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10 Great Teams Who Came Close To Winning Titles But Failed

With Premier League outfit Manchester City aiming for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season, here are 10 teams who looked poised for major success in a season but ultimately failed, including a Mamelodi Sundowns outfit that was coached by an FC Barcelona legend.
 
Tired of reading? Click though the gallery above to see 10 teams who displayed great promise in a certain campaign but finished empty-handed, according to FourFourTwo.
 
Pep Guardiola won the 25th trophy of his managerial career after City beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout in the final of the Carabao Cup on Sunday. 
 
The Citizens, who picked up their fourth League Cup in six seasons in the process, are still on course for three more trophies as they look to secure a clean sweep of titles: the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and the Premier League.
 
While many are eagerly anticipating whether or not Guardiola's men can achieve history, potentially becoming the first English side to win the quaduple, here are some teams who were on the brink of greatness, but succumbed to pressure and ended up empty-handed.
 
One of the teams most remembered for their failure to win silverware is German club Bayer Leverkusen, who came agonisingly close to becoming the first Bundesliga side to win the treble back in 2001/02. However, they lost a five-point lead in the final three league games of the campaign and were overtaken by Borussia Dortmund, while also finishing as runners-up in the UEFA Champions League and DFB-Pokal.
 
Following a great UCL campaign that saw Leverkusen overcome the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool on their way to the final, a superb volley by Zinedine Zidane – a goal  that is still regarded as one of the best in the history of the competition – helped Los Blancos to a 2-1 win. A week earlier, Leverkusen had lost the German Cup final 4-2 to Schalke 04, and ultimately ended the season trophyless.
 
A youthful Ajax Amsterdam outfit, which reached the UEFA Europa League final during the 2016/17 campaign, also forms part of FourFourTwo's list. With a squad that featured the likes of Davy Klaassen and Davinson Sanchez, Ajax found themselves within touching distance of winning the Eredivisie title and the Europa League trophy. 
 
Things, however, did not go according to plan for the Dutch giants, who bottled their lead at the summit of the log, allowing Feyenoord to snatch the title from right under their noses and win their first title in close to two decades. A subsequent 2-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho's Manchester United in the Europa League final summed up Ajax's so-close-yet-so-far season.
 
We have added record Absa Premiership winners Mamelodi Sundowns to FourFourTwo's original list after they signalled their intent to restore former glories with their appointment of two-time FIFA World Cup losing finalist Johan Neeskens in 2011. 
 
Masandawana produced a number of eye-catching attacking performances during Neeskens' stint at the club, most notably in victories over Moroka Swallows (4-0), Black Leopards (5-1), Santos (5-2) and Kaizer Chiefs (4-1), but their inconsistency proved to be their biggest downfall and ultimately earned them a place on this list by FourFourTwo.
 
Despite claiming that his side could capture a league and cup double, Neeskens' Sundowns ended up trophyless, with the Dutchman being sacked 18 months after being hired.
 
 
Other teams, which feature on FourFourTwo's list, include a Fiorentina side that had the legendary Gabriel Batistuta in its midsts – click through the gallery above to see some more sides who showed great promise in a certain season, but finished the campaign trophyless!
 
Which is your favourite team on the abovementioned list, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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