Club football (soccer) is a game widely dominated by European football clubs. This comes as no surprise as they deliver much of the thrill, action and entertainment from football games. Aside from that, another imperative factor which makes European football clubs one of the most recognized globally is the presence of a majority of the world’s top football stars in European football leagues. Though Europe is home to some of the most successful football clubs in the world, the most successful club, however, is not Europe based. This has inspired us to bring to light the top-10 most successful football/soccer clubs in the world.
It comes as no surprise that in international tournaments, most exceptional players with incredible wits are often based in Europe. In recent years, the rise of youngsters many believe will dominate football as the dusk of the Ronaldo–Messi rivalry draws closer have been largely based in Europe. While Europe boasts of the best and most formidable teams in the world, in any conversation about the most successful clubs in the world, European football clubs most often dominate the conversation. We hope this article corrects the widely held opinion that European football clubs are the most successful globally. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
The top-10 most successful football/soccer clubs in the world – Ranked based on trophies won:
10. Olympiacos F.C.
The Greek football club, Olympiacos F.C. is not a football club fans will recognize globally, but the Athens based club has won a lot of trophies, more than most prominent European football clubs. In 94 years, the club has emerged as the most successful Greek football club. They have won the Super League (Greece), 44 times, the Greek Cup, 27 times and the Greek Super Cup, four times. Olympiacos has won 75 trophies, which ranks them as the 10th most successful club in the world.
9. FC Porto
Primeira Liga club, FC Porto is by far one of the most successful clubs in Europe and the 9th most successful globally. The success the club has had in its 126 years of existence is wonderful. Porto was once a force several football clubs in Europe contended with. Still a force, a dominant force in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, Porto is not slowing down. The club ranks as the second most decorated Portuguese football club in the overall success and in the international scene. Porto has won 76 trophies. Of this, they have emerged Primeira Liga champions 28 times, Taça de Portugal champions 16 times, Campeonato de Portugal champions 4 times and Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira champions 21 times. Porto has won the UEFA Champions League on two occasions and the UEFA Europa League twice. They have also claimed the UEFA Super Cup once and the abolished International Cup twice.
8. S.L. Benfica
A prestigious member of the ‘Big Three’ clubs that dominate the Portuguese based Primeira Liga, Benfica is one of the oldest clubs in the world that ranks as one of the most successful clubs. In its 115 years of existence, Benfica has not only established itself as one of the top clubs in Portugal but also in Europe. Benfica has won 84 trophies, making them the most successful Portuguese club. Benfica has won the Primeira Liga 37 times, the Taça de Portugal 26 times, the Taça da Liga 7 times, the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira 8 times and the Campeonato de Portugal 3 times. Benfica has claimed the UEFA Champions League twice and the Latin Cup, once.
7. Real Madrid
Laliga giant, Real Madrid has had a really glamorous football record. The team rated as one of the best teams in the world in terms of performance has seen incredible players widely recognized as the best in the world feature in its team. Los Blancos has existed for 117 years, and in the course of those years, Madrid has accumulated about 91 trophies. Real Madrid on 33 occasions has claimed the Laliga, the Copa del Rey on 19 occasions, the Supercopa de España on 11 occasions, the Copa Eva Duarte once and the Copa de la Liga once. Real Madrid has also won the UEFA Champions League 13 times, the Europa League two times, the UEFA Super Cup four times and the UEFA Club World Cup seven times.
Another Laliga club which made the list, Barcelona is undoubtedly a prominent side in world club football. Just like domestic rivals Real Madrid, the side has seen many of the best names in football play for its team. Barcelona ranks as the most successful Spanish football club. They have won the Laliga 26 times, the Copa del Rey 30 times, the Supercopa de España 13 times, the Copa Eva Duarte 3 times and the Copa de la Liga, two times. Barcelona has also won the UEFA Champions League 5 times, the UEFA Super Cup 5 times, the abolished UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup 4 times and the abolished Inter-Cities Fairs Cup 3 times. Barcelona who has also won the FIFA Club World Cup on 3 occasions has amassed a total of 94 trophies.
5. Celtic F.C.
Though they may not be a major contender in European football, Celtic is one of the five teams in the world to have won over 100 trophies, a feat none of the major contenders in European club football has achieved. In 132 years of existence, Celtic have won 108 trophies, of which 50 came from the domestic Scottish football championship, 39 from the Scottish Cup and 19 from the Scottish League Cup widely known as Betfred Cup.
One of the toughest football clubs in the Uruguayan domestic football league, Peñarol is indeed a really tough team. The club which has been in existence for about 128 years, is one of the most successful football teams in South America. They have won the Uruguayan Primera División 50 times and the Copa Libertadores five times. The team which is one of two Uruguayan football team never to have experienced relegation has won as much as 108 trophies, several of which are recognized by CONMEBOL and FIFA.
Uruguayan football team, Nacional, is widely recognized as one of the two dominant teams in the Uruguayan domestic football league. The team which has been in existence for 120 years, toughly contends with domestic rivals Peñarol, for the title of the best Uruguayan football club. Nacional is one of two teams, the second being Peñarol, who have never been relegated from the Primera División. Nacional trails behind Peñarol, for most Primera División, wins, with 47. They have also won the Copa de Competencia, 8 times and the Copa de Honor, 7 times. In total, Nacional has won as much as 114 trophies.
2. Rangers F.C.
The Scottish football club, Rangers, holds the record for the second-highest trophy won by a football club in the world. Rangers who constantly contend with domestic rivals, Celtic to increase its trophies record has been in existence for 147 years, longer than that of Celtic. Rangers have won 115 trophies. They hold the record for the most trebles in a league. 54 times, Rangers has won the Scottish domestic league, they have also won the Scottish Cup 33 times, and the Scottish League Cup 27 times. Rangers won the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once.
1. Al Ahly SC
From Africa, precisely Egypt, Cairo based Al Ahly is the most successful club in the world with 120 trophies. The club which is one of the most dominant clubs in Africa was established 112 years ago. Since then they have dominated the Egyptian Premier League and that has spread to the CAF Confederations Cup and various tournaments in the Arab world. Al Ahly has won the Egyptian Premier League 41 times, the Egyptian Cup 36 times, Egyptian Super Cup 11 times, Sultan Hussein Cup 7 times and Egyptian Confederation Cup once. In continental tournaments, they have won the CAF Champions League 8 times, CAF Cup Winners’ Cup 4 times, CAF Confederation Cup once and CAF Super Cup 4 times. Aside from this, Al Alhy has won several tournaments worldwide.
There you have it—our ranking of the world’s most successful football/soccer clubs. What do you think? Please share with us in the comment section below.