This week's return to Champions League action demonstrated just how special knockout nights are in Europe's elite club competition, something star players in their prime are desperate to experience and even more hungry to maintain.

Champions League football is a privilege that has to be earned though, a fact six start players are realising as they face a fierce battle to earn qualification for next season's competition.

As the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan continue to toil in their respective domestic campaign GMS has taken the time to profile six starts desperate to be involved next season, with Luis Suarez very much on the front line in terms of showing a genuine desire to fulfil that objective.

Click ahead to view six of the continent's finest footballers, who all may be forced to change clubs to realise their ambition of hearing that famous anthem before taking on the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona next season. 

Mario Balotelli
Luis Suarez
Robin Van Persie
Manchester United