There is no better feeling in the world than winning. Achieving a major trophy victory is the goal of all professional players, and yet the majority go their whole careers without winning one.
For the purposes of this article we will consider major honours as trophies won at any club in Europe’s top 5 leagues (Spain, France, England, Spain, and France), as well as senior international honours.
34 Major Honours – Gerard Pique
Coming in at joint 3rd, Pique has won most of his trophies at Barcelona but also bagged himself three honours at Manchester United before making the move to the continent. The centre backs honours include 8 La Liga’s, 6 Copa del Rey’s and 4 Champions Leagues. Pique is also a World Cup and European Championship winner.
34 Major Honours – Ryan Giggs
Giggs also comes in at joint 3rd, having won the same number of honours as Messi and Pique. Now retired, the Welshman spent his whole career at Manchester United, winning a record 13 premier league titles as well as 4 FA Cups and 2 Champions Leagues.
The current Wales manager, who also happens to be the only player on this list not to play for Barcelona, is the only one of the three players in joint 3rd to have retired. With Messi and Pique both still playing at the top level, it is likely Giggs will soon drop from joint 3rd on this list to outright 5th.
34 Major Honours – Lionel Messi
Currently level with Giggs and Pique is one of the greatest players ever to play the game, Lionel Messi. The Argentine has won 33 major honours at Barcelona as well as a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics with Argentina. Messi’s extensive list of honours includes an impressive 10 La Liga titles, 6 Copa del Rey’s, 4 Champions Leagues. Despite this, one of the major criticisms of Messi remains his inability to win major honours on the international stage, having never managed to win a World Cup or Copa America with his national side.
Despite now being 34, Messi is still easily one of the best and richest soccer players in the world and whether it be at Barcelona or elsewhere you can guarantee that he will add to his major title’s in years to come
35 Major Honours – Andres Iniesta
Just sneaking into 2nd place, Iniesta has won everything there is to win in Spain and on the international stage. All the Spaniards major club honours were won at Barcelona and include 9 La Liga titles, 6 Copa del Rey’s, 4 Champions Leagues. Iniesta boasts the most international honours on this list, having won 2 European Championships and 1 World Cup.
At 36 years old and now plying his trade in Japan, it is highly unlikely that Iniesta will be able to add to his honours and may well see himself tumbling down the order in years to come.
40 Major Honours – Dani Alves
Miles clear of the rest of the field is 3 times Champions League winner Dani Alves. The Brazilian has won major honours at 4 separate clubs, with most of them coming at Barcelona. Alves’ major honours include winning three out of Europe’s top 5 leagues: La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1. Although the full back did win a Copa America with Brazil, he will have major regrets that the one honour he failed to achieve is the coveted World Cup.
The five players on this list are truly the envy of world football, between them they have won 177 major honours. Dani Alves is way out on his own as the most decorated player of all time. Whether anyone will ever be able to eclipse this total is a question only time can answer.