Who are South Africa’s most successful club: Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns or Orlando Pirates?

Who are South Africa’s most successful club: Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns or Orlando Pirates?

Amakhosi, Bucs and Masandawana are Mzansi’s supreme clubs. But, how do the three teams compare in total trophies won?

Mamelodi Sundowns have been incredibly successful in the PSL era – dominating South African football since 1996.

But have they surpassed the country’s previously most decorated clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates?

Goal compares the PSL’s three clubs in terms of major trophies won since their respective formation: 

Cup competitions 

Chiefs are the undisputed kings of South African cup competitions having amassed 41 trophies including a record 15 Top 8/MTN8 titles.

The Glamour Boys have also won more South African FA Cups/ Nedbank Cup (13) and League Cups/ Telkom Knockout (13) than any other club. 

Their archrivals, Pirates are the second most successful team in the history of the Top 8 competition with 10 titles and they have also clinched the second-most FA Cups with eight trophies. 

Pirates, who are the current MTN8 champions, have won just one League Cup having ended their long wait for their maiden trophy in 2011.

While Sundowns have clinched three Top 8 titles and five FA Cups including the 2020 Nedbank Cup following a win over Bloemfontein Celtic in the final. 

Masandawana have won four League Cups making them the second most successful team in the history of the tournament after Chiefs.

The League Cup has since been removed from the football calendar after the PSL’s sponsorship deal with Telkom ended in 2019 and Sundowns are the last team to win it.

National league titles

Sundowns became outright the most decorated club in terms of national league titles won when they clinched the 2020/21 PSL trophy.

It was the Tshwane giants’ 14th national league title including a record 11 PSL championships plus three National Soccer League trophies. 

They surpassed Chiefs, who are currently on 13 national league titles having lifted four PSL championships, a record four National Soccer League trophies, and a record five National Professional Soccer League titles.

While Pirates have won nine national league titles including four PSL championships plus one National Soccer League trophy and four National Professional Soccer League trophies. 

Continental success 

Pirates and Sundowns are easily the country’s most decorated teams in continental competitions having both won two Caf trophies.

The Buccaneers were the first South African club to taste African success when they won the 1995 Caf Champions League title and 1996 Caf Super Cup.

Sundowns emulated Pirates by clinching the 2016 Caf Champions League title, before adding the 2017 Caf Super Cup to their trophy cabinet. 

While Chiefs’ lifted the 2001 Caf African Cup Winners’ Cup and it remains their only continental title.

Total trophies

With 55 major trophies, Chiefs are undoubtedly South Africa’s most successful club despite earning their last trophy in 2015.

Pirates have the second most trophies with 30 titles, but Sundowns are slowly closing in on them having clinched 28 trophies.

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