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10 Great players to have never won the UEFA Champions League

Jonny Ross
Modified 25 Feb 2020, 19:11 IST

The UEFA Champions League groups together some of the finest teams in European football and it always produces some memorable moments. We get the chance to watch some of the best players in the world going head to head competing to win the biggest trophy in club football.

Former Real Madrid winger Paco Gento was able to win an amazing six European Cup medals in his playing career with the Spanish giants between 1962 and 1971.

Players such as Cristiano RonaldoPaolo Maldini and the great Alfredo di Stefano managed to win five Champions League medals during their careers (with Ronaldo still going strong), but some great names in football, although coming close, have not been able to achieve ultimate glory in European football.

Here are 10 of the best players who have never been able to win the Champions League.

#1 Laurent Blanc

Throughout his 20 years as a player, defender Laurent Blanc collected plenty of silverware at club level and with the French International team.

With the national team, he reached the pinnacle when he won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championships in 2000. He was never able to match the top prize at club level as he never won the European Cup.

Blanc did manage to win the European Cup Winners Cup with Barcelona in 1997, but the closest he ever came to winning the big one was in the 2001/02 season with Manchester United.


His dream of winning a Champions League medal under Sir Alex Ferguson ended in the semi-finals. United were unable to repair the damage they had suffered in the home leg of the tie. A 1-1 draw ensuring that Bayer Leverkusen went through on the two away goals they scored in the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

#2 Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the most prolific goal scorers to have played the game in modern times.

Having started his professional career in the Dutch Eredivisie, he moved to European giants Manchester United in 2001 to play under Sir Alex Ferguson. Like Laurent Blanc, van Nistelrooy never got any further than the semi-finals and he was a part of that Manchester United team who were beaten by Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

After 5 years at Old Trafford, he joined Real Madrid, who at the time was considered to be the best team in the world. Real Madrid went through a spell of losing in the knockout stages of the competition.

Despite being the competition’s top scorer in three different seasons, the flying Dutchman was never able to win the Champions League and a year after leaving Old Trafford for the Bernabeu, Manchester United won the Champions League when they beat Chelsea in Moscow.

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Published 25 Feb 2020, 19:11 IST
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