Who comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘serial winner’ in football?
The very best of the best have an unhealthy obsession with success and winning things.
Be it on a personal level or as a part of a team, winning is what drives the best players forward. From awards, to accolades and titles, to even the next match they play – even if that’s a complete dead rubber friendly.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and the like in that elite bracket of players aren’t great losers. That’s because they haven’t done it often throughout their glistening and rather superhuman careers within football.
Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or, Messi has won seven, and then there are the trophy hoarders, who are more decorated than any of us ever will be.
One look at Dani Alves‘ trophy cabinet will knock you sick. Seriously.
To be a key member of so many winning squads is such a difficult task, and is testament to a player’s ability and determination if they can hang around long enough and rack up win after win over a number of years.
With that in mind, the team at @ThePopFoot on Twitter have compiled a list of the 20 players in the 21st Century who have won the most matches throughout their career, for both club and country.
The results are fascinating and the list of names is absolutely stacked. Be sure to check it out below.
Not a bad squad of players, that.
Coming in at number one is perhaps Mr. Serial winner, Ronaldo, who has been on the winning side in 745 of the 1124 games he has played for club and country so far. That works out at having won just under two thirds of all the games he has played. Freakish.
If he doesn’t find a way out of Manchester United ahead of the 2022/23 season, though, you can probably expect that percentage to come down a touch.
Fofana DONE DEAL CLOSE (Football Terrace)
The good news is, though, that he is way out in front. Real Madrid‘s legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas sits second with 689 wins from 1049 games, while a certain Messi can only make third place right now, with 670 wins from 977 games.
He might not have won as often as Ronaldo, but his win percentage is even higher and he’s playing with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, who hardly ever lose in league action.
Five Spaniards make up the top ten. Joining Casillas is Xavi in fifth, Sergio Ramos in seventh, Andres Iniesta in ninth and Raul in 10th. Must be nice hailing from a nation who are incredible at football, and then all combining to create one of the most dominant national teams football will ever witness.
Ryan Giggs is the only British player to break into the top 10, while Chelsea legend Frank Lampard sits 13th with 567 wins from 1010 total appearances. It’s a real shame he couldn’t have won more with England.
When looking at the percentages only, it’s Thomas Muller – placing 16th – who actually comes out as the player with the strongest win rate. The German forward has been integral for club and country for years and currently holds an astonishing 67.% win rate, which is rather frightening.
What will be fascinating to see is which younger stars of the current generation can find a way to break into this top 20, as the years go on and the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Muller and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all hang up the boots.