The village upstarts, who were playing in the German eighth tier at the start of
1990s, amazed pundits by winning the herbstmeister (autumn champions) in their first crack in the Bundesliga. Bankrolled by wealthy fan and former player Dietmar Hopp the Hoffe gave Bayern Munich a fright when the top two met before Christmas in 2008 before injuries to key players, including star striker Vedad Ibisevic, saw them fade and finish a credible if slightly disappointing seventh.
9) Watford (1982-83) Division One: 2nd
Long before he became an easy tabloid target future England manager Graham Taylor dragged Watford from the old fourth division to the first in the space of five years. With Elton John as Chairman the Hornets weren't easy on the eye but their effective long-ball game earned them an excellent second place behind champions Liverpool with striker Luther Blissett earning a move to AC Milan by notching up 27 goals in their rookie season.
8) DWS (1963-64) Eredivisie: 1stDoor Wilskracht Sterk of Amsterdam rocketed back up the Eredivisie in style by claiming the title at their first attempt. With striker Frans Geurtsen in outstanding form they held off PSV Eindhoven to win the Eredivisie and proved it was no flash in the pan by finishing second the next season with Geurtsen again topping the goalscoring charts.
7) Saint-Etienne (1963-64) Ligue 1: 1st
French football's most successful club had a dramatic 1961-62 as they scooped the French Cup but also went down to Ligue 2. They won the second division at the first attempt and completed back-to-back titles by wrapping up Ligue 1 in 63-64 starting their period of dominance of the gallic game over the next decade where they would win another seven titles until 1977.
6) Chievo (2001-02) Serie A: 5th
Hotly tipped for relegation before the season began Luigi Del Neri's side punched above their weight in their first ever year in Serie A where they even led the title race for a spell. The tiny outfit, who finished third in Serie B the previous season, would eventually finish fifth a mere whisker away from a Champions League spot. No wonder they called it the Chievo miracle.
5) Bayern Munich (1965-66) Bundesliga: 3rd
Believe it or not there was a way time when the Bavarians weren't the big Bundesliga bullies. While West Germany won the World Cup in 1954 it took another nine years before the country had its own professional league and it wasn't until 1965 that Bayern joined its ranks. With a young Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller in their team Bayern finished a close third and claimed the German Cup. A season later they won the European Cup Winners Cup. Dominance was just around the corner.
4) Monaco (1977-78) Ligue 1: 1st
The Principality outfit were more style over substance after winning the French double in 1962/63 and became a yo-yo club until the mid 70s. That all changed when President Jean-Louis Campora came onboard and the club signed prolific marksman Delio Onnis winning promotion in 1977 and romping home the following season to claim Ligue 1 at the first attempt in a feat that has not been repeated ever since.
3) Ipswich Town (1961-62) Division One: 1st
Imagine if Wigan Athletic and not Chelsea had won the Premier League in 2005-06 in the Latics first season in the top-flight. Still shuddering at the thought, well that's exactly what Alf Ramsey's Tractor Boys achieved when they tackled England's old Division One in 1961/62 and promptly won it at the first crack. As a player Ramsey had notched up the same feat with Tottenham Hotspur in 1950/51 and a few years later he'd win the World Cup at his first attempt too.
2) Kaiserslautern (1997-98) Bundesliga: 1st
Otto Rehhagel was working miracles long before Greece stunned the world to win Euro 2004. Kaiserslautern made history in 1998 becoming the first ever German club to win the Bundesliga after being promoted and what's more they made it look easy too. The Red Devils slotted into first place four weeks in and were never headed even doing the double over Bayern Munich along the way with a young Michael Ballack and 1990 World Cup winner Andreas Brehme in their championship line-up. Their record at season's end read: Played 34, wins 19, draws 11, defeats 4. King Otto indeed.
1) Nottingham Forest (1977-78) Division One: 1st
"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business but I was in the top one." The legendary Brian Clough could make such a statement after guiding unknown Nottingham Forest to the old First Division Title one season after reaching the top-flight by finishing third in Division Two. Clough had guided Derby County to fourth place in the Rams' first season in England's top tier in 1970 but few could have predicted how effective their East Midlands rivals would be seven years later.
Forest surged into top spot early on and while pundits wrote them off they remained in first place, destroying Man Utd 4-0 at Old Trafford along the way, to win the title ahead of holders Liverpool by a comfortable seven points losing only three games from 42. They also beat the Reds in the final of the League Cup to cap a memorable season. One year later they won the European Cup and repeated the trick in 1980. Quite a manager was Mr Clough.