It’s much easier to discuss football’s great players when you have the titles and track-records to back up your claims. On the other side, there are players who deserve the spotlight but whose trophy cabinets stay empty. Whether it’s because of one-club loyalty or wrong-place-wrong-time, today we take a look at those top footballers who never won a trophy.
4 great footballers who never won a trophy
The eighth-highest scorer in Premier League history, Jermain Defoe is first on our list of footballers who never won a trophy; a surprising statistic for a man with over 800 senior appearances.
Despite a trophy-less 22 years in professional football, Defoe still holds onto numerous personal accolades. Number eight on the Premier League’s all-time top scorers list (162 goals in 496 games), as well as holding the record for most goals scored as a substitute which might take some of the sting off.
One of Spur’s leading goalscorers, Defoe narrowly missed out on his chance to lift the League Cup in 2008 but was left high and dry due to being cup-tied following a move to Portsmouth. He did get his winners medal some ten years later though, but does that really count?
Matt Le Tissier
One of the one-club greats, Matt Le Tissier had the perfect combination of low-effort-maximum-impact, with a knack for pulling out a screamer from absolutely nowhere.
Cool, calm and collected from the 12-yard spot, Le Tissier was as clinical at penalties as they come, only missing 1 out of 48 spot kicks across his whole career.
A lifetime with The Saints, and without a title to show for it, he still managed to lay claim to some highlight-reel special finishes. If we had to pick three: his 40-yard goal of the season in ‘95, that beautiful outside of the box chip over Schmeichel in ‘96 and the half-volley free-kick against Wimbledon in ‘94.
Antonio Di Natale
It’s rare to see a player get better with age. Rarer so for that same player to turn down the likes of both Milan and Juventus, but Antonio Di Natale isn’t like other footballers.
A natural leader with pace, precision and an eye for goal, Di Natale served as Udinese captain for 9 years until his retirement in 2016. Multiple time Serie A top goalscorer and with over 250 goals in his career, the closest he came to a trophy was in the 2012 Euros where Italy finished in second place.
Di Natale was a life-time Zebrette fan-favourite, on more than occasion he remarked that his time at Udinese meant more to him than the money he could make playing elsewhere, and in a sport so dominated by lapses in loyalty, we say hats off to you Di Natale.
A career littered with more controversies than international caps, Stan Collymore’s natural talent and presence on the pitch have always been marred with an air of “what could have been.”
His twenty-two-year playing career saw him feature for the likes of Southend, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and Leicester but his most notable periods came with early stints at both Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.
The infamous ‘white suits’ FA Cup final defeat and Spice Boys era at Liverpool gave Collymore some much-unwanted media attention and was also the closest he came to a trophy in top-flight Football, alas instead he sits on our list of footballers who never won a trophy.