Who has won more ‘major’ trophies: Real Madrid or Barcelona?
Barcelona hold a nine-point lead at the top of LaLiga heading into the second league Clásico of the season on Sunday 19 March.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid. El Clásico. Camp Nou. Sunday 19 March 2023. A chance for Barça to kill off Los Blancos’ title hopes once and for all? Or the beginning of the latest in a long line of Madrid comebacks? A victory for Xavi Hernández’s men would open up a 12-point lead at the top of LaLiga with 12 matches left to play; a win for Carlo Ancelotti and his troops would see the gap cut to just six. Which way will it go and who will lift yet another trophy come May?
Have Real Madrid or Barcelona won more ‘major’ trophies?
Both clubs, have, of course, already got their hands on some silverware this season in the shape of the Spanish Super Cup - won by Barça in Saudi Arabia in January - and the FIFA Club World Cup, which Real Madrid lifted in Morocco last month. With two domestic titles still up for grabs - Barcelona hold a 1-0 lead over their rivals going into the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-finals - and Madrid still in with a shout of European glory (it almost seems inevitable they’ll with the Champions League by this stage), it got me thinking…who has won more major trophies between the two clubs?
I must confess that when I started working on this, I hadn’t anticipated the complexity of trying to decide what exactly constitutes a ‘major’ trophy. Some are incredibly obvious (Champions League/European Cup, LaLiga etc), others less so. The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is generally considered to be the predecessor to the UEFA Cup but was initially only open to teams from cities that hosted trade fair, which seems too exclusive, so that’s out (sorry, Barça, who won three of them).
Are the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup ‘major’ trophies?
I’ve - perhaps controversially - decided that I’m not counting the competitions Real Madrid and Barcelona have already won this season as a major trophies. The Spanish Super Cup, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup are out (feel free to disagree with me…). Luckily, if you add the three totals from those competitions for the two clubs they come to the same number (22) and don’t affect the overall tally anyway. If you’re interested, Barça lead in the Spanish Super Cup (14-12), Madrid are ahead in the FIFA Club World Cup (5-3) and it’s a tie in the UEFA Super Cup (5-5).
I’ve basically included trophies that the clubs would be/would have been massively bothered about winning at the start of the season, both back in the day and now. Trophies that ‘feel like’ major trophies.
How many league titles have Real Madrid and Barcelona won?
Real Madrid continue to lead the way, having won 35 league titles to Barcelona’s 26. The Catalans have caught up in the last few decades though, having won six more leagues than Los Blancos since 1990.
How many European Cups/Champions Leagues have Real Madrid and Barcelona won?
Real Madrid, quite simply, are the masters in this competition. 14 victories, double more than anyone else (Milan are next with seven, in case you were wondering). That, of course, includes five wins in the last nine seasons, including three in a row from 2016 to 2018.
Barcelona had never won the trophy until 1991, by which time Real Madrid had done on six occasions. La Blaugrana have now won it five times but not since 2014-15.
How many other ‘major’ European trophies have Real Madrid and Barcelona won?
You don’t tend to associate Real Madrid with anything other than the European Cup/Champions League but they won two UEFA Cups in the 1980s.
That’s a trophy that Barcelona have never won – and they’re out of its successor, the Europa League, this season – but Barça did win the now defunct Cup Winners’ Cup four times. That was a pretty big deal back in the day, so that’s in.
How many times have Real Madrid and Barcelona won the Copa del Rey?
If you’re thinking that Real Madrid are fairly far ahead at this stage, then you’d be right. But this is where Barcelona close the gap. The Catalans have won the Copa del Rey a record 31 times, with Madrid languishing behind on just 19 (I know what you’re thinking Real Madrid fans, you’d rather win more leagues and Champions Leagues than Copa del Reys…).
Real Madrid and Barcelona’s overall ‘major’ trophy wins
All in all, that means that – drum roll, please – Real Madrid have lifted a total of 70 ‘major’ trophies, compared to Barcelona’s 66.
There’s really not much to separate these two, is there? There probably won’t be at Camp Nou on Sunday either, after which we’ll have a better idea of whether the Catalans really are about to close the gap a little further, which looks likely as things stand.
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