The most successful football clubs from Europe’s top four leagues revealed – ranked by total trophies won

30 May

Real Madrid’s 2016 Champions League final victory marked the club’s record 11th success in the European Cup.


It’s Real’s second Champions League win in the past three seasons, as they succeed rivals Barcelona as European champions.

But Real have claimed just one Spanish league title since 2008, while Barca have won six in that time, and the Catalan club scooped the domestic double this season.

So which club is Europe’s most successful in terms of trophies won?

Elsewhere around Europe this season, Bayern Munich claimed the German league and cup double, while Juventus did likewise in Italy.

In England, Manchester United won their first major honour since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, lifting the FA Cup, but can any of these clubs claim to be the most successful in Europe?

We wanted to know which club has won the most trophies in European football.

It’s not exactly a straightforward question to answer, because opinions differ over what should constitute a trophy.

For example, by most people’s assumptions Arsenal failed to win a trophy in the season just passed, but the Gunners actually lifted the Community Shield last August, so does that success go on their honours list?

In the past, one-off contests such as the Shield have been dismissed when it comes to trophy tallies, but these events – often known as ‘Super Cups’ – appear to be growing in prestige across the continent.

For the purposes of simply counting the number of trophies won, we have included such competitions, although debate will continue to rage as to their relative merits.

Additionally, we have restricted our ranking to clubs from the top four league competitions in Europe: England, Spain, Germany and Italy. These countries are historically the most dominant in European competition and, therefore, we have adjudged their domestic competitions to be the toughest to win.

If we left it open to clubs from any European league, the result would see Scotland’s Rangers come out on top, with Northern Ireland’s Linfield in second and Scotland’s Celtic in third. But we are more interested in finding out who’s the cream of the cream.

So take a look at the ranking above to see which clubs feature and let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Competitions included: All UEFA competitions bar the Intertoto Cup (but including the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup), the Intercontinental Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup, domestic top division titles, main domestic cups and League Cups (now defunct in Germany and Spain and never competed for in Italy, but held since the 1960s in England), and domestic ‘Super Cups’ (known in England as the Community Shield).

All statistics correct on 29 May 2016.

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