Football is a beautiful game with fans from every corner of the world. Whether you live a 2 minute walk away from your team’s stadium or stay up until 5am to watch them, there’s no doubting fans’ commitment to their teams. This commitment is vital to a club’s success, money is great but you need both money and a loyal fanbase to become successful.
This list will comprise the most successful European football clubs of all time, updated for 2018 and from Europe’s top 5 leagues.
Some clubs have grown in stature while others have waned, you’ll be hard pressed to find a list full of European super-clubs like these!
Having taken over the number 10 spot from my dearly beloved Liverpool, Juventus have won Serie A 7 times in a row and show no sign of stopping any time soon. Still very much the Italian giants, the guys over at Turin are taking advantage of the failures of their domestic rivals to win every local trophy they can get their hands on. They’re no slouch in Europe either, remaining a heavy-weight European club, feared by almost every team in the world!
9. Manchester United
England’s most successful football club, Manchester United are a worldwide phenomenon and arguably the biggest club in the world. The reign of Sir Alex Ferguson brought about untold success for the North-West club. Fergie’s departure was widely touted to be the end of the Red Devils but they’ve used the funds from their megaclub status to re-invest in star players. This has proven fairly successful as they’ve won 3 trophies since Fergie retired. They’re still not title challengers again but no one can doubt it won’t be long until they’re back in the top 4.
8. Bayern Munich
The most successful German team takes the number 8 spot on this list. Bayern Munich are a mega club full of superstars and future talent. Their domination of the Bundesliga guarantees any player who joins them will win trophies, this attracts the worlds biggest players and managers. The staff behind the scenes do an incredible job with the Bavarians which contributes heavily to their success.
Ajax are by far the most successful Dutch football club, PSV are the closest rival with 45 trophies. Their youth system is famous for producing bright young talents that go on to become superstars. A considerable amount of football legends have come from the Amsterdam club. Although their key players have continuously been nicked by other European superpowers, their success has continued throughout the years and will do for more years to come.
6. FC Porto
Porto are one of the 2 Portuguese clubs to absolutely dominate the Primiera Division since its inception. They are the record holders for the most Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira trophies as well as the Campeonato de Portugal, which ended in 1938. Before their league winning season in 2017/18, Porto last won a trophy in 2013 but their successful history has rocketed them up this list into 6th.
5. S.L Benfica
The most successful Portuguese football club is currently beating their bitter rivals Porto to trophies season after season. Before 2013, Porto were the most successful but Benfica’s amazing run of success in the past few years have allowed them to leapfrog Porto. During 2014, they managed to win all 4 domestic trophies which is an astonishing feat, even more so when you realise they only conceded 18 goals in the entirety of the 2013/14 season.
4. Real Madrid
Real Madrid are one of the most recognisable and followed clubs in the world. Their constant signings of ‘Galacticos’ have rained down success over the years. They’ve been hauling in trophies since the start of the 20th century!
They currently hold the record for an absolutely insane 13 European Cups. They also hold the record for the most La Liga titles at 33. The Blancos are currently the most expensive team in the world with, for the majority of people, the best player in the world. It won’t be long until they hit the 100 trophy mark.
FC Barcelona could well be the biggest club in the world. They hold numerous records for the likes of the Club World Cup, Copa Del Rey and Supercopa de Espana. This success has gone from generations of home grown talent, world beaters signed from other clubs and great work from the behind-the-scenes staff. Like Real Madrid, Barca are still winning trophies season and after season. It’s a fight between the two La Liga superpowers to hit 100 trophies.
Perhaps a huge surprise to many readers, perhaps a bit obvious to others. Celtic are the only Scottish team ever to win the European Cup. They’ve also won a huge amount of domestic trophies, including 49 League titles, 38 Cup wins and 17 League Cup trophies. They had an outstanding first season under Brendan Rodgers, winning the treble and not losing a single game domestically!
Technically the Rangers club that won the majority of their 116 trophies was liquidated in 2012 but the ‘new’ club is still the same one. Rangers and Celtic have battled fiercly for many years, the Old Firm derby is one of the most famous in world football. They’ve won the treble seven times and hold the record for the most Scottish League titles at 54. Unfortunately, due to their situation after the liquidation, they won’t be at Celtic’s level for a while. Not that it matters, they’ll be the most successful European football club for much longer!