10 Most Decorated Football Players of All Time

If there’s one sport who produced legends and legacies, that would be football. These football players have contributed immensely to their respective clubs, and the entire league recognized them for their contributions and dedication.

Here are the football legends whose legacy is winning medals and trophies—the laurels that are solid proof of being the sport’s greatest of all time.

10) Xavi, 31 trophies

Xavi is a Spanish midfielder who played for Barcelona throughout most of his professional career. He won every title he could win. For instance, he collected four championship titles with Blaugrana. When he left Barcelona for Al Sadd, a Qatari football club, he went on to obtain three more titles. He also played with his national team and won the UEFA Euro and 2010 FIFA World Cup.

9) Kenny Dalglish, 31 trophies

Dalglish is one of the greatest British players in football history, playing for Celtic and Liverpool. He had a stellar career playing not just in the UK, but for European football as well. Dalglish is a proud owner of European Cups, Football League First Division titles and Premier Division titles. His last two titles he achieved as a player-manager.

8) Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 31 trophies

Although he has yet to play for the Premier League, Ibrahimovic has played in many leagues including Italy, France, England, Spain, and the Netherlands. He won on each of these leagues, earning not just the accolades, but also the fan base. 

7) Gerard Pique, 32 trophies

Pique has been winning titles consistently since he played with Manchester United. He continued the winning streak when he was with Barcelona. He is still actively playing football which means a higher chance of winning more titles.

6) Maxwell, 33 trophies

Maxwell does not always appear on lists of most celebrated football players, but he still managed to win titles because of playing for the right clubs at the right moment. He has Serie A, La Liga Barcelona, and Ligue 1 titles as well as a Champions League title. He works side by side with Ibrahimovic.

5) Andres Iniesta, 33 trophies

Iniesta performs very well as a midfielder. He was instrumental for all the successes that Barcelona achieved, along with Lionel Messi and Xavi. He left Barcelona as a legend. Today, he was playing for Vissel Kobe, a Japanese club, where he is expected to win more trophies.

4) Ryan Giggs, 34 trophies

Giggs is one of the most respected football players worldwide because of the immense talent he showcases every time he plays. It’s with Manchester United where he won most of his trophies which include 13 league titles and a FIFA Club World Cup. 

3) Lionel Messi, 35 trophies

Messi is the best football player ever winning all his trophies for Barcelona except one. He has an Olympic gold medal that he earned when playing for his national team, Argentina. Since he is still active, he may collect more trophies in the next seasons.

2) Oleksandr Shovkovskiy, 36 trophies

A Ukranian goalkeeper, Shovkovskiy stayed with Dynamo Kyiv throughout his professional career. This is where he earned all the titles and made his club the most important in his country.

1) Dani Alves, 42 trophies

Despite his age (36 years), Alves is showing no signs of slowing down. He has his best years with Barcelona where he won a total of 23 titles. He also played for the Brazilian national team.

 

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Player Feature: Cristiano Ronaldo

Full Name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro 

Birthdate: February 5, 1985

Birthplace: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal 

Current Team: Juventus

Position: Forward, Midfielder (Left)

Shirt number: 7

Years Active: 2001 – present

Key facts and stats

  • Appeared on more than 803 matches
  • Had a total of 601 goals
  • Golden Boot awardee in 2018-19 (EPL)
  • 2x Player of the Season (EPL)
  • 4x Player of the Month (EPL)
  • Serie A MVP
  • 37% shooting accuracy

Cristiano Ronaldo started playing football professionally in 2002, although he was already a part of the Portugal national team from 2001. He currently captains the Portugal team.

He started playing for Sporting Clube de Portugal B as a reserve in 2002 then, as a senior player the following year. He moved on to Manchester United when he was just 18 years old and Real Madrid from 2003 to 2009 and 2009 to 2018, respectively. In 2018, he transferred to Juventus.

His 2009 transfer from Manchester United to Real Madrid has been one of the most expensive transfers in the world of football worth £80 million ($97 million) then. He broke this record when he signed up with Juventus with a transfer worth £100 million ($121 million). It was the highest-paid amount for a football player older than 30 years old. 

Hailed as one of the greatest football players of all time, Ronaldo has a total of 803 league appearances in a total of 17 leagues and cups. His most appearances are in La Liga (292), Premier League (196), and Champions League (162).

He scored the most goals at La Liga with 311, followed by Champions League with 126. He only had 84 goals so far for playing at the Premier League. He had a total of 601 goals as of 2018-19 season. Ronaldo is also the highest goalscorer of all-time among European players.

Ronaldo’s Premier League performance is widely received especially his last three seasons with the United. He had three championships and four Player of the Month awards. He was given the Golden Boot in the 2007-08 season, which means he was the leading goalscorer overall of that season. Ronaldo was also a two-time Player of the Season from 2006 to 2008.

He has a total of 29 trophies that include six league titles. Ronaldo has five Ballon d’Or awards; the most any European player has. He received his first Ballon d’Or when he was just 22 years old. He also had the most European Golden Shoe awards. Ronaldo was the current Serie A Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Ronaldo is known as an indirect set-piece threat. He likes to cut inside and do layoffs. Ronaldo has a solid finishing despite his very weak offside awareness. He dribbles, passes, and holds to the ball, but his defensive contributions are on the weaker side. He has a shooting accuracy of 37%.

The highest-paid athlete, Ronaldo’s popularity as a premier football player is evident in his influence on the youth. He has a celebrity status and compels the likes of Forbes to include him on its 100 most influential people worldwide list in 2014.

He has more than 170 million followers on Instagram – the most followed to date.

 

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