Whilst many players will go through their entire career without getting their hands on any major silverware, there are others who have been lucky enough to appear for big clubs where winning trophies is a regular part of life. And, of course, they have more than done their part by continuing to maintain their form until deep into their careers.
There may be some dispute as to what constitutes a trophy for this purpose, but it is generally considered to include major domestic and continental competitions, plus significant tournament wins with their countries.
Here are some players who had to have a bigger trophy cabinet built in their houses to store all the winners’ medals they accumulated in their careers.
Footballers with most trophies ever
Lionel Messi (42)
Having led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar, Messi has not only cemented his reputation as one of the best players in the history of the game, but he has also equalled the record for the number of trophies won, by collecting the one he coveted above all others.
However, despite his glittering career with Barcelona, where he won every honour possible several times, and his subsequent time with PSG, where he added to his medal collection, it looked like they only international trophy he would win was the under-20 World Cup.
However, having been a beaten finalist three times, he finally lifted the Copa América in 2021, and now he has added the World Cup to his trophy cabinet.
With PSG set to win the league again in France, he may hold the record by himself by the end of this season.
Dani Alves (42)
A peer of Messi at Barcelona, Brazilian full-back Alves left the Catalan club with 23 major trophies, including three Champions League and six La Liga titles. He subsequently won more with Juventus, PSG and Sao Paolo, whilst, with Brazil, he picked up the Confederations Cup twice), the Copa América and the under-20 World Cup.
Still going at the age of 39, he was part of the Brazil squad at the Qatar World Cup, and is now playing his club football in Mexico.
Andrés Iniesta (39)
Another player closely associated with Barcelona in their pomp, Iniesta also formed the fulcrum of the Spanish midfield, alongside Xavi, that helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010, and back to back European Championships either side of that. He also won UEFA Championships at under 17 and under 19 level.
After his glittering career in Catalonia came to an end, he chose to move to Japan with Vissel Kobe, with whom he has won both the Japanese Cup and Super Cup.
Former left-back Maxwell played for Cruzeiro, Ajax, Inter Milan, Barcelona, and PSG, winning trophies at each of them. Arguably his greatest success came with Barcelona where he won the Champions League, and the Club World Cup, although it was his spell in France that was the most productive in terms of silverware.
Despite that he had a disappointing international career with Brazil and only earned 10 senior caps for them.
Gerard Piqué (37)
Barcelona defender Piqué announced his retirement from the game at the end of last year, but he did so as one of the most decorated footballers in the history of the game.
It helped that, like Messi, Alves and Iniesta, he was part of the most successful club side for almost a decade, and that he was a fixture in the Spain side that won the World Cup in 2010, and two European Championships either side of it.
And, although he only played for Manchester United a short time, he still collected two winners’ medals from his time in England. His haul included 8 La Liga titles, 4 Champions League successes, and 3 Club World Cups.
Ryan Giggs (36)
Although, Ryan Giggs has become infamous in the UK for his recent legal problems that should not tarnish his legacy on the field with Manchester United where he became the most decorated player in the history of English football.
He retired having won a 13 Premier League titles under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson, two Champions League and numerous domestic cups.
The only thing missing from his trophy cabinet were any major trophies won with his country, having chosen to play for Wales – he was also eligible to appear for England – a nation that are amongst the also rans of world football.
Kenny Dalglish (35)
Giggs just edged out Dalglish in terms of major trophies won.
The Scot had already enjoyed a highly successful career with Celtic, winning four league and four Scottish Cups, by the time that he joined Liverpool in 1977.
But he was to reach even greater heights on Merseyside, where he won six First Division titles, and the European Cup three times, scoring the winner in the 1978 final at Wembley.
He would go on to win even more honours as a manager. They include league titles and FA Cups with Liverpool, and the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers.
Like Giggs, had he played for a more prominent football nation, he might have won even more.
Vitor Baia (34)
Although goalkeeper Baia had a brief spell with Barcelona where he won the league title and two Copa del Reys, and the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, he is best remembered for his long career with Porto, where he enjoyed his greatest successes.
They included ten league titles, five Portuguese Cups and being part of the team managed by Jose Mourinho that won the Champions League in 2004, and the UEFA Cup the previous year.
Cristiano Ronaldo (34)
Whilst Ronaldo continues to dominate the headlines on and off the pitch, he can also reflect on his numerous winners’ medals, garnered with Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, as well as with the Portuguese national side, with whom he won the European Championship and the inaugural Nations League.
His haul includes five Champions League winners’ medals and four Club World Cups, and, now that he has moved to Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, he will be aiming to add to his collection before he retires.