Greatest players to have never won the Champions League
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Vieira are among the players that have never won the Champions League
Ronaldo, Messi, Drogba and Gerrard have all tasted what it feels like to be European Champions but some elite players have unfortunately never had such privilege to do so for various reasons. We comply a world XI for players that have never won this prestigious trophy.
Gianluigi Buffon | Goalkeeper
Considered by many as the best goalkeeper in the world, Buffon was voted the best player of the 2003 UEFA Champions league but his Juventus side lost to Italian rivals Milan on penalties.
Buffon was unable to build on it, as Juventus were relegated to Serie B after a match fixing scandal. He stayed by his club and helped get them back into the top flight and back playing Champions League football, so there is always time for the Italian stopper to claim his first European title.
Fabio Cannavaro | Defence
The former world best player was one of the greatest defender the world ever saw. He was crucial to Parma’s success in the 90’s that attracted interest from Europe’s heavyweights.
He was also involved in the scandal but unlike Buffon, Cannavaro left for Madrid where he won two La Liga title but failed to make it past the First knock round of the Champions League on two occasions. However, he captained Italy to the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Philipp Lahm | Defence
Lahm is a veteran although he is only 29 years old. The German international is the captain for both Bayern Munich and Germany. He has been twice the runner up in the elite competition losing out to Inter and Chelsea.
Lahm is very talented, full of pace, dribbling and precise tackling. He has found himself on the receiving end of final heartbreak for both club and country finishing 3rd in the last two World Cup tournament. Lahm is still involved in this season champions league and like Buffon will have the chance to eventually claim the title that has eluded him.
Tony Adams | Defence
Simply Arsenal’s greatest ever defender. Tony Adam spent 22 years of his playing career with the Gunners. He won four league titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and three FA Community shield. The Englishman was unable to add a Champions League medal to his trophy cabinet.
Tony Adams is now retired and as a result he will never get another chance to attempt to lift the trophy as a player but maybe as a manager.
Pavel Nedved | Midfielder
He was the Ballon D’or winner in 2003 with Juventus as he led the old lady to the final of the UEFA Champions League. He missed the final due to suspension and his team came up short against Milan in the final.
Unfortunately, Nedved never got close to winning another title with Juventus and has now retired from football.
Patrick Vieira | Midfielder
He was the best player in his position as a Defensive Midfielder in the late 90s and early to mid 2000s.
The former French International won the win with Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan. He almost won the World Cup and Euros with France but he never the Champions League was the only trophy that eluded him.
Robert Pires | Midfielder
Pires is another Arsenal player in the list. Arsenal has never won the Champions League. Pires was instrumental for Arsenal during the 03/04 season in which Arsenal were unbeaten throughout the Barclays Premier League.
Pires was subbed off in the 12th minute of his only Champions League final when Jens Lehman was sent off for a foul on Eto’o. Arsenal cruelly lost the final and Pires has to settle for a runner up medal.
Francesco Totti | Midfielder/Attacker
The Italian legend is a World Cup winner although he has never been close to winning the Champions League like the other players on the list.
The Ballon D’or nominee is an icon for club Roma but despite winning the Scudetto in 200/01, Rona have never been able to challenge Europe’s big names for the title. If Totti were to win this competition he would have to do the unthinkable and move clubs especially as he is approaching the end of his career.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Forward
The skillful player played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, and Milan before joining PSG. He won every league title respectively and is leading current side PSG to a league title. However, Ibrahimovic has never won the Champions League.
He is still involved in this season Champions League but faces ex club Barcelona for a place in the semifinals. Ibrahimovic is only 31 so he has a few more years to finally land the biggest prize in club football.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy | Forward
The third highest scorer in Champions League with an impressive 56 goals, one of the most efficient in the top 10. He made his name with Manchester United where he held the joint record for the most goals in a Champions League season with 14 goals.
Nistelrooy won the league with Manchester United and Real Madrid. Despite numerous individual awards the ex Dutch international has only ever been to the semifinals of the competition back in 2002.
Ronaldo | Forward
He is the greatest player on the list never to have won the prestigious trophy. Ronaldo is one of the best strikers the world has ever seen with an unbelievable three-time World Player of the Year award. He won the Spanish and Dutch League title with Real Madrid and PSV respectively.
He won the Copa Del Rey in a record breaking season with Barcelona and won the UEFA Cup with Inter Milan. Ronaldo won the World Cup in 2002 and is the record goal scorer with 14 goals in three competitions.
He narrowly missed out in 2007 because he was cup-tied. He was also close in 2003 but his injury led to Madrid elimination at the semifinal stage.
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