Who Has Won More Honours – Celtic or Rangers?

Some football leagues have one dominant side, for example Bayern Munich in Germany. Others have several very strong clubs, where superiority ebbs and flows over time, with Italy and England decent examples of that. And some national top flights have two major sides, usually fierce rivals, who between them monopolise the silverware in that country.

Spain, with Real Madrid and Barcelona, is one example of such a duopoly and, of course, Celtic and Rangers in Scotland is another. The Old Firm derby between the two Glasgow giants is one of the most intense, often hate-filled meetings in world football. The pair play in the same city and there are major religious foundations to the rivalry. However, the fact that more often than not it is Rangers and Celtic that are battling it out for trophies is obviously also a big factor in the animosity between the two.

So, who is the best team in Scotland? “Celtic or Rangers” is both the obvious answer and the obvious question, so in this article we will take a look at who has won the most major trophies to try and get a little closer to understanding if it is the Hoops or the Gers who truly deserve the bragging rights in both Scotland and Glasgow.

Have Celtic or Rangers Won the Scottish Title Most?

Scottish Championship TitleThe simplest place to start when comparing Rangers and Celtic has to be the top-flight title. At the time of writing the 2023/24 campaign looks set to go the distance but before the silverware is handed out for that, it is Rangers who have the edge.

They have won an incredible 55 league titles, although only one since 2010/11. Even so, their near-total dominance of Scottish football in the 1990s and noughties gave them a very healthy lead. As things stand no matter what happens in the title race this year, the Gers will be in the lead, with Celtic currently two back on a still very impressive 53 titles.

Hoops fans must have feared the worst as their rivals won title after title in the 90s and beyond. Indeed, Rangers won 15 Scottish titles between 1987 and 2009 to race well ahead. However, they were then dropped down into the fourth tier of Scottish football due to financial issues and this gave their bitter rivals a chance to claw back some serious ground.

The Bhoys, who had a decent time at the start of the millennium themselves, when the balance of power was finally poised, have now won the championship 11 times out of the last 13. So, as things stand, it is 55 wins to Rangers and 53 to Celtic: advantage the Teddy Bears!

Have Rangers Also Won More Scottish Cups Than Celtic?

Scottish Cup
Scottish Cup (Credit Isaac Freeman via Wikipedia)

When it comes to the Scottish Cup, which was first played all the way back in 1873, the roles are somewhat reversed. Neither side has been quite as dominant, as one would expect given the more unpredictable nature of knockout football. But even so, Celtic’s haul of 41 Scottish Cups is mighty impressive.

Unsurprisingly they have done especially well in the 21st century, winning the cup 11 times already. They could well make it 12 in 2024 too, with the Bhoys set to face Aberdeen in the semis. Mind you, Rangers have also made it to the last four, where they will face Hearts, and so we could well see yet another Old Firm derby in the Scottish Cup final.

If Rangers can land the cup this term it would be their 35th victory in the competition. Their first came way back in 1894 and was one of three they won in the 1800s. They are some way behind Celtic overall though and so we’ll mark it down as 1-1, with Rangers ahead in the league and the Bhoys holding the advantage here.

Celtic v Rangers in the League Cup

Scottish League Cup logoLike England, Scotland also boasts a relatively major secondary domestic cup. The Scottish League Cup is not as old as the primary cup but was still founded well over 70 years ago, in 1946. This competition is not as important as the two above but here it is Rangers who have the lead.

They have won the League Cup 28 times, compared to 21 wins for their rivals. However, the Hoops have been superb over the last 25 years or so, winning this one 12 times since 1998. In the same period the Gers have “just” eight victories but, even so, when it comes to domestic silverware they have the better record in two out of the three competitions. But what about Europe?

Have Celtic or Rangers Won in Europe?

UEFA Champions LeagueBoth of the Glasgow giants have won one of the major European trophies and, in fact, Celtic were the first British side to lift the European Cup, as the Champions League used to be known. They won UEFA’s premier tournament in 1967, beating Inter Milan with their famous Lisbon Lions side.

Just a few years later, in 1970, they once again made the final but lost 2-1 after extra time to Dutch outfit Feyenoord. More recently they made it to the final of the UEFA Cup in the 2002/03 season but lost out to Jose Mourinho’s Porto, who would go on to win the Champions League the following season.

Rangers are also no stranger to defeat in a European final and have actually made it to the showpiece game of the Europa League twice in recent times. In 2022 they lost on penalties to Germans Eintracht Frankfurt, whilst in 2007/08 it was Zenit Saint Petersburg, of Russia, who got the better of them, 2-0. They have also lost two further European finals, missing out against Bayern Munich in the 1966/67 Cup Winners’ Cup, having lost in the same competition to Fiorentina in 1960/61.

It was third time lucky for the Gers though as, in 1972 they once again made it to the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. This time around they won 3-2 against Dynamo Moscow.

The Final Tally

On a round-by-round basis we would have to call this a draw, Celtic’s European Cup meaning we award the European round to them despite both clubs having won a trophy each. However, when we look at how many times the clubs have won the league, the two domestic cups and any of the major UFEFA-sanctioned competitions, it is amazing just how well-matched these great rivals are.

Competition Celtic Rangers
League 53 55
Scottish Cup 41 34
League Cup 21 28
Champions League 1 0
Cup Winners’ Cup 0 1
Total Major Honours 116 118

There we have it, Rangers have won more major trophies than Celtic. But only just… for now at least!