Antoine Griezmann had it all at Atletico Madrid. He became the club's darling as well as one of the most prominent footballers in the world during a stint full of goals and silverware including the Europa League. The only thing that eluded him at Madrid? A league title.
Griezmann, a complete modern attacking footballer capable of playing in the wing as well as a central striker whom Barcelona acquired by activating his huge release clause, arrived at the Vicente Calderon (then Atletico's home ground) the season after they won the La Liga. Their best position since Grierzmann's arrival has been second.
Perhaps even more bizarrely, after the footballer moved to Barcelona, the then La Liga champions suffered an implosion of sorts to relinquish their title to bitter rivals Real Madrid. That means the French World Cup winner is yet to win a league title. Though Griezmann has time on his side, history is replete with examples of great footballers failing to win even one top league title.
5 best footballers never to have won any of Europe's top leagues
At times fate, at times loyalty to a club, while at other times a combination of factors led to these footballers, who reached the pinnacle of the sport, never winning a league title. On that note, let us take a look at five of them.
#5 Gaizka Mendieta
We were actually spoilt for choice while making this list. That's because there are so many footballers who ruled the game but never managed to lay their hands on a league title. Such is the nature of the sport. One such footballer is Gaizka Mendieta who just edges out Italian World Cup winner Daniele De Rossi.
That's because Mendieta had a much greater influence on club football, captaining Valencia all the way to the Champions League final twice. Indeed, the playmaker helped the Spanish side rub shoulders with the best in Europe when he was at his devastating best.
Sadly, Mendieta could not take Valencia to the La Liga crown though he did win the Copa del Rey with them. His spells in Italy with Lazio, with Barcelona back in Spain and with Middlesborough in England also did not result in a league trophy.
Mendieta will remain the best Spanish midfielder to have played the game before the golden generation of Xavi and Andres Iniesta arrived.
#4 Giuseppe Signori
For many millennial football fans, the name Giuseppe Signori might sound unfamiliar. Indeed, Signori is often termed the greatest forgotten footballer ever or the greatest footballer never to have won a major trophy.
That's because Signori, a prolific striker who won the Serie A Top Scorer Award thrice and scored 188 goals in the league when the best defenders in the world played in Italy, never won the league title.
Signori, who was rejected by Inter in his youth because of his diminutive stature, reached the summit of the Italian game the hard way through Serie C and Serie B. The skilful and versatile marksman had his best days in Lazio and also played for the Italian team that reached the 1994 FIFA World Cup final.