It shouldn’t come as a surprise that in sports, wins count. At the end of the day, if you don’t have anything to show for it, you might be remembered, but your name won’t usually be recorded in history books. The same logic applies to football clubs. But which club is really the best of the best? The creme de la creme.
Starting from the birthplace of football, the title of England’s most cup-rich football club currently belongs to Liverpool, whose trophy cabinet contains 68 trophies. While most of them are listed on Wikipedia, two unique pieces – the Lancashire League and the Football League Super Cup – tend to disappear into the annals of history.
So what are they? Liverpool, founded in 1892, was not admitted to the top English league in its first season, so they had to play in the Lancashire League instead, which they ended up winning. Whereas the Super Cup – an excellent name by the way – was a failed attempt to earn extra money for English clubs in the 1980s, during the era of the European ban. However, the public did not take kindly to it, so it was limited to just one event.
Although Liverpool can boast the largest number of titles, Manchester United is still considered England’s most successful football club, with 20 national championship titles to their name. That’s right, there’s a difference between cups and championships, and the championship always gets the nod as the more acclaimed title.
Real Madrid outshines the others
At the same time, the title of “Europe’s most successful football club” is most often attributed to Real Madrid, who has 14 Champions League trophies to their name. In this regard, no one can match them, as AC Milan trails behind with seven, and Bayern Munich and Liverpool have eight first-place finishes.
Real Madrid is also a strong candidate for the title of Europe’s most cup-rich football club, as in addition to Champions League triumphs, they also have 35 Spanish championships, 19 Spanish cup wins, and another 32 cups, which brings their trophy cabinet to exactly 100 (!).
From the 32, we find serious awards, such as the Spanish Super Cup, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup, as well as a series that most people have never heard of – the Spanish League Cup, which lasted only four years, the Latin Cup, held for nine years, or the Copa Iberoamericana, held only once, which determined the best Spanish and South American cup winners.
Back to Britain!
Nevertheless, the Royal Club of Madrid is not Europe’s most cup-rich football club. The largest trophy cabinets in Europe can be found in Glasgow. In plural.
The Catholic pride and joy, Celtic, has earned a whopping 114 cups in its rich history. This includes 52 Scottish championships, 40 national cup victories, 21 league cup triumphs, and the most valuable of all, the 1966/67 European Cup.
The Protestants, the Rangers supporters, can boast an even more impressive 118 cups. To be precise, they have won 55 Scottish championships, 35 cups, and 27 league cups, plus one very special 1971/72 European Cup win.
Although… walking around Glasgow’s Govan district, you should hold back with the number 118, unless you wish to stir up some arguments with local ultras. While climbing up from the third division of Scotland, the club also picked up all the trophies intended for small clubs, which is why the cup tally of ardent fans is 122 instead.
But if you do find yourself in this situation, remember: you can always convince a Rangers fan that their 55 national championships aren’t a record. Not in Europe or the British Isles. Because on the other side of the Irish Sea is FC Linfield, with 56 Northern Ireland championships to show for it!