Trophies are not the only measure of success.
With football being a team game, many big players have missed out on some of the elite prizes the sport has to offer, while swathes of individuals we may not necessarily associate with high performance have cabinets stocked to the rafters of these elusive trinkets.
Clearly, there are other ways to celebrate greatness.
Still, what trophies can do is generate excitement. A decadence, a feeling of grandeur.
While that is not a criticism, it is a truth.
So, then, how on earth would those who have rarely watched him play know how good a player he is?
His trophy cabinet, of course.
In 2018, Varane added the World Cup to his four Champions League wins, along with three La Liga victories and a Copa del Rey. That is an elite collection of football’s biggest prizes and a signing of that calibre will invariably excite a baying fanbase.
Varane’s move to the Premier League brings one of the most decorated active players around to these shores. Over the course of his career, he’s won 19 major trophies.
But, who is he joining? With that in mind, GIVEMESPORT are going to trawl through the trophies to look at each club’s most decorated player at club level.
Arsenal – Willian (15)
Life at Arsenal has not worked out for Willian and the decision to hand him a long-term deal looks like an incredibly naive one, given he will soon turn 33.
Still, this is a man dripping in experience after a career spanning a decade across four different countries.
A trophy-laden spell with Shakhtar Donetsk saw him lift five Ukrainian league titles, five cup competitions and European glory in the form of the UEFA Cup.
At Chelsea, the Brazilian won the Premier League on two different occasions, as well as the League Cup, the FA Cup and the Europa League.
Aston Villa – Ashley Young (7)
Returning to Villa Park this summer, Ashley Young brings a wealth of experience with him.
Having left for Manchester United in 2011, the former England international won pretty much all there is to win at Old Trafford, lifting a Premier League title along with the EFL Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.
They sit along his Championship win with Watford before he took his talents to Italy and helped Inter Milan wrestle Serie A back from Juventus.
Brentford – Pontus Jansson (4)
Winning three Allsvenskan titles in Sweden with Malmo along with the Svenska Supercupen, Pontus Jansson has finally made it to the Premier League with this upwardly mobile Brentford team.
Brighton – Danny Welbeck (8)
Danny Welbeck’s stock has dropped after leaving Manchester United but few can doubt just how successful he’s been.
His time at Old Trafford yielded one Premier League, two League Cups, two Community Shields and a Club World Cup before a move to Arsenal saw him win the FA Cup along with a Community Shield.
Burnley – Erik Pieters (2)
Burnley’s squad, as good as they’ve been under Sean Dyche, are not blessed with serial trophy winners, which tells you all about the job the manager has done over the years.
Leading the way is Erik Pieters, who won the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruyff Shield during his time with PSV Eindhoven.
Chelsea – Thiago Silva (27)
Captaining Paris Saint-Germain is always likely to stock your trophy cabinet and his seven Ligue 1 titles only added to the Serie A crown with AC Milan prior to his move. A raft of cup wins make up the rest, with the highlight being the Champions League he lifted in his first season with Chelsea.
Crystal Palace – Luka Milivojević (6)
Given Gary Cahill is technically out of contract and manager Patrick Vieira can’t be included for obvious reasons, Luka Milivojević takes the mantle of Crystal Palace’s most successful player to date.
The Serbian has lifted six different trophies throughout his career, winning the cup in his homeland with giants Red Star Belgrade, along with the Belgian league and Super Cup with Anderlecht and two league titles in Greece with Olympiacos.
Everton – James Rodriguez (19)
Lucas Digne does run the competition closer than you might think but, clearly, James Rodriguez’s career has been littered with success.
Two Champions League titles are clearly the highlight but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, he’s won league titles in Argentina, Portugal, Spain and Germany, along with a raft of cup competitions.
Leeds United – Rodrigo (5)
Those who use Marcelo Bielsa’s lack of trophies against him clearly miss the point about his deeper influence across the game. With that sort of reputation, his teams are never likely to house hugely decorated players, particularly clubs who have only just made it out of the second division.
Still, club-record signing Rodrigo hasn’t been short of success, winning everything there is to win domestically with Benfica before lifting with Copa del Rey with Valencia.
Leicester City – Jonny Evans (12)
The likes of Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel might be more intrinsically linked to the Leicester City success story but Jonny Evans’ trophy cabinet cannot be matched by anyone at the King Power Stadium.
His FA Cup win with the Foxes sits alongside 11 major trophies he won while a Manchester United player, including 3 Premier League titles and the Champions League.
Liverpool – Xherdan Shaqiri (18)
Xherdan Shaqiri might be a bit-part player at Liverpool these days but, with 18 major trophies to his name, the Swiss international has little left to prove.
A two-time Champions League winner, Shaqiri has lifted league titles in Switzerland, Germany and England along with all manner of cup competitions.
Manchester City – Fernandinho (25)
Absolutely adored by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Fernandinho has won 25 major trophies across his stunning career, with the bulk of them actually coming during his time with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Manchester United – Edinson Cavani (23)
Juan Mata and Paul Pogba might be World Cup winners but the sheer relentlessness of Edinson Cavani’s success during his hugely profitable spell with Paris Saint-Germain has him far out in front at Manchester United.
Newcastle United – Federico Fernandez (4)
Such has been the lack of investment in the Newcastle squad from Mike Ashley, Steve Bruce isn’t blessed with a huge amount of trophy winners.
Still, Federico Fernandez does provide some top-level experience, having won Copa Libertadores and the Argentine league with Estudiantes, as well as the Coppa Italia with Napoli twice.
Norwich City – Dimitris Giannoulis (3)
Norwich are another team never likely to house a huge amount of serial winners, although that does not mean Daniel Farke hasn’t had a successful time of things at Carrow Road.
Dimitris Giannoulis leads the way, having added the Championship to his Greek league-and-cup-double with PAOK in 2018-19.
Southampton – Stuart Armstrong (8)
Many might turn their nose up at the Scottish leagues but there’s no doubt Stuart Armstrong did all he could while playing for Celtic.
Indeed, winning eight trophies in any country is some achievement.
Tottenham Hotspur – Lucas Moura (17)
Obvious jokes aside, Tottenham Hotspur don’t struggle for players to have won things.
Of those, Lucas Moura is by far and away the most successful, lifting silverware on 16 different occasions with PSG after the Copa Sudamericana with Sao Paulo.
Watford – Ben Foster (3)
Watford’s squad always makes for interesting reading but, frankly, much of their strategy seems to be based around scouring Europe for the next up-and-coming talent, rather than turning to big names.
As a result, Ben Foster stands as their most trophy-laden employee at the moment, having won two League Cups with Manchester United and one with Birmingham City.
West Ham United – Andriy Yarmolenko (7)
Andriy Yarmolenko’s success with Dynamo Kyiv cannot be matched by anyone in the West Ham United squad, with his seven trophies making the forward David Moyes’ most decorated player.
Wolves – Joao Moutinho (15)
Joao Moutinho is dripping with success.
15 major trophies have come his way after glittering spells with Sporting Lisbon, Benfica and Monaco, making him the standout at Molineux.