Kane, Le Tissier, Di Natale: Who is the best footballer never to win a trophy?

Tottenham and Harry Kane are out of the FA Cup after crashing out to Championship side, Middlesbrough, on Tuesday night.

It means it’s guaranteed to be another trophyless season for Spurs.

It also means that Kane, who turns 29 in the summer, is still looking for the first trophy of his career.

He may be one of the greatest strikers the Premier League has ever seen but Kane has suffered heartbreak in his career when it comes to winning trophies.

He’s finished runner-up in two League Cup finals, a Champions League final and the European Championships.

Is he the greatest ever player not to win a trophy in his career?

Of course, there’s every chance that Kane will still get his hands on a few honours before he retires – especially if he moves to Manchester City in the summer.

But to mark another trophyless campaign for him, we wanted to look back at some of the best players to have played the game and never won a major trophy.

Let’s take a look:

QUIZ: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

1 of 20

Who's this Spurs legend?

Antonio Di Natale

Di Natale was a proper goalscorer, bagging 227 goals in 446 matches for Udinese. He also represented Italy on 42 occasions, scoring 11 times.

But with only two permanent clubs – Empoli and Udinese – he didn’t stand much chance of winning a club honour while he missed out on a place at the 2006 World Cup. He did play in the Euro 2012 final but lost 4-0 to Spain.

Spain v Italy - Group C: UEFA EURO 2012

Giuseppe Signori

From one brilliant Italian striker to another. Signori scored more than 250 goals during his career at the likes of Lazio and Bologna. If he had stayed at Lazio for three more years, he’d have won the Coppa Italia, Cup Winners’ Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Serie A title.

On the international stage, he scored seven times and was an unused substitute in the 1994 World Cup final against Brazil, where Italy lost on penalties.

Giuseppe Signori of Bologna celebrates

Bernd Schneider

Schneider might just be one of the unluckiest players in football history.

The German came second in the Bundesliga on two occasions, was a losing finalist in the German Cup twice and was a runner-up in both the Champions League and World Cup.

The midfielder played 81 times for Germany but somehow managed to avoid winning anything.

Quarter-final Germany v Argentina - World Cup 2006

Matthew Le Tissier

The Southampton legend once said: “I knew I probably wouldn’t win any honours, but when you’re at a club that size, staying in the Premier League for 16 years gave me as much pleasure as winning a medal if I’d gone somewhere else.”

You can’t quite put that in a trophy cabinet, can you?

Matt Le Tissier

Yildiray Basturk

Like Schneider, Basturk was part of the ‘Bayer Neverkusen’ curse.

The midfielder faced Real Madrid in the 2002 Champions League final with the German club but could do nothing to stop Zinedine Zidane being Zinedine Zidane.

Spells at Bochum, Hertha and Stuttgart in Germany didn’t bring him any closer to a trophy.

The midfielder also came third in both the 2002 World Cup and 2003 Confederations Cup for Turkey.

Yildiray Basturk of Bayer Leverkusen

Rob Lee

Okay, Lee did win the First Division with Newcastle but that’s not a major trophy.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying at Newcastle, though. Between 1996 and 1999, Lee twice finished second in the Premier League and was twice a losing finalist in the FA Cup.


Stan Collymore

Collymore was once the most exciting prospect in English football but he finished his career without a major trophy to his name – that’s despite 28 goals in 64 league games for Liverpool.

He only managed three appearances for England.

Collymore Scores

Luigi Di Biagio

If Schneider is the unluckiest player in football history, then Di Biagio is a very close second.

If you looked at Di Biagio’s career which reveals he played for Roma for four years in the 90s, Inter for four years in the early noughties and represented Italy 31 times, you’d guess that he picked up a number of trophies.

However, thanks to a lot of heartbreak, he somehow didn’t.

He was a runner-up in Serie A in 2002-03, a runner-up in the Coppa Italia in 1999-00, a runner-up in the Suppercoppa in 2000 a runner-up in the European Championship with Italy in 2000 as well as losing in semi-finals of the Champions League and UEFA Cup.


Luigi Di Biagio of Italy

Steve Bull

Bull was good enough to score four England goals in 13 matches but his desire to stay at Wolves for basically his whole career limited his chances of winning a major trophy. His 300+ goals for the club did help them win the Third Division, Fourth Division and the Football League Trophy, though.

Steve Bull of Wolverhampton Wanderers

Cristiano Doni

Doni played most of his career at Atalanta and even appeared for Italy at the 2002 World Cup but to no avail. He did, however, win a Serie C1 title with Bologna and three Serie B titles with Bologna, Brescia and Atalanta. No, they don’t count.

Atalanta BC v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A

Jonny Haynes

We’re going way back for this one. Haynes played for Fulham between 1952–1970, scoring almost 150 league goals. He also played 56 times for England including 22 as captain. However, he played his final match for his country in 1962 – four years before the Three Lions won the World Cup.

Despite not winning a trophy, he did become the first player to be paid £100 a week.

Johnny Haynes


Socrates is one of the greatest players in Brazilian history, playing 60 times over seven years and scoring 22 goals. He represented his country in two World Cups and even captained them in 1982.

However, other than a couple of regional titles at Botafogo, Corinthians and Flamengo in his native country, Socrates failed to lift a trophy during his illustrious career.


Harry Kane

And so we come to Kane.

Will he ever achieve his dream of winning a trophy at Spurs? Well, he won’t this season and it’s yet to be seen what he decides to do in the summer and whether Man City will return to sign him.

But time is running out for the Spurs hero to lift a trophy for the north London club and his last chance may have just gone.

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