At a club like Chelsea, winning trophies is not a luxury - it's considered a bare necessity. Ever since Roman Abramovich purchased the club in 2003, his ruthlessness has instilled a winning mentality in the side. Players, managers and coaching staff come and go, but the sheer thirst for trophies is embedded deep into the club's core.
Winning trophies is part of Chelsea Football Club's DNA
Despite the hire-and-fire policy adopted by Chelsea's hierarchy, success has continued on the pitch. The biggest example of this paying off was in the 2020-21 season, when club legend Frank Lampard was relieved of his duties as manager and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who went on to win the Champions League.
The same goes for players too - with huge sums of money being spent in every transfer window, each player has to work hard to retain their spot in the first-team.
Some players have done this very well and have gone on to win a remarkable number of trophies. The following list ranks the five most decorated players in Chelsea's history in terms of trophies won at the club:
#5 Paulo Ferreira (12 major trophies)
Paulo Ferreira joined Chelsea from Porto in the summer of 2004. He formed part of the Portuguese side's famous Champions League winning side in 2003-04, playing every single minute of the competition. The right-back was among three recruits from Porto that summer - the other two being centre-back Ricardo Carvalho and manager Jose Mourinho.
In his very first season at Chelsea, Ferreira made 42 appearances in all competitions, winning the Premier League in the process along with the League Cup. He comfortably slotted in on either flank as a full-back. The following season his role in the squad diminished, but he managed 32 appearances in all competitions nonetheless, en route to another Premier League title with Chelsea.
The 2006-07 season was marginally better for Ferreira as he made 38 appearances, winning the League Cup and FA Cup. During the 2008-09 season, the Portuguese full-back suffered a cruciate ligament rupture which left him sidelined for the majority of the season as well as the next. However, he made 13 appearances for Chelsea in the league in 2009-10 as the London side won their third Premier League title along with another FA Cup.
Ferreira was also part of Chelsea's Champions League winning squad in 2012, making two appearances in the competition. The same followed in his final season in 2012-13, as he played the entire 90 minutes in the quarter-final second leg against Rubin Kazan. Upon the expiry of his contract, Paulo Ferreira decided to retire in 2013 at the age of 34, having made 217 appearances for Chelsea over nine years.
#4 Frank Lampard (13 major trophies)
Frank Lampard is known as one of Chelsea's greatest ever players. Rightfully too, as he is the leading goalscorer in the London side's history. Over 648 appearances, the midfielder scored 211 goals and also provided 150 assists. Recognized as a complete midfielder, Lampard won 13 trophies with Chelsea, where he played for over a decade.
Chelsea signed Lampard in the summer of 2001, even before Abramovich bought the club in 2003. The midfielder made an instant impact, making 53 appearances in all competitions in his debut season. He remained a mainstay in the squad and was integral to the 2004-05 Premier League title, playing every single Premier League game. Across all competitions, he made 58 appearances that season, scoring 19 times and picking up 21 assists.
The 2005-06 season saw the same trend continue, as he made 50 appearances in all competitions, scoring 20 times and notching up 13 assists. Chelsea retained their Premier League title that season. Lampard's most prolific season was in 2009-10, where he scored 27 goals and assisted 18 more in 51 appearances under Carlo Ancelotti. That season also saw Lampard win his third Premier League title with Chelsea, along with his third FA Cup.
Lampard's best moment came in the Champions League campaign of 2011-12, as he captained Chelsea in the final against Bayern Munich following John Terry's suspension. A win on penalties saw Lampard and Chelsea finally get their hands on the trophy that had evaded them in the past, especially after losing out on it in 2008 to Manchester United. The legendary midfielder added another European trophy to his cabinet, winning the Europa League in 2013.
Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea for the 2013-14 season was Lampard's last at the club, and he failed to win a trophy in his final year. However, he left the club as a legend, winning 13 trophies and breaking records.
#3 Didier Drogba (14 major trophies)
Following a promising season with Marseille where Didier Drogba netted 32 goals, Chelsea signed him in the summer of 2004. Jose Mourinho, fresh from winning the Champions League with Porto, was brought in to replace Claudio Ranieri. With pressure on him to deliver trophies, the Portuguese manager turned to Drogba as an outlet for goals.
However, Drogba's first season at Chelsea was one to forget for the Ivorian, as he scored just 10 goals in the Premier League. However, the London side still marched to the title. The following season wasn't too much better for Drogba in terms of goals either - scoring 12 times in the Premier League, which Chelsea retained. He proved his all-round play, however, by picking up 15 assists.
Despite the arrival of Andriy Shevchenko, the 2006-07 season was when the African striker picked up his goalscoring form. Drogba found the back of the net 33 times in all competitions that season, with 20 of those coming in the league.
His best season in terms of output was in the 2009-10 season under Carlo Ancelotti, where he scored 37 goals and picked up 16 assists in all competitions. Drogba made just 44 appearances that year, meaning he averaged a goal contribution of over one per game. This was also the season where Drogba added a third Premier League title to his collection, as well as a third FA Cup.
Legends are immortalized for their actions in important moments - and Drogba is the perfect example of this. Ahead of the 2012 Champions League final, there was seemingly no hope for Chelsea, who were to face Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. However, Drogba equalized the score with two minutes to spare, and scored the winning penalty in the shootout too, thereby engraving himself into Chelsea's history books.
Drogba decided to leave Chelsea in 2012 following their Champions League triumph. However, after spells in China and Turkey, the striker made an incredible return to Stamford Bridge in 2014, mainly in a rotational role. In the 2014-15 season, Drogba won his fourth and final Premier League title, after which he left Chelsea for the last time, heading to Major League Soccer side Montreal Impact.
#2 Petr Cech (15 major trophies)
Petr Cech joined Chelsea from Rennes in the summer of 2004. Over his 11 seasons at Chelsea, the goalkeeper has made 494 appearances, keeping a clean sheet in 228 of those games across all competitions.
In his debut season in 2004-05, Cech kept an incredible 24 clean sheets in 35 appearances, while also conceding just 13 times. He also picked up his first Premier League trophy, and followed it up in the 2005-06 season too. However, Cech failed to improve on his clean sheet tally, managing 18 and conceding 20 goals in total.
Cech's third Premier League title with Chelsea came in the 2009-10 season. However, owing to Carlo Ancelotti's attacking brand of football, Cech conceded 25 goals in 34 appearances, keeping 17 clean sheets in the process. The goalkeeper's most notable contribution was in the 2011-12 season, however.
The 2011-12 Premier League season did not go to plan and manager Andres Villas Boas was relieved of his duties. With the domestic title firmly out of reach, interim manager Roberto Di Matteo decided to concentrate on the FA Cup and Champions League.
Cech was integral in both wins - he pulled off a stunning save in the FA Cup final from an Andy Carroll header to win the competition for a fourth time. In what was the game of his life, Cech was the hero in the 2012 Champions League final. He saved Robben's penalty in extra-time before diving the right way for every penalty in the shootout, saving two in the process.
The Czech goalkeeper, who is currently the technical advisor to the Chelsea board, added another European trophy to his cabinet by winning the Europa League in 2013. The 2014-15 season was when Cech won his fourth and final Premier League title, although he was second choice to Thibaut Courtois. At the end of that season, the legendary goalkeeper decided to leave Chelsea and join fellow London side Arsenal.
#1 John Terry (17 major trophies)
If there ever was a player synonymous with Chelsea, it was John Terry. The English defender joined Chelsea's academy at the age of 14, and made his breakthrough in the 2000-01 season, making 26 appearances in all competitions. Midway through the 2001-02 season, he had established himself as the first choice centre-back, making 47 appearances in all competitions that year.
Terry's rise continued and his consistent performances ensured he remained a mainstay in defense despite new owner Roman Abramovic's ambition in the transfer market. The centre-back's first taste of success came even before the 'new era', as he formed part of the Chelsea squad that won the FA Cup in 2000. His first Premier League title, however, came under Jose Mourinho in 2004-05, when Terry made 53 appearances in all competitions.
The centre-back then continued to remain an integral part of the team, having won his second and third Premier League titles in 2005-06 and 2009-10 respectively. By this time, he had firmly established himself as one of the greatest defenders to have played in the Premier League. The 2011-12 season saw Terry get his hands on the Champions League trophy, although he missed the final after being sent off in the semi-final against Barcelona.
2014-15 was the season when Terry won his fourth Premier League title, where he remarkably played every single minute of every Premier League game at the age of 34. The following season, Terry started displaying clear signs of decline as he managed just 33 appearances in all competitions. His final campaign at Chelsea was in 2016-17, where he won his fifth and final Premier League trophy, making just nine appearances.
Upon the expiry of his contract, Terry left Chelsea to join Aston Villa in the Championship. In his final appearance at Stamford Bridge, the defender was given an emotional goodbye as he was substituted in the 26th minute while the other players formed a guard of honor.
Having made 713 appearances for Chelsea, John Terry won 17 major trophies, which makes him the most decorated player in the club's history.