Football Players with Most Individual Trophies
Football is a team sport where success is only guaranteed if the team achieves its goals but there can be no denying the individual quality of certain players, the superstars of the game, the players who in the toughest moments of the game produce magical moments and get their team out of trouble.
Football players with most individual trophies often have high ambitions, both for their teams to succeed and their selves to succeed and leave their mark on the game and the players listed below are ones who went beyond those ambitions and wrote their name in history books. let's see who they are.
Footballers with most individual trophies
As there are numerous individual awards with differing levels of prestige, we have tried to compile a list of footballers with most individual trophies that have won the most prestigious awards, which includes Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year and Golden Boot. So let’s see who are the best of the best, shall we?!
Gerd Muller (Germany) - 3 Awards
When the words, perfect striker or complete forward gets discussed only one name comes to mind and that is Gerd Muller. Muller is the standard that every striker in football wants to reach but always fails. He excelled at everything a striker should do and he produced goals for both Bayern Munich and Germany national team, the likes of which that weren't seen before.
Der Bomber’s career started in his hometown at 1861 Nördlingen where he scored 51 goals in 31 matches only aged 18. He then moved to Bayern Munich and it was there he made a name for himself. He stayed at Bayern for 15 years and scored and unbelievable 398 goals in 453 matches and he won Bundesliga four times, the DFB-Pokal four times, the European Champions' Cup three consecutive years, the Intercontinental Cup once, and the European Cup Winners' Cup once.
Muller became one of the football players with most individual trophies at the peak of his powers which was between 1969 and 1972, where he twice won the European Golden Shoe in 1969-70 and 1971-72 and the Prestigious Ballon d’Or in 1970. He also won the Euro and World Cup with West Germany In that period and hence becoming one of the most decorated players of all time as well as a footballer with most individual honors in Germany’s history.
Whether it was for his incredible speed or surprising goals that came out of nowhere, Muller’s legacy will live on in football as a striker of his quality will never come again. The fact that after all these years players like Messi and Ronaldo are still trying to beat his individual records in goal scoring is the further proof of that and it’s the reason he has the most individual awards among German players of all time.
You Might Also Like: Best Right Backs Ever in the World
Ronaldinho (Brazil) - 3 Awards
The smiling magician brought the laughter and excitement back to our houses as he dribbled and glided past any defender to shine for Barcelona and Brazil. Ronaldinho became one of the footballers with most individual trophies. Although He started his club career in Gremio. After being spotted by European teams he decided to move to Europe. After a time in PSG, adjusting to life in Europe, he opted to go to Barcelona for the transfer fee of €30m and it was there he started his reign in football.
Barcelona wasn’t in a good place as they had finished the previous season in the 6th place and hadn’t won La Liga in 5 years. Although Ronaldinho was injured for the most of the first half of the season. Without Ronaldinho, they slid down to the 12th position but Ronaldinho was about to come back and show everyone what he was made of.
Ronaldinho scored 15 goals in the 2nd part of the season, dragging Barcelona along to an incredible 2nd spot finish by the end of the season. They won their arch rivals Real Madrid in Santiago Bernabeu stadium for the first time in 7 years and thus a new era began and by the end of the following season, Ronaldinho had won his first La Liga title and he was about to become one of the football players with most individual trophies.
Ronaldinho won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2004 and also the following year. He also managed to win his only Ballon d’Or in 2005 too, reserving a spot among the soccer player with most individual awards. His influence on Barcelona’s recent Golden Age and football in general is far greater than his individual awards and although his time at the top of the football pyramid was short, he did shine brighter than anyone else. No football fan would ever forget his smile, passion and elegance on the pitch.
Eusebio (Portugal) - 3 Awards
It’s impossible to talk about football’s legacy without mentioning Eusebio. He is the man that put Portugal’s name on the map and broke many records while doing so. In the 1960s, Eusebio went on to first help Benfica reach for European Cup finals (a tournament that is now rebranded as Champions League) 4 times and winning it once and then he helped Portugal finish 3rd in the 1966 World Cup, their best finish ever.
The 1965-66 season was a real standout for him as he made his name among the football players with most individual trophies. He first won the Ballon d’Or award in 1965, then won the league with Benfica and made it to the European Cup final. After all the club football, the Summer of 1966 brought the World Cup and it was there that Eusebio immortalized himself by scoring 9 goals in the tournament, winning the Golden Boot of the competition.
You Might Also Like: Best Strikers in Premier League History
Eusebio was nicknamed The King (O Rei) by Benfica and Portugal fans and for good reason. Much like Gerd Muller, he was also known for his incredible goal scoring record. Eusebio scored 473 goals in 430 appearances for Benfica (with and incredible 1.1 Goals-per-game ratio) and those goals won him 2 European Golden Shoes in 1967-68 and 1972-73, which along his 1 Ballon d’Or make him one of the footballers with most individual trophies.
The King surely wrote his name in football history and the fact that only much later another giant of the game, Cristiano Ronaldo, came to replace him in Portugal’s history, is the testament to his long lasting legacy. Sadly, he passed away in 2014 but his place as one of the football players with most individual trophies will always be safe.
Michel Platini (France) - 3 Awards
These days perhaps Michel Platini’s name has been tarnished by his time as UEFA chairman that got him banned from football, but there is no denying Platini’s achievements as a player and his great influence on French football and European football overall as he was a footballer with most individual honors among French players until he was overtaken by Zidane in the 2000s.
Platini played over 100 games for Nancy, Saint-Etienne and Juventus but perhaps it’s for his time in Juventus that many football fans remember him. Despite being an attacking midfielder, Platini was quite good at scoring goals too, which landed him 3 consecutive Serie A Golden Boot between 1983 and 1985 and those years proved to be his very best years playing football as he achieved an impressive feat of winning the Ballon d’Or three years in a row in 1983, 1984 and 1985.
At International level between 1982 to 1986, Platini helped France win the Euros in 1984 and reach the semi-finals of both 1982 and 1986 World Cups. Despite being among the football players with most individual trophies, his public has been tarnished by his corruption, but on the football pitch, there were seldom any better players that Platini playing for France.
Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) - 3 Awards
When it comes to ‘The Masters of the Beautiful Game’, Johan Cruyff’s name is always on top, as he was the player who helped evolve football into a sport that we enjoy today. He was the person associated most with the term Total Football, both as a player and as a manager, but it was because of his time as playing that he is amongst the soccer players with most individual awards.
The Dutch Master was instrumental in Netherlands’ rise from obscurity in the 60s to football glory in the 70s, as he helped the Netherlands first reach the 1974 World Cup final, which they lost, and then become 3rd in 1976 Euros.
You Might Also Like: Best Young Strikers of 2020
Although he was known for his creativity on the pitch, he scored an incredible amount of 416 goals in total for club and country. He won 9 Eredivisie titles and 3 consecutive European Cups from 1970 to 1973, a feat that few players have managed to do, and amazingly he won the Ballon d’Or three times in 1971, 1973 and 1974. All this making him the Dutch footballer with most individual honors.
Cruyff was named the European Player of the Century and came in second behind Pele in World Player of the Century in 1999. Not enough could be said about his influence on football as a player and a manager as his way of playing and his philosophy of managing is one of the most components of modern football and it’s only fitting that he is one of the football players with most individual trophies and one of the greatest ever football players to have played the Beautiful Game.
Zinedine Zidane (France) - 4 Awards
For his elegance, control and genius of playing football as well as his achievements both individually and as a part of a team, Zinedine Zidane is often regarded as one of the greatest ever football players ever. Zizou was a general in the midfield, unlike any that was ever seen, and it is no surprise that he unseated Platini as the French footballer with most individual honors.
Zidane started his football in Cannes and after that moved to Bordeaux. It was then that many European clubs showed interest in him but he opted to join Juventus, following the footsteps of his countryman Platini, and it was in Juventus that he became one of the greatest footballers of his generation.
Zidane won 2 Serie A titles in 1996-97 and 1997-98 season and in the Summer of 1998 as the France were hosting the World Cup and Zidane became their key player. Zidane was excellent in the World Cup as France made their way to the final to face the defending Champions, Brazil. Zidane seized his moment in the final and scored two goals which helped France to win the World Cup for the first time ever.
Zidane won the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1998 and he was on his way of becoming a footballer with most individual honors. After winning the Euros in 2000 which earned him another FIFA World Player of the Year award, he transferred to Real Madrid in 2001 and became a part of the famous Galacticos era of Real Madrid. He won his first Champions League title in his first year at the club by scoring that famous goal in the final.
Being 31 in 2003, Zidane won FIFA World Player of the Year award again and cemented his place among footballers with most individual trophies. He retired in style as the 2006 World Cup final being his last ever competitive match, having helped France reach the final.
Perhaps his last game was a summary of his career, a career which was sublime like the penalty kick he scored in that game and passionate like the red card he received at the end of that game. He has since become one of the most successful managers ever and his story of success continues.
You Might Also Like: Arsenal Top Scorers of All time
Marco van Basten (Netherlands) - 5 Awards
It was Eusebio in the 60s, Gerd Muller in the 70s and Marco can Bastan in the 80s, as the Dutchman follows those other great goal scorers on this list but manages to have most individual awards in football among them. The Ajax and AC Milan superstar’s place on this list becomes more impressive when you realize he retired at 28 because of an ankle injury, and arguably didn’t play in his prime years.
Marco van Bastan was known for his incredible goals and his ability in the air which often resulted in beautiful volley or bicycle kick goals. He won the European Golden Shoe in 1985-86 while being at Ajax and he managed to win three league titles with them, but it was in Milan that he made his name as one of the greatest players ever.
van Bastan won 3 Serie A titles and 2 Champions League with Milan and amazingly won the Ballon d’Or three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992. He also won the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992 and briefly became a soccer player with most individual awards until the next player in our list caught up with him.
With him, Netherlands won the 1988 Euros and he managed to score his famous volley against the Soviet Union which is still referenced today as one of the most beautiful goals ever. The fact that he managed to be one of the football players with most individual trophies just before being 28 speaks volumes about his quality as a player. He will surely be remembered as one of the best strikers and players ever to play football.
Ronaldo (Brazil) - 6 Awards
O Fenomeno was the joy of football made flesh. He was the manifestation of everything we all love about football. The passion, the technique, the athleticism, the killer instincts and entertainment. As Thierry Henry later said, Ronaldo changed the game for being a striker, as he brought technique and the speed that was often traits of a wide player to the center forward role and he mixed them with usual traits of a complete forward which made him extremely hard to stop.
After starting his career in Cruzeiro he then moved to PSV Eindhoven, being only 18 years of age, by then he was already a World Cup winner. After PSV he then moved to Barcelona and scored 47 goals in 49 games in all competitions in a single season. He became the youngest ever footballer to be named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1996 at the age of 20 and he was on his way to become a player with most individual awards in football.
You Might Also Like : Most Successful Premier League Clubs
In a surprise move Barcelona sold Ronaldo to Internazionale and after a successful first season in Italy and World Cup tournament where he made himself known to the world, difficult times were to follow as a nightmarish knee injury happened and as a result he lost years of playing football. This injury would dog him throughout his career.
All was not lost though as his national team Brazil took a risk and included him in the final team that went into the 2002 World Cup and just like a Phoenix, Ronaldo rose from the ashes to show the world why he was a footballer with most individual awards, as he helped Brazil win their 5th World Cup title by scoring 8 goals. After the World Cup, he then went to Real Madrid where he enjoyed the best years of his career as a part of the Galacticos.
Ronaldo Nazario ended up winning 6 prestigious individual awards including 2 Ballon d’Ors (1997,2002), 3 FIFA World Player of the Year (1996,1997,2002) and a European Golden Shoe in 1996-97 which for a time made him the first among football players with most individual trophies. The fact that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi managed to surpass his record of individual awards despite him being injured for at least a third of his career, just shows how incredible a footballer he was.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 13 Awards
Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly the best athlete to ever play football. He is a force of nature and there is a deep, burning desire in him to win everything and that is seldom seen among any athlete, bar Michael Jordan. It’s that need that puts him high among players with most individual trophies and it’s the reason why he is one of the best football players ever.
After being discovered by Sir Alex Ferguson while he played for Sporting Lisbon, Cristiano Ronaldo then moved to Manchester United where he made a name for himself by winning practically everything at club level and also individual level but it was not enough for him, as is ever the case with Ronaldo, and he made the move to Real Madrid, looking for a new challenge and to play with the best of the best.
It was at Real that his rivalry with Lionel Messi took both players beyond what anyone imagined a player could do, as they broke records game after game producing a stable 40+ goals a season. He has stated this fact many times in his interviews that the rivalry only made them better and was a driving factor in both of them being football players with most individual trophies.
After numerous titles, cups and 4 Champions League titles later, Cristiano Ronaldo moved again and this time to Juventus where he is currently continuing his journey towards being the Greatest footballer ever. As far individual awards go, Cristiano Ronaldo has won 5 Ballon d’Ors, 4 European Golden Boot, 2 The Best FIFA Men's Player, 1 Puskas Award and 1 FIFA World Player of the Year, making his tally of individual awards 13 and making him the European player with most individual awards ever.
You Might Also Like: Best forwards in Premier League of 2019-2020
Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 14 Awards
No one ever saw a player like Lionel Messi until he came along. No one even dreamed of having that much talent on the pitch. In a stark contrast to his rival Ronaldo, everything seemed easy for Messi rather than working harder than anyone to achieve it. Although The Alien works hard almost as much as Ronaldo, there is no denying that in regards to pure talent no one ever could even come close to him.
Leo Messi’s club career has been entirely at Barcelona. He has scored 634 in 731 matches for Barcelona and has won 10 La Liga and 4 Champions Leagues with them. He is the only player to have won the Ballon d’Or award 6 times as well as winning the European Golden Boot 6 times and FIFA World Player of the Year and Best FIFA Men's Player awards once each, making it 14 prestigious individual trophies for the Argentine Captain.
It is only fitting that he has the most individual awards in football as he has everything that every player on this list has. He has the pure talent that Ronaldo had, he brings joy to people by playing beautiful football like Ronaldinho, he scores like Muller, Eurebio and van Bastan, he is the perfect playmaker like Zidane and Cruyff and he is a great athlete like Cristiano Ronaldo. And perhaps that is why he is often called the best player of all time.
it’s incredibly doubtful that anyone would break him and Ronaldo’s current records in the 21st century by winning as many individual awards and even if someone manages to do it, it will always be him and Ronaldo who raised the bar for winning the most individual awards in football and their names will forever be etched in football’s history.