Most UEFA Champions League Titles by Player: Making History… Together

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 14.5.2024.


Considering that some more than century-old clubs who are considered giants of football don’t have a single big-eared trophy, the players who have collected them like stamps are truly in a category of their own. When looking at most UEFA Champions League titles by player we have to get some facts straight.

We will be looking at both the Champions League and the European Cup trophies together. After all, we don’t differentiate between the two when we talk about how many trophies the clubs have won, why should the players be different?

Secondly, a lot of former (or current) teammates dominate the list of players with the most Champions League trophies - and that’s not surprising. It’s intuitive - big feats like winning multiple champions of Europe titles require deep familiarity between teammates.

Although, while this list has world-class players, it has to be said that not all of them have been so in their careers. Some squad or fringe players who have been with the same club for years made the rankings by longevity. Not to take away from that massive feat, it too requires some rare skills, like professionalism, being a good influence on the team despite sitting on the bench, career durability…

Not in the slightest because the trophy hasn’t been won by some truly legendary players like Ronaldo R9, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gianluigi Buffon, Francesco Totti…

Francisco Gento - 6 Champions League titles (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966) - Real Madrid

Francisco Gento 1962.jpg
By Unknown author - [1] Dutch National Archives, The Hague, Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 bekijk toegang 2.24.01.04 Bestanddeelnummer 915-6598, CC BY-SA 3.0 nl, Link

Left wing player Francisco Gento, known mostly as Paco Gento, won the Champions League more than any other player. Born in 1933, Gento was a part of the Real Madrid squad that bossed the 1950s and won five straight Champions League titles between 1956 and 1960.

That is, the first five European Cup trophies, as the competition started in the 1955/1956 season. Real first won against Reims 4:3, then against Fiorentina 2:0 with Gento scoring the second goal. Gento was the ultimate hero of Real's third CL trophy with a goal in the 107th minute of extra time against Milan, for the final 3:2. His fourth title came against Reims again, with a score of 2:0, while Real smashed Eintracht Frankfurt for their fifth in a row - 7:3.

Gento's last CL trophy was won in 1966 against Partizan Belgrade, with Los Blancos making a 2:1 comeback win. Famously, Real then went on a 32-year-long drought in the international competition before winning again.


Casemiro


Casemiro - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Marcelo - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Isco - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Karim Benzema - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Gareth Bale - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Nacho Fernandez - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Luka Modric - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid

Daniel Carvajal - 5 Champions League titles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Real Madrid


Luka Modric


A group of eight players won their five total Champions League titles altogether.

Starting with the 4:1 triumph over city rivals Atletico Madrid in extra time, as Gareth Bale and Marcelo scored the second and third goal. The same duo scored in the penalty shootout against the same rival two years later after the game finished 1:1.

Casemiro was one of the scorers in Real's heavy win over Juventus in 2017. While in 2018, Karim Benzema opened the scoring against Liverpool, with Gareth Bale scoring a brace - including the famed scissor kick - for the final 3:1. In 2022, against the same rivals none of these winners went on the scoresheet.

Actually, Nacho only played a final in 2018 when he replaced the injured Carvajal in the 37th minute.

Of course, the tournament doesn’t consist of only the final and all players had a significant impact on the games in these five runs.

Kroos, Nacho, Modric, and Carvajal are still with Real and could join Gento in the six-CLs club if they win against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in 2024.


Toni Kroos


Toni Kroos - 5 Champions League titles (2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2022) - Bayern Munich, Real Madrid

Toni Kroos missed the first Champions League final of his career due to injury, an all-German classic which went to Bayern Munich 2:1 as the Bavarians won their first treble. He however started all the finals in the Champions League-winning seasons with Real Madrid. Aged 34, and still with Real, Kroos is one of the frontrunners for reaching Gento. Perhaps the only one close to surpassing him soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo (5 Champions League titles (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) - Manchester United, Real Madrid

Of course, the best scorer in the history of the competition with 140 goals in 183 games - whilst only scoring his first after the 30th match - had to be on the list. Ronaldo's record in the CL is simply outstanding, as the goalscorer had 48 assists to go with his name. So he has more goal involvements than matches.

Ronaldo won his first CL trophy in 2008 with Manchester United in the famed Moscow final - scoring the opener with a header, after which Chelsea equalised. The game went to penalties and Ronaldo missed his shot, but a John Terry slip and an Edwin van der Sar save made the triumph a reality.

In 2014, Ronaldo put the final nail in the 4:1 extra time trashing of Atleti, after a game the club was losing for the most part. From a penalty in the 120th minute.

CR7 excuses himself individually for the missed penalty with United by scoring the winner against Atleti in 2016's shootout.

His best performance in the final was against Juventus in 2017, when he equalised the score and then extended the lead to 3:1 in a total 4:1 trashing.

Ronaldo last won the trophy in 2018 against LFC, making his cut amongst footballers with Most UEFA Champions League titles.

Alessandro Costacurta - 5 Champions League trophies (1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007) - Milan

Paolo Maldini - 5 Champions League trophies (1989, 1990, 1994, 2003, 2007) - Milan


Paolo Maldini


Winners in three different decades, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini were partners in defence for their five total Champions League trophies. Playing side by side often. Witnessing many formation and style changes together.

The first two trophies they won were under the European Cup format. Firstly, Steaua Bucharest was defeated 4:0, then the next year Benfica lost with a minimal score.

Another 4:0 trashing happened in 1994 when Barcelona suffered a barrage. Costacurta was suspended for the match.

He played from the start in 2003 in the right-back position, after a goalless draw Milan won the all-Italian final via penalties.

Costacurta wasn't in the match squad for the 2007 final, a revenge to Liverpool served with a 2:1 presentation. He retired after that match.

Maldini was the captain for the last two finals won.

The duo played two more CL finals together, coming agonisingly close against LFC in 2005, and losing the 1995 final to a future teammate.

Clarence Seedorf 2021.jpg
By ?????? ?????????? - https://www.soccer.ru/galery/1287369/photo/932368, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Clarence Seedorf - 5 Champions League trophies (1995, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007) - Ajax, Real Madrid, Milan

The only player who has won the Champions League with three different clubs.

Firstly with Ajax in 1995 against his future club Milan with a minimal score - 1:0.

Seedorf started the 1998 final against Juventus which Real won 1:0 with the Predrag Mijatovic lone goal.

In the 1999/2000 season, he made the winter switch to Inter, yet he still gets the credit for a Real triumph as he played games in that campaign.

For his fourth triumphant year in 2003 against Juventus with Milan, Seedorf missed in the penalty shootout but it didn't cost him dearly. Winning again in 2007 against LFC.

For his fourth triumphant year in 2003 against Juventus with Milan, Seedorf missed in the penalty shootout but it didn't cost him dearly. Winning again in 2007 against LFC.

Rafael Lesmes - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

Enrique Mateos - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

Alfredo di Stefano - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

Jose Maria Zarraga - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

Hector Rial - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

Marquitos - 5 Champions League trophies (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960) - Real Madrid

All teammates' of Paco Gento for his first five European Cup/Champions League trophies, yet none were present for the 1966 triumph.

Of course, none bigger than Alfredo di Stefano, who scored in the 1956 final, alongside Marquitos, and Rial, who bagged a brace.

In 1957 Gento and Di Stefano were scorers against Fiorentina. The same duo was helped by Rial in the following year against Milan.

Di Stefano was one of the two scorers in the second final against Reims.

He bagged a hat-trick in the 7:3 thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt in the final triumph of the streak but was outdone by Ferenc Puskas' poker.

There are many players with four Champions League trophies won.

Aged 30 and playing for Manchester City, Mateo Kovacic is a frontrunner to join the five CL titles club. The Croat won three with Real Madrid and one with Chelsea.

Lucas Vazquez is the only other still active player who has four Champions League titles, winning in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2022. As he is still with Real, he could reach the five club in May of 2024.

Marco Asensio (28) and David Alaba (31) are the only other active players with three Champions League titles who are still in their prime and could expand on the cabinet. Considering they represent Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.




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