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10 great players who have never won the Champions League

Ben Winfield
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 22:48 IST

Ronaldo was one of the greatest strikers Europe has seen, but he never won the Champions League
Ronaldo was one of the greatest strikers Europe has seen, but he never won the Champions League

There is no greater prize in European club football than the UEFA Champions League. Every year, the biggest and best clubs on the continent battle it out for the right to be named Europe’s best, and we have seen some extraordinary football played in the competition. 

In recent years, we have seen Real Madrid dominate the competition, becoming the first team in the modern era to win it three times in a row. Last year they beat Liverpool in the final, in a game that will be remembered for a sensational overhead kick scored by Gareth Bale. 

It won’t be four in a row however for Real, after they were shocked by Ajax in the round of 16, before the Dutch giants went on to knock out Juventus in the quarter finals, setting up a semi-final date with Tottenham, who progressed with an extraordinary win over Manchester City. In the other semi-final, Barcelona will play Liverpool. 

We have also seen some very special players in the Champions League. Most recently, it has been Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two of the greatest players ever to play the game. The pair are the only two men in the competition’s history to have scored over 100 goals, and they have won five Champions League titles between them. 

But not everyone has matched the achievements of those two. Here are ten of the greatest players never to have won the Champions League. 

#1 Gianluigi Buffon

Buffon was twice a Champions League runner-up
Buffon was twice a Champions League runner-up

It has been the case of so near, yet so far, on a couple of occasions for Gianluigi Buffon. The Italian is without a doubt one of the finest goalkeepers we have seen in the Champions League, yet he has never been able to win it. Buffon has had a brilliant career. He has won ten domestic league titles with Juventus and PSG, and was part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad in 2006, when he was also named in the Team of the Tournament. 

However, he is yet to achieve success in the Champions League, though he has come close. In 2003, Juventus were beaten in the final on penalties by AC Milan, despite Buffon saving two spot kicks in the shootout. In 2015 they reached the final again, but were outclassed by Barcelona. Two years later they got another go, again facing Spanish opposition in the final, this time in the shape of Real Madrid. Again, they were beaten, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice. He is now at PSG, but it looks unlikely he will ever claim Europe’s biggest prize.

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Published 26 Apr 2019, 06:45 IST
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