I know that the number of stars on a football team's shirt shows how many times they were champion. For football clubs it corresponds to their continental champions league.

But what about national teams? Does it show number of continental championships or the number of world championships?

Can we say that number of stars relates to the tournament that the team participates in?

  • 3
    Stars on a club team's shirt don't always represent the number of league titles. Some leagues have standardised how stars are shown whereas others haven't. Manchester City, for example, have three stars on their crest which bear no significance to any competitions won.
    – Ste
    Jun 19, 2012 at 12:32
  • 1
    If women want to be treated equally then the stars on their shirts should be for their own victories not for those of the men. It's laughable that the Brazilian women have 5 stars on their shirts when they won no championships. The US women's team have it right, they won 2 championships and so have 2 stars. Otherwise, using the above logic, they should have no stars because the men's team haven't won any championships. To avoid confusion, maybe the women should use a symbol other than a star- e.g. maybe a heart or a diamond.
    – user6270
    Aug 23, 2014 at 5:03
  • wow, i din't know the story about brazilian women team. Thanks for the fun fact.
    – SahuKahn
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


In the equipment regulations for FIFA competitions, section 18.2 states:

Those Member Associations that have won the FIFA World Cup may put a symbol on the playing shirt representing this accomplishment and the number of times won.

The form of symbol is not specified, although the accompanying illustrative example depicts a gold star.

For national team jerseys, each star displayed over the badge represents a men’s World Cup won by the country.

Brazil added three stars above their badge after winning their third World Cup in 1970. Italy did likewise in 1982. All world champions have since followed suit. Uruguay display four stars, regarding their triumphs in the 1924 and 1928 Olympics as equivalent to their later World Cup wins, as there was no World Cup at the time. In 2004, Denmark wore a star on their shirts specially for Euro 2004, to commemorate their victory in the competition in 1992.

  • A win at the European Cup of Nations (Euro) is not supposed to be represented by a star.
  • USA has 3 stars but those are part of the design of the badge. They do not mean anything in term of tournament victories. Stars have a significance only when they are embroidered above the badge.
  • A women’s World Cup victory is also represented by a star, but it is usually worn on the sleeves. Women’s national jerseys also wear the stars won by the men above their badge (although the men do not display the women’s stars)
  • At club level, stars have different meanings, depending of the country.
  • In France, Italy and Portugal, 1 star means 10 league titles. Benfica players wear a jersey with 3 stars on top of the team's crest for its 36 "Primeira Liga" titles.
  • Germany has two systems:
    • The DFL (Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga only):
      • 1 star for 3 titles
      • 2 stars for 5 titles
      • 3 stars for 10 titles
      • 4 stars for at least 20 titles
      • * Bayern Munich have 4 stars for its 27 Bundesliga wins (BM's 1932 title was won 31 years before Bundesliga started hence not counted).
    • The DFB system (everything else, like Women's Bundesliga, 3. Liga, etc.):
      • 1 Star for any club that won at least one championship in one of Germany's top domestic leagues (Bundesliga, DDR Oberliga, titles before 1963)
      • optionally the number of titles can be imprinted on that star
  • In Turkey, a club gets a star for each 5th championship. Hence, Galatasaray (21 wins) has 4 stars, Fenerbahçe (19) and Beşiktaş (15) have 3, Trabzonspor (6) has 1 star.
  • In the US, 1 star means 1 MLS Cup.
  • In some countries, the federation has no say whatsoever in the meaning of stars. Thus, the clubs can wear them for whatever reason they like. In Brazil, for example, some clubs would display stars for Second Division titles or state championship titles.
  • Finally, winners of the UEFA Champions League do not wear stars above their badge: They wear, on the sleeve, a blue badge with the UCL trophy and the number of UCL titles won. However, they’re only authorized to display it when they play a UCL game.

For further reading look at Wikipedia article Star (football badge)

  • Thanks for the answer! If a win at Euro is not supposed to be represented by a star (first bullet), why Denmark wore a star in Euro 2004?
    – saeedn
    Jun 19, 2012 at 16:11
  • Because they want to, pay attention that they wore it only on Euro that managed by UEFA. If this was World Cup FIFA would forbid them from doing it.
    – Dor Cohen
    Jun 19, 2012 at 18:47
  • 1
    I would like to add that in the Netherlands a star is awarded for 10 titles as well. Noteworthy is that current amateur squad HVV from The Hague is the only Dutch club besides Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV to have earned one. For a complete overview, see this page on Wikipedia. May 4, 2015 at 9:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.