Whether it is the league or the World Cup, soccer players always set their eyes on winning the trophy from the very first game.
A successful soccer career is usually described as one decorated with numerous trophies. Successful soccer players are always eager to show off their trophy cabinet.
So, does this mean that soccer players keep the trophy they win? This is one of the questions that is frequently asked by soccer fans, particularly those newly inducted into loving the game.
If you are one of those bothered by this thought, exhale and read on as we tell you everything you need to know about what happens to soccer trophies.
Do soccer players keep trophies?
The prize of winning most major soccer leagues or tournaments is a trophy, a solitary trophy that is awarded to the team—not a single player.
For example, the winner of the English Football League (EFL) gets a trophy designed based on the Three Lions of English football.
The organizers will usually hand the trophy to the captain of the winning team. This does not in any way mean that the captain of the team is to keep the trophy.
There are two lions on the handle of the trophy and the captain of the winning team will become the third lion after he raises the trophy over his head.
Since a soccer team is made up of a minimum of 11 players plus substitutes, it will be difficult to tell just one player to keep the trophy. This is simply because a win in a soccer game is due to collective team effort rather than the effort of a single player.
In fact, there are 2 EFL cups and the two are replicas of each other. The winning team is handed one of the trophies while the other stays with the league.
The team that won the trophy has until three weeks before their last game in the next season to return the trophy.
Nevertheless, most soccer clubs have trophy cabinets. So how do they get all the trophies in the cabinet if they are always returned?
Well, what you see in the trophy cabinet of highly decorated soccer teams are replicas of the original trophies. The trophy replicas are made under the permission and license of the awarding association. These replicas cost only a small fraction of the real trophy.
So, does that mean that every soccer player in the team will go home empty handed even after winning something as big as an EFL trophy? Certainly not.
While soccer players are not allowed to keep the major tournament’s trophy, there are other trophies they are allowed to keep.
Small replicas of the main trophy
In 2018 when France beat Croatia 4-2 to win the world cup trophy, their captain Hugo Lloris was handed the World Cup trophy which he raised with the rest of the team.
However, what France eventually took home was a gold-plated bronze replica of the trophy rather than the original trophy that is made with solid gold.
After France won the trophy, former Spurs and Germany star Jurgen Klinsmann—who also won the World Cup trophy in 1990—confirmed to the BBC during a commentary that the players will receive a small replica of the World Cup which they will be allowed to keep.
This is the trophy you will often see soccer players display in their trophy cabinet.
After winning any major tournament, the winners are usually given a medal which can either be gold or silver.
In a World Cup tournament, players of the winning team are awarded gold medals in addition to the World Cup trophy while the second and third place winners get silver and bronze medals respectively.
For example, the champions of the EFL are handed 40 silver commemorative medals. Every soccer player in the winning team that made a minimum of five appearances throughout the league season leading to the title win will get one of the medals.
However, if more than 39 players from the winning team made more than five appearances during the title race, the team can request additional medals from the Premier League Board.
Every soccer player that gets a medal at the end of a tournament is allowed to keep the medal in their trophy cabinet.
Besides the tournament’s trophy that is given to the winning team, other trophies are given out on the last day of the tournament. However, unlike the tournament’s trophy, the other forms of trophies are given to individual soccer players rather than the team.
Some of the coveted individual trophies given at the end of major tournaments are golden gloves given to the goalkeeper that conceded the least goals among the last four or that conceded the least goals at the end of a league season.
Golden boot is another highly coveted individual trophy among strikers. It is awarded to the soccer player that scored the highest number of goals in any tournament or league season.
Whatever the individual trophy may be, the soccer player that earns it will keep it and add it to their trophy collections.
Do beach soccer players keep trophies?
Just like association football, players of the winning beach soccer team don’t get to keep the trophy. However, they get to keep the medal given to them.
However, players that win individual awards such as the Adidas golden silver, or bronze ball, Adidas golden, silver or bronze Scorer, and Adidas Golden Gloves can keep them.
In the 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup, soccer players from Switzerland swept all the top individual awards of the tournament.
Do indoor soccer players keep trophies?
Like every other soccer variation sanctioned by FIFA, the players don’t get to keep the team trophy.
However, players can keep individual trophies and medals won in any tournament.
When people name the success of a team, they usually make mention of the number of trophies the team has won. In the same vein, when people talk about the success of a team, they will talk about both their team and individual trophies.
Team trophies usually carry more weight than individual trophies. For example, a soccer player that has won the World Cup will be ranked higher than another soccer player that has won 2 or 3 golden boots but has never won the World Cup.
Interestingly, even though team trophies get the higher rank when listing the achievement of a soccer player, the players don’t get to keep them. At best, they will be given a small replica for them to keep.
The only trophies that soccer players are allowed to keep are individual trophies and medals. Never underrate those because some soccer players never get one of them throughout their soccer career.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!