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Most decorated footballers in history

Tue 31 August 2021 | 19:29

Who are the 10 football players with the most trophies? Which footballer has managed to reach the most success in their career throughout history? Follow us below as we get to know the most decorated footballers in history.

Football is obviously a team game and no individual can be successful without a good team to back them up with fine chemistry. That is the secret behind the success of almost any footballing legend. Perhaps Cristiano Ronaldo might not have gained the same amount of respect worldwide if he hadn’t joined

Real Madrid

all those years ago.

Of course that is not to say that individual quality is not important as that is what makes any player shine both on and off the pitch. But the very best of things happens when both the player and the team are successful, which leads to full trophy cabinets for both parties.

So who are the

most decorated footballers in history

? Who has managed to get their hands on the highest number of trophies and medals throughout their career? Read on as we introduce you to all of the most successful footballers in history. Surely none of the football players on this list need any introduction, but it is still worth taking a look at their careers from the very beginning to where they are now.

10 football players with the most trophies

Here is everything you need to know about the

most decorated footballers in history

.

Xavi

  • Trophies: 33

Xavi was without a doubt one of the finest La Masia products of them all as he became one of the most integral parts of both his club

Barcelona

and his country Spain, helping them both to enter a new golden age in the late 2000s and early 2010s. His presence in the middle of the park was the reason why Barcelona, especially Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team, tick like clockwork and implement the Tiki-Taka style of playing football in such a complete and mesmerizing fashion.

The central midfielder rose up the ranks at Barcelona’s youth teams and slowly managed to pave his way towards becoming a part of his club’s senior starting XI after being called up to the senior squad in 1998. Xavi spent 17 years at the Catalonia-based club, making a total of 767 appearances, scoring 85 goals and providing a massive amount of 185 assists in the process. He then moved on to Al-Sadd SC in Qatar and spent four years at the club before finally hanging up his boots as one of the best midfielders of all time in 2019.

The now 41-year-old is still one of the

most decorated footballers in history

having won a total of 33 trophies throughout his career. Almost all of the trophies that the Spaniard has won are of great importance and are valued as some of the most prestigious trophies in the world. If you take a look at Xavi’s trophy cabinet, perhaps what shines the most are his four Champions League trophies and of course the 2010 World Cup trophy that he won during his international career with Spain.

Trophies:

1 World Cup, 2 European Championships, 4 Champions League trophies, 8 La Ligas, 3 Copas del Rey, 8 Supercopas de Espana, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Super Cups, 1 Qatar league title, 1 Qatari Cup, 1 Uner-20 World Cup.

Individual honors:

2007-08 Spanish Player of the Year, 2005 Spanish Footballer of the Year

Kenny Dalglish

  • Trophies: 34

Sir Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish MBE, or commonly known as Kenny Dalglish to football fans is without a doubt one of the best strikers in football history and his name will forever echo in the footballing halls of fame for how his success inspired many young footballers to follow in his footsteps after him. The 70-year-old former center-forward is an absolute legend at both

Liverpool

and

Celtic

, with both of whom he went on to win numerous trophies throughout his years as a professional footballer.

Sir Kenny Dalglish started his journey towards greatness as a 20-year-old striker at Celtic and went on to spend eight years with the Scottish side before joining Liverpool for almost €500K back in 1977. Having joined Liverpool as an experienced center-forward, Dalglish only excelled even more at the Premier League side and went on to add more trophies to his trophy cabinet.

Throughout the years, he made a total of 523 appearances at club level and managed to score 169 goals and provide 74 assists in the process, helping both his teams win numerous trophies, which in turn earned him a spot on the list of most decorated footballers in history.

Trophies:

3 European Champion Clubs’ Cup, 8 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 English League Cups, 4 Scottish league titles, 4 Scottish Cups, 1 Scottish League Cup, 1 UEFA Supercup, 7 Charity (Community) Shields

Individual honors:

1975-76 Scottish Premiership Top Scorer

Cristiano Ronaldo

  • Trophies: 34

If we were to count individual honors as well, Cristiano Ronaldo would certainly be one of the top contenders on the list of most decorated footballers in history as he has won a mind-blowing number of individual honors throughout his trophy-laden career. The Portugal international is undoubtedly the manifestation of sheer will, commitment and hard work as he is still going strong at the age of 36, outscoring and outplaying almost all his opponents in any domestic or international tournament.

As the most followed person on Instagram, one can certainly never deny the effect and influence Cristiano Ronaldo has on the world as both an athlete and a celebrity. Of course we are not here to talk about Ronaldo’s status as a global celebrity icon and surely you would all like to know more about the details of the Portuguese beast’s career stats.

As an unbelievably bright and talented winger, Ronaldo started his professional career as a footballer at Sporting CP and it did not take long for the world to recognize his raw talents. He joined Manchester United only a season after introducing himself as a professional footballer. Having spent several seasons at Manchester United, Ronaldo joined Los Blancos in 2009 and broke the record as the then most expensive transfer in football history and was presented in front a fully-packed Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

After spending nine years with Real Madrid and dominating both Spain and Europe by winning the Champions League a record four times, Ronaldo moved on to

Juventus

for a new challenge and has since been one of the best players at the Italian side. Over the years, the striker has made more than 890 appearances and has managed to score an unbelievable 672 goals while also providing 229 assists in the process during his club career. Few might deserve to be on the list of most decorated footballers in history, but Cristiano Ronaldo has certainly earned his spot on the list.

Trophies:

1 European Championship, 5 Champions League trophies, 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 English League Cups, 2 La Ligas, 2 Copas del Rey, 2 Supercopas de Espana, 2 Scudetti, 1 Italian Cup, 2 Italian Super Cups, 4 FIFA Club World Cups, 1 UEFA Nations League, 3 UEFA Supercups, 1 Portuguese Super Cup, 2 Community Shields

Individual honors:

2 Best FIFA Men’s player, 5 Ballons d’Or, 3 UEFA Best Player in Europe awards, 19 Top Scorer awards, 2 Premier League Player of the Year awards, 2 La Liga Player of the Year awards, 1 Serie A Player of the Year award

Ryan Giggs

  • Trophies: 35

Perhaps few people could rightly represent

Manchester United

as Ryan Giggs, who spent his entire career with the Red Devils and helped the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson bring about a golden age of football for the club. Even though Giggs originally began his youth career journey at the Manchester City youth academy, his love for United was too much to keep inside as he quickly joined the Red Devils’ youth program in 1987. It only took him four years to finally make it to the big leagues and joined the club’s senior side.

The now 47-year-old spent 23 years playing for Manchester United from 1991 until 2014, when he finally decided to hang up his boots after making an unbelievable total of 932 appearances for the Red Devils, during which he managed to score 163 goals and provide 250 assists overall. The Welsh former midfielder will always be fondly remembered by Manchester United fans as one of the greatest players to ever grace the pitch at Old Trafford. Giggs literally won it all with United and has certainly earned his place amongst the most decorated footballers in history.

Trophies:

13 Premier League titles, 2 Champions League trophies, 4 FA Cups, 4 English League Cups, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 UEFA Supercup, 9 Community Shields

Individual honors:

1996 and 2006 Welsh Footballer of the Year awards

Vitor Baia

  • Trophies: 36

The only goalkeeper on the list of

10 football players with the most trophies

is obviously none other than Vitor Baia, who served as one of Porto’s most legendary goalkeepers ever during his prime. He went through thick and thin with the Portuguese club and was even part of the squad that Jose Mourinho took to the 2003-04 Champions League final against Monaco. The now 51-year-old former Portugal international is considered by many to be one of the best goalkeepers in history, a claim which is further supported by Baia’s numerous trophies that he got to win throughout his career.

Vitor Baia joined the senior ranks of

FC Porto

after proving his impressive talents as a goalkeeper at the club’s youth squads. Having joined Porto in 1988, he went on to spend eight years at the Portuguese side, before joining FC Barcelona in 1996.

Even Though Baia got to win several trophies with the Catalans, he decided to return to his home club only three years later in 1999 and went on to stay at the club until 2007, when he finally hung up his gloves and boots. Throughout his trophy-laden career, Baia made a total of 301 appearances overall and made 136 clean sheets in the process. Amongst all the trophies that Baia has won, perhaps he would choose the only Champions League title in his cabinet as the most memorable of them all.

Trophies:

1 La Liga, 2 Copas del Rey, 2 Supercopas de Espana, 1 Champions League, 10 Primeira Liga, 5 Taca de Portugal, 1 UEFA Cup, 2 Intercontinental Cups, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 UEFA Supercup, 10 Supertaca Candido de Oliveira

Individual honors:

2 Portuguese Footballer of the Year awards

Gerard Pique

  • Trophies: 37

Lauded as one of the best center-backs in the world, Gerard Pique has always been an integral part of Barcelona’s trophy-winning squad since he joined the club back in 2008. Of course a detail about the Spaniard that some people might miss is that Pique used to be a La Masia player and even got to graduate as a Barcelona youth, before joining Manchester United for €5 million in 2004.

After spending two years at Manchester United, Pique moved out on loan and joined

Real Zaragoza

for a season, before returning to the Premier League club and finally returning home to Barcelona in 2008 for the same price he was once sold to the Red Devils. As one of the most decorated footballers in history, Gerard Pique has made a total of 619 appearances so far and has even managed to score 56 goals and provide 17 assists in the process.

The center-back will certainly go down in history as one of the most loyal footballers in the world after taking a huge pay-cut to allow his club to sign several key players for the 2021-22 season.

Trophies:

1 World Cup, 1 European Championship, 4 Champions League trophies, 1 Premier League title, 1 English League Cup, 8 La Liga titles, 7 Copas del Rey, 6 Supercopas de Espana, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 3 UEFA Supercups, 1 Community Shield, 1 U19 European Championship

Individual honors:

N/A

Maxwell

  • Trophies: 37

As one of the

five most decorated footballers

in the world, Maxwell had quite an interesting career, which was full of adventure and got to take him around Europe to play for the best teams in the continent. From Ajax to Inter, from Inter to Barcelona and

Paris Saint-Germain

, the Brazilian left-back has had the experience of a lifetime playing for the greatest clubs in the world. What does playing for the best club in a country guarantee? That’s right: Trophies. That is how Maxwell managed to make his mark as one of the most decorated football players of all time.

Throughout the years of his career, the Brazilian enjoyed playing for clubs such as Cruzeiro, Ajax, Inter, Empoli, Barcelona and PSG, which earned him a massive 37 trophies overall. He went on to make a total of 564 appearances and even managed to score 27 goals and provide 57 assists in the process. As one of the greatest left-backs in history, Maxwell’s trophy cabinet includes the following.

Trophies:

1 Champions League trophy, 2 La Liga titles, 1 Copa del Rey, 3 Supercopas de Espana, 3 Scudetti, 1 Italian Super Cup, 4 Ligue 1 titles, 3 French Cups, 4 French League Cups, 2 Eredivisie titles, 1 Dutch Cup, 2 FIFA Club World Cups, 3 Johan Cruyff Shields, 1 Brazilian Cup, 2 UEFA Supercups, 4 Trophee des Champions

Individual honors:

2004 Dutch Footballer of the Year award

Lionel Messi

  • Trophies: 38

Perhaps the only person who is on par with Cristiano Ronaldo in the field of individual honors is Lionel Messi. The Argentine winger is without a doubt one of, if not the best footballer in history and has managed to accumulate dozens of trophies throughout the years. Even though his sudden departure from Barcelona after 21 trophy-laden years shocked the world, the 34-year-old did not take any hits as he is still one of the most decorated footballers in the world.

The Argentine finally broke the curse and got to win an international trophy for his nation in the 2020 Copa America, which was postponed to the summer of 2021. Having started his career as a professional footballer with Barcelona back in 2005, Leo Messi quickly turned into a world sensation and took over his club by proving that there is no one better than him neither at Barcelona, nor at any other club in the world.

He has since made a total of 778 appearances at club level and has managed to score a brilliant and quite mind-blowing number of 672 goals, while also providing 305 assists in the process. That alone should be enough to put a footballer amongst the five most decorated footballers in history and it has been enough so far.

Trophies:

1 Copa America, 4 Champions League trophies, 10 La Liga titles, 7 Copas del Rey, 8 Supercopas de Espana, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 1 U20 World Cup, 3 UEFA Supercups, 2008-09 Olympic medal

Individual honors:

2019 Best FIFA Men’s Player, 6 Ballons d’Or, 3 UEFA Best Men’s Player, 22 Top Scorer awards, 9 La Liga Player of the Season awards, 1 Champions League Player of the Season award, 3 TM-Player of the Season awards

Andres Iniesta

  • Trophies: 39

There would be no Xavi without Iniesta and there would be no Iniesta without Xavi. The iconic duo were the reason why Barcelona’s Tiki-Taka worked so well for so many years and nobody could effectively stop the well-oiled and unpredictable machine. The Spanish central midfielder grew up alongside his friend Xavi as both graduated from Barcelona’s youth academy and found their way into the club’s starting XI. Iniesta’s career at Barcelona began in 2002 and lasted until 2018, when he decided to leave his childhood club and join Vissel Kobe in Japan.

Through the years, the 37-year-old has made well over 760 appearances for Barcelona and Vissel Kobe combined and has managed to score 75 goals and provide 158 assists overall in the process. He was a part of both Barcelona and the Spain national football team’s golden age during the late 2000s and early 2010s, which saw him amass numerous trophies and add them to his private collection. He surely is one of the five most decorated footballers in history.

Trophies:

1 World Cup, 2 European Championships, 4 Champions League trophies, 9 La Liga titles, 6 Copas del Rey, 7 Supercopas de Espana, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 1 European U19 Championship, 1 U17 European Championship, 3 UEFA Supercups, 1 Japanese Cup, 1 Japanese Super Cup

Individual honors:

2012 UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, 2011-12 Spanish Player of the Year, 2009 Spanish Footballer of the Year

Dani Alves

  • Trophies: 42

And finally, the person who tops our list of footballers with the most trophies is none other than Dani Alves, who spent his career playing for the very best of the best during their golden age. Having spent his career playing for clubs such as Sevilla, Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo, Dani Alves has usually been on the winning side of things thanks to the strong squads he has had to play alongside with.

Of course almost everyone knows Alves for his trophy-laden years at Barcelona, where he managed to make history alongside the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Lionel Messi. Alves added his latest collective honor to his trophy cabinet with the Olympic medal he won in Tokyo this summer. Here is a list of all the trophies the Brazilian has won. We will have to wait and see if anyone could finally break Alves’ record. Of course it would not possible any time soon.

Trophies:

3 Champions League trophies, 6 La Liga titles, 5 Copas del Rey, 5 Supercopas de Espana, 1 Scudetto, 1 Italian Cup, 2 Ligue 1 titles, 1 French Cup, 1 French League Cup, 3 FIFA Club World Cups, 2 UEFA Cups, 2 Confederations Cup, 1 U20 World Cup, 2 Copa America trophies, 4 UEFA Supercups, 2 French Super Cups, 1 Olympic medal

Individual honors:

N/A

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