We all remember the guys who have won the Premier League, the World Cup, the Champions League or their own domestic league. But who are the men who have never won anything of note, and who should be mentioned in the very same breath as legends like Pele, Lionel Messi, Roy Keane, Alessandro Del Piero or Thierry Henry?
Here, I look at 5 of the best players who have never won a major title—men who never took home the league championship that their skill deserved, who never won the major European trophy their abilities deserved, and who never won the major international tournament their hearts desired.
When it comes to football, there are usually winners and losers, with the losers usually quickly forgotten. But one thing is for sure: These 5 will never be forgotten.
We have wizards, big men, goal-poachers and scorers supreme, a goalkeeper with the reflexes of a cat, a psychotic defender and many more.
Here are some of the greatest players in history who never won a trophy during their careers.
Antonio Di Natale was the sixth most goalscorer in Serie A history when he retired.
Di Natale was a late bloomer who scored 300 club goals in his career and twice won the Serie A Capocannoniere award.
He was a runner-up at Euro 2012 and got 42 caps for Italy, but his dedication to Udinese, where he spent 12 years, meant he never won a title.
Matt Le Tissier, who spent his whole 16-year professional career at lowly Southampton, is another superb player who has been punished trophy-wise for his commitment.
Le Tissier was perhaps England’s most technically proficient and exciting player for several seasons, hitting countless wondergoals and long-range strikes.
He turned down multiple offers from big clubs to stay with Southampton, resulting in him only earning eight England caps as a result of his decision.
Socrates was the captain of the famed 1982 Brazil team, which is often regarded as the best team to never win the World Cup.
Socrates, a bearded socialist, was a lovely, fluid center midfielder who turned the backheel into an art form.
He won a number of regional titles in Brazil, but these aren’t regarded significant awards, and he never won a major league or cup throughout his club or international career.
He played 60 times for Brazil and finished second in the 1983 Copa America.
Joe Baker became the first player in history to play for England despite never having played for a team in the country — he was born and raised in Scotland and began his football career there.
He began his career with Hibs and went on to become one of the most prolific strikers of his period, scoring over 300 goals for clubs such as Arsenal, Nottingham Forest, and Sunderland.
He also had a tumultuous time in Torino, Italy, where he played alongside Denis Law and came dangerously close to dying in a vehicle accident.
Bernd Schneider, a technically brilliant offensive midfielder with an eye for a ball, was one of the most underestimated players in the world during his time.
In 2002, he was part of a fantastic Bayer Leverkusen team that included Lucio, Ze Roberto, and Michael Ballack and finished heartbreakingly second in the Bundesliga, domestic cup, and Champions League.
He came so close to winning the major medals so many times – including another silver at Euro 2008 and a bronze at the 2006 World Cup – but he completed his career with nothing.