The best XI of stars who have never won the Champions League

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Heading into this weekend's Champions League final, there will be plenty of neutrals hoping for a Juventus win.

And that's largely because of Gianluigi Buffon.

Remarkably, the legendary shot-stopper has managed to go through his entire career to date without winning the most prestigious prize in European football.

Of course, the 39-year-old has the perfect opportunity to end that particular drought on Saturday by beating Real Madrid in Cardiff.

It got us thinking. There must be loads of great players from the past and present who missed out on Champions League glory.

So we've had a go at coming up with a best XI of players who were/have been unable to add winning the Champions League to their CV - and it is rather impressive.

The toughest task was trying to fit them all into a working formation - not helped by the lack of wingers who fit our credentials - but in the end we plumped for a (very) narrow 3-4-3 setup.

Given the personnel, we're not sure how this side would cope defensively, nevertheless, we can guarantee goals.

So without further ado, here it is:

GK: Gianluigi Buffon

After starting the article about him, there was no way we could leave out the World Cup winner and almost definitely an all-time great.

Winning it this year could also boost his chances of claiming the Ballon d'Or too.

CB: Laurent Blanc

Premier League fans' memory of Blanc might be somewhat tarnished by his mixed spell at Man United towards the end of his career.

However, the French defender was a formidable rock in his prime and would have easily got into most teams around the 1998 World Cup.

CB: Fabio Cannavaro

Despite playing for Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid, Cannavaro's only European success came in the UEFA Cup with Parma in 1999.

Another World Cup winner, that could marshal any defence to glory.

CB: Lilian Thuram

It is hard to believe that France's most capped player in history didn't get his hands on the Champions League trophy.

He did come close in 2003 with Juve, only to lose to Milan on penalties in the final at Old Trafford.

CM: Michael Ballack

Ballack was on the losing side in two finals (2003 and 2009) during his illustrious career.

He was also part of the Germany side to finish runners up in the 2002 World Cup. A great player with horrendous luck in finals.

CM: Patrick Vieira

Considered an Arsenal legend, Vieira bossed Arsene Wenger's midfield for nine years.

Unfortunately, the Gunners failed to mount much of a challenge in Europe while the Frenchman was present. Sound familiar Gunners fans?

CM: Pavel Nedved

Nedved was also at Juventus for the 2003 charge but missed the final through suspension.

That didn't stop him winning the Ballon d'Or later that year, though. A seriously classy player.

CAM: Francesco Totti

Think it is pretty safe to assume that if Totti had taken up one of the countless offers to leave Roma during his peak years, he would have won the Champions League.

But his desire to stay at Roma has undoubtedly affected his chances of making a bigger impact in Europe's top competition.

ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic may have scored goals at every club he has been at but the Champions League trophy has still escaped his grasp.

He can take some consolation in winning the Europa League with Man United this season, though.

ST: Ronaldo

Undeniably one of the best strikers to ever grace the game, Ronaldo could make any defender fearful.

Ronaldo has admitted that missing out on the UCL is something he still regrets, with the semi-finals in 2003 the furthest stage he was able to reach.

ST: Dennis Bergkamp

Picking between Bergkamp, Hernan Crespo and Ruud van Nistelrooy was tricky but the ex-Arsenal maestro just edged it.

Bergkamp won two UEFA Cups but was an unused substitute for the 2006 final as the Gunners fell to Barcelona at the Stade de France.

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Dennis Bergkamp
Patrick Vieira
Francesco Totti
Gianluigi Buffon
Michael Ballack
Patrick Vieira
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain

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