After Inter emerged victorious from their 2022/23 Champions League quarter final clash with Benfica in April, they secured what looks to be one of the most fiercely contested semi finals of all time: a Milan derby. The two San Siro-sharing European giants are arch-rivals, and their games typically do not disappoint. The last time the two met in the Champions League was a walloping 18 years ago, and the game had to be cancelled due to crowd trouble. This could be a long day for the San Siro stewards! Inter have failed to the reach the penultimate round of the competition since 2010, when Jose Mourinho’s side went on to lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, their Milanese rivals haven’t managed to win Europe’s most prestigious trophy since 2006/07, and both sides will be desperate to end their UCL droughts. Well, they won’t get a much better chance than this, considering that the semi-final guarantees that there will be an Italian team in the final for the first time since 2017. In this article, we will be looking at whether one of the Milan teams are the most successful Italian team of all time in both domestic and European football, or if another club holds the crown.
Which Team has Won the Most Italian League Titles?
First up, we will take a look at which Italian team has lifted the most Serie A titles, which we have compiled in a table below.
Despite the vast successes enjoyed by both Milan teams over the years, they just can’t compete with the sheer domination of Juventus, with the “Old Lady” even winning nine consecutive Scudetto titles between 2011/12 and 2019/20. Despite this, Juve have struggled to keep up this brilliance in recent years, with Inter lifting the title in 2020/21 and AC Milan securing last year’s trophy under the shrewd management of Stefano Pioli.
You might be surprised to see that “big” teams such as Napoli, who look dead set to lift this year’s title (as of May 2023) and Roma, who have enjoyed a resurgence under Jose Mourinho, are not in the top five, having only lifted two and three titles respectively. It is also interesting to note that, despite remaining fourth on the all-time list, Genoa haven’t managed to win a league title since 1923/24, and are currently competing down in Serie B, the second tier of Italian football. So, whilst Juve are miles ahead of the rest in terms of league titles, have they been quite as successful in Europe?
Which Italian Side has Won the Most Champions Leagues?
Below, we have created a table to highlight which Italian sides have lifted the most Champions League trophies (including when it was known as the European Cup). It is interesting to note that only three different Italian teams have managed to do so, considering that five English sides have secured Europe’s most important piece of silverware.
|Team||UCL Titles||Years Won|
|Milan||7||2006/07, 2002/03, 1993/94, 1989/90,1988/89, 1968/69, 1962/63|
|Inter||3||2009/10, 1964/65, 1963/64|
When it comes to the UCL, AC Milan are the specialists, having lifted the coveted trophy on seven occasions. That is clearly a very impressive record that places them in second place on the all-time list, behind the incomparable Real Madrid. Although Inter are the most recent Italian side to win the trophy, this was some 13 years ago now, and it seems about time that Italy’s big boys got themselves back to the top of the European pile!
Furthermore, despite their Serie A dominance in recent years, it is interesting that Juventus have been unable to replicate this success in Europe, despite reaching the final in both 2016/17 and 2014/15. Indeed, whilst Juve may have only been crowned champions of Europe twice, incredibly they have lost seven finals. How different things might have been.
So, having rounded up which Italian sides have been the most successful in both domestic and European football, we will now take a look at which team can officially be named the most successful Italian team of all time.
Which is the Most Successful Side in the History of Italian Football?
Here, we have added up each of the domestic and European honours, including cup competitions and now-defunct European honours such as the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, of each Italian side, to show which team can be crowned the GOAT.
So, despite their shortcomings in Europe (if two UCL titles can be classed as that), the “Old Lady” remain firmly top of the pile, with the club lifting an incredible 70 honours throughout their history. These consist of (deep breath) 36 Serie As, 14 Coppa Italias, nine Supercoppa Italias, two Champions Leagues, three Europa Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners’ cup, a UEFA Intertoto Cup, and last but not least, two European/South American cups.
That is some haul. Next, beating Inter to second largely thanks to their UCL successes, we have AC Milan, who have lifted an impressive 49 trophies in their history, and will be looking to hit a half century with this year’s Champions League.
Down in third we have Inter, whose vast haul of 43 honours, which includes their recent triumph in the 2022 Supercoppa Italia, leaves them some 27 trophies clear of Roma, who currently sit in fourth. Although i Lupi have played in the Serie A for all but one of the seasons that they have competed in, their total of just three Scudettos leaves them firmly behind the “big three”.
Despite this, they have managed to win an impressive nine Coppa Italias, which is the second-most of any club. Finally, in fifth, and getting their first mention in this article, we have Lazio, who look set to secure Champions League football for the 2023/34 campaign.
The club, who are fierce rivals of Roma, are also on 16 trophies, which includes seven Coppa Italias and five Supercoppas, along with two Serie A titles. The side from the capital are perhaps let down by their lack of European silverware, having never won any, though even domestically they are clearly well behind Italy’s greatest team … Juventus.