Top 10 players that never won UEFA Champions League

Football is all about the glory and all that comes with it. Every player has a dream to lift the Ol’ Big Ears. Many have succeeded, some of them with one club, some like Clarence Seedorf with three different clubs. He is actually the only player that managed to do this with three different clubs. We do not need to mention Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Javier Zanetti, Maldini since they all achieved the major club’s success.

However, there are some world class footballers that miss this trophy in their trophy room. I present you the list of top 10 players that never won the UEFA Champions League:

10. Ruud van Nistelrooy

To somebody, maybe there are better players than him, but I choose him in the list because he was a world class player but unfortunately, he was never able to win the Champions League. Ruud van Nistelrooy scored astonishing 56 goals in the competition. The closest he was to winning it, was in the season 2001/2002 when Manchester United lost on away goals against Leverkusen.

He was definitely disappointed when he moved from Old Trafford to Santiago Bernabeu. Season before, Real Madrid won the Champions League. When he moved to Real Madrid, the next season Manchester United won it. Tough luck, I would say.

9. Patrick Vieira

World class midfielder, represented France in 107 occasions. He was the part of the team that won the Word Cup in 1998 while he was in standard line-up in 2000 European Championship. So, he won World Cup and European Championship. But on he club level, Champions League was far away. After nine years in Arsenal, he moved to Juventus where he hoped to win the Champions League which never occurred. To make things worse, while Inter Milan player, he decided to leave them in the January 2010 which turned out to be a bad move since Inter won everything at the end of 2010 season (the famous treble).

8. Michael Ballack

He was so close to winning it in the 2002 final between Real Madrid and his Leverkusen. Unfortunately, the famous Zinedin Zidane’s volley denied him his dreams. After that season, he moved to Bayern Munich in hope it will be better, but unfortunately, Champions League remained a dream. Ballack also played for Chelsea and he won 13 trophies combined with Bayern Munich and Chelsea but as this is the article about the top players who never won the Champions League, guess what. No, he did not succeed either.

7. Pavel Nedved

This player (as the others as well) deserved to win the Champions Leagues, but unfortunately he did not. He was so close in 2003. He scored a magnificent goal against Real Madrid in the semi-finals which helped his team to go through finals. In the same game, he made reckless foul, received a yellow card and he was out of the finals. However, Milan was better team in the final so Juventus was cut short. If it is any consolation, he won the Ballon d’Or in the same season.

6. Fabio Cannavaro

One of the best defenders in Italy and world wide, won the World Cup in 2006 in the match against France. The well-known final where Materrazzi provoked Zidane to hit him in the chest and receiving the red card which did help Italy to go to the top. Cannavaro won the award for the best player in the world that season which was really rare for the defender to get the award. He became the last player to claim the reward without wining the Champions League. Closes he got was when his Inter Milan played Milan in the semi-finals, only to lose on away goals. Further, he never reached this stage with his next clubs, Real Madrid and Juventus.

5. Dennis Bergkamp

You have all heard the stories that Bergkamp rarely played away games (abroad), since he was scared of flying. True to this. However, do you realize that he never won the Champions League. It is really pity that the player of his ability never achieved this with the club. He reached to the finals once after eight attempts. Anyhow, he won the Europa League trophies with Inter and Ajax, so he has some European trophies to add to his name.

4. Gabriel Batistuta

A lot of you will say that he did not play in the club that is capable of wining the Champions League. Still, the fact remains, Batistuta was a legendary player. He never even advanced to the knock-out stage of the competition. In the season 2000, he was voted third in the FIFA World Player of the year. Fiorentina finished third in Serie A, they did not win anything and yet, he was voted third best player in the world – that was Gabriel Batistuta.

3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

He is as a wine. As he is older he is better and better. Even at the age of 39 he still plays world class football. But as the rest of the guys in the list, he never won the Champions League. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 48 goals in 120 matches through 15 seasons. He did reached the semi-finals in 2010 with Barcelona, but they lost against Inter Milan, the team he left for Barcelona in the previous season.

2. Gianluigi Buffon

Three finals and three defeats for one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football.  He lost the finals in 2003, 2015, and 2017. Buffon won the World Cup and he wanted to add another big victory before the retirement. However, he did not retire. He moved to PSG in hope to finally win the Champions League but that did not happen. Be that as it may, this men fully deserved the Ol’ Big Ears.

1. Ronaldo

This mean was really a goal machine. The easiness with which he was “braking” his opponents was astonishing. Ronaldo is simply one of the greatest footballers in history. He did won the Europa League (UEFA Cup), but Champions League was far fetch.

He played only 40 games in the Champions League due to the injuries. However, he reached the semi-finals, only to loose against Juventus. It was at his age of 29, which due to injury, was his final game in the Champions League.

There are other players as well that deserved their place in this list. However, I choose these players. Some of the world class players that never won the Champions League were Sergio Aguero, Lothar Matthaus, Francesco Totti, Cesc Fabregas.

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