Ranking the 10 Best Players Who Have Never Won a Major Club Trophy

Dan Sheridan@@dansheridanContributor IJuly 10, 2014

Ranking the 10 Best Players Who Have Never Won a Major Club Trophy

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    For some players, winning trophies becomes a nonchalant habit—an expected custom that follows them everywhere they go and wherever they play.

    But for others, despite years of loyal service and countless highlights, that defining, silverware moment simply eludes them throughout their careers.

    Call it bad luck or even a cruel twist of fate, but some genuine household names have missed out on major club honours despite scoring goals galore and representing their countries.

    Here, Bleacher Report takes a look at 10 such names whose medal count remains at zero, be it a league championship or a domestic cup competition.

10. Rickie Lambert

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    There's a chance this slide will need rewriting in 10 months time following Rickie Lambert's recent switch from Southampton to Liverpool.

    But for now, the well-travelled striker remains without the silverware his determination and doggedness deserve.

    Having earned a move to the top end of the Premier League via the likes of Bristol Rovers, Rochdale and Stockport County, the 32-year-old would love nothing more than to succeed at Anfield.

    And if he finally gets his hands on a trophy with the club who released him at the age of 15, his already inspiring story will have the happiest of endings.

9. Robert Lee

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    Few players have enjoyed the popularity afforded to Robert Lee during his time with Newcastle United, but even the Londoner's best efforts couldn't end the Geordies' wait for silverware.

    It's been 45 long years since the Magpies last lifted a major trophy, and during the midfielder's decade on Tyneside, they came mighty close to breaking their duck.

    Within the space of three years in the late 1990s, the Toon twice finished runners-up to Manchester United in the Premier League and also reached consecutive FA Cup finals but to no avail.

    Lee's commitment and industry earned him plenty of praise under Kevin Keegan and, latterly, Sir Bobby Robson, but ultimately the former England man ended his career medal-less.

8. Leighton Baines

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    Fresh from World Cup duty with England, Leighton Baines hasn't given up on landing a domestic winners' medal with Everton, and few would begrudge him such an honour.

    The popular left-back has been at Goodison Park since switching from Wigan Athletic in 2007, and so far he's won the club's Player's Player of the Year Award three times.

    The closest the 29-year-old has come to glory was in the 2009 FA Cup final, when a Frank Lampard goal handed Chelsea victory over the Toffees to end his dream.

    But there's still time left for the goalscoring defender to rectify his drought, as attentions now turn to the new season which gets underway next month.

7. Malcolm Macdonald

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    The man who famously netted five times in a single game for England in 1975 made it to three major finals in English football—but ended up on the losing side on each occasion.

    Affectionately know as "Super Mac," Malcolm Macdonald was an instant success at Newcastle United following his arrival in 1971, notching a hat-trick on his home debut against Liverpool.

    But his goalscoring prowess couldn't land the Magpies the silverware they craved as they lost to the Reds in the 1974 FA Cup final and Manchester City in the League Cup two years later.

    A big-money move to Arsenal promised to break that cycle, but the powerful forward was on the losing side again in 1978 in the FA Cup, and his career was cruelly wrecked by injury soon after.

6. Jermaine Defoe

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    A product of West Ham United's famed youth academy, Jermaine Defoe terrorised defences throughout England for 15 years but remains empty-handed as far as medals go.

    He missed out on silverware by a matter of weeks in 2008, leaving Tottenham Hotspur to join Portsmouth in a £6 million deal, only for Spurs to beat Chelsea in the League Cup final the very next month.

    His return to White Hart Lane the following year did see the 31-year-old go on to break Martin Chivers’ European goalscoring record for the club, and he was commended for netting five in one game against Wigan Athletic.

    But as far as silverware goes, the striker will be hoping for better luck in his new surroundings with Major League Soccer side Toronto.

5. Tim Cahill

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    Still hitting the headlines on the big stage despite turning 34 at the end of last year, Tim Cahill reminded an audience of millions of his talents with a sublime goal at this summer's World Cup.

    The Australian international netted a blockbuster against Holland with a stunning volley that remains a genuine goal of the tournament contender.

    Now playing his domestic football Stateside with the New York Red Bulls, the hugely popular forward has two FA Cup runner-up medals from his time with Millwall and Everton.

    He has tasted success for his country in the OFC Nations Cup, but for now at least, Cahill's quest for a club trophy goes on.

4. Johnny Haynes

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    Much like Tom Finney, Johnny Haynes was a man who put loyalty ahead of personal glory.

    Roundly considered one of the greatest footballers of his generation, the Londoner spent the entirety of his senior career at Fulham on the banks of the River Thames.

    All told, the inside-forward notched up 18 years, 658 games and 158 goals with the Cottagers, and at one stage refused to follow the likes of Denis Law and John Charles to the promise of high wages and glamour in Italy.

    Haynes did, however, become England's first £100-per-week player and was the cornerstone of the national side that scored an incredible 40 times in six straight wins in 1960-61, including a 9-3 victory over Scotland.

    The trophies his talents deserved never arrived, but he remains a legend in the game; a statue was erected in his memory outside Craven Cottage following his death in 2005.

3. Giuseppe Signori

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    Giuseppe Signori was one of Serie A's most lethal strikers and donned the shirts of Lazio, Sampdoria and Bologna amongst others.

    Yet, astonishingly, his trophy cabinet remained bare.

    The man commonly known as "Beppe" was the epitome of prolific and finished top scorer three times in four seasons in Italy's top flight whilst at the Stadio Olimpico.

    Quite how silverware eluded him is a mystery, and the now 46-year-old sits level with Alessandro Del Piero as the league's eighth-highest scorer of all time on 188.

2. Tom Finney

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    He may have spent his entire playing days with Preston North End, but there's no doubting Tom Finney was a national treasure.

    The sparkling winger was way ahead of his time and soon made a big impression on the Deepdale regulars following his first-team debut in 1946.

    In a career that was initially held up by the Second World War, Finney went on to make 473 appearances for the Lilywhites, netting 210 goals in the process, and he also bagged a total of 76 England caps.

    That he never lifted a trophy with his hometown club remains one of football's great injustices, and he had to make do with runner-up medals in both the First Division and the FA Cup.

    His legacy lives on in Lancashire, with Preston naming a new stand after him in 1995.

    A true great of the game, Finney died in February 2014 at the age of 91.

1. Matt Le Tissier

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    In a senior club career that spanned 16 years, Matt Le Tissier spent every season on England's south coast with Southampton, and is their second-highest scorer of all time.

    An outrageously skilful playmaker, his highlights reel contains some of the best goals ever scored in the Premier League.

    The Guernsey-born star is also considered one of the great penalty takers, netting 47 out of 48 from the spot.

    Now 45 and working as a pundit for Sky Sports, the man affectionately known as "Le God" by supporters never did get to lift a trophy with his beloved Saints.

    But his eye for the spectacular made Le Tissier one of the top flight's modern greats.