Greatest players never to win a club trophy

1966

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I was just thinking about how Harry Kane would undoubtedly be the GOAT of this category (probably by quite some distance) if he hypothetically stayed at Spurs until the end with nothing to show for it.

I'm struggling to think of other players on a remotely similar level who never won any club honours whatsoever.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm even interested in great players who never won their respective league trophy (maybe just an FA Cup or equivalent).
 

roonster09

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I was just thinking about how Harry Kane would undoubtedly be the GOAT of this category (probably by quite some distance) if he hypothetically stayed at Spurs until the end with nothing to show for it.

I'm struggling to think of other players on a remotely similar level who never won any club honours whatsoever.

Anyone have any suggestions? I'm even interested in great players who never won their respective league trophy (maybe just an FA Cup or equivalent).
Will the Belgian league count? If that doesnt count then Lukaku.

Also Matt Le Tissier
 

Adisa

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Le Tissier. I think it's a bit of an oxymoron. You have to win something to be referred to as a great player.
 

roonster09

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Just at club level,
Marco Reus won 1 domestic cup, De Rossi won 2 domestic cups
 

1966

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Le Tissier. I think it's a bit of an oxymoron. You have to win something to be referred to as a great player.
So Kane wouldn't be a great player even if he smashed the PL all-time record just because his club wasn't good enough to win anything?
 

SilentWitness

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Baines was at least in the top 3 LBs in the league for a good 5 years (2010-15). Was in TOTY in 11-12 and 12-13 when he was arguably one of the best in the world.

During the 2012–13 season, Baines created 116 chances for his teammates,[16] more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.[citation needed] When 2013's PFA Premier League Team of the Year was announced, Baines was again included,[17] and he also won Everton's Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season awards.[18] Baines was the only outfield player to have played in every minute of every Premier League match during the season.[16]
 

roonster09

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Paul McGrath - 1 FA cup and 2 league cups.
Hamsik - 2 domestic cups.
 

roonster09

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Fortunately or unfortunately, Shearer has won only 1 league. Apart from that nothing.

Also Kane might do a Batistuta, play his peak years for the club where he was loved then move to club where he can win few trophies.
 

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Just at club level,
Marco Reus won 1 domestic cup, De Rossi won 2 domestic cups
Yeah Reus is a good shout, the 2017 cup win spoiled his record. De Rossi at least also has the 2006 WC (although I dont think he played?), Reus tragically missed out in 2014 because of an injury.

Bernd Schneider was the first that came to my mind. Although probably not well known outside of Germany because he played during the dark days of German football, he was a brilliant player who tragically came short basically all the time. From wikipedia:
Club
Bayer Leverkusen
International
Germany
Thats 2nd place in every relevant trophy for a football player there is. League, Cup, Champions League and World Cup.
 

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Stanley Matthews - 1 FA Cup (however the FA Cup had way higher prestige back then compared to today)
Gordon Banks - 2 League Cups
Tom Finney - Nothing
 

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Not the answer to your question as they’re merely good players rather than great, but Jermaine Defoe and Shay Given both are players synonymous with the Premier League era but neither ever won an honour in their careers.
 

Lay

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Yeah Reus is a good shout, the 2017 cup win spoiled his record. De Rossi at least also has the 2006 WC (although I dont think he played?), Reus tragically missed out in 2014 because of an injury.

Bernd Schneider was the first that came to my mind. Although probably not well known outside of Germany because he played during the dark days of German football, he was a brilliant player who tragically came short basically all the time. From wikipedia:
Club
Bayer Leverkusen
International
Germany
Thats 2nd place in every relevant trophy for a football player there is. League, Cup, Champions League and World Cup.
De Rossi played an hour in the final
 

RedRob

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Until last year, Huntelaar would have been on this list - only won the Eredivise in 2018/19 at the ripe age of 35.
As is, Dries Mertens has to be in with a shout. Napoli's top scorer, Belgian player of the year a few years back, and only a few cup medals from PSV and Napoli to show for it.
 

GDaly95

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Everyone is naming players who've won trophies :lol:

I can't think of a trophyless great myself to be fair.
 

Rasendori

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I'm even interested in great players who never won their respective league trophy (maybe just an FA Cup or equivalent).
Harry Kane has thus far played in a league is widely considered to be the best, if not one of the best league in the world. Top goalscorer in Premier League on two occasions in a league which boasts the likes of Aguero, Sanchez, Vardy, Lukaku, Mahrez, Diego Costa, Zlatan. The second occasion being a season which he managed to score 29 goals in 29 starts and one substitute appearance which is the highest goals-to-games ratio to win the award.

For me, Harry Kane's best performance which he didn't score

Similarly, Signori managed to win the golden boot in a league which at the time was unequivocally the best in the world. A league which boasted the likes of Baggio, Sosa, Marco van Basten, Bastiutita, Fonsenca, Mancini, Zola, Gullit, Chiesa, Bierhoff.

His trophy cabinet at club level consists of UEFA Intertoto Cup and the Serie B

Of course, he was a player that offered far more than goals as prolific as he was. His elusiveness, and individual brilliance made him a sight to behold.

 

TMDaines

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Kane's only 26 and evolving his game. He's probably got at least half of his career to address this!
 

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Krasimir Balakov was a terrific midfielder who only won 1 german cup in his career.
 

njred

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Kane's only 26 and evolving his game. He's probably got at least half of his career to address this!
Kane has never won anything? Hard to believe. I really thought Spurs won something. This is without googling it of course.
 

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Nat Lofthouse? Not sure on that on that but I don't think he won anything.

Edit: I was wrong - '58 Cup final, beating United of course.

I'd imagine there's a few from that kind of era though, proper old school legends when players didn't move around as much. I see Tom Finney got a mention, won division two but that was it.
 
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Kasper

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De Rossi played an hour in the final
Cheers, somehow thought he was just a squad player that tournament.
Until last year, Huntelaar would have been on this list - only won the Eredivise in 2018/19 at the ripe age of 35.
As is, Dries Mertens has to be in with a shout. Napoli's top scorer, Belgian player of the year a few years back, and only a few cup medals from PSV and Napoli to show for it.
Huntelaar won the German Cup with Schalke in 2011. But sort of a good example, crazy that someone who played for Real Madrid, AC Milan and Schalke just has just won a single cup trophy.
 

Kasper

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Hansa Rostock / Bradford City
Another good one (if we discount the Dutch and Daenish leagues):

Van der Vaart.
Played 12 seasons in Germany, Spain and England and won nothing. Also became vice world champion in 2010.
 

duffer

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Another good one (if we discount the Dutch and Daenish leagues):

Van der Vaart.
Played 12 seasons in Germany, Spain and England and won nothing. Also became vice world champion in 2010.
That's not a thing!
 

harms

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Tom Finney hadn’t won anything, literally, although his horrible Preston side got in a couple of FA Cup finals and finished runners up twice (if I remember it correctly, those numbers may vary slightly). He’s one of the greatest players that England had ever produced – arguably top-5, and he is also one of the very few footballers to be knighted (Charlton, Matthews, Finney, Hurst - that’s it, I think?).

Preston - West Bromwich FA Cup final was literally painful to watch, you have Finney (apparently, injured) playing like Lionel Messi and then there are 10 other Preston players, who wouldn’t even get a professional contract today.

Edit: he had won a second division title, but I don’t count that. Twice FWA footballer of the year as well.
 

Kasper

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That's not a thing!
:lol: You're right of course, it's been a long day already. To my defense, I was checking his German Wikipedia page where "Vize-Weltmeister" is listed as one of his acolytes (in German it is commonly used in sport terms, Vizepräsident is also vice president etc.).

Anyway, not gonna listen to someone who uses disimproved as a legit term.
 

Invictus

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Anyone have any suggestions? I'm even interested in great players who never won their respective league trophy (maybe just an FA Cup or equivalent).
Probably Bobby Moore for this refined criteria. Won the FA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup at West Ham, but no First Division or NASL titles. Quite a few English legends qualify with this specific yardstick, come to think of it — Stanley Matthews was mentioned previously, and there's also Gordon Banks (only ever won the League Cup at Stoke and Leicester).

From the ones who haven't been mentioned for the “didn't win anything at club level” category, I'd nominate Thomas Haßler. Lost a Coppa Italia final at Roma, lost a DFB Pokal final at Karlsruher, lost a UEFA Cup final at Cologne and also twice runner up in the Bundesliga. As unlucky as @Kasper's suggestion, Bernd Schneider. Did win the 1990 World Cup and EURO 1996, though, and made 100+ appearances for the Mannschaft — so I guess it all evens out in the grand scheme of things, and he shouldn't have too many regrets!


:drool:
 

balaks

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Kane has never won anything? Hard to believe. I really thought Spurs won something. This is without googling it of course.
He is the proud owner of an Audi Cup winners medal I'll have you know. Ermm..
 

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Former Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz, 18th on the all-time goalscoring charts in La Liga, never won more than the Spanish equivalent of the Community Shield.