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Who Are The Most Successful Ever English Players Overseas?

Derrick Shepherd

We’ve ranked the top English players overseas to find out which footballer has won the most while playing outside of the UK.

With Jude Bellingham and Jadon Sancho set to battle it out in this year’s UEFA Champions League final, who is the most successful English player ever to play abroad?

Once a rare occurrence, recent years have seen an increasing number of top-level English players moving overseas during the prime of their careers – but who is the most successful to ever do it?

We’ve ranked every Englishman to win a major professional title overseas by the total number of trophies won in order to give a definitive answer.

For this study, we are not comparing who are the most talented English players to move countries, but who has won the most silverware outside of the UK.  

Key Data Points:

  • Owen Hargreaves is the most successful Enlgishman abroad, winning 10 titles with Bayern Munich.
  • David Beckham has won domestic leagues in more countries than any English player, with La Liga, MLS and Ligue 1 titles as well as the Premier League.
  • Kevin Keegan is the only English player to win the Ballon d’Or while playing abroad, but only won a single title while at Hamburg.

Most Successful English Players Overseas Ranked By Total Honours

Player Clubs  Domestic Leagues Domestic Cups Continental Cups Total Honours
Owen Hargreaves Bayern Munich 4 4 2 10
David Beckham Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan, PSG 4 3 0 7
Steve McManaman Real Madrid 2 1 3 6
Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls, LA FC, Columbus Crew 0 3 1 4
Chris Waddle Marseille 3 0 0 3
Laurie Cunningham Real Madrid, Sporting Gijon, Marseille, Rayo Vallecano 1 2 0 3
Gary Lineker Barcelona 0 1 1 2
David Platt Bari, Juventus, Sampdoria 0 1 1 2
Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid 0 2 0 2
Jadon Sancho Borussia Dortmund 0 2 0 2
Kevin Keegan Hamburg 1 0 0 1
Glen Hoddle AS Monaco 1 0 0 1
Kieran Trippier Atletico Madrid 1 0 0 1
Gerry Hitchens Internazionale, Torino 1 0 0 1
Mark Hately AS Monaco 1 0 0 1
Fikayo Tomori AC Milan 1 0 0 1
Ashley Young Internazionale 1 0 0 1
Trevor Steven Marseille 1 0 0 1
Jimmy Greaves AC Milan 1 0 0 1
Nathan Tella Bayer Leverkusen 1 0 0 1
Chris Smalling AS Roma 0 0 1 1
Tammy Abraham AS Roma 0 0 1 1
Trevor Francis Detroit Express, Sampdoria, Atalanta 0 1 0 1

*Bold & italicised players are still active


Owen Hargreaves has won the most titles overseas of any English player, but is one of a small number to make his professional debut abroad before moving to England.

Likewise, Jadon Sancho made his first senior appearance in Germany, having left Manchester City without playing for the first team.

While this study looks only at English players, the most successful British player abroad is actually a Welshman.

Gareth Bale won 15 trophies with Real Madrid, including five Champions Leagues. He also won the MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield with LA Galaxy.

Former Arsenal youth player Nathan Tella made his senior debut for Southampton before winning promotion to the Premier League while on loan at Burnley last season.

The 24-year-old has already won the Bundesliga in his first season at Bayer Leverkusen, and could complete a historic double, with Leverkusen facing off against Atalanta in this year’s Europa League final.

Tella is also on the verge of an “invincibles” season, with Leverkusen still unbeaten in the Bundesliga with just one game remaining.

And with each of the Champions League finalists featuring a current England international, we are guaranteed to see either Jadon Sancho or Jude Bellingham add another European title to the list of honours won by Englishmen abroad.

Derrick Shepherd
Derrick Shepherd