Italy’s 5 Most Successful Football Clubs, Ranked (May, 2022)

ARL Football Success Ranking System

The ARL Football Success Ranking System for men’s European club football establishes for certain which clubs are the most successful of each nation and in the whole of Europe. It is a system of scoring points to clubs based on what trophies and how many have been won. Different trophies score different points and are based on a ‘glory’ criteria. Only ‘competitive football’ trophies are considered.

Italian Football and Serie A

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With its National Championship founded in 1898, Italy has given a lot to the beautiful game over the many decades since. Italian football drips with history and culture, reflecting the country in general, and like the country, Italian football is known for the passion and style that it has in bucket loads.

Serie A was at its zenith by the 20th Century’s end, dominating Europe and being the most glamorous league on the planet.

Its clubs have also enjoyed incredible success in UEFA competitions, from the numerous triumphs which made AC Milan the legendary club it still is to lesser known winners such as Palma who have amassed three UEFA trophies in a short few years. Italian football’s impressive 244.5 Success Points in international competitions reflects its European pedigree.

Serie A has passed on the torch to La Liga and the PL yet it’s still a force to be reckoned with.

Competition Key
Points
SC: Domestic ‘Super Cup’ (Supercoppa Italiana)
1
UEFA SC: UEFA Super Cup
2
FIFA CWC: Intercontinental Cup / FIFA Club World Cup
3
UEFA ECL: UEFA Europa Conference League
4
AC: Association Cup (Coppa Italia)
5
UEFA EL: UEFA Cup / Europa League
6
UEFA CWC: UEFA Cup Winners Cup
6.5
UEFA CL: UEFA European Cup / Champions League
8
T: Top Tier League Title (Serie A)
9

Scroll down to the bottom to view the table of Italy’s 17 Most Successful Clubs

5. Genoa CFC

Success Points: 86

Earliest Trophy Won: Italian Football Championship (IFC), 1898

Latest Trophy Won: Coppa Italia, 1937

Most Successful Manager: James Richardson Spensley – 54 Success Points (1896-1906)

Most Successful Decade: 1900s – 36 Success Points

Genoa CFC is Italy’s oldest football club and was originally founded as a cricket and football club for English expats only. But it was to this club that English missionaries of the fledgling ‘Beautiful Game’ subsequently arrived, and with them, more refined concepts of management and tactics. They made Il Grifone (The Griffin) an unbeatable team around the turn of the 20th Century as they competed in the earliest national championships. 

It’s probably worth noting the first few editions of the IFC were small affairs with less than five teams competing. Nevertheless, with manager/goalkeeper/defender James Spensley at the helm, Genoa were crowned Champions for six out of the first seven years. Later, with football-pioneer William Garbutt in charge, I Rossoblù (The Red and Blues) won the 1915 Title, then clinched two Serie As between 1923-1924.

Genoa CFC’s fortunes declined, although they won their first and only to date Italian Cup in 1937. The club is now a dormant volcano. Will the club erupt ever again?

4. Torino FC

Success Points: 88

Earliest Trophy Won: IFC, 1928

Latest Trophies Won: Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, 1993

Most Successful Manager: Luigi Ferrero – 18 Success Points (1945-1947)

Most Successful Decade: 1940s – 50 Success Points

A Piedmontese club founded towards the 20th Century’s beginning, Torino FC basked in a glorious period in the 1940s until a devastating tragedy brought their success to a crashing halt.

Torino were denied a first Italian crown in 1915 due to WW1, then again in 1927 because of the ‘Allemandi scandal’. With their first stadium, Stadio Filadelfia, just built, however, and their amazing attacking ‘Trio of Wonders’; Libonatti, Baloncieri and Rossetti firing on all cylinders, Il Toro (The Bull) won the 1928 Italian Championship.

Torino won their first Italian Cup in 1935 on the way to building perhaps the most supreme football squad in Italian history. Led by club legend Valentino Mazzola, ‘Grande Torino’ achieved the League/Cup ‘double’ in 1943 before winning another four Titles in a row (with a break for WW2). 

Everything changed on the 4th of May, 1949 with the Superga Tragedy when a plane carrying the entire squad, plus other staff crashed in heavy fog. There were no survivors. The club inevitably lost its pre-eminence from then on.

They would beat arch-rivals Juventus to clinch their 7th Serie A in 1976, however. Torino also lifted Coppa Italias in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘90s for a total 12 major trophies in their 100+ year history to date.

3. Inter Milan FC

Campione del Mondo: Inter are FIFA Club World Cup Champions - Serpents of  Madonnina

Points: 269

Earliest Trophy Won: IFC, 1910

Latest Trophy Won: Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, 2022

Most Successful Manager: Helenio Herrera – 40 points (1960-68 and 1973-74)

Despite coming in at 3rd place, Internazionale Milano is a true giant of the European game having won European and Italian crowns on numerous occasions.

The Nerazzurri won their very first championship in 1910 and the captain and coach of that first championship winning team, Virgilio Fossati, was sadly killed later while serving in the army during World War I. The club would grab its first ‘Coppa’ in 1939. Its greatest period came in 1960 with the arrival of coach Helenio Herrera from Barcelona FC. He implemented a modified version of the ‘door bolt’ system of play, created to provide greater flexibility for counterattacks. Under Herrera’s first period in charge Inter won three Titles and two European Cups.

Inter was awarded its 14th Title in 2005–06, after Juventus and AC Milan were stripped of points due to a match fixing scandal that year. It would peak again under manager legend Jose Mourinho who lead the club to an unprecedented ‘European Treble’ in the 2009-10 season.

Winning major trophies every decade except the 1940s, Inter Milan has a well established global profile and the Milan club broke Juventus’ stranglehold on Serie A by winning the Title in 2021.

2. AC Milan FC

Ruud Gullit - Milan Maestro

Points: 294

Earliest Trophy Won: IFC, 1901

Latest Trophy Won: Serie A, 2022

Most Successful Manager: Nereo Rocco – 65 points (1961-1963, 1967-73 and 1977)

The Rossoneri were founded at the end of the 19th Century by two Englishmen and the club won its first Title just two years after. Two further Titles were won before some of its members split away after a dispute to form fierce rivals Internazionale in 1908. After that, AC Milan won nothing for decades.

The 20th Century’s second half was when Milan really started to take off. It won four Titles in the ’50s with famous Swedish attacking trio ‘Gre-No-Li‘ in its ranks; three more in the ’60s and six Serie As during it and the league’s glittering period of the 1990s. Milan has also won the joint 2nd most ECs/CLs in Europe, winning seven to date (2022).

Although also football giants, like Inter, both clubs have struggled to win much since the start of the 2010s. The epicentre of Italian football has shifted from Milan to Turin due to the stranglehold that city’s no. 1 club still has.

1. Juventus FC

Juventus' open-top bus victory parade in Turin marred by injuries to six  fans

Points: 453.5

Earliest Trophy Won: IFC, 1905

Latest Trophy Won: Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, 2021

Most Successful Manager: Giovanni Trapattoni – 95.5 points (1976 – 1986 and 1991–1994)

Juventus is a club, like Bayern Munich of Germany and France’s Paris Saint Germain, that has enjoyed a near monopoly over trophy winning in its domestic league since the 2010s began. This is somewhat impressive given it was relegated for a season in 2006-07. It is subsequently Serie A’s superstar club with an incredible 400+ success points.

It’s hard to single out Juve’s ‘glory years’ as they’ve been bringing home the bacon consistently since the 1930s. Only during the ’40s, ’60s and noughties were trophies a little harder to come by. The 2010s are easily Juve’s most successful decade with eight Titles and 96 out of its 447.5 points won. They have also managed the rare feat of winning every UEFA trophy possible, including two EC/CLs.

Competition Key
Points
SC: Domestic ‘Super Cup’ (Supercoppa Italiana)
1
UEFA SC: UEFA Super Cup
2
FIFA CWC: Intercontinental Cup / FIFA Club World Cup
3
UEFA ECL: UEFA Europa Conference League
4
AC: Association Cup (Coppa Italia)
5
UEFA EL: UEFA Cup / Europa League
6
UEFA CWC: UEFA Cup Winners Cup
6.5
UEFA CL: UEFA European Cup / Champions League
8
T: League Title (Serie A)
9

Italy’s 17 Most Successful Football Clubs

PositionClubSub-point TotalsSuccess Points Total
1Juventus FCSC: 9 x 1 = 9

UEFA SC: 2 x 2 = 4

FIFA CWC: 2 x 3 = 6

AC: 14 x 5 = 70

EL: 3 x 6 = 18

UEFA CWC: 1 x 6.5 = 6.5

CL: 2 x 8 = 16

T: 36 x 9 = 324
453.5
2AC MilanSC: 7 x 1 = 7

UEFA SC: 5 x 2 = 10

FIFA CWC: 4 x 3 = 12

AC: 5 x 5 = 25

UEFA CWC: 2 x 6.5 = 13

CL: 7 x 8 = 56

T: 19 x 9 = 171
294
3Inter Milan FCSC: 6 x 1 = 6

FIFA CWC: 3 x 3 = 9

AC: 8 x 5 = 40

EL: 3 x 6 = 18

CL: 3 x 8 = 24

T: 19 x 9 = 171

+1 (Treble)
269
4Torino FCAC: 5 x 5 = 25

T: 7 x 9 = 63
88
5Genoa CFCAC: 1 x 5 = 5

T: 9 x 9 = 81
86
6AS RomaSC: 1 x 1 = 1
UEFA ECL: 4
AC: 9 x 5 = 45
T: 3 x 9 = 27
77
7Bologna FCAC: 2 x 5 = 10
T: 7 x 9 = 63
73
8SS LazioSC: 5 x 1 = 5
UEFA SC: 1 x 2 = 2
AC: 7 x 5 = 35
UEFA CWC: 1 x 6.5 = 6.5
T: 2 x 9 = 18
66.5
9FC Pro Vercelli 1892T: 7 x 963
10SSC NapoliSC: 2 x 1 = 2
AC: 6 x 5 = 30
EL: 1 x 6 = 6
T: 2 x 9 = 18
56
11AFC FiorentinaSC: 1 x 1 = 1
AC: 6 x 5 = 30
UEFA CWC: 1 x 6.5 = 6.5
T: 2 x 9 = 18
55.5
=12UC SampdoriaSC: 1 x 1 = 1
AC: 4 x 5 = 20
UEFA CWC: 1 x 6.5 = 6.5
T: 1 x 9 = 9
36.5
=12Parma Calcio 1913SC: 1 x 1 = 1
UEFA SC: 1 x 2 = 2
AC: 3 x 5 = 15
EL: 2 x 6 = 12
UEFA CWC: 1 x 6.5 = 6.5
36.5
=14Casale FBC
USD Novese
Cagliare Calcio
Hellas Verona FC
T: 1 x 9 = 99
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