Norway)

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Statistics By Nation 

Sweden : 8
Denmark : 2
Norway : 1

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous29/1/16

    Top 10 IFK Göteborg all-time players (from list "Göteborgs 100 bästa fotbollsspelare" (in swedish), published in the newspaper "Göteborgs-Posten", 2015):
    1.Torbjörn Nilsson, 2.Gunnar Gren, 3.Glenn Hysén, 4.Tomas Ravelli, 5.Stefan Rehn, 6.Ralf Edström, 7.Kennet Andersson, 8.Björn Nordqvist, 9.Stefan Pettersson, 10.Joachim Björklund.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8/2/16

    greatest player off all time for Odense is Jorgen Leschly Sorensen

    ReplyDelete