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Which players have won the most UEFA Champions League titles? List of all-time most trophies in European Cup history | Sporting News Australia

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An observation — perhaps a criticism — of the modern UEFA Champions League is that it throws up many of the usual suspects to battle for glory year in and year out.

Real Madrid met Dortmund in the 2024 final on June 1, as two of Europe’s grandest old clubs faced each other in the biggest club competition of them all. Dortmund’s progress to the final may have been somewhat of a shock, but this was still their third appearance in the title match.

For Real, Saturday’s win in London marked a record-extending 15th overall European crown.

On the other hand, the familiar sight of the usual suspects in the latter stages of the competition year after year does mean a steady diet of the very best players playing in the biggest games. This in turn creates the conditions for multiple winners.

So, which player has the most winners’ medals in the history of the Champions League and European Cup, its predecessor? We unpack things in the list below. 

MORE: The all-time top goal scorers in UEFA Champions League history

Which players have won the most Champions League titles?

Cristiano Ronaldo? Gareth Bale? Karim Benzema? No, not quite, although they do feature prominently on the all-time list.

Pretty unsurprisingly, the overall rankings are dominated by Real Madrid, after their concentrated periods of success in the 1950s and 2010s. And their victory over Dortmund means a handful of players from the current Madrid crop of megastars have now taken their place at the top of the all-time list.

The Madridistas leading the way are Dani Carvajal whose goal in the final helped win the trophy in 2024 — and Paco Gento, the left-winger in the side that won each of the first five European Cups. Gento was then the only man remaining from that team of galacticos, before galacticos were a thing, when Madrid came from behind to beat Partizan in the 1966 final.

The ageless Luka Modric is also celebrating his sixth overall crown, after coming on as a late substitute in the 2024 final. 

Before the 2024 showpiece, nobody else other than Gento had won this famous trophy six times, but Carvajal and Modric have now joined that exclusive list with a six wins, and six winning appearances playing in the final.

MORE: Which coaches have won the Champions League title the most?

Behind them are two other players from the 2024 Madrid vintage who have now moved onto six overall triumphs, although neither of them have appeared in every winning final. This is where a key differential comes in over whether a person is simply a Champions League winner or played in a Champions League final win. 

Toni Kroos can now head off into retirement from club football having played in all five Madrid final successes during his time in the Spanish capital, but he was sidelined through injury when Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in 2013.

Likewise, Nacho joined Gento as a six-time winner with Madrid this season, although he only played in the 2018 final and the 2024 triumph.

Players with most European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles

Player Club Overall Titles Winning finals played 
Paco Gento Real Madrid 6 6
Dani Carvajal Real Madrid 6 6
Luka Modric Real Madrid 6 6
Toni Kroos Bayern Munich, Real Madrid 6 5
Nacho Real Madrid 6 2
Juan Alonso Real Madrid 5 5
Alfredo Di Stefano Real Madrid 5 5
Rafael Lesmes Real Madrid 5 5
Marquitos Real Madrid 5 5
Hector Rial Real Madrid 5 5
Jose Maria Zarraga Real Madrid 5 5
Karim Benzema Real Madrid  5 5
Cristiano Ronaldo Manchester United, Real Madrid 5 5
Paolo Maldini AC Milan 5 5
Casemiro Real Madrid 5 4
Gareth Bale Real Madrid 5 4
Isco Real Madrid 5 4
Marcelo Real Madrid 5 4
Alessandro Costacurta AC Milan 5 3
Lucas Vazquez Real Madrid 5 2
Andres Iniesta Barcelona 4 4
Sergio Ramos Real Madrid 4 4
Clarence Seedorf Ajax, Real Madrid, AC Milan 4 4
Lionel Messi Barcelona 4 3
Xavi Barcelona 4 3
Gerard Pique Manchester United, Barcelona 4 3
Raphael Varane Real Madrid 4 3
Mateo Kovacic Real Madrid, Chelsea 4 1

It’s a similar tale for Lionel Messi and Xavi, who were integral to each of Barcelona’s 2009, 2011 and 2015 successes but did not play in the 2006 final against Arsenal, which the Catalans also won. Gerard Pique also starred in those latter three Barca wins, having picked up his first medal as a squad member at Manchester United in 2008.

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